Tea Party Dress

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I’m very excited to share this dress with you.  It isn’t perfect, but it’s the first piece of clothing I’ve made with no pattern at all. The dress is my own design and came about rather organically during a recent Virtual Craft Nite.  This dress actually started life as a round tablecloth with a great pattern and a fantastic pleating detail on the hem.

tablecloth dress fabric

My original plan was to make the tablecloth into a simple circle skirt.  Pinterest is, after all, full of those sorts of instructions and tutorials.

circle skirt width.

So I got started and cut the hole for the skirt. But when I put it on, I felt like I walked off the set of Little House on the Prairie.  It was just way too long.

My solution?  Make a dress instead.  By pulling it up above my chest, the hem hit just about perfectly at tea length.  So I sewed a tube into the top of the dress where I could run a length of elastic for the top.  Then to create the silhouette I wanted, I added a coordinating grosgrain ribbon to the dress, which gives the dress great pleats.

dress detail

The final step to make it a dress was to add a zipper in the back.

tea dress

tea dress

tea dress with belt

It looked great like this, but the fabric from the table cloth is pretty heavy.  The dress kept wanting to slip down, especially in the back. My solution was to take some of the super wide seam allowance I’d left in the back of the dress and make some simple cross straps.


back of tea party dress

I really like it with the orange ribbon, but sometimes you need something a little more casual, which is why I love the dress with a wide leather belt.

tea party dress with leather belt

tea dress with belt

And for when it’s chilly outside, like it was when I took these photos, it looks cute with a little brown cardigan.

tea party dress with cardigan

tea party dress paired with cardigan and belt

tea party dress with belt and cardigan twirly

Now I have a great new twirly dress from someone’s discarded table cloth.  Have you ever re-purposed something like this?

Sharing this project on:
The Train to Crazy - Make It Wear It Thursday


  1. Susan on March 15, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Love, love, LOVE this one!!!

  2. Rachel on March 15, 2013 at 8:49 am

    So cute! Both of your belt options look great.

  3. Jenny on March 19, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    I can’t believe that was a tablecloth! It has a great print to it and your dress is gorgeous!!

    Way to go!

    Seamingly Smitten

  4. Jessica Nunemaker from little Indiana on March 28, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Wow. I cannot believe that was a TABLECLOTH! How very Gone with the Wind of you! 😉 I’m so impressed!

    • Andrea on March 28, 2013 at 6:34 pm

      Thanks Jessica! I might just make a dress out of some curtains sometime… if I can find some I love at one of the local thrift shops.

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