Handmade Cheongsam for my kids for the Monkey Year

I thought that I will not be sewing any Chinese New Year clothing for my little girls. I am busy to the max and have no idea what to sew. I am also lazy to trace out patterns from the books plus time is not on my side (less than a week to the festive season).

Until I chanced upon a free girls Cheongsam tutorial from Japanese Sewing Books website which has a step-by-step tutorial plus YouTube videos to refer. You can check out her tutorial here. I followed Yi Farn's blog closely as I love reading about Japanese books and magazines reviews. I am an avid Japanese sewing and craft books and magazines reader even though I could not understand Japanese. Luckily for me, the instructions are pictorial and quite easy to follow after a few tries. :)

I set myself a goal to complete the 2 cheongsams within 2 days. Not impossible with midnight oils! By the way, it is my first try on sewing Cheongsam. I selected one of my favourite Lecien Fabrics from Japan of the Flower Sugar series and checked if I have the rest of the materials at home. I went to Chong Pang wet market the next morning to purchase the silk bias tapes, invisible zippers and Chinese knots.

Materials needed for the sewing.
I printed out the pdf patterns from the website (see above) and arranged before pasting and cutting them out. I did both cheongsams at the same time. Then I cut out the fabrics and serge the parts needed. In fact, I sewed with my machine and my laptop alongside so that I can refer while preparing the next steps. Sewing the silk bias tape was tricky for me as the stitches were not consistent and I had to unstitch a few times to make sure both sides were sewed.

I stumbled upon my first hurdle during installation of the invisible zipper onto the apparel. I realised I do not own any invisible zip footer for my machine. Argh! I googled if there were an alternative and asked my friends. Most concluded that using the invisible zip footer will be so much easier. Well, I did not have much time. In my desperation, I picked up my needle and thread and handsew the zipper manually. It turned out pretty well I must say.

Handsew the invisible zipper is a good alternative if you don't own the footer.
Lastly, installing the metal snap buttons and Chinese knots can take a long time as the kids had to try out the apparels many times just to be sure the positions were correct. The children are so happy that they have their first Cheongsam and specially made by their mummy.

Buttons and knots are up.

Maiden piece

I love the flower patchwork print of this Flower Sugar from Lecien Fabrics. Just nice for the Chinese New Year theme. Maybe I should sew up more cute dresses for them and not wait for the festive seasons. I am going to try on pajamas with button holes after Chinese New Year for my next sewing project. Wish me luck!

Happy Monkey Year to all and Gong Xi Fa Cai!


  1. Love the cheongsam and the choice of fabric! Happy LNY to you and family!

    1. Thanks Jean. And Happy new year to you and family too.

  2. I have no idea what u just said (sewing terms just flew by me) but super nice! Shd do one for yourself to complete the set hahaha good job!

    1. Hee. Unfortunately, there is no ready size for me to use and I have no idea how to draft out by myself. ;) Thanks for dropping by.


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