English Tea Dress

This week I have another ‘back in time’ post to show you the first ever dress that I lined, the English Tea Dress, by Simple Sew.   I made this dress about a year ago to wear to a spring wedding, and it has found another wedding outing now!  This pattern was free with a magazine, which is something I still enjoy indulging in.  You can get so much inspiration in fabric, style and patterns all in one place.


I am very proud of this dress. It is not perfect, but not in any way that you would really notice without me pointing it out.  I had to do quite a lot of research and working out to finish the construction, because although there were pattern pieces included for this cap sleeve, there were no instructions about how to insert and finish it, and at the time I had only ever constructed sleeves that were completely set into the armscye.  I found a tutorial online from After Dark Sewing which was really helpful and used it to finish the sleeves with bias binding.


I am pretty pleased with this invisible zip.  Not quite invisible, but I did manage to get it neatly concealed between the fabric and the lining.  There weren’t separate pattern pieces for the lining included, but my lawn was a bit too thin to just use alone, so I created my own pattern piece for the bodice lining.  I think I used Tilly’s tutorial on how to line a skirt to help work out the construction process.


This dress is definitely ‘before overlocker’ so the seams are just pressed open and zig-zagged and the hem is a narrow turned hem.  This dress is made in a lovely soft cotton lawn which I think was from Calico Laine, though it is so long ago it is no longer in stock, and lined in a basic polyester lining fabric from Trago.  The fabric is a little busy to show off the unusual shaped bodice, which comes to a ‘v’ at the centre front.

As you can see, this dress is still wedding ready, and I had a lovely time dancing the night away in it!  I’m hoping that it will continue to have wedding outings for some time to come (and in the meantime, I would like the sun to come back so that I can wear it for everyday).


Do we value handmade?

When you receive a handmade gift do you cringe? How about if you are the crafter? Do you keep your making to yourself?  Christmas is past now, but if you are a crafter, did you make any presents? Were you more concerned about the time commitment or how they would be received?


I think people often fall into two camps when it comes to handmade. Either they think you were being cheap, or they value the time, effort and cost involved in choosing fabric, pattern and actually crafting. Machine made products may be cheaper, but they aren’t made with love.


When it comes to crafting for friends and family what is your approach?  I tend to do most of my making for me- it is my hobby as well as my way of personalising my wardrobe, but I do sew for my family too from time to time.  I know that they understand how much work goes into making something special and personal.  A pair of personalised PJ’s, a shirt, a cycling jersey- I have created all these recently and they have been well received with love.


via Daily Prompt: Craft