Knit dresses are one of my favourite things to wear especially when the weather is nice outside - no need to think about matching top and bottom, just add accessories and done. Since I am nursing my second daughter right now, to wear any kind of dress and go out seemed close to impossible. The solution - make a dress that allows to nurse without taking it off!
Empire waist line is perfect for nursing modifications. I used a pattern from Dutch pattern magazine Knipmode 06-2011 22a. Here's what I did with regular pattern to fit the purpose: instead of one bodice piece, you need to cut two - one (outer) should be approximately 1 inch longer than the original piece. Take this outer bodice and fold 1/2 inch at the bottom and topstitch. Cut a piece of narrow elastic that is 1 1/2-2 inches shorter that the width of the bottom bodice edge and insert it in the casting. Secure the elastic at the sides. Take the inner piece and make two cuts where the breasts are going to be and overlock the edges. Put the inner bodice on a table right side facing up, place outer piece on top of it right side facing up, pin and baste at the neck and sleeve edges. Attach the sleeves treating bodice as one piece. Attach upper back to the sleeves. Finish the neck opening with the band. Attach lower front to the upper inner front piece. Finish sleeves, stitch the side seams and hem the dress. Done!
Here's the finished result:
Note: this technique works best for prints as solid colors might shew through the opening.
Now I can wear a dress that doesn't stop me from nursing my baby!