Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge #9 Black and White - 1882 Tea Gown

"A woman is like a tea bag,
you can not tell how strong she is
until you put her in hot water."
Nancy Reagan (First Lady 1981-1989)
What It Is:  1882 Tea Gown
Fabric:  Lamour satin, bleached muslin, cotton
Pattern:  Truly Victorian TV 432
Year:  1882
Notions:  Button kits, pleated trim, lace, thread, purchased belt
How historically accurate is it?  The pattern is correct, effort to recreate to a historic fashion plate, cotton and muslin fabrics are accurate although the satin is a synthetic, button kit is a cheat but creates a nice look.
Hours to complete?  20+  The gown can be cut and sewn easily, but the trim....the trim!
First worn:  Costume College 2014
Total cost:  Fabrics $65, trim $15, button kits and satin $50 = $130

The original plan for the HSF Black and White Challenge was a beautiful tea gown.  Although I got wonderfully distracted by the online corset class and finished this project late, I'm hoping you enjoy the gown!
Three years ago I used the Truly Victorian pattern TV432 Tea Gown and TV225 1878 Fantail Skirt to recreate the black velvet reception gown from Peterson's Magazine January 1879.

While I've loved the inspiration gown in the photo below,  I haven't had a reason to make a tea gown....until this year.  The typical "Sunday Undies" at Costume College has been changed to "Breakfast Belles and Beaux" and a tea gown is appropriate costume for that morning.

The Truly Victorian tea gown pattern requires 7 yards of fabric and I found a beautiful black and white Lamour satin fabric on eBay.  The satin fabric interlined with a bleached muslin, white lining fabric from the stash,  some satin/velvet pleated trim that I had in the stash,  and the velvet skirt I had previously made, would combine to become my new tea gown for Costume College.

There were several changes that I made to the pattern to recreate the inspiration gown:  I added 2-1/2 inches to the front centers to create an overlap, and I pleated the left and right side backs to open the side and show the underskirt.  To create the revers I used a nice white tone-on-tone cotton lining for the entire gown.  Other than that I followed the pattern with the Watteau back, left openings in the side seams to insert a purchased belt, and covered 81 buttons with black satin.  All the trim is hand sewn.  My hands are relieved that this gown is finished and I can't wait to wear it!

Here are some in progress and finished photos.

Planning the project.
The three layers of fabric in the Watteau back.

Satin and velvet pleated trim and 81 self-covered satin buttons.

And finally, a finished tea gown!

Thank you for reading!
Love always,


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, Crystal! I love black and white!

  2. This is absolutely stunning! The pleats, the buttons....shiny!

    1. Thank you, Gabriela! All those buttons were so much work but add a lot, I think.

  3. How lovely, and it looks so comfy, you'd feel like a star having Sunday brunch in that :)

    1. Thank you, Kura! I hope I'm not afraid to eat and spill anything. LOL!

  4. I can't believe this is the first time I have seen this. OMGorgeous