The Babe Hoodie: Drawstring Nursing Hack


I’ll admit, I thought I was stashified when it came to hoodies. I own several different hoodie patterns, and I couldn’t imagine needing another….until Jessica Hooley sent me the Babe Hoodie and the Nursing Hack Pack. Read my review- check out the tutorial and don’t forget to scroll to the end for an Exclusive Discount Code in case you missed the sale!

Uh, yeah. Her first pattern, and she rocked it. The Babe has options galore- zip up or pullover, several types of pockets, sleeveless or with sleeves, banded or hemmed, the list goes on and on. But somehow, despite all the options, the instructions and pattern pieces remain clear.

The three piece hood is especially awesome, and a great way to use up scraps!

She’s even added several thoughtful details that were missing in my other patterns, including a zipper guard, and, wait for it….a NURSING OPTION (hack pack here). You know I love a good nursing top, especially if I don’t have to draft it myself!

The nursing option in this hoodie is my favorite too, because of the way the under layer is scooped out. Cutting slits or circles in my nursing wear never turns out quite right and requires more fiddling than we often have patience for (demanding toddler nursling anyone?), so easy and quick access is a must! The deep scoops of the under layer attach at the armscythe and neckline, so they are stable, but also reduce the bulk and chance of overheating that would come with two full layers.

Of course, with a million options included, you know I just had to hack it and add one more, right? I keep seeing women in the Nursing and Maternity Group on Facebook looking for a pattern smilier to this nursing dress from Milk, and I decided I could use the Babe to recreate it (using nicer fabric, of course!)

I used the Nala French Terry from Sincerely Rylee– the pre order just closed but I’m hoping there will be some retail! You can check out their other knits here). Its deliciously soft and just the right weight for a summer/fall dress.

Drawstring Nursing Hack Instructions

Ready for the hack? Its a quick one- grab your Babe pattern, nursing Hack Pack, a good ruler, some washaway wondertape, and lets go!

To start, I traced out my Babe hoodie pieces and the nursing add on, but since I was making a dress, I added about 2.5″ in length to the lower front and back pieces. I’m short (5’2″), and it came out just this side of scandalous, so you might want to add more if you are taller than I am (highly likely). This is another place where I have to gush on the details a bit- Jessica offers TWO lengthen/shorten lines on the Babe- which is really awesome because its usually better to add/subtract length above and below the waist, rather than all in one spot. Anyway, enough gushing, back to my hack-torial.

After you’ve added your length, you will  construct the pullover as instructed, but instead of sewing clear elastic to the bottom of the top nursing layer, you will fuse a piece of interfacing to the wrong side of the center front and sew buttonholes or grommets for your drawstring. (Dritz grommet pliers available here, or the full press here). Fold up the hem 1″, and sew.

Next, cut two drawstrings, and thread them through the grommets or buttonholes to the side seams, which are open. Baste them to the sides- you will be catching them in the side seam when you sew up your hoodie in a later step. I cut my drawstrings the length of the space between the grommet and the side seam, plus enough to tie. Rather than sew my own, I like to use twill tape, available here.

Before sewing the lower front, upper front and back together, I did adjust the placement of my pocket, since I was making a mini dress. I just eyeballed this- temporarily attaching it with wash away wonder tape and repositioning until I got it in the right spot for my hands and body.

Sew up the rest of the pattern as instructed, catching the upper front in the side seams as you sew. When you get to the sleeves, you may want to shorten them even more to recreate the look above. I cut an extra 2″ off of mine, then hemmed per the pattern.

And voila! A beautiful drawstring nursing dress! Nurse on, mama.

What if you’re not nursing but still want this look? You could cut two fronts- one full front and one half front, and layer them on top of one another, creating the drawstring in the upper front. OR, if you wanted the drawstring casing to go all the way around, you could cut the top and bottom half of the hoodie dress seperately (don’t forget to add a wide seam allowance here, like 1″) and sew together and create a casing from the seam allowance for the drawstring!



Don’t forget to snap up the Babe hoodie here, and use the code “sewingwithsarah” for 20% off!!

You should also go check out the fabric at Sincerely Rylee here– its gorgeous stuff!

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Note: this post contains affiliate links, which means that if you choose to purchase something using the link a small part of your purchase gets recycled back into my fabric/pattern testing addiction, at no cost to you! hey, its cheaper than therapy!

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