Jessica Sews a Cheongsam

by | May 23, 2022

Jessica Sews a Cheongsam…

Jessica came to me for one to one sewing lessons about 2 years after she had moved to the UK from China.

She was missing certain aspects of Chinese culture and wanted to make herself a Cheongsam. As well as other types of Chinese clothing.

A Cheongsam is exactly what comes to mind when you think of a traditional Chinese dress. But actually these dresses first became popular in Shanghai in the 1920’s. The style is slim fitting with a stand up collar, usually with an asymmetric fastening to the front neck/shoulder.

Using a pattern from Folkwear Jessica learned the skills with me to create this stunning dress. The fabric she used was an old sheet. Which once the dress was made up, Jessica overdyed it with a fabric dye to create this gorgeous pink colour with the floral print still visible.

Making pattern alterations

Due to Jessica’s petite frame we had a few alterations to do to the patterns and the Folkwear pattern doesn’t provide any markings for darts. Suggesting instead that you try the Cheongsam on to pin the correct position on your body before sewing them in place.

We have transferred these alterations and darts to Jessica’s pattern. That will mean, when she makes it again at home she will have the perfect help without needing assistance to do the alterations.

The shaping and darts meant we had to add an invisible zip.

The final stage of the dress was making the frog fastenings. There are instructions within the pattern for a few different versions.

They are a handmade corded knot button and loop with embellishments as you choose. Jessica opted for a scroll finish on her frogs.

Jessica Sews a Cheongsam frogs

I think the finished result is stunning! Who knew what a beautiful dress could be created from an old bed sheet when Jessica sews a Cheongsam.

Perfect to share with you on Reduce, Reuse, Recycle week of the current Series of the Great British Sewing Bee when they were making dresses from old duvet covers.

Do you have a dream dress you would love to make a reality? Book a free 30 minute consultation to chat about how I can help you make that happen.

In the Love & Stitches Club I help newbie sewists go from the frustration of making clothes that don’t look or fit right and never get worn to confidently creating clothes that get compliments. Want to find out more?

Love & Stitches

Alison xx

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