Hot! The “Tea Party” Dress

I think this week I should begin with a confession.  I did not even know Gatsby was a thing until last year about this time when the ladies did Gatsby week.  It looked like so much fun but I really couldn’t even begin to think of where to start when it came to creating a Gatsby dress.  Enter a lot of google image searches and some Etsy browsing.  I know poor me right?  I ended up deciding that what I really liked about the children’s fashions of the 20s and 30s was that little girls wore little girl clothes.  I was especially taken by all of the aline dresses that had no waist.  I found this little dress pattern in the 6/2011 issue of Ottobre and thought it fit the bill for a cute little girl Gatsby dress.

The dress itself was pretty easy to sew. I made the tucks before I cut the front which is always easier.  Its got simple little bound sleeves and and invisable zipper in the back.  The main fabric is quilter’s cotton that my husband got me for Christmas and I picked up the contrast from the same line when I started planning the dress.  Usually I don’t mix prints but I thought that added a bit of a modern twist to the dress plus it allowed me to use some stash fabric rather then just adding more.

The Facts

Pattern: Ottobre 6/2011 design 13

Fabric: quilter’s cotton

Notions: Invisible zipper

Time to complete:  Not that long but I’ve been sewing in tiny pockets of time lately

First worn: Sunday to a church pick-nick

Wear Again: One can hope.  First she cried bc she though people would think she was in a nightgown then she wouldn’t take it off after pictures.



Stephanie mother tried to teach her how to sew growing up but she didn't really get serious about it until her 4 year old daughter was born and she wanted to put her in fancy smocked dresses. Since then, she has learned to smock and sew. Her blog and screen name come from the initials of her two children Elijah who is 8 and Emily who is 4.


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  1. I’m in the same boat with you about never hearing about Gatsby before The Sew Weekly. Your daughter’s dress turned out darling. I especially like the print on the fabric. Looks like she had fun with the photo shoot too.

  2. Just adorable! She’s becoming quite the model! I love the contrasting color on the yolk and the sleeve bands. Those are great colors on her too.

  3. I like that Emily is happy to pose for a photo to show off a new outfit. It’s a lovely, pretty little dress and perfect for a garden party.

  4. I know it’s just the power of suggestion, but I’m gasping for a cup of tea now….and an a-line dress! Very pretty dress, I shall keep my fingers crossed for you that it becomes a favourite with her.

  5. I confess, I didn’t know tributes to the Great Gatsby were a thing either until the challenge went up. Either way, I love the dress on your little one, it adorably matches her glasses!

    On a side note, though, where is everyone getting these lovely picnic sets?

  6. Very very cute. She looks like a little doll with her tea set. :)

  7. How sweet. What a lovely interpretation of the challenge – so unexpected!