Thursday, April 2, 2015

1940's Tea Dress in a soft linen blend

There was a sale/free shipping event at Fancy Tiger Crafts so I purchased a linen blend a few weeks ago. This fabric is awesome! It's a linen/tencel blend with great drape, a nice print, and lovely color. It's from a designer, Feral Childe, who makes absolutely gorgeous clothing. I want it all!

Starting over the weekend, I decided to make an easy to wear, tried and true pattern with it: the Sew Over It 1940s Tea dress. The dress does not have lining, so it seemed like a good use of the opaque soft blend. The Tea Dress has worked out well for me in the past, I wear the floral version often. (My black & grey version feels too dark for California sunniness so it gets left on the hanger more often.) Anyhow, this new version is super swingy and the fabric blend works well in the bust gathers so I'm sure it will be worn a lot! 

I took some of the puff out of the sleeves caps as well as raised the skirt and the front neckline by about an inch. Other than that, it's the same cut as my previous dresses with a small FBA, and about 4 inches added to the length of the dress. The interior is unlined, all seams finished with my overlocker.  I ran into a pressing problem with the Tencel, it tends to shine (melt??) at even medium temperatures. After that discovery, I kept my iron at a very low heat. The fabric does not lend itself to crispness, but I think it looks great soft and fluttery.

 Here it is inside out in the breeze:

My hand sewn hem was completed on a sick day when there was little else I was competent enough to do. It is not perfect but I'm too lazy/sick/impatient to fix it. :)

I snapped one photo in the bathroom mirror with my dog as critic.

I do have a issue where I could use some help. The invisible zipper has a slight pucker/waviness in the back. It puckers when worn and when it is hung up so I don't think it is swayback. This has happened on one or two other dresses where I decided to ignore it, but I maybe it's time that I figure out how to avoid it. Do you see it below? Any suggestions? 


  1. Your new Tea dress is very cute, so I looked up your other ones which are beautiful the two of them, too! It totally suits you. For the invisible zipper, I always would press a strip of fusable interfacing all along the open edges, so the fabric would not shift inserting the zipper.

    1. Thanks, I'll try that on my next dress! This is one of my favorite patterns. :)

  2. I never thought about making the 1940s tea dress until I saw yours. I've never seen your blog and I'm really in love with so many of your makes. Your taste in fabric is exquisite!!!! Thank you!

    1. Hi Colleen! Thanks for the message. :) The tea dress pattern is a lot more versatile than they say in the pattern description. It's definitely worth a try!
      Most of my fabrics are I'm obsessed with them... but they are all cotton so it's nice to find something drapey sometimes too.

  3. I've never ordered from Vlisco but am always tempted. I was on a trip to London last month and went to Goldhawk Road specifically for African wax cotton but there was just too much to choose from and I left without! (Although bought way too much Liberty!) I love the Anna you made from it....really inspiring!