For my son's first Chinese New Year, I decided to make him a traditional Chinese New Year outfit to wear when we visited families during the Chinese New Year holidays. I don't have a pattern/tutorial to work with so I had to learn everything on my own. I could go to Pacific Mall and buy an outfit, but if I did, then I wouldn't have learned how to make and sew bias strips, taught myself the traditional art of Chinese knotting, and sew baby booties!
Here are the steps I took to create the Chinese outfit for my son:
Part 1 — Create the Patterns
Part 2 — Make double fold bias strips.
There are many online tutorials on how to make and sew bias strips, so I'll skip my tutorial on this subject.
For the finish hat, and cuffs: I cut strips of fabric 4 inches wide to create a 1 inch strip.
For the collar and front: I cut strips of fabric 2 inches wide to create a half inch strip.
Part 3 — Putting the outfits together.
MAKE THE PANTS
The pants were the first piece I made. I've never sewn pants before, but here are the following steps I took:
Step 1a and 1b: Pin fabric right sides together and sew the sides of each leg.
Step 2a and 2b: Sew the bias strips
Step 3: Pin right sides together and sew. Repeat for the back.
Step 4: Pin right sides together and sew.
Step 5: Fold over, sew, and add elastics.
MAKE THE TOP
Here are the steps I took to sew the top:
Step 1: Sew the bias strip. Repeat for the other arm.
Step 2: Pin right sides together, sew the shoulder. Repeat for the other side.
Step 3: Pin right sides together, and sew the arm piece to the front and back. Repeat for the other side.
Step 4: Pin right sides together, and sew the sides. Repeat for the other side.
Step 5: Sew on the collar.
Step 6: Sew the bias strip along the edge.
Part 4 — Make the Chinese button knots.
This is the stage where it stressed me out the most. It's a bit confusing to learn, partly because I was looking at black and white illustrations. So I hope my colourful photographs will make it easier for you to follow.
MAKE THE FABRIC "STRING"
1. Cut a long strip of fabric about 1 inch in width, and by approximately 30 inch long.
2. Fold in half, wrong sides together, and press (you end up with half inch by 30 inch fabric)
3. Open and fold BOTH the long edges towards the center, and press.
4. Fold in half and stitch close to the folded edge.
MAKE THE BUTTON KNOT
Working over a foam surface (such as a sofa cushion), follow the steps in the following illustrations. The colour pins represents each steps.
|Start by putting a red pin in the middle of the string. Then blue...|
|Remove all and pins and pull where the red pins are...|
|You will have something like this...|
|Get rid of the top loop by...|
|moving the string through the knot.|
|A Chinese button knot|
Cut off excess fabric, leaving about 1.5 inch of string.
Burn the ends so it doesn't fray (I tapped it over a burner).
Hand sew the buttons onto the outfit.
Part 5 — Make the hat.
The hat was a copied from one of his many sleeper hats. However, I added a one inch bias strip around the edge, and a button on top to finish it off.
Part 5 — Make the booties.
With left over fabrics, I found an online pattern to create these cute little booties to complete his Chinese New Year outfit.