Girls Qi Pao (Chinese Dress) Sew Along Day 1

Welcome to Sew Along Day 1 of the Girls Qi Pao (Chinese Dress). Today we will download and assemble the pattern and get our materials ready.

1. First, please choose your size and download the corresponding PDF file. 


Download Link -> Size 98 (9 sheets of A4 paper) 
note that for this size pages 4,8,12 (i.e. the last column) are omitted as the pattern did not require so much paper width-wise.
Assembly layout as below (click on image to zoom in)

Download Link -> Size 110 (12 sheets of A4 paper)
Assembly layout as below (click on image to zoom in)




Download Link ->Size 122 (12 sheets of A4 paper)
Assembly layout as below (click on image to zoom in)




Download Link -> Size 134 (12 sheets of A4 paper)
Assembly layout as below (click on image to zoom in)


2. Print the patterns on A4 paper, remember to set your paper size on your printer settings to A4.

3. Layout the printed pieces based on the layout diagrams above 
(Take note that for pattern size 98 it is only a grid of 3×3 blocks and pages 4,8 and 12 are missing, it is not a mistake, just that it was not necessary to use the last column as the pattern pieces could fit within 3 columns)

4. Align the printed sheets
Match corresponding page numbers and align the arrows so that the vertical and horizontal dotted lines meet up (see diagram below)


5. Tape or glue the pieces together.
What I usually do is to cut along the pink dotted line on the left piece (page 6 in the example above), apply glue to the left of the pink dotted line on right piece (page 7 in example above), and stick page 6 over page 7, aligning the arrows and dotted lines.  But it is up to you how you want to assemble the pieces.  If you need more help with this let me know.

6. Cut out the pattern pieces
All the pattern pieces already include seam allowances, so once you have assembled the PDF pattern, cut out the pattern pieces.
You should have the following pieces.
1 x Front
1 x Back
1 x Front inner flap
1 x Collar


Now that we have all the pattern pieces, let’s get our materials ready

(in order of sizes 98 / 110 / 122 / 134)

1. Outer Fabric (based on 90cm wide fabric – 1.2m / 1.3m / 1.4m / 1.5m
I will be using brocade for the actual dress, which is 90cm wide, so these quantities are based on a 90cm wide fabric
optional – If you want to make the collar lining in a contrasting fabric, you just need a piece of 35cm x 10cm piece of co-ordinating fabric

2. Fusible Interfacing  35 x 10cm

3. Bias tape – can be ready made or self-made.
I am using single fold bias tape in my tutorial which is 12mm (approx.  1/2″) wide  - 2.5m / 2.7m / 3.0m / 3.2m
If you are making your own using co-ordinating fabric, cut the fabric cross grain 24mm or 1″ wide. The final width of the binding will be 6mm or 1/4″ respectively.

4. Frog buttons / Chinese knot buttons
You should be able to get these easily online or hopefully even in your local sewing stores. If not you can always make your own! There are a variety of different knot buttons, some are really simple to make and there are couple of tutorials online that you can follow to make your own.

5. Sew on metal snap buttons 7mm – 3 sets 

6. Concealed Zip - 18cm (7″) / 20cm(8″) / 22cm(9″) / 25cm(10″)

Getting the patterns ready was tedious work! If you spot any mistakes, be sure to let me know. :)

Tomorrow, we will start sewing!

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12 Responses

  1. Marta says:

    This pattern looks great!
    I wish I had time right now to sew along…

  2. Thank you so mouch for this wonderful sewalong!

  3. Marisa says:

    I just put together a size 98 and it seems perfect. Well done putting it all together – looking forward to cutting and sewing!

  4. Cindy says:

    Hi there,

    Thank you so much for putting all these together! I am so excited to be making a traditional dress like this. It is so generous of you to be making these patterns free for us too!

    I saw on the pattern that we will be using a zip at the side of the dress. If this is correct, would you be able to tell us how long the zip should be in the materials list?


    • Japanese Sewing Books says:

      Hi Cindy, yes you spotted my mistake! :) I did leave it out, but I have added it to the list. Thanks for letting me know :)

  5. Pei Ying says:

    Hi hi! I saw your qipao first on your cottoncandy blog but didn’t know you were the contributor to the post. Thank you for generously sharing such a pretty dress pattern! :)

  6. Sharon says:

    Hi! Thanks for the pattern, am looking forward to making the qipao. I have printed out the pattern for size 122, but it looks rather tight. The front pattern piece measures 33cm across excluding seam allowance, which does not seem sufficient for 68cm hip?

    • Japanese Sewing Books says:

      Hi Sharon, The hip for 122 size is actually 43.7cm down from the back neck point, so if you measure from that point, the width is 34.3 on the front and 17.2 on the back (minus seam allowances). The back piece should be multiplied by 2 since it is cut on fold, so the total is 68.7. It is quite fitting since the qipao is not meant to be a loose dress, but as every one’s shape is slightly different, you can adjust the hip width at this point (43.7cm down from back neck point) to fit, if it is not wide enough.

  7. Sharon says:

    Thank you for the reply! It does look quite tight fitting so I modified the pattern to an slight A-lined bottom. Your video instructions are really clear and easy to follow even for a beginner like me.

  8. Juliane says:

    Just found this – was looking for something like that for a long time! Thank you so much for doing all that work and for sharing it!

  9. Ching says:

    Thanks for the wonderful tutorial. I’ve printed out the pattern of size 98 and cut the fabric. But it seems that there should be seam allowance at neck for the back pattern. Or the back and front pieces would not match at shoulder. The same mistake seems to appear at size 110, too.

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