Crafty Bloggers Club - Emma's Tea Dress

Posted by Emma Smith
on August 02, 2020

This weeks Crafty Bloggers Club post is from Emma, you can find more of her makes on Instagram @happysew16

Lockdown has been a strange time and affected us all in different ways. Just before it kicked in, I interviewed for and accepted a new job. I had planned a two break between finishing my previous role and starting the new, and unfortunately it was in that period that everything kicked off.

I had lots of plans for the two weeks including a few days away in the Peak District with my husband (we went but cut it short), joining a new gym, having my haircut, shopping for new work clothes and makeup and of course some sewing. As you can imagine the majority of that went out of the window as lockdown kicked in.

Back home, and with hubby working in the home office, I retreated to my sewing room - and have spent most of my spare time there since. It has been my own little safe bubble – a sanctuary where I can hide and pretend everything outside is still normal. I have sewed voraciously, and steadily been making a dent in my stash. I’ve created a new work wardrobe – even though I have no idea when I’ll get to wear it all!

Luckily, my new job started as planned, and I’m working from home. We are fortunate to have plenty of space at home, so I haven’t had to relinquish my sewing room to make way for “office” space!

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve also been doing my bit supporting local business and replenishing my stock with some gorgeous fabrics. Some of these have come from Crafty Sew and So and I have some future projects in mind for most of it!

One of the pieces was this gorgeous Broderie Anglais in a beautiful, vibrant coral colour. It was gifted to me in return for this return blog post. (We've only got a remnant of the coral left, but lots of the lilac!)

sew house seven tea dress

Looking at the extensive range of patterns on the Crafty Sew and So website I decided to make the Sew House Seven Tea House dress. This has been on my radar for a while and I thought it would be a great match for the coral fabric.

First thing was to give the fabric a quick wash. The fabric that Freya and Sarah source is always good quality – but a quick wash before cutting just in case of possible shrinkage and colour fade is always advisable.

I spent some time looking at the pattern instructions and deciding which size to cut. According to the body measurements I needed to grade up a size for my waist and hips – but I also looked at the finished garment measurements and the ease that was allowed, and decided to make a straight size 8. As you can see from the photos it’s a great fit.

The design has a great size range from 0 to 20, and, as with all patterns you should always go by the measurements provided to choose the size to make rather than the size you’d buy in RTW clothes from the high street.


Crafty Bloggers Club tea dress


Before starting to sew I read through the instructions. They are very clear and easy to follow and each stage is clearly explained.

This Broderie fabric has a wide selvedge with a strip of plain fabric along either side of the selvedge before the embroidery started. This effectively reduced the width by about 15cm, but I had plenty of fabric and it didn’t cause me an issue.


Crafty Bloggers Club tea dress


One of the things I always check on a pattern before I start sewing is the seam allowance. Often the independent patterns and those created by designers outside of the UK have less than the normal 1.5cm (5/8”) that we are used to here on the big 4 patterns. This one very clearly states that the seam allowance is 1.5 cm and there are several reminders throughout the instruction to ensure accuracy when sewing up the panels.

As I expected by following the detailed instructions it went together easily, and the fabric sewed and pressed beautifully. I will be making this again and am already looking through my updated stash for suitable fabrics!


Crafty Bloggers Club tea dress



As this fabric has tiny holes created by the embroidery, I’m wearing this version with a slip for modesty. I did consider lining it – but with the current lockdown restrictions the coral was a difficult colour to match a lining fabric to on-line. It’s really comfortable and the v-neck isn’t too deep to be too revealing.