The simple cheongsam dress, also known as a qipao, is considered to be the traditional Chinese dress. This is what you often see worn by workers at Chinese restaurants. It features a high neck that closes with braided rope knots. The fabric is usually bright-colored and has a variety of designs on it such as embroidered flowers, butterflies, dragons and other characters and shapes. These types of dresses are fairly easy to make in a few simple steps with a pattern, material and embellishments.
- Buy a basic qipao or chenongsam pattern at your local fabric shop. You can also find a pattern online, in Halloween supply shops or in the Halloween costume section of pattern books.
Purchase the supplies you need. This includes fabric, thread and braided closures. The braided closures are typically called “frogs.” You can also purchase material and frogs online. Be sure to use a fabric that is bright colored and covered with flower designs and shapes.
Traditional cheongsam or qipao dresses are usually made from silk or satin and feature brocade or jacquard designs. Also check the pattern for any other supplies you may need such as buttons or zippers.
Cut the pattern pieces from the enclosed paper inside the pattern and pin the pieces to the material following the guide that comes with the pattern.
Using a sharp pair of fabric scissors, cut the material carefully along the pattern lines. Pin the pieces together as instructed.
- Sew the material together on your sewing machine following the directions on the pattern. Use small stitches that will last longer and limit the give or pull in the fabric.
- Thread a needle with thread that matches your material. Sew the frog closures to the dress following the instructions on your pattern.
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