everyone deserves a tea dress

It’s no secret that tea is my favorite beverage in the entire world. I grew up spoiled on home-brewed iced tea made from real tea bags, and branched out into hot tea in my college years when I discovered that no matter how many all-nighters I was pulling, I will never, ever like the taste of coffee. It all started with discovering chai in the coffee shops, and went uphill from there. I started going for nice loose-leaf teas somewhere within the last 6-7 years, and I literally have an entire drawer in my kitchen that is dedicated to tea.
tea drawer See? (For the record, Doug is the one who organized this for me. He’s really good at that sort of thing.)

I love my tea drawer.

Tiny teacupI also love this dress! You may recall that this fabric was part of my Christmas haul, and only being in the stash for less than 4 months is pretty amazing for me. I wanted to get to this quickly anyway, and the Sew Dolly Clackett event was pretty much the perfect excuse. So it’s the perfect dress to sip a cuppa in.

Real teacup!Just kidding….THIS is what passes for a cup of tea in my world! The mug even says so.

The dress is the Cambie, of course, to continue my theme of all things Sewaholic that seems to be happening this year. Though this is the first “real” Cambie that I’ve made, since the wedding dress version was so heavily altered and didn’t even use the skirt. This time, I cut a straight size 10, because I was going by the bust size and figured the skirt would be ok. I also decided right off the bat to use Tasia’s tutorial for the “slightly less sweet” straight neckline, because it looked like it would fit better with the more-or-less linear pattern. I took in the back darts a little bit after the muslin stage. When I got to the point where I was ready to sew the lining in, I discovered that the neckline was gapping. Odd, since it didn’t do that on the muslin! So my quick fix for that was to add some darts at the top, right around where the sleeve/strap things meet the bodice.  Whenever I end up making this again, I’ll probably just go back to my wedding dress fix and convert the top to princess seams.

Tea CambieThe pattern matching could have been better, I guess– I did try, and did fairly well in several places! But I didn’t think to factor in the flare of the skirt, and that skewed things a bit. In my defense, the teacups aren’t exactly in a straight line, either. I checked. With a 6″ wide ruler. It’s not as fitted as I usually make my dresses either, but I think that will actually be a good thing. I recently had to weed several of my handmade dresses that I’ve had for years out of the closet, because slight post-honeymoon weight gain means they just don’t zip up anymore! But those dresses were overall very fitted at the waist, and wovens, and so I think a little extra wiggle room will be a good thing. Especially for things like breathing while playing my flute, and the mid-Atlantic heat/humidity. You know, if it ever actually gets warm and stays there.

Tea Cambie closeupThe dress is completely lined in the ivory cotton sateen that I’ve already used to line two other dresses. And I still have about a yard left! I also have about 1/3 yard of the teacup fabric left, which will be perfect for something like jeans pockets. So here’s my stashbusting totals:

Total fabric out: Approximately 5 1/4 yards.
Total stash left: Approximately 312.19 yards. Though this total will be going up soon, sadly, because I had a box of stuff I accidentally left at my parents’ come home with me recently, and there is some actual yardage in with the scraps. So I need to measure and update.

Oh, and before I forget: I’ve been going back and forth on this, and I’ve decided to go ahead and sign up for Me-Made May anyway. So my pledge:

I, Becky, pledge to wear at least one handmade garment and one handmade accessory every day, for the duration of May. (I think my focus is going to be on testing out what I’ve been playing with in the Wardrobe Architect series, particularly the palette and silhouette picks. Incidentally, with the navy and ivory, this dress fits right in!)

41 thoughts on “everyone deserves a tea dress

  1. It's gorgeous!!!! Fits really nicely, and I like how the fabric and straight neckline make it not SUPER girly, but still pretty!
    So the name of the fabric is Genmai, which means brown rice… so I assume they are alluding the genmaicha, which is toasted brown rice mixed with green tea. Maybe you can track some down and try it while wearing your dress! 🙂


  2. I'd be up for that! My best friend and I have this running goal to try and sample at least 500 different varieties and/or brands of tea apiece. She's ahead of me, so that would help me catch up a little. 🙂


  3. Hmm, really nice! And tea!
    The neckline fix was definitely needed for the fabric print. It looks more casual that way, which goes nicely with tea gobbling, I think. You know, for those of us who need 0,5 l mugs of tea, not for those who sip from delicate china. 🙂 Tea dress, not tea gown!


  4. I love a good cup of tea, too, and so adore the fabric in your dress. The shape and style suits you so well that I am seriously tempted to buy this pattern, but decided to have a cup of tea to see if the feeling might pass :).


  5. I love this Cambie! How interesting to see the different neckline. Now I might just buy this pattern after all…since I've been thinking about it for ages. But your fabric is just wonderful. I'm also a tea fanatic, and this dress is amazing! It looks great on you, what a nice fit, even with the neckline issue — looks like you fixed that nicely.


  6. What a great dress! The pattern suits the fabric (I almost said “to a tee”, but restrained myself).

    I have 2 narrow cupboards entirely for tea. Last time I moved there was one medium-sized box just for tea! Definitely the lightest box to move.


  7. Great dress! I love that it combines two of your passions; tea and sewing.

    You MMMay pledge is interesting. I also want to incorporate style in my pledge, so I might draw inspiration from your pledge. Serious pondering on pledges in the two days to come.


  8. There's a local tea room that my friends and I have visited sometimes… I feel a need to visit there while wearing this dress now. It does have the dainty sandwiches and china, but they also give everyone an entire pot of tea to themselves. 🙂


  9. I tried so hard to like coffee. I even worked as a barista for about 6 months, when I was fresh out of grad school and working 3 jobs. My coworkers used to laugh at me when they'd give me those frou-frou frozen coffee drinks, and no matter how many fancy syrups and things were in them, all I could ever taste was the coffee!


  10. I'm hoping too–it depends on if it gets warm enough! It's been an unusually cold spring here, and it doesn't look like it's letting up for the first few days!


  11. That print is so cool! and whoa! that tea drawer is just like my idea of heaven. I am exactly like you, a tea aficionado and die-hard coffee avoider… I had to smile at “real tea bags” so I am really glad you have moved on up to loose leaf tea!


  12. I do still use tea bags, particularly for things like the tea I bring to work in my thermos–the majority of my tea strainers don't fit in the thermos, so it's just easier to use bags. But I do make sure to use quality brands!

    My husband and I have this ongoing “argument” about whether the iced tea sold by the gallon in our grocery stores actually constitutes tea, since that's what he grew up on. I vote no. 🙂


  13. Great dress, the fabric is so pretty! I have a similar obsession with tea, although I've learned to like coffee (with lots of milk) in recent years. My tea drawer is way less organized than yours, though!


  14. Pingback: not exactly my cup of tea | The Monthly Stitch

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