Make, Jane, make!: Baby Qipao Tutorial, Part 2


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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Baby Qipao Tutorial, Part 2

Had a brief intermission to wax nostalgic about my mom's cookie cutters and the era they hail from and now I'm back to part two of this qipao photo tutorial (you can find Part One here).

So we left off with the puffed sleeves attached to each bodice half, like so:

Now to measure and attach the mandarin collar; using the neckline of your bodice, measure from the centre back to the point at the front where you want the collar to end. On my qipao this is the part of the neckline that has overcast stitching on it.

Cut two rectangles that = (the measured length of your collar) x (2.5 inches).

Fold one of the short ends in by 1/2 inch (to form a hem) then fold the collar in half lengthwise.

Serge or overcast the unfinished edges. I only did the bottom edge because I don't mind the fabric fraying a bit on the other short edge which will be enclosed in bias tape shortly. If your fabric is fraying a lot then, by all means overcast/serge as needed.

Fold and iron down a 1/2 inch hem on the back seam of each bodice piece. Pin your collars into place and sew together. You can see that my mandarin collar didn't extend that far into the front of the garment because I thought it would be uncomfortable for baby. However, she didn't seem to mind the collar at all and if I were to do it again, I would definitely have extended the collar to end just below her cheeks.

It's all starting to come together now, isn't it? I was getting excited at this part too because I knew I was in the home stretch... Attach your bias tape to both bodice pieces, starting at the back seam and continuing along the collar and down the neckline and ending where the bodice will eventually be joined to the skirt. I'm lazy and simply fold the bias tape over the edge and start sewing, I did use a few pins to hold all the turns in place, but you should attach the bias tape using whatever method you feel most comfortable with. Here's a great pictorial if you're not sure and the second part deals with mitring any corners.

Okay, final fit check if your model is available. Pin (or baste) the bodice pieces together so that the two back seam hems overlap and the fronts are crossed over one another. You could make minor adjustments at this point and choose to overlap the front a little more or little less.

Next, measure around the bodice to determine the waistline measurement and measure your model from armpit to knee (for a knee length skirt).

Cut a rectangle that = (waistline measurement + 1 inch) x (armpit to knee length + 1 inch)

In my dress, I added a little extra to the waistline so that I could add some pleats to the front of the skirt. I didn't remember to take any pictures so I chose to write up these instructions with a pencil skirt (which is more traditional anyway). Alternately, you could add a lot extra to the waistline and gather the skirt.

Overcast or serge one of the long edges and both short edges. Fold and stitch a hem on the remaining long edge.

With the right sides facing, sew the two short ends together to form the tube skirt using a 1/2-inch seam allowance, leave 2-inches at the top of skirt open. This will lengthen opening at the back of the dress making it much easier to dress baby. You can omit these next steps if you've chosen a stretchy fabric because the opening at the back of the bodice will likely be stretchy enough to accomodate her head and shoulders.

Now if you've pinned your bodice pieces so that the right-hand bodice piece overlaps the left, like I have, then you you should iron the skirt seam to the left. (Vice versa if you choose to have back seam overlap the other way). This will result in a fold on one side of the skirt seam and no fold on the other side.

Insert the bodice upside-down and right-side out into the skirt pin them together (their right sides will be facing). Notice that the when I pinned the skirt to the bodice, the folded side of the skirt seam is aligned with the side of the bodice that overlaps and the unfolded side of the skirt seam is aligned with the bodice side that is underneath.

Sew the bodice and skirt pieces together. Do some ironing. Turn everything right-side out. Add some snaps and you'll have this:

I apologise if this two part tutorial was not clear, I tried my best. Please comment or email if you're trying to use my instructions and need some clarification.

Perhaps, next year when I do this all again, I'll just make up a pattern and post that instead :)

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