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!