A few months ago (seriously, that long?) I got an email from the lovely Sabrina, a student designer from England, that had just started her own pattern company – Student Designer.
Sabrina propose me to test a new girl’s pattern: The Secret Garden Tea dress (seriously in love with the pattern name) and, as expected, I was willing for the challenge.
It was rather nice to test a pattern actually made by a fashion design student and learn more about drafting and dressmaking terms.
I must say that the dress is quite lovely and if you follow the instructions carefully (which I didn’t) you should end up with a very professional-looking dress. Nevertheless, there’s quite a few work to be done before the actual sewing begins: the pattern doesn’t include seams allowances and there’s a bit of drafting to be done before you start your dress.
Sabrina pattern’s are meant to teach you some proper dressmaking techniques and this pattern is actually rated as advanced, so approach it with caution as you really need to be accurate with the measurements and your stitching to achieve great results (I can see so many flaws in my version …) 🙂
The dress includes a double-layer collar, several pintucks in the back and front bodice (my favorite part) and a semi-circle waist-down skirt (there are also instructions for adding an over-skirt. I didn’t get that far as my girl would not be wearing it. Sorry!).
For my version, I used blue chambray (two different shades for the bodice and skirt) and a soft floral for the double collar – Sweet and timeless (quite appropriate for a tea dress, right?).
Overall, and despite my initial excitement, I did find this pattern to be a bit too challenging for me 😦
I’m sure I still have a long away to go before I could actually draft my own patterns (obviously, I knew that already …).
Yet, if you care for a lovely sewing challenge The Secret Garden Tea dress might just be the right pattern for you 🙂
Thank you so much Sabrina!
xx Ana Sofia