Hot! The “In the Mood for Cheongsam” Dress

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Facts

FabricPlaid 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
Year:  Traditional?
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.

Author

Tiffany

Educator; Musician; Leisure Seamstress I have always wanted to turn bundles of cloths to wearable pieces since young. It was finally a dream come true in February 2010 when I began my lessons at Kadomay. No turning back ever since! I love colours, cheongsams, lace, dresses, anything aesthetically pleasing. I don’t believe in ready paper patterns. I draft my own patterns. I love to feel, see, smell and touch cloths. I love the sound produced when you cut a piece of fabric (with a pair of sharp scissors of course). My dress-making motto Minimalist, sophisticated, elegant, to be worn at any time of day (Coco Chanel)

57 Comments

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  1. Gorgeous! Simply gorgeous. Great job!

  2. This is lovely. You look very much so like the woman in the original image!

  3. This is really nice!!! How great to be able to make your own cheongsam! I really like it. Did you refer much to the free pattern online when you drafted the cheongsam? I was wondering how good is the fit on this free pattern

    • Thanks Sertyan! The pattern is drafted from scratch based on my own measurements. If you have a bodice block, you can add about 1-1.5cm of allowance and draft the curve from the center front to about 3cm below the armhole. Hope it helps!

    • Thanks Sertyan! I drafted the pattern from scratch based on my measurements but edited it slightly after trying on the muslin. If you have a bodice block, you can try adding about 1-1.5cm allowance at the sides and add the curve from center front to about 3cm below the armhole. Hope it helps!

    • Thanks Sertyan! I drafted the pattern from scratch based on my measurements. If you have a bodice block, you can add about 1-1.5cm of allowance at the side and draw the curve from center front to about 3cm down away from the arm hole. Hope it helps!

    • Thanks Sertyan! It was drafted from scratch based on my own measurements, edited it slightly after trying on the muslin. If you have a bodice block, you can add 1-1.5cm allowance to the sides and draw the curve from center front to about 3cm down away from the arm hole. Hope it helps!

    • Thanks Sertyan! It was drafted based on my own measurements, edited it slightly after trying on the muslin. If you have a bodice block, you can add 1-1.5cm allowance to the sides and draw the curve from center front to about 3cm down away from the arm hole. Hope it helps!

    • Thanks Sertyan. I did not refer to the pattern, but drew it based on my measurements. It is very much similar to basic block. If you have one, you may add about 1-1.5cm allowance to the sides and draw the curve from center back to about 3cm down away from the arm hole. Hope it helps!

    • Thanks Sertyan! Indeed it is! Saves me a lot of money :p The pattern was drafted based on my measurements. If you have a bodice block, you can add about 1-1.5cm of allowance at the side and draw the curve from the center back to about 3cm down away from the arm hole. Hope it helps!

    • Thanks Sertyan! Indeed it is! Saves me a lot of money :p I don’t use commercial patterns so the pattern was drafted based on my measurements. If you have a bodice block, you can add about 1-1.5cm of allowance at the side and draw the curve from the center back to about 3cm down away from the arm hole. Hope it helps!

    • Thanks Sertyan! Indeed it is! Saves me a lot of money :p The pattern was drafted based on my measurements. If you have a bodice block, you can modify it by adding about 1-1.5cm of allowance at the side and draw the curve from the center back to about 3cm down away from the arm hole. Hope it helps!

    • Thanks Sertyan! It is! Saves me a lot of money :p The pattern was drafted based on my measurements. If you have a bodice block, you can modify it by adding about 1-1.5cm of allowance at the side and draw the curve from the center back to about 3cm down away from the arm hole. Hope it helps!

    • Thanks Sertyan. It is! Saves me alot of money too :p I drafted the pattern based on my measurements. You can try to alter from your bodice block, by adding about 1-1.5cm allowance at the side and the curve from center front to about 3cm down away from the arm hole. Hope it helps!

    • Thanks Sertyan. It is! Saves me alot of money too :p I drafted the pattern based on my measurements. You can try to alter from your bodice block, by adding about 1-1.5cm allowance at the side and the curve from center front to about 3cm down away from the arm hole. Make a muslin first to make sure it fits before cutting on the actual fabric Hope it helps!

    • Thanks Sertyan. It is! Saves me alot of money too :p I drafted the pattern based on my measurements. You can try to alter from your bodice block, by adding about 1-1.5cm allowance at the side and the curve from center front to about 3cm down away from the arm hole. Make a muslin first to make sure it fits and edit the pattern if need to before cutting on the actual fabric. Hope it helps!

    • Thanks Sertyan. It is! Saves quite a bit of money too :p You should try it too!

      I drafted the pattern based on my measurements. You can try to alter from your bodice block, by adding about 1-1.5cm allowance at the side and the curve from center front to about 3cm down away from the arm hole. Make a muslin first to make sure it fits and edit the pattern if need to before cutting on the actual fabric. Hope it helps!

    • Thanks Sertyan. It is! Saves quite a bit of money too :p I drafted the pattern based on my measurements. You can try to alter from your bodice block, by adding about 1-1.5cm allowance at the side and the curve from center front to about 3cm down away from the arm hole. Make a muslin first to make sure it fits and edit the pattern if need to before cutting on the actual fabric. Hope it helps!

  4. Very pretty! It’s amazing how close you got to matching the original. Is that lace or little buttons running down from the neck?

  5. Happy Chinese New Year! What a great cheongsam. Your inspiration pic is breathtaking. Must give that movie another look. Beautiful.

  6. Oh I love that film, and I love your dress, I’m a big fan of black and white and your dress. Just lovely.

  7. That’s awesome, you look gorgeous!

  8. I love the elegance of the cheongsam. The floral trim is a lovely touch.

  9. I love the elegance of the cheongsam – the floral trim is a lovely touch.

  10. Wow – it looks amazing, just like the one in the picture. Very nice, congratulations!

  11. Happy New Year! It’s great that you made a new dress to celebrate.

  12. Love this print for this dress!

  13. Gorgeous! I absolutely love the fabric, and the fit and trim are perfect. Also – your inspiration! LOVE Wong Kar-wai.

  14. Happy New Year! That is a perfect looking dress to celebrate in!

  15. @sertyan I don’t know why but I can’t seem to reply to your comment. Anyways, here it is:

    “Thanks Sertyan. It is! Saves quite a bit of money too :p You should try it too!

    I drafted the pattern based on my measurements. You can try to alter from your bodice block, by adding about 1-1.5cm allowance at the side and the curve from center front to about 3cm down away from the arm hole. Make a muslin first to make sure it fits and edit the pattern if need to before cutting on the actual fabric. Hope it helps!”

  16. Wow this matches the inspiration picture so much! Well done you! Happy New Year!

    • Thanks Sobertsurprise! You can imagine my excitement when I saw the fabric on etsy!! It’s still on sale. Go grab it! Love the fabric so much!!

  17. What a great copy! Very nice!

  18. It’s stunning! The details and fabric are just perfect for this – well done!

  19. Just lovely. I have total garment envy! The fabric is just ideal for this dress. Great job!