Hot! The Hallyu Dress | Adey Lim


DSCN0352The Facts

Fabric: 1.5 yards jersey fabric (I think it's matte jersey) received as a gift and 1 yard Michael Miller interlock knit fabric $10
Pattern: Adapted from Drape Drape Volume 1 Project 1 and Burda Magazine 11/2010/113
Year: c.  2010
Notions: None
Time to complete: 4 hours
First worn: 15 April 2011
Wear again? Absolutely!

Total Cost: ~$10

The term Hallyu/ 韓流 refers to the Korean Cultural Wave, a term first coined by Chinese media in the late 90s when highlighting the sweeping phenomenon in which Korean media products were enthusiastically hailed by countries in East and South East Asia. This unprecedented craze for Korean culture spread at an astonishing pace, stretching from content-based products such as films, music and television dramas to cultural hardware such as food, clothing and accessories. Today, Hallyu is still going strong. Here's me with a huge photo of kimchi at a crowded Korean restaurant after my lunch date with hubby. 


Besides being crazy about sewing, I'm also nuts about Korean food and television series. Almost every night after putting the kids to bed, hubby and I would be watching the latest in Korean drama series on DVD.  Well, more me than him but he's just sweet enough to watch with me. The well written plot and compelling story-line, not forgetting the good looking cast, have had me spellbound for quite sometime. It is not surprising then that Korean male celebrities are now among the highest-paid actors outside of Hollywood. 

DSCN0343When I found out about the television theme, I was starting to watch the series "Bad Boy", a very sad story of a boy who was growing up with his loving parents. One day,  he was told his dad was not his biological father and was sent to the house of his real father, a tycoon only to be abandoned by that family after a while. His step-mum tricked everyone into believing that he was not the tycoon's son and got herself a replacement with fake DNA test results. She also murdered his parents who loved him and plotted his death. However, the boy survived and grew up not knowing that his own family is now the target of his vengeance plot.  

Even as I got hooked by this story of revenge, I was equally attracted to the jersey dresses wore by the female character Hong Tae Ra from the series. She is often seen in drape knit dresses like these with the cowl neckline being her most signature style. 



Besides monotone, Tae Ra has also worn bright red and floral dresses in the show but I think she would wear the Hallyu dress with a matching eggplant colored belt and shoes while I've matched the ensemble with the red belt I made in February for the Valentines' Day challenge and red jelly wedges as I love the contrast. Well, that's just me :)

To create the bodice, I adapted Project 1 pattern from the Japanese sewing book Drape Drape Volume 1.  

The original cowl on the back and front were too low for me so I used the pattern piece for the front for both front and back, extended the sleeves to create cap sleeves and took away approximately 5 inches from the centre of the pattern piece so that it would be less low cut and a lot more wearable. I also didn't add any seam allowance as required by the original pattern. The result was a bodice with front and back cowl effect.


Besides the cowl neckline, I wanted to add some unique folds on the skirt inspired by this other dress she wore below. 


The skirt pattern from burda magazine was meant for thick woven fabric with some body (wool was recommended) but I thought it had potential to create some nice drapes on the skirt.

P4134058So, I had fun experimenting with a very different fabric and used the pattern on a eggplant colored matte jersey.  I did have to take in quite a bit on the sides to make it work and spent quite a bit of time getting the sides fixed. 

Do you like Korean food like me or have you watched a Korean film, series or works of Korean celebrities?  The films G.I. Joe (starring Lee Byeong Heon as Storm Shadow) and Speed racer (starring Rain as Taejo Tohokahn) have all used Korean talents, probably a result of Hallyu and the stars popularity throughout Asia.



Adey Sew Convert

A former kids' television channel manager turned stay home mum from Singapore, I hated sewing since I attended my first home economic class at the age of 14. In 2007, something miraculous happened when God blessed me with a second pregnancy. I discovered that I was expecting a baby girl. That changed everything. First I went crazy shopping for handmade clothes for her on etsy. Then I decided I needed to make something for her on my own. I was a month from my due date when I took an intensive 8-hour sewing class. In Dec 2008, I made a dress for my princess before she was born and have not stopped sewing since.


Comments are closed.

  1. The draping is so sophisticated and beautiful. I can’t believe this only took you 4 hours! And I love all things Korean, especially Korean food and cinema. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to get the latest Korean movies in the U.S!

  2. So lovely! Love the folds, even as a non-skirt wearing person. :)

  3. Adey, this is an incredible outfit. The consideration for the drape, and making it wearable, so smart! I love your inspiration spanning movies, TV and food! Well done!

  4. I love the shoes…bright red…so sensible but retro at the same time. I’m thinking I could wear these at some point after I’ve regained some more flexibility in my right ankle (I had surgery). What brand are these?

  5. I love it! great job on the draping. It looks amazing on you.
    I don’t think I have ever seen any Korean TV or movies, but I adore Korean food. Here in Toronto we can get any type of ethnic food imaginable and Korean is most definitely my favorite. I have even started to cook Korean at home fairly regularly. There is always Kimchi in the fridge.

  6. When I lived in Japan we spent a lot of time making fun of Yonsama and the middle-aged ladies who swooned over his scarves!

  7. Admittedly I know nothing about Korean culture, but I love your outfit this week! The skirt is really impressive. Those shoes are adorable.

  8. Very Pretty, I love it.Looks great on you..

  9. Great inspiration! I loved reading about the alterations you made to the drape drape pattern. I love the clothes in there, but they have such intense amounts of drape that they don’t seem wearable without wearing something underneath. I’ll have to start thinking about ways to tweak the patterns I have now.

  10. You are just superb, Adey!

  11. Love this outfit! And I loved learning a bit about the Korean media scene, something I did not know about :)

  12. Honestly Adey you should have your own line of clothing. You would really go big, I am sure of it. You amaze me every time with you beautiful skills. Awesome is the word that comes to mind about this outfit.
    BTW I LOVE Korean Soaps, as I have been calling them for years. I have watched so many over the years with English Subtitles. “The Bizarre Bunch” was probably my favorite but there are so many I love and even own a few. I love the clothes they wear on the shows.

  13. That is so cool! I never knew that Korean culture was so ubiquitous – now I want to watch that soap!
    I LOVE this outfit – it’s so hip but still looks classy! Way to go lady!

  14. Your outfit looks amazing on you! I had no idea there was such a craze for Korean culture that is really cool.

  15. I love cowl necks but have never managed to get one to work for me. The skirt looks much better in matte jersey than the stiffer wool of the Burda example.

  16. Thanks Jen! I'm so glad the matte jersey worked out! Phew! Enjoy the long weekend!

  17. Thank you so much Jessie! Yes, the Hallyu has been going strong for more than a decade and some Singaporeans even joined tour groups to Korea just to visit sites where dramas were filmed!

  18. Thank you Sarah!  I heart your dress too and that liberty fabric is to die for!

  19. Aw Sue, you are the sweetest! Your words give me strength, they keep me sewing, thank you so much! I think having a line of clothing would be too stressful LOL. Oh my goodness, you love Korean dramas too, how cool is that! I watch them in Mandarin with English subtitles cos have to lower the volume when the kids are sleeping. I'm inspired by the clothes they wear all the time! Have a blessed long weekend!

  20. Thanks Amanda! I am so glad you said that. I was actually deciding if I should do an American tv series which more readers would be familiar with but decided to go with my heart and do something I really wanted to do.

  21. Thanks so much Bethany and I have got to tell you that I adore the ruffled apron you did for the challenge, it's so simple and feminine!

  22. Thanks Seeks, I am happy you found that info useful. The drapes in the book are beautiful but most of the garments looked too shapeless (no waistline) or low cut. Making minor changes to the patterns to make them work (smaller armholes, higher necklines and perhaps combining elements of 2 patterns) is what I intend to do too and I'm glad we think alike!

  23. Thank you so much Judy! Appreciate the encouragement.

  24. Thank you so much Lisette, I'm so glad the skirt worked out :) You are so adorable in all your childhood photos btw and my fave is the last photo!

  25. LOL!  Yes, Mr Bae is the megastar indeed and honestly I didn't understand why till I caught the Hallyu bug and watched one of his dramas!

  26. Thank you so much Farah! I love kimchi too and it's so versatile-kimchi pancakes, kimchi fried rice, kimchi seafood soup are all within easy reach in your home!
    BTW, I have to add that I love the pleated collar you created for the kidding around dress! Wonderful inspiration!

  27. I hope you get well soon MB! They are from Gwen Stepfani's Harujuku Lovers and are super comfy to walk in. They run small so I got half a size up for mine. They are available on Modcloth and eBay.

  28. Thank you so much Cathe!

  29. Thank you Melissa. I didn't expect myself to finish so quickly either especially for the bodice! I find myself finishing jersey projects a lot faster. So glad you enjoy Korean food (any fave dish?) and films, it is more difficult to get the films in (even for us) perhaps something to do with their distribution process. I hope you have a great long weekend!

  30. I recently watched the Korean drama “Personal Taste”/개인의 취향 / Kaeinui Chwihyang. It’s cute and fun! I have really liked various Korean dramas (:
    This dress is so cute! I love the fabric choices.

  31. i was addicted to ‘the sungkyunkwan scandal’ and currently following the ‘the thorn bush’ on kbs world cable tv, on and off. i love eating at the crystal jade korean branch at ngee ann! haha..
    once again, love the colour combi and dress design. very very flattering look on you!

  32. Thank you Katherine! I've only watched an episode of "Personal Taste" on TV cos' I'm not so good following the schedule so I usually rely on DVDs :) If I am not wrong the lead actor also starred in "Flowers Before Boys" which I loved!

  33. Hey Fiona, I love eating at that Ngee Ann City Korean place too (they also have a branch at Centrepoint offering al la carte buffet and in my opinion totally worth it! ) and though I always leave smelling of BBQ, I still insist on doing my own cooking at the table…okay I am making myself hungry. LOL. Thank you so much, am so glad you like the dress! Btw, Starhub just launched a new Korean entertainment channel called ONE which you can check out when you are back. 

  34. You are so great at putting fabrics & patterns together. This is fabulous!

  35. I'm so glad you like the dress, thank you so much Casey and have a great long weekend!

  36. Joanne So Cannot Sew

    Hi Adey
    This looks so professional!! Love it.
    I am waiting for you to set up shop ;-)

  37. Thank you Jo! I'm a long way from setting up any shop, am just happy that you like it!

  38. I’m lucky I’ve been able to watch quite a lot of Korean dramas, I have a channel here in Richmond, VA that shows them on Thursday nights (Mhz Worldwide) I’ve seen Someday, Alone In Love, and The Grand Chef. I have a huge crush on actor Kim Rae-Won because of them.

  39. LOL! Wow, you are really lucky and updated too! I'm gonna watch The Grand Chef very soon :)

  40. Adey–I adore this skirt. What a fabulous shape and the drapes are so elegant! really great ensemble (as always :) I cannot wait to see your pattern for Grosgrain’s month of patterns–I’m definitely going to sew it up!

  41. I haven’t seen any Korean films or tv series you’ve mentioned, but I’m so intrigued!
    This is a really offbeat but really successful outfit Adey! I’m super impressed! That extra time you took getting the draping and skirt sides right, really has made it a darling design!
    Love those shoes too!

  42. Love the draping! Fabulous work! PS. I think I am in love with your shoes.

  43. Thank you so much Debi! I am so excited to see what everyone is coming up with for the entire month too!

  44. Thanks Veronica! It is quite different from what I’ve been sewing up. After doing Made Me March, I realized I needed more jersey dresses so this is one of those attempts. I adore these shoes too, they are surprisingly super comfortable!

  45. Thank you so much Meg! The shoes are from Harujuku Lovers (Gwen Stefani’s fashion line), surprising affordable and very comfy. I love them too!