Sewing Vloggers

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

The Tea Garden Tee


  The jury is out on this one. I love the fabric and the color isn't too bad. Revisiting an old pattern, however, may not have been the wisest move. 

Pattern:

This is the Tea Garden Tee from the Sewing Workshop. It's an oldie and I originally purchased it as a required part of a class project back in the early 90s. Knowing little of knits back then, I bought a stable knit with almost no stretch and never wore it as it was too uncomfortable. I did succeed at the machine cutwork which is what the class was about but the top spent its life in a drawer and eventually was donated. My covid life brought the pattern out again. It is a very interesting design as pretty much all of the Sewing Workshop designs are. 


The entire design consists of two pattern pieces, the blouse bodice and it's underarm gusset. You cut the bodice out twice to get the left and right sides. It has a center back and front seam so you are cutting out the left and right of the pattern with this one piece. It is a trilobal looking affair that I promise you defies any possible attempt at alteration and looks totally different from any top you've ever sewn.  You better be a good guesser at the size you might need. I remember my first attempt being tight. I went with a medium. I never sew a medium. I did no alterations other than shortening the sleeves. I was not worried about cup size because of the dolman sleeves. 

Fabric:

This is made up in a rayon/modal blend. It really is lovely. I decided I needed to jump on the blush pink bandwagon and it seems like a flattering color for my skin. I am just not sure about going all pastel here. I know my own coloring is changing but I am resisting "a certain look" if you know what I mean. The fabric was delightful to sew and more than met the stretch requirements for the pattern. 


Construction:

The big selling point on this top is the neckline. I really think it is beautiful. It is made from a combination odd interfacing placement, snipping and pleating. You have to pay attention here. It's not hard, just needs attention I think it is lovely. 


Here you can see the gusset used to get the dolman effect to the sleeve. It is one huge gusset, very long, going down to the waist and to the elbow. This contributes to a lot of excess wrinkling in the garment, more like sagginess. I am seriously thinking of how I can change that. The front and back head on fit fine.  Then there is this pile of wrinkles sagging on the sides. yuck. Maybe I'll just let it go. I don't know.........


Here you can see the gusset inside. It wasn't hard to insert at all and the directions were pretty clear. 



Here you can see how I treated all the seams. I really dislike the bulky ridges that serging can add to some knits and this was one of them. I simply pinked all of my seams as that provided the least transfer to the right side. What you see above is also how I treated my hem, my usual, and edgestitch and then more topstitching about an inch above. It is backed with fusible quilt batting tape, all my usual MO. 

The two pics directly above were really enhanced so you could see the detail. Also forgive the Covid hair. Last time I went to the hairdresser one hour later a customer who tested positive got her hair done and the salon shut down for 14 days. They told me I missed the contact tracing and lockdown by one hour. That was too close for comfort so what you see is what you get! God, I'll be glad when this is over!

In Conclusion:

I got this long desired remake out of my system. I love the neckline on this top and will either figure out how to rebuild those sleeves or transfer that neckline to another pattern, the latter being easier I think. The pattern is very unique and not prone to alteration. I loved the fabric and will seek that out again. It was just lovely to work with  and wear and I think it sews up nicely. In the end, the Tea Garden Tee is a buyer beware and definitely for the more experienced sewist. Happy Sewing, everyone!.............Bunny

8 comments:

  1. That is a very PRETTY top...color, drape, neckline...it's one I have eyed a number of times on the SW site but haven't taken the plunge. I have a Helix top that is a dolman style that is very saggy on the sides; I don't think there's a solution for that one either.

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    1. I think you are right. I have eyed that Helix top as well, very interesting. Thanks for your comments, Lisa.

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  2. Hi Bunny,
    Love this colour on you and adore the pretty headband too.

    I agree, the design is gorgeous and I am frantically trying to find the pattern. I think it may be out of printšŸ˜¢Will continue my search. Thanks for sharing

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    1. It is no longer on their website, Marysia. Hopefully you can pick it up from Etsy or such. Good luck and thanks. I am really into headbands lately with my Covid hair. They are fun, too.

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  3. Your review and explanation is really useful and clear. I, too, think that the neckline is beautiful. It seems to be the right size for you and the rest is all style. You definitely avoid that “look” that I think you were talking about. What a masterpiece of sewing!

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    1. Thanks, Nestki. The neckline really is a feat of engineering and quite unlike any I've seen. The bodice under it is interfaced and clipped in a square sort of way. A tuck is made and it somehow beautifully comes together. Who thinks of these things? Linda Lee I guess! I can get my fingers under that collar fold quite deep on each side. The pleat provides bust fullness as well, no bust darts for fitting in this top. It's really compelling design. I am seeing dolman sleeves everywhere so I guess I am on trend with that.

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  4. Hi Bunny. I like the look. It reminds me of a Japanese pattern I tried while ago. It was like a puzzle -- only one large piece. It was a 'mind game' trying to figure out where big sleeves and neckline matched. I like yours a lot more -- nice neckline.

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    1. Thank you, D. It took a lot f staring to figure out how the one pattern piece turned into this blouse. There was a lot of trust involved.

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Engaging commentary:

The Tea Garden Tee

  The jury is out on this one. I love the fabric and the color isn't too bad. Revisiting an old pattern, however, may not have been the ...