I had been eyeing the Teahouse Dress pattern by Sew House 7 for some time before I finally bought it. By the time I finally got around to making it, I was on a hiatus from sewing in my own apartment because of a confrontation with our old downstairs neighbor that was the final straw in us deciding to move out of there. To scratch my sewing itch, I would go to Friday afternoon Social Sewing Time at Gotham Quilts and even went so far as to go to Open Sewing Night at Urban Sewciety, which was quite a trek from Queens but is a great place to meet up with my other New Jersey sewist friends, Hannah and Erin.
The above photo is from Open Sew Night at Urban Sewciety. I believe this is where I began stitching this dress together but was a little distracted talking to my friends. (I also was constructing it off of my own intuition because it seemed that a lot of instructions were missing. It wasn’t until later that I remembered I had printed them out double sided 🤦♀️.) So it wasn’t until the princess seams were completely done that I realized I had forgotten to add the waist ties! This was a bit of a nuisance, especially since I had french seamed everything, but I’m glad I went back in and attached them correctly rather than trying to jimmy them on. I put the very last stitch into this dress during a Friday afternoon Social Sewing session at Gotham Quilts. While Open Sew at Urban Sewciety was free, Social Sewing Time at Gotham Quilts cost me about $25/ hour. I think I only went to two, two hour sessions and finished two projects in that time- this dress and an Ogden Cami. So although it was costly, it was very therapeutic to have somewhere safe to sew outside of my apartment during a very stressful time so I could actually enjoy myself and not feel like I was walking on egg shells in my own home.
I was so excited when the poster for the movie Crazy Rich Asians came out. Not only because of what the film signified for the Asian community, but because the colors matched my dress perfectly! I posted this picture to Instagram the weekend it opened to celebrate. It was also the very same weekend To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before premiered on Netflix. It’s been so exciting for me as a 30- something Asian American woman to finally see Asians be represented in more diverse ways in film and television recently. Growing up, the only role model I had who looked like me was Michelle Kwan. Luckily, she was an amazing one to have (most decorated figure skater in US history- I still worship her to this day!) Kristi Yamaguchi was also a badass on the ice who I adored but I guess I related more to Michelle Kwan because she was younger. There was also Julie on Friends, but she was only around for two episodes! Finally, we got Lane Kim on Gilmore Girls but she was a supporting player! It’s so satisfying to finally see Asians star in things now.
I also broke out this dress to wear while walking around a garden during our trip to California. I just love this fabric so much! Nani Iro sure does know what she’s doing.
As much as I loved my first Teahouse Dress, I wanted a longer version as well because I loved the photos for this pattern on Sew House 7‘s website. I actually thought my first one would turn out longer and was a little disappointed when it didn’t, especially since I had plenty of fabric to do so. I guess that’s why people make toiles? But who has the time for that?! This dress is very easy to put together. The only gripe I had about my second attempt was how shifty this rayon fabric is! I held off on leveling the hem for a few days while it set and once I finally got around to doing it, it wasn’t that bad. But man, rayon is a pain to work with.
I made this to wear in time for my friend’s bachelorette party in the Dominican Republic and then I bust it out to wear again to a friend’s wedding last weekend. I think I will now wear loose fitting dresses with waist ties to every wedding. I was able to eat as much as I wanted to and when my dress started to feel uncomfortable, I just loosened the tie 😂.