January: Sewing for CNY

Earlier this year, I targeted to sew a shift dress for myself every month. Well it totally slipped my preggie brain that I will most likely be spending January sewing for the Chinese New Year in February! I did just that except that I was sewing for our little friend (and got distracted by a maternity skirt).

For CNY 2016, I planned to wear a loose fit cheongsam that I made last year for Teachers’ Day. The cheongsam was made from a beautiful batik bought in Bali and we had plans to make a family outfit with it. CNY 2016 was the time to! I had intended to make a shirt for the husband but my test attempt wasn’t quite successful so we sent his shirt for tailoring instead. I spent the second half of January working on a little cheongsam: a shift dress for my daughter. Goal half met?
I drafted a bodice block based on Pattern Drafting (a book we photocopied from our teacher) and a few dresses of her size. Feeling unconfident, I went on Singapore Spoolettes for recommendation of patterns for 2yo girls and was recommended the Tinny Dress from Straight Grain. It has the shape that I am looking for and I used it for a size reference. I cut out the size for 2yo but it looks really huge for our little friend. Using Tinny as a guide, I did some modifications to the original pattern that I drafted and here is what I made.

The dress was made from the fabric scraps from nursing dress so I had some issues with the length of the dress. I had planned for a cheongsam dress but decided to make a 2-piece dress instead. The skirt portion was a piece of light weight crimson cotton from Perth. I finished the dress in 3 nights, of which I spent the last night hand stitching the insides of the collar. There is still room for improvement on how I handle the mandarin collar. Not my neatest work, but that will do for now. Planning a family outfit is so fun and I have already have some idea for CNY 2017, with another one joining us!

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