Tea at Two- 1930s Day or Afternoon Dress Pattern

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Wearing History #3016

"Tea at Two"- Mid 1930s Day or Afternoon Dress

This pattern is a "Resto-Vival" pattern from the mid 1930s.

A charming dress that can be sporty or feminine, and perfect for Spring or Fall! I can see the heroine of our story grabbing a late lunch snack with her friend while in town shopping, or perhaps as an afternoon spectator at the polo fields.  This dress is full of mid 1930s charm with perfectly sohisticated and fun details of tucked sleeves, bound buttonholes, and a fun wide pointed collar and peplum.  This looks like a two piece dress but is actually a dress all in one- the skirt pleats and bound buttonholes cleverly conceal the front opening.  This dress would make up lovely in a floral rayon crepe, lightweight cotton, or even linen or wool.  In white linen with brown accents it would be ideal for summer!  Imagine with spectator pumps- divine!


Sizing- If you are between sizes order the next size larger, as my patterns have less ease than modern standards.  Please order pattern by measurements (given in inches), as the size numbers do not equate to modern pattern sizing and pattern sizing can vary from pattern to pattern on my website.


Size Pack A- Size 12-14-16 Bust 30-32-34 Waist 24-26-28 Hip 33-35-37

Size Pack B- Size 18-20-22

Bust 36-38-40 Waist 30-32-34 Hip 39-41-43

This pattern only includes cutting charts for size 16 (bust 34).  Use your discretion for cutting all other sizes.  It is recommended to purchase more fabric than indicated on the original pattern to allow for creating your own cutting layout for all other sizes.

About Wearing History Resto-Vival™ Patterns

Resto-Vival™ Patterns are original historic patterns that have been restored and revived.  Original patterns are usually available only in single sizes, precut from tissue paper and totally unprinted, with details like grainlines and darts indicated only by small perforations.  Resto-Vival™ patterns are printed on sturdy bond paper instead of tissue and clearly marked with drawn and labeled markings.  These markings aid the modern sewer in understanding the markings of the original pattern and the construction of the garment.  Resto-Vival™ patterns follow the period shapes of the original patterns, maintaining the historical accuracy of the completed garment.  Original period instructions are included. These instructions are text only (unless otherwise noted) and fairly minimal, especially compared to instructions for modern patterns.  At least an intermediate knowledge of dressmaking and a good familiarity with pattern construction is suggested.  You may choose to have a modern or period sewing book handy to help with basic construction methods that the pattern instructions do not cover in detail.  Also, fitting a muslin mockup is strongly recommended, as all garments were meant to be worn over period foundation garments or corsetry.

4 Reviews Hide Reviews Show Reviews

  • 5
    I really love this cute little dress!

    Posted by Stephanie T. on Apr 11th 2016

    This pattern has so many possibilities for color blocking and unique details like piping on the sleeves or some cute novelty buttons. I had a lot of fun making this dress up! I chose to sew up the short sleeved version in a 30s repro quilting cotton. It does come with the original 30s directions which can be confusing to a newbie seamstress or someone who has never sewn with a vintage pattern before. It also includes a period appropriate 3/8″ seam allowance which I don’t mind but can seem intimidating if you are used to 1/2″ or 5/8″. I was able to figure everything out and my dress turned out really nice.

    I really love this cute little dress!

  • 5
    This pattern is fantastic!

    Posted by Emileigh Rogers on Apr 11th 2016

    This pattern is fantastic! The printed pattern comes on heavy duty paper with clear markings. This was the first 1930s garment I have sewn, and some of the construction techniques, like the hidden front closure, were new to me. However, the instructions were clear enough for me to figure out after reading a couple times and thinking through.

    The only adjustments I needed to make were to “petite-ize” the whole pattern. I shortened the skirt pieces and sleeves and brought in the bodice a bit to fit my more narrow shoulders. It wasn’t hard to figure out which alterations to make after making a test muslin.

    I used rayon challis and rayon crepe to make this, and it worked BEAUTIFULLY with the pattern. I’ll definitely be making the short sleeve version come summer!

    I have more thorough details on my construction process here: http://www.flashbacksummer.com/2014/12/tea-at-two-dress-pattern-details.html

  • 4

    Posted by Serena on Apr 11th 2016

    I reviewed this pattern in the Size 16.

    Pattern Description: Mid 1930s Day or Afternoon Dress

    Pattern Sizing: Size Pack A, Size 12-14-16

    Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes.

    Were the instructions easy to follow? Well, yes and no. The ’30s instructions can be a bit terse at times, which I usually like, but which could have used a tad more detail in some spots. Some bits were a bit confusing, but for the most part, the construction is fairly straightforward.

    What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I particularly liked everything. The raglan sleeves might be a favorite feature, along with the contrasting skirt panel and ability to add the same contrast on the short sleeves. I love the sturdy pattern paper, and I’m a big fan of 3/8″ seam allowances.

    Fabric Used: Patterned quilting cotton that’s been in my stash for ages.

    Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: No piping/contrast on the short sleeves. I kept it rather basic this time.

    Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes and yes. (I want to try it in a more flowy fabric.)

  • 4

    Posted by Nina on Apr 11th 2016

    I was chosen to be one of the testers for this pattern and I’m so happy to be able to share my review with everyone. I blogged about the construction process over at thevintagefamily.blogspot.com.

    Pattern Description: Mid 1930s Day or Afternoon Dress

    Pattern Sizing: Size Pack B- Size 18-20-22

    Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? YES!!!

    Were the instructions easy to follow? Sort of. Since the instructions are from the 1930s, they may or may not make sense to a modern sewer. I had a little issue with the bodice instructions especially the bound buttonholes/facing bit, but even those were surmountable once I put my bi-focals on.

    What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I LOVE, love love love love, LOVE how the pattern pieces fit together *perfectly*. Anyone who has ever had to deal with a mismatched pattern will know what I’m talking about. Also, the value for the money is EXCELLENT. The paper is a nice heavy paper that I can make my alterations on directly rather than trace it off then blahblahblah. Or worse pay through the nose to have the whole affair copied onto heavy paper so I can make my alterations. Very much a win, here.
    Dislikes? The pattern instruction sheet. Especially the fact that the short sleeve version instructions were on the very last page. It would have been more intuitive to have them up front.

    Fabric Used: Faux stretch microsuede. The up side? It doesn’t ravel. The down side? You can’t iron it. But it looks KILLER in person. I will not use that fabric again though, for this project.

    Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Graded up in size a bit and shortened the skirt length by 1.5″ because I’m chronically short.

    Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes and Yes. I am making it in white as soon as I get done with this week and I will gladly shout it from the rafters what a great pattern it is.

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