Tuesday, 9 July 2013

A Teal Chinese Dress with Kimono Sleeves

Have you ever over ate your favourite food? Or listened to your favourite song 100 times too many? I feel like this is what happened with this dress.

I was so excited and worked and worked and worked on it and now I am just declaring it finished and hanging it in my closet glad to not look at it for a while!

I still like it, I just need a good long break :)

Obviously I need more patience. If I had a wish it would be to be able to complete a project a day! I want to be that fast. I remember in my younger years when my grandmother (a professional seamstress) came to visit us, she made my sister a Cinderella costume in less than 24 hours. Her dress was beautiful and I was so impressed! Speed baby, I need to learn efficient speed. Anyhow,

The moment I saw this fabric I fell in love with the colour. I NEEDED it.

After draping a few different ideas, I decided to stick to my obsession: the Chinese dress. 

I love this look with a kimono sleeve and slanted folds down the front.

I used the same pattern that I made for the Etro knock-off dress I made in April. 

The fabric itself might be too hot for summer (I prefer lightweight poly/cotton/lawn blends for summer dresses) so the sleeves will be nice to wear come autumn/winter.

The collar came out almost perfect.

The folds were tricky because I wanted the stitches to be hidden, but the fabric wasn't really letting me, which is fine, so they turned out more like this:

Bearing in mind this is only the second time I have ever tried to make a Chinese dress, I am still making mistakes and cutting wrong is so unforgiving. The shoulders ended up too tight so I tried to make an extra shoulder piece to make up the difference. All those extra serged seams on the inside made it bulky so I made a seam sewing them down.

Note to self: remember to make the sleeves the same on both sides! It turned out looking kind of cool and matched the diagonal seams going down the front.

I might just cut it all off and have it be sleeveless but I am still undecided.

Also, note to self: when making sleeves with trimmings-
1. serge your edge
2. fold and make your seam
3.  hand sew the piping
4. THEN close the sleeve and add onto your garment.

Trimmings: black piping and frog clips on collar, down the front and on the sleeves.
With that comes hand sewing and I really struggled with it!

(left) Piping up on the collar VS (right) Piping around the collar.

It looks better (to me) up on the collar because it seems to elongate the neck area but I couldn't get it to look right with my novice hand sewing so I did it around the neck instead.

First time putting in a zipper! I eyeballed the Chinese dress I bought in London years ago and tried to do the same thing.

Here is the finished piece:

It looks nothing like the one I draped up top huh? That's okay. I have a vision, I still have that vision, I am just trying to figure out how to get there.

Mistakes are okay. If I had someone showing me everything step by step, it might have turned out better but with mistakes comes an understanding of WHY things are done a certain way. It does take extra time to fix but that's life. Mistakes are quick to make but take time to fix. Live and learn has been my motto for a while now. There is so much we are still learning in our individual lives. No matter what happens, I just keep telling myself: IT'S OKAY!

Thanks for stopping by!


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