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Girls Qi Pao (Chinese Dress) Free Pattern and Sew Along

January 13, 2014

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.

Terms of use : All of the patterns I created are free for personal use only, that means, you can’t use it or modify it to make products for sale. If you want to share the source of the pattern, please credit and link it directly to my website. Thank you for respecting my work!

Read this first!!!

I have to emphasize that I have never actually learned how to make the Qi pao in the traditional tailor’s 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.

– 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!

Sew-Along Schedule

Day 1 ( 14 Jan, Tuesday)- Download PDF patterns, assembly of PDF patterns and Preparation of Materials.
Day 2 ( 15 Jan, Wednesday) –   Sewing Part 1
Day 3 ( 16 Jan, Thursday) – Sewing Part 2

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!

Free Japanese Sewing Patterns Links Free Patterns

Free Japanese Sewing Patterns Link – Christmas Gift and Ornaments

November 26, 2013

It’s exactly one month to Christmas! If you have not started decorating or preparing gifts yet, here are some free Japanese patterns & tutorials that I have found online that may inspire you. Most of these include step by step photographs and tutorials. Just click on the links are below each set of images.

1. Fabric christmas tree 

2. Fabric Christmas Wreath

3. Red Toadstool Hobby Circle Bag

4. Heartshape Christmas Ornaments

5. Patchwork Stockings

6. Yoyo quilt Christmas Tree

 7. Papercraft – Christmas Tree Ornaments

8. Christmas Wreath Ornament made using Finger knitting 

9. Free Printable Advent Calendar

 Happy sewing/crafting!

Free Japanese Sewing Patterns Links Free Patterns

Free Japanese Sewing Patterns – Pandora House (update)

November 8, 2013

I need to have a better “filing” system for my blog posts. Now that I have been blogging for almost two years, I find it hard to keep track of what I have blogged and what I haven’t. I was reminded of this recently when one of my readers posted a comment telling me that a free pattern link is no longer available. The pattern is for the kitty fleece hat (see original post here). It was a timely reminder as I was start sewing for our winter holidays. So I searched the internet for a similar pattern and I found it!

There is a similar hat on the free pattern website of Pandora House. I last linked up to this site last year and have not visited it since, but there seems to be a number of new patterns added.

So first I will show you where to download the hat pattern. This is not exactly the same pattern but it is pretty similar to the one I posted previously. The instructions called for 1m of 1.4m wide boa(fur) fabric but you can use fleece or any other fabric you like. On the cutting diagram it seems as if 40cm is enough though. I leave it to you to judge for yourself if you really need to purchase 1m of fabric. To access the free pattern,
click here to go to the list of free patterns for autumn/winter. The hat pattern is the last one on this page. Click on the yellow button below the picture to download the PDF pattern.

I also spotted these bag patterns which look very familiar to Cath Kidston bags don’t you think? 😛 I do love the shape of the travel bag (top left) and the sports bag (bottom right) which, if I add on some detachable straps, will be a great carry on bag that I’m planning to make for my 9 year old.


Other than sewing patterns, there is also a full page of crochet and knitting patterns, including some very pretty crochet bags so be sure to check out this website of free sewing patterns once again!

Visit the free patterns of Pandora House now –
Sewing patterns page – Spring + Summer /  Autumn+Winter / 2011 patterns
Crochet/Knit – Spring+Summer / Autumn+Winter / 2011 patterns


Free Japanese Sewing Patterns Links Free Patterns

Free Japanese Sewing Patterns – Dr Cos

September 19, 2013

It’s been a while since I have posted any links to Free Japanese Sewing Patterns, and recently I have had some feedback that some of the links are no longer working. I am trying to find archived versions for those that have been already moved, but not all can be found. So what can I do? Find more new links to free patterns of course!

Today’s free pattern link is from a cosplay website. This site has lots of free patterns and the owner of the website has made lots of impressive costumes, which you can see in the Past Clothes link. This list of free patterns may come in useful for those of you getting into a bit of Halloween sewing. And despite the fact that the patterns are for cosplay, there are some basic patterns that can be useful for daily wear as well. There are free patterns for hats, shirts, skirts,dresses,gloves,vests etc. for both Ladies and Men.

Just an example of Dr Cos’s past work on the blog

On the free patterns page, the projects are listed in categories, but not all the patterns are available for download yet.
無料型紙ダウンロード mean free pattern download.
製作中 – means under construction
ダウンロード販売中 – means pattern for sale.

When you click on the pattern, you will see an overview of the completed garment with difficulty level stated below (the above is level 3. with levels from 1-20)

Under the costume diagram, you will find the list of the patterns for download. which looks something like this.

The patterns may be free, but they are certainly look professional, here’s a sample from one of their pieces!


Hope you like today’s free link! From this month onwards, I will be back to blogging twice a week. Monday’s blog post will be about Japanese sewing book/magazines. And Thursday’s post will rotate between Free pattern links, fabrics, translation requests and maybe more of my own free patterns/tutorials.




Bags or Zakka Sewing Patterns Free Patterns Sew-along Sewing Tutorials Sewing Videos

Free Sewing Pattern, Tutorial and Video – Double zip pouch

May 27, 2013

Along with the theme of Zakka month, I decided to tackle something that has been baffling me for a while. How to make a double zip pouch with two compartments. Well actually I wanted to make one with 3 zips but I decided to try it out with the simpler version of 2 zips first.  It certainly looks like a simple pouch. But it can get a little confusing. It was only after trying to do the tutorial that I realize there were so many steps. It’s not that tough to sew though, and once you get the hang of it, it’s quite easy to do a second. In fact, the actual sewing time (minus the time taken to get confused) is actually quite short.

This time round I managed to finish the youtube video first (link below) so I used screen captures for the tutorial but the result meant some pictures end up with motion blur. Must remember to stop and “pose” during video filming 🙂

Anyway, here’s what I made.

I love these gold zips with the zip pulls.

Perfect for storing sewing supplies!

And here’s the youtube video. I had no choice but to take the video at night so the lighting was not the best.

Step by step instructions. Click on the thumbnails to view the full size image.

I hope you like this project and that it’s not too confusing. If you don’t mind, I need some feedback with regards to the display of tutorial images. I used to incorporate them all in a PDF file but the downloading of the PDF files was causing me some bandwidth trouble with the server. So I am putting up the images directly in the post instead. Right now I am using a built in gallery function in wordpress that shows the thumbnails in a grid format and you can click on it to browse the pictures. But would it be better if the full size images were just included in the post instead? The page might take longer to load since it has lots of images to load up, but will that be easier to refer to compared to the gallery format? Let me know your thoughts!