Today I am looking at Tea Time Nostalgia by Alice and the Pirates. This series includes 2 dresses, a skirt, 2 blouses, 2 hair accessories, socks, tights and a few pieces of jewellery.
This is JSK I. The bodice looks like it may be reasonably well fitted, although it is hard to see with all that lace in the way! The bodice shape is a bit basic though. The straps are a decent width and suit the dress. The waist has a ribbon belt. It doesn't seem to define the waist area very much but it does neaten things up. The ribbon used is beautiful and of a good quality. It has a pretty rose pattern on it which works well with the rest of the dress. The neckline has 2 layers of very wide lace. The lace used is very pretty. However, I am not really sure how I feel about the lace. It adds a lot of interest to the dress but at the same time I wonder if the lace is too wide for my liking. The bases of the straps have fake roses and between the roses there is a double pearl chain. Whilst I like the idea, I dislike the way the pearls sit on the dress. It is an interesting design but to me, there is something about the bodice as a whole which doesn't quite work for me. The back is fully shirred, so it is quite exposed and not particularly attractive looking. The photos show that the skirt shape is quite subtle and has a decent length to it. However, it looks a bit dull and lifeless to me. It doesn't look like it would accommodate much petticoat either. The skirt is kept clutter free and the print is displayed fairly well. The bottom hem is finished off with tassel style trim, which I don't think goes well with the rest of the dress.
This is JSK II. The bodice looks reasonably well fitted and the shape is interesting. The gathered straps are a bit wide, but they don't look out of place on this dress. The gathering on the straps and the lace used give the straps a very soft, pretty appearance, although I can imagine them falling off shoulders quite easily.
The bodice is divided up in to different panels. The bottom part is more fitted, and I like the use of vertically placed lace. The rose shaped lace is especially pretty. I also quite like the ruffled panel with its pretty lace yoke. The yoke is very detailed with lots of texture to it. I think the squashed together pearls and the bow on the neckline spoil the yoke a little bit though. I am hoping the bow is only wonky in the stock photos and in reality is much nicer. But what I really dislike about the bodice is the way the silhouette looks quite chunky and doesn't flow very well. It just doesn't appeal to me.
The back has a panel of shirring which is concealed very tidily by a ribbon corset. The stock photos show the skirt has the potential to look very full and rounded. However, the skirt length looks a bit short teamed with the long looking bodice. It will hold a decent amount of petticoat though. The skirt is kept clutter free and the print is displayed beautifully. The bottom hem is then finished off with some good quality lace, which AatP uses quite frequently.
And here we have the print close-up. This print comes in green, bordeaux, navy and black. I think my favourite has to be the green version because the pink and gold in the print goes really well with the green. I think all 4 colours work fairly well, although I am not that fussed by the bordeaux and navy options. The print itself is very pretty. I love the use of the darker colour and gold swirls in the background. The teacups, plates and teapots are so detailed. They look beautiful! I especially like the rose shaped teapot and cup. However, I do have one issue with this print- the spacing on the dress. Whilst the print looks okay in the picture of the print, when you look at the print on the actual dresses the more detailed part of the print seems to finish quite high up. So you end up with a lot of space at the bottom where there is less detail and it looks a bit plain. It's a shame that the darker, more detailed part of the print doesn't end a bit lower on the dresses. I just feel that the pretty crockery deserves a bit more attention and space!
So overall, I think this is a pretty series but it does have its flaws. I don't feel the dress designs do the beautiful print justice and it didn't reach its full potential. Would I buy from this series? Despite being a bit unsure about it, I wouldn't rule it out. I would probably go for JSK I in green if I did. One part of the series which I definitely would recommend checking out is the jewellery. It is very heavily detailed. My favourite piece is the cake server pin, which can be turned in to a necklace.