DIY Breastfeeding Vest

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I am a Cub Leader (Cub Scouts) and wear a shirt weekly.

My youngest attends (10 weeks) and feeding in a shirt revels a little too much so i set about making my own feeding vest to go underneath

You will need 2 vests of same style, elastic, tape measure, scissors, pins and sewing machine.

First determine where the top section reaches under your bust. Mark with pins ensuring the vest is flat and smooth. You need to add 2 inches below that point then cut it. Set aside.

Measure the cut off piece to determine how much vest you just removed. Mine was 10.5 inches.

Add on 4 inches and measuring from hem off your second vest cut along. You will now have a top of a vest and the bottom separate. Don’t mix them up with discarded sections.

On both sections fold under 0.5 inch then another 0.5 so the raw cut edge is encased and pin in place.

Using a zigzag stitch you will be sewing on elastic to the front section of each part. You will be securing the hem and elastic at same time. I cut my elastic 3 inches shorter than width of top. You will need to pull gently as you sew. Don’t pull too much as you only want a gentle puckering.

On your back section repeat but continue the zig zag stitch without elastic around the back section, or you could use a long straight stitch to secure.

Place lower section inside upper and over lap at side seams by at least 1-2 inches. Pin and sew along existing seam to secure.

Work your way around the back (unelasticated section) and overlap by same amount you overlapped sides. Pin then zigzag stitch in place.

Your vest is now done and unlike a lot of feeding vest for under clothes you don’t have to reveal too much.

Easy access with minimal exposure.

Sewing the back down creates a smoother finish.

The extra 4 inches added to lower section ensures post partum tum says under wraps.

This was my first go and would like to make one from scratch in future. This project cost me approx. £5.50.

Gender Stereotypes

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I have a few questions why are the following deemed girly: cupcakes, cats, bows, polka or any uniform dots, Peppa pig

My boys love cake. Sure they’d not want one on a top or socks but why do girls want them on clothes either? Cats can be either gender but tend to only feature on girls clothing usually pink, pink and with a bow or two.

Polka dots are generally a girl pattern. You don’t find boys polka dot anything but if you were to search for spotty dinosaur clothes it suddenly turns into a disorganised spotty boy fest. Well once you’ve rifled through a few girl bits because dinosaurs aren’t just for boys but cupcakes are definitely just for girls (unless you’re talking about real cake then its pretty even. Anyone see the logic here? please explain if you do…

Bows are another thing. Add some tails to a boy and its for girls and girl cats only. Take the tails off make it in black or blue and bingo it’s a boy’s bow tie which again girls can wear too! Tailed bows girls only, tailless bow ties both genders.

Lets move on to Peppa Pig. Now I’m not sad I can only find mostly girl Peppa pig clothing and it’s a relief in all honesty however she is a prime example of gender stereotyping. Girl pig on girl clothes, boy pig (George) on boy clothes. Why? What if a boy likes Peppa but not George is it tough cookies wear George or nothing?

Another thing that irritates me why is it automatic boys are into cars, trucks, bikes, pirates etc etc. Don’t get me wrong my boys loved car tops but more so the youngest than oldest. He was more into kitchen roleplay and glitter, but god forbid I would try to buy a food theme top (think cupcakes). Glitter is severely lacking in boy departments too!

Animals. I know we mentioned cats but animals in gender are subject to heavy stereotyping. Girls as we said get vats but they also get cute pale puppies, sweet fluffy penguins, butterflies, ladybirds, bunnies, leopard print, owls.. you need me to go on? Boys get lions (which I adore btw), tough looking dogs with grumpy faces or pirate outfits on, tigers, occasional panda, elephants, dinosaurs, snappy crocodiles and dark looking penguins and not so fluffy bears. Why are girls the only ones allowed pale fluffy animals and boys get bright or dark very clean-cut animals.

Ladybirds are another bug bear (you have got all day to read my rant right? good!) lady doesn’t mean only girls can have these spotty insects on their belongings. We don’t need to weed out the non-existent, unpink, inoffensive items. By offensive I mean ‘Little Lady’ or Pretty Little Ladybird. Now some of you are thinking jeez she’s touchy but I’ve always hated phrases which define kids in a certain way which adds to my current rant.

For boys: Little man, handsome like daddy, mummy’s little star. For girls: Pretty little thing, beautiful flower, daddy’s angel, cute like mummy. My son is NOT a little man I know this isn’t the worse thing in the world but it makes me cringe so so much and I refuse to call my child a mini/small/little man! He is handsome but my sons are also beautiful with gorgeous curls and pretty eyes. MY daughter is pretty and beautiful but she isn’t a thing (yes I did buy a top with this on purely for the colour despite the wording), she is no more a beautiful flower than her brothers and in fact her brothers were and still are regularly mistaken for girls because of the curly hair and sparkly eyes.

Cute like mummy for girls but boys can’t be cute and look like mummy? Try it on google images put cute like mummy in and 99% is pink clothing that pops up. Whereas Mummy’s little star is mostly gender neutral or boys clothing. Odd.

So at what point were dinosaurs and trucks for boys, rainbows, toadstools and cats for girls. There is so much emphasis on allowing girls to have dinosaur clothing, trucks on their pjs but it still conforms and ends up pink and purple. There however is nothing to allow boys to have flowers on their tops, rainbows adorning their trucks and a splash of pink glitter without it being pointed out .

Colours I have spoken about but they are another issue ok I understand and I think we all get pink is mostly a girl colour but why is purple? It’s near impossible to find purple boy clothing, at least without spending a fortune on alternative clothing or the odd Little bird item. Trust me I’ve tried! Its made up of blue and red which are classed as boy colours just as much as girls so why is the mix of the two suddenly girly.  Similarly green is often in the boy section and not so much the girls unless it’s very pale or teal then you can guarantee a puff sleeve and a bow renders it useless to boys.

I’m tired out now and still could go on! If I had the money and the energy I would love to create a boys clothing range that challenges gender stereotyping. I fear though that I too would succumb to the usually downfalls of clothing and would use minimum pink, minimum flowers and no butterflies.

Boys CAN wear pink!!!

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I know I’ve mentioned this before but boys can wear pink in fact pink looks great on boys!

In victorian times pink was for boys and sometimes between then and now it became a girl colour and totally taboo to put it near boys.

So here’s my little selection of boys can wear pink

Raglan top from H&M. I bought this online and this is fresh out the packet. It is duskier than I expected but I love it and matched with jeans will look great. You could get a nice vinyl very cheaper to make it more gender specific if you like. I’m toying with getting boys can wear pink to iron on .

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You could make your own clothing and add a flash of pink without it being all about the pink. Team with plain gender neutral trousers and let the shirt speak for itself.

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You could also get around the whole pink thing by buying dark pink trousers. This dark pink is more of a purple pink than a in your face girly pink. Teamed with a ‘boy’ top and no one will be looking at you weird just in awe of your epic styling. These are from Debenhams.

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You could incorporate it in a subtle way in other things like blankets. I planned to do the odd flower because you can’t have Totoro without nature and flowers are nature. But then it struck me how ace the soot sprite would look against a dark pink (2nd row, 2nd from left) without it taking over or being odd. Click the picture to access a free bobble alphabet to crochet and the link to this blanket pattern.

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You could also buy items that have pink added in nicely like stripey fabric or socks like this set that is aimed at either gender and this set.

Even just a line of pink topstitching could be enough for you.

If you still can’t face pink on boys why not make stuff you will be using and make it girly because technically it’s yours. Click the pictures or the tutorials.

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