Once Upon a Time – the Vintage Nursing Bra

Once upon a time, nursing bras were limited to two choices – take it…or leave it.  Or were there other nursing bras we just didn’t get to see? Maybe so. A little while back, I found a wonderful Vintage Nursing Bra that I dated to between 1955 and 1960. let’s have a look at its overall appearance and functionality. Maybe then we can make one similar but maybe adding some modern features and fabric. Here’s the bra. The first thing to notice is the cup has two layers in the cup – an inner layer next to the skin and the outer layer which drops down.

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The layer next to the body is actually made of power net, and has a tab attached to the strap tab area which attaches to a snap (popper) of all things! You have to unfasten the snap to allow access. We tried fastening this back up and we really had to push on the snap to get it to pop closed. Imagine pushing that hard against breasts swollen with milk! Ouch! We have to find a better solution for this! Just a note here…look at the apex on this cup – poor Ashley is too round to fill out this bullet style bra. Nothing screams vintage like bullet bra cups!

vintage nursing bra side 2


The outer layer of the Vintage Nursing bra is the drop down layer and when it is folded down, it acts like a shelf to support the breast. This is a horizontally seamed cup which is a perfect seaming for a top drop nursing bra. There are two layers of nylon tricot in the lower cup. You can just barely see that the wrong sides of the  cups face each other so there is a nice neat seam touching the skin.


Vintage nursing bra top down

What I like and what I can improve…

The horizontal seam is the best seam for this bra, in my opinion. It allows the outer cup to drop down to feed the baby (remember how they squirm!). I also like the styling of the cup. It’s really pretty. Although, if it were in different colours (maybe pink!) it could be a lot better.  Even though I am totally impressed with the top drop cup, I don’t think anyone would like the poppers. They are too hard to fasten up again. Besides, that small strap tended to slip to the ring and threatened to slide right on out!

Vintage nursing bra poor strap

At the very least, it should have been sewn across where I have this pin. But I still don’t like the poppers.  I do like how the straps adjust in the front. They aren’t elastic either, they are fabric tubes with topstitching on the centre line.

Vintage Nursing bra popper

So here’s the bra. One thing, though – I find it odd that this is a wired bra. Certainly, I think it could be made without wires. I really don’t recommend wires for nursing bras until at least 2-3 months after the milk is flowing and your breasts have settled in, so to speak. In my next post, I will show you how to draft the Vintage Nursing Bra and improve it along the way!

Nursing Bra feature

See you next Sunday!

Your Fairy Bra Mother


8 replies
  1. Beverly Shumaker
    Beverly Shumaker says:

    I search high and low for am underwired nursing bra in 1972 and finally found it at Lord and Taylor’s for an outrageous price. But I have large pendulous breasts that need every bit of support I could get. So I bought two and treated them like the baby!!!


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