I want to share my punky little tea dress modification.
I absolutely love how this turned out. In fact, I think it is the best version of this pattern that I have made so far.
Introducing my punky little tea dress:
I whipped this funky number up by very slightly modifiying the Tea Party Dress Sewing Pattern.
I cut the sleeves out of a contrasting fabric to the rest of the dress (mine is a punk-rock skull & roses pattern) and omitted the sleeve trims that are on the original pattern.
Instead of cutting the sash, I used a wide piece of black ribbon that I had. I cut this the same length as the sash would have been but it isn’t as wide so I ended up using a much smaller hem in order to get the length right on the skirt. When I stitched the ribbon in place of the sash I used the bare minimum seam allowance (not the 1/2″ allowed in the pattern) so that I got to see as much of the ribbon as possible. I think it looks great.
I further modified the pattern by adding a small collar to the neckline and embellishing with a further piece of black mesh ribbon stitched into a bow and sewn onto the front.
To add the collar:
Make a template for the collar by tracing off the front dress panel so that it is the correct size for the dress being made.
Only the top part of the pattern needs to be traced, so that the whole neckline and shoulder are present.
Using the 1/2″ guide line as the finished neck line, draw on the collar in the shape required. Remember to draw the collar slightly wider than it will be on the finished
article so that there is a seam allowance along the longest edge. The seam allowance for the narrow ends is already taken into consideration due to the shoulder seam allowance on the original template.
Cut out the collar pattern.
Note that there will be a fold line on the original shoulder seam edge.
4 pieces of fabric are needed in order to make 2 collar pieces. Cut interfacing too if a stiffer collar is required (I didn’t bother).
Right sides facing, pin the collar pieces together around the edges, leaving the top edge open. This needs to be done for both pieces of collar so that you end up with two collars.
Turn each collar piece right side out and press flat. Topstitching can also be added now if that look is required. I didn’t topstitch my collar as I thought the thread may contrast against my fabric too much so I left it as it was after ironing.
Following the dress pattern, at the point where the bodice is pinned to the lining on the outer edge – the collar pieces need to be inserted before stitching. To do this, mark the dress centre front and place the collar pieces either side of this then start pinning them in place working from the centre out on each side. Continue pinning the collars around the neckine and over the shoulder seams until they finish at the back of the dress.
The collars should now be sandwiched between the right sides of dress bodice and lining and this seam can now be stitched. When it is finished, turn right side out and the collars will be fitted.
From this point onwards, continue the dress pattern as usual, topstitching the bodice outer edges and neckline with the collar in place (this helps to keep the collar folded down and laying flat on the neckline).