Fit And Fabrics For Your Tea House Dress/Top

Alright - I'm finally getting around to the Tea House sew-along - whew! Kelly Hogaboom who so graciously hosted the Toaster Sweaters sew-alongs will be conducting this one as well. She's had it ready for quite some time now however, I wanted to get the Toaster Sweaters sew-along done in a more timely manner and then blog about my Indie Sew makes so now... I'm finally ready for the Tea House (the poor neglected girl who has been waiting patiently in the sidelines). No worries as this sew-along is so late coming that it's really more of a tutorial as many of you have already sewn your Tea Houses but for those who have been waiting - thank you for your patience.

Here is the schedule for the sew-along:

Nov 7 - Supplies

Nov 9 - Pattern & Fabric Preparations

Nov 11 - Front & Back Yokes

Nov 13 - Pockets & Ties

Nov 15 - Assembly

Nov 17 - Yoke Facings

Nov 19 - Side seams, Cuffs & Finishing

In this post, I wanted to write a little bit about fit and fabrics. This pattern is pretty forgiving meaning, it's not a really fitted pattern as most of the fitting comes from the ties. Therefore, you can really float between 2 sizes at least I know I do. The major fit adjustments some of you may need to make would be lowering the bust tie placements or adding length at the torso (including the front yoke length) for those with larger busts or longer torsos. Another adjustment could be adding length to the skirt hem for those who are taller or possibly shortening the sleeves for those who have narrow shoulders as the sleeves are just an extension of the shoulder seam. I should also add that if you plan to make versions A - C and want to tie the ties in the front, you may want to add length to the ties if your waist is a little larger than the measurement on the size chart. Kelly will address that during the sew-along. The model in the website photos is a size 2 - 4, B cup and she's 5'7 1/2" tall for your reference. 

As for fabrics, you may choose a rayon challis, wool challis, linen, silk charmeuse, crepe de chine, cotton voile or lawn - just about any woven fabric that isn't too stiff or heavy. If you do use a cotton, I prefer a light-weight cotton however, I've seen some nice ones in quilting cotton to my surprise. Quilting cotton is a bit stiff and so expect the sleeves to be a bit more stiff and less fluid however, it could be the look you are after. I find that the dress takes on quite a different look depending on what fabric is chosen (see the below images).

 The dress on the left is view B and the dress on the right is view E.

Both dresses are the same length and red however, the dress on the left is in silk crepe de chine and the ties create a close fit through the rib cage. The dress on the right is a light weight cotton so the sleeves are a bit crisper and this tie version makes for a looser fit through the body. 

When choosing fabric, I caution against solid colored fabrics unless they have texture, a heather, a shine or are dark in color. Lighter colored, flat fabrics tend to look a bit like medical scrubs because of the V-neck and sleeves. 

And so, I'll leave the rest up to Kelly. I hope you will join us for the fun. I also love to see your makes if you're up for it. You can post your Instagram makes with #teahousepattern or #teahousedress.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for the Nov 7th post up next!