We have an guest amazing tutorial for you today – hacking the 1940’s Tea Dress! It’s a good ‘un, we promise. Over to you Jen…
Hello everyone!! My name is Jen and I run Jennifer Lauren Vintage Patterns. I’m really excited to be guest posting here today as a part of Sewing Indie Month with a tutorial on how to turn your 1940’s Tea Dress into a sleeveless dress with a fully-lined bodice.
The 1940’s Tea Dress is one of my very favourite Sew Over It patterns and has been on my ‘To Make’ list for a really long time, so with Summer nearly upon us in little ol’ NZ, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to give a sleeveless version a go.
Before you begin, because the armscye is drafted for a sleeve, you may have a little bit of fabric you’ll want to remove from the arm scye at the bust. Try your muslin on and if the armscye sticks out, away from your bust, pinch out the excess turning it into a dart and transfer that dart onto your pattern.
Now we can rotate that little bust dart into the under-bust gathers using this tutorial I wrote a few weeks back.
Now, onto the tutorial!
Make two versions of the Tea Dress bodice, one as the shell and one as the lining. Attach the front and back bodices at the shoulders only.
Note – you can use a different type of fabric for the shell and lining, but make sure to pay attention to the recommended fabrics for the Tea Dress as you’ll be doubling up on the under-bust gathers and if you’re using a heavy fabric, this could cause some unwanted bulk. I’m using rayon and have opted to use the same fabric for both the shell and lining.
2. Taking your shell and lining bodices, place them right sides together, matching the front to the front and back to the back. Stitch together both armscyes as well as as the neckline.
3. Trim down seam allowances and clip curves around both armscyes and the neckline.
4. Gently turn your bodice right sides out through the shoulders. Press all seams.
5. Right sides together, open out your bodice and stitch side seams shut. Line up your underarm seams first so that they will match perfectly when seen from the right side (see arrow on image below).
6. And you now have a fully lined and sleeveless bodice!!
7. Attach your skirt to the outside bodice only, then insert your zip. Once that is complete, tuck your lining bodice waist seam allowance up and into the inside of the bodice, then hand stitch shut.
For a fully lined dress, after attaching your skirt shell to the bodice shell, attach a skirt lining to your bodice lining then insert your zip. Finish your Tea Dress as per the instructions.
And that’s it! Easy!
Thank you so much Jen for such a great tutorial. We love how your dress has turned out, and the modern feel you’ve given the pattern. Taking off the sleeves really transforms it, and who doesn’t love a fully-lined bodice?
We definitely recommend you check out Jen’s range of gorgeous vintage-inspired patterns. It’s hard to pick a favourite as they are all right up our street, but a Bronte Top and Cressida Skirt combo might very soon make its way into our sewing queue!