Tea House Top & Dress: Side Seam, Cuffs, & Finishing

Well, well, well! You have made it this far! Today we finish our dress - and then hopefully throw it on with some winter tights and gorgeous footwear and head out the door!

I hope you've enjoyed following, as much as I've enjoyed sewing for you!

side seams

So, we first join the side seams (top of page 13), that result in the body of the dress being formed (without cuffs or hem). You can create this seam using a French seam (as we did for our shoulder seams), but as I've said I don't tend to French seam vertical seams with curves. I elected to stitch, then serge - just for fun. You can also stitch, then pink. Make sure to backstitch firmly at both the arm holes and the hem.


Now, we get to install our cuffs. First, we join the short edges, backstitching at the beginning and end of the seam. Then press open, and press up one long edge at 1/2":

Next, we pin the cuffs' raw edge to the raw edge of the arm openings, right-sides together. If you have too much ease, go ahead and adjust the cuff width (by removing the short-side seams and re-sewing). You want the join here to be very smooth:

After pressing this seam toward the cuff, you then turn the dress inside out (if it isn't already) and press the cuff in half to the wrong-side. This is where some fusible web can help - whether you are hand-stitching the cuff closed or crackstitching:

If you are hand sewing, fuse this folded edge directly on top of the seam. If you plan to crackstitch from the right side of the garment, press so that the fold extends 1/8" past the seam:

Stitch the cuff seam (step 6 on Page 14). Now, press this cuff edge. It's looking gorgeous, isn't it?

Time to fold the cuff back to the right side, and tack at the top shoulder and underarm. I use an invisible knot just like so: I bring the needle through 1/2" away from my knot and tie, securing the loose thread ends. I then clip these ends (securing the tail inside the cuff) and tack with two firm stitches, just catching the fold of the cuff. I then tie off and similarly pull the tail through to hide in the cuff.

All that remains to be sewn is the hem! Using a pressing template if needed, fold the hem according to directions (3/8" then 5/8"), then topstitch 1/2" from the bottom fold. Press with a steam iron.

Finally - for versions D, E, and F thread the tie through the Back Tunnel.

Now stand up and stretch, pop your new dress on, and do some twirling! You did it!

Thank you so much for joining us for the Tea House Top & Dress sew-along. We hope you enjoyed stitching, and we hope you post pictures of your creations either here, Instagram #teahousepattern or #teahousedress or on the Facebook page!