Girls Qi Pao (Chinese Dress) Sew Along Day 2

Ok so I did discover a mistake myself while preparing the sewing video. I left out the zip in the list of materials! So here the is the list of materials again, with the zip lengths included.

(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″)

Now, let’s get started! This is what we are going to be doing today. The sewing was mainly documented in video form and I did not have enough time to take screenshots so most of the sewing process will be in the form of a video tutorial.

How to make
1. Cut out fabric.
2. Preparation work – iron on interfacing for collar lining, serge edges
3. Sew shoulder seams, open seam allowances flat (sewing video)
4. Attaching the collar pieces (sewing video)
5. Finish raw edges of bodice+ collar, armholes, hemlines with bias (sewing video)

1. Cut out pieces on fabric
As mentioned yesterday, it will be a good idea to make the first piece in a cheap fabric, just to test for fit and make any adjustments.

Following the directions on each pattern piece, layout the patterns on your fabric, and transfer the outlines using chalk/fabric markers.

These are the pieces you should have after cutting out the fabric. I have used different color fabrics for all the pieces in this tutorial, so that while I am taking close up pictures, you can still identify the individual parts of the dress without getting confused.



Do take note for the orientation of the two front pieces. If you cut the front piece by placing the pattern piece on the wrong side of the fabric, the curved edge will be on the left side of the dress. (from front centre down to left side seam). If you do that, make sure you do the same for the front inner flap, i.e. to trace and cut out on the wrong side of the fabric, and you will get two pieces that match each other.

If you wish the curve to be on the right side of the dress (running from centre front to right side seam), then mark on the right side of the fabric. Do the same for the front inner flap.  This was how I cut my fabric. I placed my pattern pieces on the right side of the fabric and this is the orientation of my pieces (right side up)


You are seeing it on the monitor and hence it is a mirror image. Imagine if you turn the dress around and put it on, and you will see that the front curve runs from the centre front down to the right side seam.

2. Preparation work

- apply fusible interfacing on collar lining piece.


- serge shoulder seam and side seams (see diagram below for edges to serge



For steps 3-5, please watch the video below. As mentioned earlier, I did not have time to extract the screenshots for a step by step photographs tutorial. So I hope it’s not a problem viewing on youtube for most of you. I do find video tutorials more useful and less words are needed for explaining the process, so I hope you will enjoy them too.

Tomorrow we will finish up with the side zip opening, side seams, and the decorative buttons down the main bodice curved opening. Before we move on to that, it will be a good idea to test the fit on your little girl (if it’s not meant to be a surprise :P). You can make some adjustments to the armholes/waist/length if you prefer the dress to be more fitting. I will leave it to your discretion.

See you back here tomorrow for Day 3 of the sew along!

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4 Responses

  1. tinie says:

    lovely tutorial :D Im doing a quibao for myself and this one help a lot. Thank you very much <3

  2. MaciNic says:

    Thank you! I love that you’ve used different colours to highlight what each piece is – very appreciated ;)

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