Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Its All About Tea

Well that was a long tea break - more like a hibernation really - but that's the British winter for you.

My poor old blog has been a bit neglected due to my sewing up a storm over the winter months and all sorts of fun things I'd planned in my calendar.  I've also now decided on a blog overhaul to take in other interesting stuff - like Tea! - so it's not just a diary of my sewing makes and will hopefully  appeal to other readers where ever they are in the world.

Being a quintessential English lady, I live up the rule that all non Brits they think if you're British you must be awash with tea.  Guess what - its all true.  There's nothing like a nice cup of tea, Earl Gray being my particular preference, especially when it's served out of some vintage china and with a smattering of cakes. 

With tea in mind I've produced the perfect Afternoon Tea skirt (as opposed to the Tea Dress) and am pleased to say that it was well received on it's first wearing for a spot of Afternoon Tea in Kemp Town's The Tea Cosy - a truly delightful and eccentric place to take tea.

I'd heard lots about this place, all good, and being on my doorstep it seemed silly to pass up the opportunity to sit and drink tea in some delightfully eccentric surroundings whilst munching on scones and cake.

The walls of the Tea Cosy are covered in all manner of royalist memorabilia, started off by the previous owners who intended it to be a shrine to the late Princess Diana.  Everywhere you look there are newspaper print outs, commemoration mugs, tin signs, tea towels and even a life size cardboard cutout of Her Maj.

We'd decided on afternoon tea but on arrival discovered it needed to be ordered in advance so, instead, settled for the Princess Diana High Tea including a selection of sandwiches, cakes, scone with accompanying conserve of your choice (I had salted caramel) and of course a pot of tea. 

All teapots are refilled and fitted with their own little hand knitted cosy

Here's some more views of the interior - how cute?

So, here's the sewing bit.  The teapot fabric is from the usual emporium Fabric Land and at a width of 110 cm just needed enough to create the length twice - a front and a back and a waistband.    I previously had serious issues trying to work out how to do the pleats (yes, pleats, not gathers), but had a brainstorm moment and deciphered that, for each piece,  if you deduct half your waist measurement from the fabric width (i.e. 110 cm minus 40 cm) then you just decide how many pleats will fit nicely into the remainder (i.e. 70 divided by 12 equals 5.8) then each pleat and spare in between gives you the 5.8 cm to work with so your pleat could be 1.5cm - that is a triple fold where the fabric folds back on itself and a bit to spare - the in between  (remember to allow for seams!)  Sorry if this sounds a bit complicated.  Annotating maths isn't my strong point!

So, if you need a pick me up, a tea skirt and a cuppa are your best bet.  Find out where your local tea emporium is and head off there dressed appropriately.


2 skirt lengths of fabric. This one was 110cm wide and the skirt 60cm long so 1.2 m plus some for waistband . A metre and half should cover it.  Plus button and zip.


Happy sewing

Linda x


  1. I love your skirt, I bought the same fabric for a top, because it was so much fun, it looks better on your skirt. I also have a major problem with calculating the pleats, so I may use your tips next time :) I have never been to Tea Cosy, have gone past it so many times but it's always closed. I will have to go before leaving Brighton (well if that move ever happens)

    1. The fabric will look lovely in a top also - so ideal for sitting and drinking tea! Good luck with the pleats, if you've not done before you could try with an old duvet or sheet from a charity shop?
      You should try the Tea Cosy - its very quaint