Made by Me – the Tiger Lily Afternoon Tea dress

Last Saturday I was lucky enough to go to afternoon tea at Luton Hoo with a group of girlfriends. 
We were there to celebrate a “milestone” birthday for one of the group, and as such, of course all had to dress up in posh frocks.

I decided as soon as we booked the tea (about 6 weeks ago) that I was going to make my outfit.  Initially it was going to be a navy and cream peplum top and skirt, and I even cut out and started making the top from this pattern.  But the neckline went wrong, I needed to start it again and then I worried that the fabric I’d chosen would make it look like a uniform of some sort.

A trawl through the internet found me some pretty blue polyester crepe de chine from Fabricland for only £2.50 a metre!  It was called Tiger Lily on their website – hence the name of the dress.

I’ll have 3 metres of that I though, and duly phoned them and ordered it.  Their website isn’t the easiest to navigate and you can’t order online, but they are very helpful on the phone. 

My parcel of fabric arrived a couple of days later and I set to work trying to decide on a pattern.  I love the fit of my Burda Danielle dress and wanted to use the bodice pattern again, but I wanted a different skirt.  Step forward Burda 7407, which I’d used at the end of last year to make a tartan dress for a New Years Eve party.

The skirt was perfect for the look I wanted.

I also wanted some little sleeves, so using a random short sleeve pattern (I don’t remember where from) I drafted some tulip sleeves using this tutorial I also made the waistband about an inch deeper.
I'm really pleased with these sleeves and the fit of the bodice.

The back zipper was inserted using Scruffy Badgers fabulous lapped zipper tutorial and it worked like a dream!
Not bad for a first attempt!
I managed to get hubby to take a shot of me on the morning of the tea, sadly this was before I'd done my hair and makeup!

It was such a hot day last Saturday that I started to melt as soon as I put the dress on.  I was seriously worried it was going to be ruined by sweat marks before we’d even got to my friends house.  Ever lady-like I folded two tissues and stuffed them into the sides of my bra, and into the armholes of the dress.  Not the most elegant solution, but it worked!

We had a gorgeous afternoon, champagne before we were chauffeured to Luton Hoo, then lovely sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, followed by delicious cakes.  Then we retired outside to the terrace for a glass of Pimms. 
The only shot I have of all 5 of us!

All in all, a lovely way to spend an afternoon.
And I have enough of the fabric left for a top of some sort! 


  1. It's a gorgeous dress! The blue is such a pretty shade. I love those Burda envelope patterns. They have some real gems.

  2. Thank you! I fell in love with the blue shade as soon as I saw it.


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