Tag Archives: hand made

My Pattern: Grunge Tea Dress

One thing as a plus size woman that I struggle to get is a good dress.  I always feel that i look frumpy or that I shop in Dorothy Perkins and am a lot older than my years!  The fashion shops are filled with cute little dresses for the nymphs and waifs and teeny breasted women… The plus size is sort of forgotten about.

One thing I miss from my 90’s fashion ( I say miss as I can remember it first time round I am that old!) is a good grungy tea dress. Reference Courtney Love,  because she is the Queen of Grunge:

So with very little luck on the high street and thrifting, I set about a plan to make one.

It started with an Idea, which was catapulted forwards once I found the most perfect fabric.  I had done some rough sketches of how I wanted the dress to look, and tackled practicalities of making it in my sketch book.  I then took my first trip down to Maggie’s fabrics in Lewisham, where I got a decent long length of this beautiful ditsy print on a khaki background.  Just a note I got A LOT of good fabrics for a very good price from them, I just really need to get my ass back there and have another nosy!

So How did it Sew?


Date Completed:  

As you can see, the olive ditsy print is perfect.  I have paired it with Bold red lips, distressed High Tops and Large fishnets (honestly, those fishnets are so fiddly to get on but I just love the look) and of course, the crazy washed out hair.

The pattern was a simple bodice that I cut in four and fanned out the bottom to get a good flare.  Here is the diagram I worked from that explains it a little better:

The sleeves I had to have a think on, and in the end I went for a ruched elastic shape that really suited this type of dress.  I was worried that I had cut it too big, so I included a belt at the back to hold it all in, only on the middle panels.  Its a nice cute touch but I needn’t worry, the fit was perfect and the flare was so flattering.

The one big mistake I made was cutting the V at the front too low.  I fiddled around with how to hem it neatly, and ended up chopping a bit too much off.  I am not too disappointed as i will wear this with a lacey vest, which I think adds to the grunge ascetic. But on the next attempt, I will measure it out better.   Another thing I want to add on my next one; I will have a continuous row of buttons.  In a rush of wanting it finished I settled on some natural abalone type buttons, instead of waiting and ordering a lot of smaller ones, and spaced them out.  A full solid row would suit this better.

Hopefully,I will be able to perfect it and this is a dress I would really like to make into a pdf for you guys to down load.