Happy Lunar New Year!
I love this time of year. Its a celebratory time filled with dancing lions, amazing asian sweets and treats, dinners with loved ones and beautifully decorated streets and restaurants.
As my daughter is half Chinese, I decided to sew her her first Cheongsam / Qi Pao dress.
I couldn’t for the life of me find a Cheongsam in a size small enough for her (6 month old) and the smallest pattern i could fine (free or paid) was to fit a 5 year old!
I ended up deciding to just create my own pattern by hacking the Tadah Tea Party dress.
The hacks are as follows:
- Added two slits down the side of the dress
- Turned the dress from a gathered skirt to a straight skirt.
- combined the dress skirt with the bodice to form one single piece for the front and another for the back
- Added a collar and decorative front.
- Added 4 press studs down the side in place of zips.
This was a challenging sew as it was my first time working with brocade. This fabric FRAYS TERRIBLY! I have never seen so many red and gold threads around my house!
I also made a frog button by wrapping Chinese gimp into circles and sewing together. Photos below!
Firstly, I bought two types of brocade just in case I stuffed one up. I ended up choosing the left design as my main fabric Look at those beautiful blue dragons!
Below you can see the Chinese gimp fashioned into a clasp. This was surprisingly easy to do. One small piece of gimp coiled into two circles and sewn together using yellow or golden thread. As the gimp is quite chunky, the thread is easily hidden. I did try hot glue but that unfortunately didn’t work and was quite messy.
Tadaaa~! And all done! It took me one day to sew this dress from start to finish. It wasn’t without its issues either. Thankfully most of the errors were hidden from sight. Phew!
Below is my text Cheongsam I made to ensure my pattern was a correct fit. I used left over Christmas cotton fabric as a test. Cotton was a good fabric to use as a test dress as it didn’t have any stretch or give, and was very stiff just like the brocade fabric.