Welcome to the first sew-along of the new year! The first sew-along will not be from my Japanese sewing books collection, but a long overdue project that I’ve been meaning to do for my other blog Cotton Candy. The Girls’ Qi Pao (pronounced ch’i-p’ao), also known as the Cheongsam or the Chinese Dress.
I made this particular dress last year as part of racial harmony day celebrations in school, and posted it on my Cotton Candy blog. It was requested by a number of readers who wanted to make this for their girls. I got the patterns drafted but never had time to get around to actually making it again. Then someone reminded recently that Chinese New Year was approaching so I better hurry up! I’ve just finished putting the patterns together, and now I just need to sew, take photographs (and take a video if I can) of the steps, which I will do so over the next few days as part of the sew-along.
Read this first!!!
- I have to emphasize that I have never actually learned how to make the Qi pao in the proper way. So what I’ve done here may not be the most “correct” way of sewing it. My attachment of the collar is definitely not textbook, but I like to do it this way because I don’t get extra stitch lines at the base of the collar lining, nor is there a need to hand stitch (you will know what I mean when we get to sewing the collar.)
- The patterns I have drafted are based on the sizes in (Metric Pattern Cutting for Children’s Wear and Babywear). I will attach the size chart in the post tomorrow for your reference. The sizing is based on height and average proportions as provided in the book. The ages for the corresponding heights given in the book are approximated based on average data, so when deciding which size to make, it will be better to take measurements of your child rather than following the height dimension alone.
- Also know that this is a midi dress dress (ends middle of calves) and also quite fitting. It is not tight-fitting like the original ladies version, as I have added some ease for the comfort of children but neither is it meant to be baggy or shapeless. As for the length, you can adjust it as you see fit.
- I have not tested all the patterns yet. They are all based on the same scale-ups but just to let you know that I have only been able to test the 110 and 134 sizes since I have ready models for those sizes.
- Because the textbook proportions may not be perfect for everyone, I suggest you make a muslin / test piece out of cheap fabric first to test for fit and make adjustments, especially if you are going to use expensive fabric.
- The younger children may not like the fitting collar, so you can want to modify the collar a little or move the decorative buttons lower down (lying on the bodice instead of the collar as shown in my photo) so that it is not too restrictive.
- I will be making the dress in Chinese brocade but you can also make it in silk/cotton, or any other fabric you fancy. Get creative and have fun!
Please join me in the sew-along! Or bookmark this page for future sewing reference if you don’t have time to join in now. I will be adding links to the above scheduled posts as we go along, so you can always access all the necessary pages from this main page. That’s all for today. See you tomorrow for the sew-along!