Sunday, April 7, 2019

The Flannel (Tea) House Dress

Now that winter is over, I’ve finally made myself the comfy flannel (winter) house/lounge dress I’ve been wanting to make since last fall.

This is the Tea House Dress by Sew House Seven. I received the pattern for this excellent comfy dress as a thank-you for testing the Montavilla MuuMuu pattern last summer, and I’ve been trying to find a couple extra days in my sewing schedule to make it ever since.

Originally, I fully intended to make this dress in either a linen or a cotton print, but winter came before I could get around to that.

With the commencement of chilly weather, I realized that while I have plenty of comfy summer "house dresses" I am short in that department once winter comes. I don't really enjoy wearing sweatpants at all, instead I appreciate having comfy dresses to change into when I get home from work. And when it comes to comfy cold weather dresses, it turned out I only had 1.5 lurking in my closet. My flannel and velvet Christmas dress from last year fits the bill perfectly, as does the knit maxi skirt I made several years ago (though, as a skirt, it's only half a dress, hence the .5).

After a couple weeks of wearing those two garments on repeat, it dawned on me I should make the Tea House Dress from flannel. Thus, I waited until Joann's had all their flannel 60% off, and picked up several yards of maroon and black plaid shirting flannel to turn into said dress. It only took me several more weeks to get around to doing such a thing.

Finally, as March was nearing its end I made my Tea House Dress. I made the longest version of the pattern (because comfy house dresses must be long), and the only part of the dress I made any changes to was the sleeves. It's really quite a simple dress, with just a few little details to make it eye-catching and fabulous.

The pockets on the front side panels of the dress are huge and wonderful!

They can hold quite a few eggs - very important when your chickens have kicked into overdrive so you're gathering nearly a dozen eggs every evening!

The waist is cinched in with the long, wide, ties sewn into the front panel seams. The ties can be wrapped around and tied either in the back or the front and provide excellent fit adjustability.

I also really like the front and back yokes - they add some nice shaping and detail around the neckline, as well as being the perfect place to play with print placement or coordinating fabrics.

Speaking of print placement, I did not want to bother with plaid mating on this dress, so I avoided it entirely by changing up the direction of the plaid on the different panels.

I cut the back and center front panels on the straight of grain and cut the side panels on the bias so the plaid runs diagonally. I also cut the back yoke on the bias, then interfaced it well so it wouldn't stretch out of shape as bias cut things are apt to do.

As for the sleeves, they are meant to be basic, short, cut-on sleeves with a cuff, but I decided to do something a bit different.

I cut the sleeves several inches longer than the pattern piece, then pulled in the bottom couple inches of each sleeve with inverted box pleats.

This gives me short puffed sleeves, that are almost elbow length and have a bit of a 1930's flair to them.

The finished dress is just as comfortable as I thought it would be, and I only have one complaint about it.

The skirt is not quite full enough for easy fence climbing. This is actually more inconvenient than you'd think it would be. So, for my next dress from this pattern, I'm probably going to attempt to add some extra fullness to the hem.

Yet, not quite full enough skirt and all, I really, really, like my new flannel dress! It has already been worn plenty, and I will be using the pattern again!


  1. Love it and I do understand the fence climbing thing. I have tucked a few dresses to climb fences myself in my younger days.

    1. Thank you! So glad there's others out there who get it!

  2. It does look super comfy. Makes me think I need a house dress.

    1. Oh I highly recommend having a house dress or two :)

  3. A very pretty make. Have you considered going thru the gate so you don’t have to climb fences???😉

    1. Well, the problem with walking through the gate, is then the goats want to come through the gate with me, which is very inconvenient.Much easier to just climb over the fence than deal with all the 4-hooved critters who try to follow me out of the pen through the gate.

  4. Looks so cozy! Really like what you did to the sleeves, it added just the right touch. And your "non-matching" strategy is brilliant! 😊

    1. Thank you - I try really hard to justify my plaid matching aversion!