Thursday, February 23, 2017

Girls' Chinese Qipao Take 2

It looks like I'm stuck on red this week.
C showed me a little Chinese coin purse last week and asked if I could make her a kimono/qipao dress with slits on the side, to match her purse. She still doesn't have a very clear idea about which dress represents which Asian country. I kind of wanted to make a kimono  myself as I've never made one before and remembering the beautiful version on my sewing sister Marisa's blog, I messaged her immediately. A few messages back and forth later, I realized how much fabric it's involved to make a yutaka, which is a casual summer kimono. At the price of the expensive Asian theme printed cotton from Stitch 'n Stuff, a yukata is going to cost me an arm and a leg.

Luckily, C specifically mentioned slits --- a qipao it is! I made one exactly a year ago and that dress was already quite tight on her even when it was just freshly finished. She's worn it once -- one morning to be precise. Compared to her usual tee shirt and shorts style, that dress was a torture. But I was very surprised she wanted me to make another one.
This is a free pattern from here. This time around, I measured C from top to toe and then generously chose the biggest size available, a size 9yr on my 7-year-old. I'm not a fan of synthetic brocade fabric, and I'm too timid to play with real silk, so 100% printed cotton is the way to go. Our local sewing center also doesn't always have sufficient amount or colors of frog buttons, so here I am, using only one again. To be honest, it would look too busy to me with any more frog buttons.
I've been playing songs in Mandarin in the car constantly for over a month, thanks to my decennial Asian booster. Even C's singing those songs and she says once she was doing it in the class subconsciously and the teacher said, "Who's humming?". Oops... 
And guess what? She wants to wear it next year on Valentine's Day. I just hope it  will still fit her by then.
OK. That's enough red for now. Next week I shall try aim at simple chic. ;-)
Have a great weekend.


  1. This is really stunning! I love the yellow binding with the red fabric. I'm all for making things a bit big when it comes to a close-fitting grment like a qipao - otherwise they grow out of them way too quickly!

    1. Thank you. Now I need some special occasions to fully make use of this dress before it becomes "last season". :-D