Thursday, March 27, 2014

Chinese costume request for school, this time I'm excited!

My daughter will be co-hosting a China and Egypt presentation at the school assembly, and she asked me to make her a Chinese dress. Being a huge (Chinese) embroidery fan and having a husband who collects Chinese textiles, I thought I ought to research and make something inspired by a traditional Chinese dress.

After an hour of browsing ( I got only a week to finish the costume) I came across a few resources describing Hanfu, a traditional dress worn by Han Chinese people.

"The hanfu is now worn during some festivals or coming of age/rite of passage ceremonies, by hobbyists or historical re-enactors, by Taoist, Confucian or Buddhist monks and priests during religious ceremonies, or as a cultural exercise. It is often seen in Chinese television serials, films and other forms of media entertainment. There is also a movement in China and some overseas Chinese communities to revive Han Chinese clothing in daily life and incorporate it into Chinese festivals or celebrations." (Source: Wikipedia)

12th-century Chinese painting of The Night Revels of Han Xizai (韓熙載夜宴圖) showing musicians dressed in Hanfu

Shenyi (深衣) a type of Han Chinese clothing commonly worn from the pre-Shang periods to the Han Dynasty. This form is known as the quju (曲裾) and worn primarily by women.

Two traditional forms of ruqun (襦裙), a type of Han Chinese clothing worn primarily by women. Cuffs and sleeves on the upper garment may be tighter or looser depending on style. A short skirt or weighted braid (with weight provided by a jade or gold pendant) is sometimes worn to improve aesthetics or comfort of the basic ruqun.

I got to make the pattern based on her sloper, but the style is quite straight forward, so I am not worried about that. Just have to focus on this project step-by-step.

... Besides this, I got to muslins to fine tune for my next Burdastyle project, and an event which takes place  in three weeks. Three garments in less than four week, I better get back to sewing :)..

Isn't it awesome when something just clicks in and resonates with your wishes and mood? I find traditional costumes and techniques so inspiring: I already explored every single traditional costume museum in South Bavaria where my in-laws live. Here, in Cyprus, I am half-way done... Love what I see and what I can make.


  1. How fun to get the opportunity to try something different!

  2. After I read your blog yesterday, Peter, at malepatternboldness, had just received a book of Chinese patterns! Called flatness Folded!

    1. what a coincidence, I should go over and check it out :) thanks

  3. Your husband collects textiles? How cool that you have an overlapping interest!! I'm excited to see this!

  4. That's very exciting and different - I'll be watching with interest. Maybe you can make one for yourself too!



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