Wait until you see how easy this is! Once that’s done, I will talk more about zero waste dress design and what inspired me.

Have you ever wished one of your garments was just a slightly different color or perhaps a shade darker? I may have the answer for you – tea staining.  I suggest testing it if you are new to the process first.

The Tea Stain

The Dress Inspiration

During The Dayton Garment Designers Meet Up  group field trip to The Cincinnati Art Museum we got to see the Fabric of India exhibit. The exhibit is made up of many old and some newer garments. This little boys kimono inspired me very much. I could add these concepts to my zero waste collection of dresses I have been exploring.

Shopping Local for Supplies

I’m shopping local this year because I want my stores to stay in business. I went to Little Shop of Stitches in Miamisburg, Ohio to purchase my supplies. They do an awesome mini sewing retreat and everyone there is really nice. I bought 3 1/2 yards of cotton fabric.

The Dress Making

There is a lot I could say about making this dress but I am going to try and keep it simple with graphics. I cut 22 pieces total with the technique shown here for the wrap circle skirt.

I made the bodice by draping the pieces on my dress form and then added darts to give it a fitted and tailored look.

The sleeves were made from the larger remaining scraps of cotton. I put a lot of thought into this dress because I wanted to keep the yellow color away from my face. I also wanted to add thick shoulder pads to give it a more dramatic look.

I made trim by saving all of my scraps and then serging them together.

This worked out great with one exception – my dress was starting to look a touch overdone. I learned the term,”garish,” a while back and it might apply here. Knowing when to stop is important.

To solve this problem I decided to add all of the trim to the inside of the dress. To do this on a circle skirt and have it lay flat I knew I would need to gather one edge of the trim.

The last scrap I worked into the area where I added my tag.

What a difference the tea staining made.

Thank you for reading,

Tracy McElfresh,

Dream it! Sew it!


Tracy McElfresh
Latest posts by Tracy McElfresh (see all)