After making a blue linen version of the strappy Kew dress by Nina Lee London, I wanted to try out the tea dress version. This style of dress is something I have never been able to buy on the high street and after a Bodice Fitting Masterclass with By Hand London superstars Elisalex and Charlotte, I found out why! I have broad shoulders and smaller bust and waist, so if I ever found a tea dress to fit on the shoulders, the body would be miles too big. I knew therefore that this wasn’t going to be easy to fit for me and I would have to grade between sizes.
I nabbed this autumnal crepe from Guthri Ghani in the sale so it only cost £17 and the buttons were from my vintage stash, so overall a cheap make! Since I’ve never had a well fitting tea dress I didn’t know if it would end up suiting me so decided to trial this cheaper fabric before making anything more expensive.
The sewing on this make is pretty straightforward and I didn’t even have issues with the buttons this time – hooray! Because of the facings, it’s not very easy to adjust the pattern as you go so I’d definitely recommend making changes on paper first.
Overall, despite fit issues (my body, not the pattern!) this dress is so wearable for spring or autumn and I’ve already got a lot of wear out of it. I love the little details like the ruched sleeves and dipped hem, and I’ll be using some of those for other pattern mash ups in the future. The Kew dress pattern is so versatile and despite my original reservations about this version, I’m enjoying finally having a tea dress that fits!