The “In the Mood for Cheongsam” Dress
Fabric: Plaid from Kathy Hall’s Coffee Buzz Collection from Etsy ($6/yard)
Pattern: Recycled from my previous cheongsam, but you can also use #5331 from Modern Sewing Patterns
Notions: Crochet floral trims, black piping, eye and hook fastener, invisible zip (~$2)
Time to complete: 7 hours (including drafting)
First worn: Chinese New Year Day 1!
Wear again? Yesyesyes!
Total Cost: ~$10
It’s the first day of the Lunar New Year today (23 Jan) in Singapore and most of us (Chinese) dressed up in our prettiest clothes to visit our friends and relatives to celebrate the occasion. In the Chinese tradition, clothes, shoes and whatnot are brandnew. It signifies a brand new start to a new year. I choose to make a new cheongsam to complement the occasion.
My cheongsam is inspired by what Maggie Cheung wore in the movie “In The Mood for Love”. In fact, I adore all the cheongsams featured in the film! So here’s my own version of MTL.
The pattern is very straightforward: cheongsam bodice (which is modified from the bodice block) with an extended A-line for the bottom. The tricky part of drafting cheongsam bodice is that it must be fitting. What I did previously was to use my bdoice block, made a muslin, tried it on, alter any imperfect bits and redraw the bodice. The closet commercial pattern I can find online is #5331 from Modern Sewing Patterns. You may also like to try B8438 Burda Style.
After watching the film, I went straight to Etsy to look for fabrics with contemporary and edgy prints. I was so so so glad to have found Plaid by Kathy Hall’s Coffee Buzz collection. It’s almost the exact same prints as the original!!!
I noticed the use of crochet floral trim and managed to find matching black ones in my stash. The other colour I have is cream which doesn’t blend well with the white base of the fabric. Instead of outlining both the collar the and curve, I chose the latter and added black piping to the collar and arm hole. The opening of the collar is also attached with eye and hook and the rest of the dress secured with a invisible zip at the back.