I love tea dresses and chose this pattern for the cute sweetheart neckline, swishy skirt and retro vibe. I made view A and cut a toile in a size 14. I was quite new to sewing when I made this and didn’t take into account the amount of ease in the finished garment so ended up making a lot of adjustments. The bodice was far too big and I had to pinch out a lot of excess from both the front and back pieces. The waistline was also in the wrong place and far too low for my short torso so a few cms came off the bodice too. And just to make things more complicated for myself, I didn’t like the sleeves at all so I decided to draft a cap sleeve pattern from a dress in my wardrobe and use that instead.
I used a ditsy floral poplin print I bought in Peter Jones. The bodice is lined in some leftover cotton lawn from my stash and the skirt in yellow lining fabric.
I could have got away with leaving the skirt unlined as the poplin had a good weight to it and wasn’t see-through, though this dawned on me after I’d bought and cut the lining. The dress took a while to put together as I decided to hand sew the bodice lining to the skirt and also hand sew the hem which took f-o-r-e-v-e-r. Note to self; think twice before attempting any hand sewing on a circle skirt.
The dress sewed up true to the image on the front of the pattern and I’ve had lots of compliments whenever I’ve worn it. However there are a few niggles with the fit. The back neckline is too high and gapes slightly (as seen in photo above) and I didn’t put enough ease in the sleeves so can’t raise my arms. (But my school days are long over so maybe not an issue here). The waist line still isn’t right and cuts into my tum – not a dress to wear if you are expecting a food baby. I decided to live with it as the dress is fully lined with an invisible zip. Taking in the excess around the neck and raising the waistline would involve major unpicking and re-sewing and life is too short to sew an invisible zip twice. Despite this I love how the dress turned out and gave it an outing at Kew Gardens during the last few days of our glorious English summer.