I made my 1899 tea gown back in 2012, and until this year, I’d never found an excuse to wear it myself. It’s been worn by models, but not by me.
The Sew & Eat Historical Retreat was the perfect excuse to remedy that. We were having afternoon tea, and there was talk of everyone wearing 18th century, but my Francaise wasn’t going to be done in time, and in any case, my tea gown has a sacque back!
Amazingly, 6 years after making it, it actually still fits me (the same cannot by said of everything I’ve made in the last 6 years…)
My sewing skills have definitely grown since making it, and the problem with the fabric becomes more obvious every time I pull out the tea gown (its got metal in it, and WONT uncrumple. We ironed it for nearly an hour before I wore it, and you can see what it looks like…), but I still love it. It’s so elegant…
Maybe someday when I have lots of free time (laughs hysterically) I will take off the outer robe, use it to take a pattern, and re-make it in something that doesn’t look like it’s been wadded in a ball for 18 years…
The silk of the petticoat and lining is still perfect and works beautifully, and the lace is still quite nice, and withstood me catching my heel in it a couple dozen times. Impressive!
While tea gowns aren’t really for afternoon tea, they are for wearing around the house looking elegant for intimate gatherings with your closest friends – which could include afternoon tea. So it felt rather appropriate to wear it for our fancy tea, and for wandering around in the gardens with the other lovely ladies.
And holding my hands out elegantly. Because apparently that’s what I do when you aim a camera at me!
So there we go. Creation worn!