Release Of The Tea House Top And Dress!

View B in a printed silk crepe d'chine that I dyed red.

Well........ it's finally here! My latest pattern the Tea House Top And Dress is here! I can't believe it took this long but I'm so happy with it. This pattern had a long journey into fruition my friends and I want to thank everyone who encouraged me and helped make it happen. By the way, there is a 30% off all patterns in the shop sale going on now

View F in a light weight cotton yarn dye - a left over from the Pendleton Portland Collection.

My friends, family and anyone who has read any of my blog posts or interviews knows that I have a habit of complaining about how long it takes to make a pattern happen but..... this one takes the cake. I was going to release it in the spring of 2015 but something about it wasn't quite right. I thought about just releasing it as a pdf download and not having it printed and I also thought about not doing it at all as I didn't finish it until so late in the season. Then I wore the samples to work (my other job) and I had so many compliments. This last winter a few of the test sewers who worked on it asked where it went and encouraged me to carry on with it. I've also had a lovely keyboard pal relationship with Kat of Muse patterns and she was my cheerleader encouraging me to put it out there. I also owe big thanks to Binny from Josephine's Dry Goods and Heather from Closet Case Files - more encouragement to release it. So after taking a long break from it, I was able to relook at it with fresh eyes and I worked out what was bothering me about it and now I have to say that it's my new favorite pattern in my collection.

View E in a light weight cotton yarn dye - a left over from the Pendleton Portland Collection.

One thing I love about it is that I find it looks so very different depending on what fabric is used. Every time I wore it to work made up in something different, everyone thought it was a completely different dress design.  Dress versions B & C can look a bit vintage when sewn in a drapey rayon or silk fabric. Dress versions E & F can look more modern and minimalist when sewn in a solid cotton - I like something with some texture or a stripe. Speaking of stripes, I sewed a few of the samples in broken striped yarn dye fabrics and changed the stripe direction on the pocket, yokes and ties to add interest. I think using a contrasting print or fabric could be great too and I think I'll try that next with top version A for a 70's inspired look. Also, versions A, B, & C can be tied behind the back or double around and be tied in the front. Versions D, E & F can either tie the spaghetti tie in the front or tie in the back if someone doesn't want anything around the waist but wants a bit of waist definition.

 View F in a light weight cotton yarn dye - a left over from the Pendleton Portland Collection. 

I think this pattern is pretty easy as there are no closures to sew - no zippers, buttons or sleeves to set in. The most difficult part about it (something I still struggle with after years of sewing) is making the yoke facing look nice on the inside. It's really not difficult but rather takes patience and a lot of pinning and that's why I rated it for an advanced beginner.  

View C in Robert Kaufman Chambray Union Worn (I believe - I've forgotten exactly as I purchased the fabric so long ago for something else).


I also hired a professional photographer for these photos and they came out beautifully! Check out Katharine T. Jacobs as she does some wonderful artistic photos. If you are in the Portland area, she has some upcoming shows on her installment called Step Motherhood.

I also have to hand it to Nicola the model. She doesn't do this for a living but she should. I don't think she's capable of taking a bad photo and she's so comfortable in front of the camera. I was so relieved not to have to step in as the model this time. I'm sure I'll have to do it now and again but I'm really awkward when the camera is on me.

Anyhow, if you try the Tea House pattern, I hope you love it. I'd love to see what you make or hear your thoughts on it #teahousepattern. Thanks for reading!



  • Peggy

    Francesca – I forgot to respond to you. Your compliment means so much. I’m always so critical of my own work – I’m so glad that I can offer new techniques or alternate ways to do things. I have to admit that I don’t always go by the book and sometimes come up with my own techniques to accommodate the situation.

    I also wanted to add that Petry above (I believe) was the one who discovered an error in my instructions. On page 6, the first step of the box pleat should say fold the back with wrong sides together not right sides together.

  • Peggy

    Thanks everyone! I’ve added a description of the fabrics and views under the photos as requested. I’ll try to be better about indicated what fabrics were used in my future postings.

  • Hilde

    I love all different looks, I purchased it immediately and can’t wait to start!
    Could you say what type of fabric was used for each sample, to get a better idea?

  • francesca

    I too bought it as soon as I saw it, it’s just arrived in Malta and I’ve been through the instructions and had to pop in to tell you how impressed I am. I’m very experienced but learnt a couple of new techniques. Love that you even advise how to correct off grain fabric. And really love that you advise different fabrics for the different tie versions.

    I have your first two dress patterns and love them, didn’t get the others as not right for my body, and I have to say I’m selfishly really glad you’re going to do this full time, as the quality of your instructions and designs is right up there…. I’ve become so bored by most of the shapeless and simplistic stuff from a lot of the Indies that I only look at and buy from around five designers…… I look forward to more from you:)

  • Peggy Mead

    Thanks everyone! It feels so great to have released this one. Helene – When I work on something for so long, I have a hard time looking at it in the same light as I did when I began.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published