Nursing and Maternity Merryweather Hack

The Merryweather Top & Dress is already a very versatile pattern, “3 neck options, 3 sleeve lengths, and 2 widths along with optional color blocking and tunic and dress lengths”. But when someone showed me a shirt with an envelope opening in the front, I knew I could do it with the Merryweather! The envelope serves three purposes, it’s really cute, it creates more room for a pregnant belly, and it makes access for breastfeeding possible. Follow this tutorial to create your own Merryweather with envelope front. If you don’t own the Merryweather pattern but would like to create this look, you can get 30% off the pattern through 4/27/16 using the code Aurora30

Merryweather Hack Merryweather Hack
To create this look, you’ll need to cut the Front pattern piece on the “Loose Fit” line and the Back on the “Fitted” line. First, we’re going to modify the Front pieces of the pattern to create the “Underlay” which is the rust fabric in my example, and the new “Front” which is the envelope front in my example. If you don’t want the nursing option, just use a regular Front piece rather than the Underlay.

Print and assemble the Front pattern piece. Mark on the neckline, 1″ or so from the fold and about 5″ down from the armpit on the side (blue lines in my pic). I measured my own body to get these locations for the breast cut-outs. You can measure yourself and make the marks accordingly.

Merryweather Hack

Attach the two marks with a curved line, like in this picture.

Merryweather Hack

Then cut on the line and discard the top portion. The remaining piece is your underlay. You’ll need to cut 1 on the fold.

Merryweather Hack

To create the new Front, you need two existing Front pieces. You can either print two or print one and trace it. I chose the latter. You’ll tape the two pieces together on the fold.

Merryweather Hack

Measure 1″ in from the outside of the shoulder (either side, it doesn’t matter), and 13″ or more down from the neckline. However far down you measure is where your envelope will cross. And let me tell you that the farther down, the better because if it’s too high you will be flashing people on a windy day! Connect those two marks with an almost-straight line and then continue the line down at a curve to the opposite corner.

Merryweather Hack

Cut on the line and discard the bottom portion. What you have left is the new Front. You need to cut two of these mirrored.

Merryweather Hack

Cut out all pieces (2 New Fronts, 1 Underlay, 1 Back, 2 Sleeves, 1 Neck Band and optionally, 2 Sleeve Bands). To finish the breast cut-outs on the Underlay, measure the curve of the holes then take 2″ off the measurement and cut two pieces of elastic that length. Sew the elastic to the edges with a serger or a zig zag stitch, stretching it to fit. (I did not take 2″ off my original elastic which made the holes stretch out and too big. Live and learn.)

Merryweather Hack

Finish the curved edge of the Front pieces by turning the edge in 1/2″ to the wrong side and sew in place.

Merryweather Hack

Place the Back down with right side up. Lay one Front piece on top, with RSF, and pin together at the shoulders.

Merryweather Hack

Lay the remaining Front piece on, in the same direction as the first, and pin together at the shoulders.

Merryweather Hack

Pin the Front pieces together at the neck opening.

Merryweather Hack

Sew together at the shoulders.

Attach the sleeves as directed in the pattern.

Pin the Front to the Back at the side edges. Notice that the Back piece is 1/2″ longer than the Front? That’s because we already hemmed the Front but have not yet hemmed the Back.

Merryweather Hack

Place the Underlay on the Front so the wrong side is up. Pin together at the sides and neck.

Merryweather Hack

Finish sewing together according to the pattern directions. Start with the side seams. Then add the Neck Band and Sleeve Bands (or hem the sleeves). Then hem the bottom using 1/2″ hem allowance.

Merryweather Hack

Don’t forget to “show it” once you “sew it” in our Facebook chat group!
Thanks for reading, Stitch Junkies!


20 thoughts on “Nursing and Maternity Merryweather Hack

  1. Cyndi says:

    Oh my gosh – thank you for this tutorial! I’m not pregnant or nursing but I’ve wanted to make a top like that with the opening in the back and I think I can tweak the tutorial to do that, too! Also, I have the Merriweather and an ashamed to say I haven’t made it – how did I not realize it comes in dress length???

  2. Kristin says:

    I love this idea! It’s great that you include hacks on the blog for your patterns – I love having options! It makes me wish I had little ones again; but even though I am not nursing I’d still love to have a top with that kind of opening in the back – so pretty!

  3. Tasha says:

    Such a great hack and tutorial. I’m loving being able to expand my nursing wardrobe beyond wearing a tshirt and cami.

  4. Misty says:

    I love this idea! Store bought nursing shirts hardly ever fit me right. I love the Merriweather & I’m totally digging the envelope opening on this. The Merriweather pattern really is so versatile. It already had so many options. This is like icing on the cake.

  5. Jeannie fisher says:

    Great pattern! I love that there is no seam on the outside leg of the pants! Each leg is 1 cut out! Beautiful fit! With clear directions! What an honor to test 4 u! Love u and love ur parterns!!

  6. Beverly Dueck says:

    Help! I am trying to find your Facebook group but am having trouble searching for it. When I input the info with that number I keep coming up with nothing. What am I doing wrong? Thanks so much.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *