Watermark Chinese Dress

By chloe • Sewing • 30 Oct 2011

My very first sewing project other than hemming pants.

Made in 2009 while I was living in Tokyo and had a few Chinese dresses (qipao) custom made in Shanghai. One day on a whim I decided to make my own. The pattern is from a Japanese sewing book, エレガントにチャイナ服 by 月居良子. The instructions are so very good they became my first sewing lesson. The front panels and high collar of a Chinese dress is not your typical beginner’s techniques so I’m very grateful for the author’s painstaking details in her book (in fact, all her books).

The fabric is light purple cotton with watermark print. It has a slight one-way stretch that works well for the tight fitting style. Since it was my very first garment a lot of things were make-do. I didn’t have purple colored thread, so white lace trimming was used to disguise some seam stitches.

The pattern has a looser fit than ideal but nonetheless a great basic pattern to start with. After a few fittings the dress fits like a glove =)

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