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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Chinese New year / Homecoming

The theme for homecoming this year was Chinese New Year.  My middle daughter had out grown the only Asian dress she had so had the youngest.  So Saturday morning I set to work on making a dress for the middle daughter to wear to the dance that night took 7 hours to make not bad really.

The dress I made is in the one in the photo above on the right with the red frog closures on my middle daughter (17 years).  The other is a shirt on the left I owned that I gave to my youngest ( 15 years)   but tallest daughter ( 5 foot 9 inches) for the dance to wear.  Afterward I just let her keep it because she liked it so much and had outgrown her Asian dress.

I already owned the blue silk fabric. I wish it had been red as it would have more appropriate for the holiday.  It had been waiting since 2009 for me to find a good project for it the other fabrics in that post have log since been used.    But I am sure the fabric is older than that as it had been in the other person's stash for a while before I got it. I still have a lot of the thread and the small hide shown in the other post.   The photo to the right is pretty true to color some of the other photos are not so well matched to the color.

While I was working on the dress for her to wear, my middle daughter, while laying in bed was working on making some hair pieces for her and her younger sister to wear at the dance.  The youngest daughter also in bed did most of the stringing of the beads onto the wire.  While the middle one did all the wire manipulation to create the beautiful hair ornaments below.  Here are some up close detailed photos of the hair pieces.

My daughters actually went stag to the dance as originally they  had not planned on going because of being sick.  The middle daughter wanted a new dress and to see some of her old friends as she no longer goes to that school.  I usually either make a dress or buy a thrift shop dress that I embellish.  So she knew she would get a dress if she went.  Usually I have more than 24 hours notice.  One of her best friends also went stag so they hung out together was nice that they both had someone to be with  Especially since neither really wanted to be at the dance because of not feeling well .  You can see the beaded hair ornament on the back of her head in this photo to the left.

I am currently residing in my sister in laws home where I live in the basement as some remodeling work is done on my home.  Water and mold damage.  So I don't have a lot of space to do projects but there is this nice long hallway that leads to my room.  I laid the fabric out there so I could cut it.  The pattern I used was Simplicity 8244 a reproduction of a 1950's pattern (2016) view A.  Although I am not found of how they assembled the pattern next time I will put the zipper under the right arm not the left as it will line up with button flap.  Also will not sew the button flap shut as the pattern tells you too at the bottom of it makes it hard to put on.  It would be much easier to put on with these two modifications as the opening for the neck waist area would be twice as big.  I have no idea what someone was thinking when they made this pattern that way.  I also would change the way the side slits are made.  Get rid of the slit modesty panel and make the slip about 4 inches taller as it binds a little to much at the knees not good for ballroom dancing which my daughter loves.

The below over exposed photo is when I had the dress half made
This above photo was the finished dress after 7 hours of cutting and sewing.  I might go back and make the modifications to the bodice that I don't like in the pattern now that the dance is over.  The frog closures or knots where hand made by my middle daughter specifically for this dress.  The only embellishments on this dress are the frog closure's and the black piping trim I put around the collar and the neck opening flap and sleeve openings.  Hard to tell in the photo but there is small hints of red in the fabric and my daughter wanted more red since it was being made for Chinese New Year and I couldn't find red pipping in my stash so this is how we worked that out. Since there was also black details in the fabric I added both colors.
This is the video tutorial my daughter followed to learn how to make the frog closure.  I did not make the video but it had embedding available  so I put it here for easy reference but all rights are still owned by the creator.

Both of my daughters being  silly with their friend after the dance was over.  Because of running errands half of the  day and both girls being ill my girls only made it to half of the dance.  It started at 8 and ended at 11 but they only went from 9:30 to 11 since being ill. I don't think they could have handled the entire dance.  But I think they both had fun which is a nice change of things.

This is the other beaded hair piece my daughters made together one stringing and one manipulating the wire. The above hair piece was warn by the daughter to the left long with two hair sticks you see in the photo.  You can't see the beads in the photo as she let her hair down half way through the dance.  She put it back up at the end of the dance without putting the beads back in her hair. It had been on the side of her bun.


  1. Your daughters are lucky you have amazing dress making skills. Most don't get custom-made dresses.

    1. thank you for your comment. But I am lucky to have them for children too they are amazing young ladies.

  2. Yes, your daughters are lucky to have a mum who can whip up a dress for them at short notice! It seems that they are talented too, with their hair pieces.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. My middle daughter started making the flowers after it got hard for me to make so many things in such a short time a few years ago when all three daughters where going to high school dances. She enjoys making and keeping them. It also gives her an excuse to use mom's beads to make things.

  3. A creative & beautiful family !!! Love the dresses you designed - my favourite cut :-) The entire ensemble, with hair pieces, is very elegant.

    1. Thank you we live to make stuff and if we can do it together it makes us happier. Thank you for your kind words to my family


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