DIY Nursing Tank/Cami in under 10 Mins. and Belly Band Too!

Hey guys! So if you follow me on Facebook, you’ll know that I’ve recently been aggravated by the price of nursing tanks, or camis if you will. I’m not saying that I’m too cheap to buy one or two for the price of $49.99 (which is the only ones that seem to fit me properly), but I just can’t bring myself to buy anymore at this point when I’m a third of the ways through my last breastfeeding career.

Some women suggested using regular camis with a nursing bra while pulling them down, but for me and my small boobs that just doesn’t work. Not only do I find myself having to use my other had to hold down the cami, but I then find myself either ripping, or stretching out the fabric so much that it droops and sags until the next wash and dry. No bueno. I myself love to do things while I nurse, whether it’s cooking, texting, shopping, reading, eating, I do it all, so having both of my hands occupied at once is not an option for me.

Like I’ve said before. I feel more comfortable covering up. I will nurse anywhere, anytime, in front of anyone, but I like to be covered up. So, with that being said, after staring at my old camis last night for 20 minutes I finally found two different DIY ways to make your own nursing top with the use of a nursing bra.

10 Min. DIY w/ Needle and Thread

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For the first DIY option, you will need an old snug fitting cami (the two I used were really old long Express camis with built-in shelf bras, but you can use any kind), scissors, and a needle and thread. You can also do this with a sewing machine, but I didn’t want to have to drag mine out in front of my very curious 2-year-old. I also wanted to find a DIY option that anyone anywhere could do, with or without a sewing machine.

Step 1:

cutting

With sharp scissors (I like to use Fiskers fabric scissors but any will do) cut the straps at the back of the cami as close as you can to where they come together while avoiding cutting into the back of the cami because you don’t want fraying. Then move to the front of the cami and snip the straps leaving about 2 inches of length. You will want them long enough to be able to form a small loop. Remember, if you are unsure, leave more of the strap on because you can always snip off any excess after you have sewn the loop, where as if you cut too much off, you’re screwed :)

Step 2:

stitches

After threading your needle with whatever color thread (I had some gray thread left over from a quilting project, but any will do), hold your loop in place and begin to stitch in and out from left to right over the strap connecting it to the cami. I went over my strap 3 times to make sure that it was properly secure. After you are comfortable with how secure the strap is, cut your thread and tie it off. Continue on to your next strap.

completedlooks

finishedloopsAfter your loops are done, this is what your finished product should look like. Feel free to trim the straps down if it bothers you, for me I didn’t mind since no one sees the inside.

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Wearing your new nursing cami:

First put your nursing bra on (I know I know, such a simple and “duh” thing to do, but I for one appreciate EVERYTHING being spelled out to me). I got this nursing bra from Kohls a while back two for $30.00, super good deal and super comfortable since it’s more of a sport fit (to purchase click HERE).

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 Next put your newly made cami on over your nursing bra, and unclasp your bra from its strap…

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 Loop the eyelet of your cami that you made around the clasp of your nursing bra, and then reclasp your bra…

clasp

 Voila! Your new nursing tank is complete! You can now enjoy nursing discretely and fully covered, and it only cost you 10 minutes of your time and a little creativity :).

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 When you are ready to use, just unclasp and pull down like you would any other tank, nursing bra, or cami. Happy nursing!

use

DIY no sew option in 90 seconds:

When I first was pulling old tanks and camis out of my closet I came across some that had rings where the straps connected to the body of the cami instead of being sewn in. I immediately hoped that the rings were large enough to fit over my nursing bra clasp, but soon after cutting the straps off and trying to fit them over, I realized they were not. No worries though! With two little rubber bands, my problem was solved and in under 90 seconds :).

What you’ll need: A snug fitting tank/cami with straps that are connected to the body with rings instead of being sewn on, sharp scissors, and two small rubber bands. I used the little rubber bands that are sold in the hair care aisle at the store, but any TINY rubber band or hair tie will do.

NOTE: Though this is a quick option, you will need to take off the rubber bands before washing your tank and re-attach them again before use.

Step 1:

nosewdiy

Using your scissors cut the straps off the front and the back of your cami, leaving the ring attached to the body of the cami…

tie

Next loop the small rubber band around the ring and pull it through. I believe this is called a slip knot (though I could be wrong)…

done

When you are done, follow the same steps as listed above. Loop the rubber band over the clasp of your nursing bra, and then reattach. Your no sew option is complete and under 90 seconds too! Even if you don’t use old tanks, you can easily buy cheap ones at places like Old Navy or Forever 21 and repurpose them these ways and still save TONS of money.

I have no problem buying nursing wear. I love my nursing tops that I have, and I love the bras and tanks that I have, but I don’t love being limited to what I wear because I am nursing. Making my own nursing tanks/camis out of old camis that I already owned is awesome for me. Not only did I not have to spend a single penny on expanding my clothing options, but I also now get to buy new camis after I’m done nursing which is more fun ;). I love the look of layering and I feel more comfortable nursing in public being covered by a tank and a nursing cover, and I don’t think I should feel bad about that. I hope this was helpful to you ladies who are looking for more affordable options for nursing wear and finding ways to cover up :). Please let me know if you make your own, I love seeing pictures, and feel free to share this post with anyone else who might benefit from it.

Here’s to a happy and healthy breastfeeding relationship between you and yours!

*If you’d like to see a how-to video of this click HERE*

xoxo-

Kelli

P.S For those of you who are pregnant and still trying to get a little more use out of those pre-pregnancy jeans, try out this DIY belly band. This is how I survived my first and half way through my second trimesters. Please forgive the poor quality of the video and my awkwardness…this was one of the first videos I had done. :)

 

 

30 comments

  1. ellen says:

    Thanks for spending the time/energy to save us all some $$! =)
    Nearing the end of my pregnancy and still trying to figure out my nursing wardrobe.
    Any other tips or brand recommendations are also welcome!

    • babybellykelli says:

      No problem ellen! I have a full section of reviews and different categories if you’re looking for tips and products :) Just type whatever you’re looking for in my search bar, or check out my different categories. If you follow me on Facebook I also share a lot of spur of the moment products and tips there as well :)

      Kelli

  2. October says:

    You are a freaking genius for posting this and I love you! HAHA! I desperately needed this. Being a VERY TALL breastfeeding momma, I don’t want to shell out 50-100 bucks on a stupid tank top.

  3. Tenaj says:

    I love this post and vlog. My gray tank just died 2 weeks ago. Had I not seen this post I may have sadly just tossed it. It has the rings, so the rubberband idea was great. I may still play around with it a bit to find a more permanent option! Thanks Kelli! Keep posting!

  4. luzanne says:

    Hey those are great ideas. To ensure the bra doesn’t show, we could sew a button higher up on the bra strap and loop the camisole onto the button. Then it will be really like a nursing camisole. And sewing two buttons take only another 5-10 mins.

  5. Erin says:

    This is awesome!! Thank you so much!! I’ve been eyeing the undercover mama’s and I wanted them so bad…but now I think I can go w/a few less of those & reporpose(sp?) some of my old ones!! this is great!!

  6. Jaime says:

    This is a great idea i have a question before i tackle making them tho, how does the back stay up if the straps are cur?

  7. Julie says:

    Thank you!! This is such a great idea, and your instructions/pictures are absolutely perfect. Can you tell us where you got your necklace? I am in love with it and have been looking for one just like it forever!

    • babybellykelli says:

      You’re welcome! I got my necklace from Etsy. I’m not sure of the store since it was years ago but I just searched sterling silver initial pendant :)

  8. Jessica says:

    I LOVE this!! I just had 1 question. What do you do after you cut the straps on the back of the tank? Do you just leave it like it is? I was just wondering because it seems to me that you would be constantly pulling the back up. I would use this under another shirt of course but it was just something I was wondering. Thanks!!

  9. Bethany says:

    I love this! I just wanted to add that anyone looking to buy new tanks to make these (instead of cutting up your old ones) should check Forever 21. They have amazing camis that are about $2 each, come in tons of great colors as well as neutrals, and are long! (long enough for me, at least – I’m 5’7″). They fit tight, but are also really stretchy and accommodating. They fit over my 9-month-pregnant belly! I just went and stocked up and paid about half of what I would have paid for one nursing tank, and I got 7! I can’t wait to convert them into nursing tops! Thanks!!

  10. Sarah says:

    So this may be a dumb question.. but how do you get the back of your tank top to stay up? You are cutting the straps off at the back and then sewing them in a loop at the front, but how does the back stay up?!

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