A recent Vogue magazine editorial informed all of us bright-eyed, eager and devoted little fashion mavenettes, aka their readers; that a longer, elegant tea- or midi-length was the Next Big Thing in dresses and skirts. An edict accompanied by loads of pictures of lovely young things striding the streets trailing beautiful long fluttery floaty tea dresses in their respective wakes. Well, I was inspired! aw hells yeah, I definitely need to get me one of those badass elegant tea dresses so I can look all freakin' feminine and ladylike, yo!
Et voila. But hmmm. Technically speaking, this dress is rather lovely, if I say so myself; I put a lot of effort into finishing as well as I could; doubled-layered the bodice with all seams enclosed within the layers, French seams throughout and a hand-rolled and -stitched baby hem around that long looooong lower edge.
The dress looks charming on the model on the envelope but not as tea-length as I was envisioning, so I lengthened all the skirt pieces by 15cm. Maybe that was a mistake, although I still think the length looks quite lovely on Bessie. Maybe a little Pride and Prejudice, or 70's Faye Dunaway or something. I should get one of those wide brimmed felt hats maybe...
The front skirt panel is supposed to be cut wider and heavily gathered into the front of the bodice, and if you think it looks a bit fluffy in this version you should have seen it with those gathers!! I painstakingly unpicked that middle panel and re-cut it narrower at the top to fit the bodice portion assigned to it, eliminating all the gathering. The skirt is a LOT more sleek now, believe it or not!
The sleeves at their intended length were a bit puffy and perky and juvenile for my tastes, so I carefully picked those off too and re-drafted and re-cut new ones. My re-drafted sleeves are 16cm longer than the pattern and have had the sleeve cap flattened a little AND reduced in length to eliminate nearly all gathering to fit it to the arm scye. I do like my modified sleeves a lot, actually one of the few things about the dress with which I'm unequivocally happy. I LOVE the interesting cross-over sleeve cuffs. In fact these, along with the petticoat pattern are what seduced me to buy the pattern in the first place.
So maybe it's the empire waistline? I think maybe empire waistlines are not for me... But you know, a lot of work went into it so I'll wear it. It actually looks quite nice if I throw a coat over it, haha; like how I'm wearing it today! The hemline is quite pretty, I think, and looks quite satisfyingly fluttery around your legs as you walk. And it looks rather gorgeous while twirling too, although sadly my days generally involve very little girly twirling.
Obviously I reserve all rights to suddenly decide I love it sometime down the track. I do that sometimes because I'm, like, capricious and flighty. When it suits me. And if feminine floaty, twirlicious tea dresses do become the dernier cri then I'm well prepared!
Anyway if you would like a pristine brand new copy of Vogue 1160, sizes 6-8-10-12 and still in factory folds, then please leave a comment on this post stating so, and next Tuesday 29th July I will randomly select a winner.
Dress; Vogue 1160, pale cocoa brown silk georgette
Petticoat (under) ; Vogue 1160, dark chocolate brown silk charmeuse, seen here
Boots; Sempre di, from Zomp shoes