When I started thinking about what I wanted to sew in 2017 I decided I really wanted to focus on sewing some jackets and work on pants/jeans. We are five months into the year and I’ve made some progress on that goal but somehow 2017 seems to have turned into my Year of the Dress. I’ve made 8 dresses for myself this year and I’m really loving this most recent one, the Tea House Dress from Sew House Seven.
I’ve been so taken with the amazing versions of this dress that I’ve seen on Instagram, the Indiesew creations gallery, and other sewing blogs. I had been dreaming about making it for a few months when this gorgeous agave green Tencel fabric arrived in the Indiesew fabric shop as part of the Spring/Summer 2017 collection. I thought it would make the most beautiful Tea House dress. (This color is sold out but there is currently an olive green Tencel twill in the shop.) I got my pattern here from Indiesew.
The Tea House dress is like nothing else I have in my closet. I love the front princess seams and the v-neck. The long ties were really what drew me to this pattern. I love how they can be tied in a variety of ways and give shape to this loose silhouette. And of course, there are those roomy angled front pockets. I love a dress with pockets! It a great design that feels elegant but is really easy to wear.
I ordered 3.5 yards of the fabric and crossed my fingers that it would be enough to make the longest length of the dress. I was able to get the dress cut out with 1/4 yard less than the fabric requirements since this fabric isn’t directional and I could cut pieces every which way. I cut a size 8 through the bust, graded to a 10 at the waist and a 12 at the hips. My hips put me between a 12 and a 14 but there was plenty of ease for me to just grade to a 12.
This was my first time sewing with 100% tencel fabric. It has such lovely drape! It’s more substantial than a rayon challis and feels a little bit brushed or sueded. I washed and dried mine in my machines before cutting my pieces. I will try to remember to line dry it after future washes but it’s nice to know the pre-shrinking is done in case of a laundry mishap.
This dress is rated as an intermediate level pattern. It went together very smoothly but I found finishing the inner yoke to be a little fiddly. I struggled to catch the inner yoke edges when topstitching the yoke from the right side of the dress. I ended up unpicking it a couple of times before I got it right. Next time I might bite the bullet and hand baste it into place before topstitching. It would be an extra step but it would probably end up being a time saver in the end.
I’m thrilled with my midi length Tea House dress! I love the feel of the Tencel swirling around my legs when I walk. Now I really want to make a skirt and some wide leg cropped pants from Tencel so I can swish around and feel glamorous on a regular basis. I also think I will be coming back to this pattern to make the top length version to wear with those pants/jeans I’m supposed to be making this year.
Thanks for reading!
p.s. The fabric for this dress was provided to me since I am a part of the Indiesew blogger team. The opinions I expressed are my own.