I loved using the tea gown pattern, and after years of admiring the design, I finally decided to cut it out (using some of my favorite fabrics) when my mother and I were watching “Pride & Prejudice” one afternoon. The ivory silk shantung had a lovely satin finish on the back which I used on the outside of the dress, and the embroidered tulle has been in my “stash” for some time. I always knew I wanted to make a gown out of it, and I’m so glad I finally did!
The pattern came together wonderfully, and was very easy to fit with the one-piece bodice. I am not usually a fan of v-back necklines, but this one was gorgeous! After inserting tear drop shaped lace appliques into the sleeves, I finished them with scalloped lace trim which was also used to finish the skirt hem. The center panel of the bodice was decorated with rows of lace puffing and narrow satin ribbon. As you can see in the photos, I used some of the net overlay to cover the lower portion of the bodice, with the scalloped edge of the netting making an almost sweetheart shaped neckline.
I chose to cut the skirt overlay in one piece (rather than have it split down the center), and for this version I added the polonaise effect in the front rather than the back. And I really surprised myself by ommitting the rosette (which I am always so fond of!) in favor of a big silk dupioni bow in back. One of the last additions was the lavender ribbon which I hand pleated around the neckline. To finish it off, I also added a matching lavender bow at the bottom of the overlay in front.
All in all, it was one of my favorite dresses I’ve ever sewn, and the tea gown pattern is definitely on my “top two favorite” list for Sense & Sensibility patterns! I have to say that while I just love the Regency pattern, I might even like this one a little bit more with less width in the back, and both the empire waistline and natural waistline defined by the sash.
I was so pleased to wear the dress, (especially in a 1914 Edwardian mansion!), and I think I haven’t had so much fun costume-wise since I was in England! I’ve written more about my results here.Have a blessed day!Katrina