Well, hello there. Welcome to the dress of pocket dreams.
I’ve had the pattern for the Tea House Dress (from Sew House Seven) for at least a year, but I held out on making this dress until I found the perfect fabric. When I saw this Robert Kaufmann Indikón Cotton Yarn Dyed Fabric at Patch Halifax, I knew it was exactly what I had been waiting for.
I played with the direction of the stripe and used the wrong side of fabric on the front and back plackets, the centre front skirt, and the sleeve cuffs. I’m glad that I opted for the shorter version, as the longer one is a lot of dress on a 5’2 person, but also because I still used nearly 4 metres of fabric on this one!
The neckline is the perfect depth on me and I didn’t need to do any kind of full-bust-adjustment. The only tricky part of this dress was the front placket. The instructions have you gather the front inside edges ever so slightly and press the pieces until they are totally flat. I’m not entirely sure what purpose that ease serves. I was able to get one the way I wanted, but the other wasn’t quite as good. I found that topstitching the front placket, which connects it to the lining placket, creates a slight puffiness in the front.
It’s a minor quibble though. I am delighted with this dress. The fit is spot-on; it’s very flattering; I love a Dolman sleeve and, of course, those pockets! In fact, this may be my favourite make of this project so far.
Project: Tea House Dress
Total Cost $108.25
Pattern: $24.25 (18 USD)
Fit: Straight size 4
What to work on: That teensy bit of fullness in the front placket
See also: My beloved (and much worn) Toaster Sweater is also from Sew House Seven. I’ve got my eye on the Nehalem Pant pattern too!
When I saw the post for Project Sew My Style (an online sewing challenge to create a particular item each month) from Bluebird Fabrics on Instagram, I was eager to sign up and give my own handmade wardrobe project some added structure. Luckily for me, I’ve never made any of the designated patterns before. I’m looking forward to taking on some silhouettes that I might not have tried otherwise.
Making the Toaster Sweater was refreshingly quick, which was a relief after the intense projects I’ve been working on. I played around with the lengths of both the front and the back of the shirt and decided on adding one inch to the front and four inches to the back. Originally, I had been more drawn to Version 1 of the sweater, but once I got this on – especially in my extended length – I didn’t want to take it off. The long sleeves make for a very cozy shirt.
I had a little trouble with the hem, as my machine was skipping stitches and the feed dogs were catching with the twin needle. I ripped out most of the hem and did it again. It’s not perfect, but it’s liveable. The fabric is some wonderfully soft french terry from Blackbird Fabrics. (It’s the forest colour.) I also ordered some of the charcoal option (for some Hudson Pants), and I’m hoping to play pattern Tetris and get another Toaster Sweater out of it as well. Being curvy and short, I tend to shy away from boxier tops, but the terry is light enough to drape nicely.
I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s makes. You can follow along on Instagram with #toastersweater2 and #sewmystyle.
Project: Toaster Sweater 2
Total Cost: $31
Pattern: $7.50 (PDF of Version 2 only with project discount)
Fit: Size Small with added length
What to work on: Machine maintenance. Those feed dogs need some oil!