Tea Towel Spring Dress {Tutorial}

March 20, 2012 at 20:57 | Posted in Before and After, Crafts - DIY, Tutorials | 5 Comments
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My aunt Melissa sent me several boxes full of goodies at the beginning of the year. Boxes filled with old linens, amazing clothes, bags, and sewing notions, even the coolest aprons you have ever seen. Not only these boxes are a great source of inspiration and motivation, but most of the items are handcrafted and vintage, so they are all very special.

In one of the boxes there was this gorgeous Vera by Vera Neumann vintage linen tea towel. If you do not know who Vera Neumann was, she was an iconic artist that created the first signature scarf in history around WWII, by kepping her signature on art transferred to the scarves. She was the innovator of cross-licensing and one of the most successful female entrepreneurs of her time. Her philosophy: fine art should be accessible to everyone, not just a select few. She believed that artwork should not be relegated to walls. Rather, people should surround themselves with art–wear it, dine off it, and dream under it. Pretty cool lady, don’t you think? Her art is bright and colorful.

As my aunt told me, it stayed pristine because it was “too pretty to use”. Linen dishtowels were a popular gift item in the 1970s.  They were very handsome graphically but had to be ironed when used. I also thinks that it is too pretty to use, so I made it into a dress for Paloma. For the top, I used an old romper that I got at one of the baby clothing swaps at the Library, but it was too small. The colors were very close and the material very similar too;  they were made for each other! So now they live together happily ever after 😉 Here is the tutorial. Enjoy!

You will need:

  • A tea towel
  • A romper or shirt or onesie.
  • Sewing supplies (scissors, sewing machine, thread)
  • Trim, ribbon or fringe for decoration (optional).

First, measure the garment that you will use for the top of the dress and cut it at the desired length. You can go to the waist or to the chest. If there is a pocket on it like in mine, remove it with a seam ripper. (I cannot resist! I have to show off my cool vintage hem clips too!)

Then fold your tea towel in half (width-wise) and cut it. Pin the sides and sew them together.

Iron the seams flat.

Matching the side seams of both pieces, pin them in place and after doing this, start pinning the rest, making a couple of pleats every 1 1/2″ or 2″. Sew them together.

Finito! You can add a trim or ribbon or fringe as decoration.  I used an orange pom pom fringe I got in Argentina. CUUUUUUTE!!!!!!

And on her, super cuuuute!! 🙂

Perfect spring dress that cost me absolutely nothing,  ZERO money, just friends and love.

I craft all night and party everyday at these Craft Parties. Check them out and party with us!



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  1. Very clever – very pretty – gorgeous little girl 😉

    • Thank you! 🙂

  2. Lovely! Thanks for sharing at Things I’ve Done Thursday!

    • Thank you for hosting!

  3. Oh my goodness! It’s fabulous! Great job!
    One Chatty Chic

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