Beat the Winter Blues Tea

Soooo – considering I’m not a dress person, I have made a second Tea House Dress!!  The first one is the pretty, summer party version, you know the type, only drinks posh edlerflower spritzers and eats cucumber sandwiches – with no crusts.  This dress is very different.  This one drinks tea and eats whatever she can find in the fridge, every day!  I think it’s going to be a bit of a uniform of sorts!

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The Tea House Dress by Sew House Seven

So, the fabric was purchased (yup, not even from the stash!!) from a local hospice charity shop, 3m for £7.50!  It was marked in the selvedge as Made in England, worsted wool.  The ground is blue, with black, making teeny tiny houndstooths.  They’re set within a brighter blue windowpane check.  It’s a good weight suiting fabric, and soft.  I threw it into the washing machine when I got it home from the charity shop on a woollen cycle with Ecover liquid.  Washing hasn’t changed the texture or finish of the fabric at all, which is great as this will be worn a lot so will need to get used to being in the washing machine!

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I decided to make the shorter version of the dress this time, planning to wear it through the cooler weather with leggings or tights, booots/trainers and a long sleeved tee or even a thin jumper underneath.  I also decided to do a slight pattern alteration.  I lengthened the bodice along the lenthen/shorten lines by 2cm.  I felt that I needed more depth over the bust, that the ties could easily be 2cm lower down and still work to give the illusion of a waist!

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I tried to make sure all the holizontal lines would line up around the body, and this worked a treat on the skirt and pocket pieces!  Not so good on the bodice…  This is because I totally forgot about stripe placement when pinning and sewing the princess seams…  It wouldn’t be that obvious if they were the same on each side, but I decided I could live with it.  Everything else worked a treat, so this would do.  I overlocked all the raw edges before sewing because this stuff frayed quite badly.  I was really pleased with the stripes on the pockets though.  Using the alternative grain marked on the pieces, I made sure the stripes would be aligned and it worked!  I haven’t got a photo where I haven’t got my hand stuffed in the pocket where you could see, but both vertical and horizontal stripes line up!  Brilliant!

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Matching those stripes like a boss!

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Now, I know that last dress got loads of love, it’s really pretty and I can’t wait for next summer to wear it, cocktails and nibbles, the works.  But this dress.  I LOVE IT!  I really do, I recon it will be a good alternative to jeans.  I can see this getting a lot of use, and now I’m thinking maybe a lightweight denim would be very nice!  I haven’t seen many winter weight Tea House Dresses online, has anyone made one?  What I will need though, is a jumper/jacket/coat that will cope with the size of these sleeves.  They’re a wee bit big for what I have already…

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I’m going to live in this dress this winter!

Tea House Dress

What you’ve all been waiting for!  My Tea House dress is done!!  And it’s so pretty!!!  Enough exclamation marks yet?  I don’t think I can use enough to be honest.  This has turned out even better than I pictured in my head.

I had originally bought 2.5m of the gorgeous chrysanthemum print cotton, and ordered another 1.5 so I would have enough for the big pattern pieces, and I’m so glad I went for the extra half a metre!  Do not be tempted to get away with a little less in the meterage if you’re planning on making this dress, go with what it says in the requirements, or you’ll be cursing, promise.  It’ll be worth it in the end.

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The instructions are clear, plenty of diagrams too.  For the details of how I got to this point, see my previous post about the toile, etc.  The majority of this dress was done in one day, all I had left to do the next day was the handstitching I elected to do, and the hem.  The instructions have you topstitch or edgestitch the front panel and the underlying facings, but I decided to handstitch the facings down on the inside instead.  I also handstitched the cuffs instead of stitching in the ditch.  I decided that I didn’t want stitching showing on the outside of the dress.  Except the hem, that I machined.

collage teahouse dress
The Details
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Tea House Dress by Sew House Seven

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I have to admit that while I was working I had a nagging suspicion that I was making a dressing gown…..  Once finished and on Peggy (the dressmaker’s dummy), I couldn’t get rid of that feeling and felt a little down about the whole thing.  Then hubby came home from work and asked why I’d made a dressing gown, as I don’t wear them…  MAN!  I went to bed a little dispondent, then woke up to a huge surprise.

I’d put a pic on IG, and it went mad, so much love for the dress!  I had a little chat with daughter No1, which make me feel more positive about it.  So I put it on – after fixing make-up and hair, and with suitable shoes….  And I love it!  It’s gorgeous, way better than a dressing gown could ever be!  The fabric is devine, the print perfect.

I love the sleeves, the neckline, the ties that give me a “waist”, and the length that seems to make me look tall!  Woohoo!  All the magic, in one clothing item.  If you’ve ever thought about maybe making this pattern, can I just ask, “What on earth are you waiting for!?”

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I’m Making Me a Dress!


Yup, you read that correctly, a dress!!!  Remember that gorgeous chrysanthemum print cotton fabric I got from Truro Fabrics a the beginning of July?  And had to get more because I got a “reasonable” amount?  Yeah, that will finally be a Tea House Dress, pattern by Sew House Seven.  I traced the size 16, based on my bust measurement, and toiled the top version to see whether or not I’d need a FBA, and whether or not the pattern suited me and I even liked it!


Wondering if it’s “me”

So I bought a floral print duvet cover from the charity shop, I chose a printed fabric because my fabric is covered with flowers, and I wanted to get an idea of what it would look like.  It went together rather well, the instructions are clear, with plenty of drawings for those who need visual input.  There were only a couple of “whaaat?” moments.  When attaching the ties to the centre front panel, you’re asked to “presew” them on.  I’ve never heard that term before, usually the instructions say “baste”.   Then, in the sewing on of the cuffs, you’re asked to “crackstitch” the cuffs to the sleeve.  Say what?  What-stitch?  I checked the glossary and found they mean stitch in the ditch!  I had such a laugh!

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The toile of the Tea House Dress

Anyway, apart from those wierd bits, the pattern is good.  I like the shape, the ties are at my narrowest bit (not that it’s that narrow), and the neckline looks like it’s not going to be too revealing.  I wasn’t sure whether I really need an FBA, or just to add length.  Then I changed my bra to one that I’d be more likely to wear with the finished dress, and things fit a little better.  So I’ve ditched the FBA, skipped adding length to the bodice and I’ve cut my fabric!!

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I’m really glad I bought more fabric! But I’ve since found it online for £3/m less than I paid..

I originally had 2.5m, but after I’d had a chance to think about what I’d make, I quickly ordered another 1.5m.  And thank heavens I did!  Because of the length and funny shapes of the pattern pieces, you really do need a lot of length.  I have a decent amount left over, but not in any solid shape and size.  I tried my best to place the pattern pieces so as not to waste the fabric.  I’m not sure what I’d be able to make with the bits, but I’m sure I’ll eventually think of something!

Both daughters will be home this weekend for a visit, the first since Christmas!  I’m sorta hoping to be able to wear the dress at some point over the weekend – so here goes!




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