The Hallyu Dress | Adey Lim
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
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.
When 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.
So, 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.