Went in search of cheongsam fabric today - I wanted a printed satin fabric, so planned on going to arab street originally because generally more choice of satin there.
But got lazy and went to chinatown instead. If I had gone to Arab, I would still have had to stop by Chinatown as I can't get zippers & thread at Arab.
One of the most frustrating things for me is not being able to find appropriate fabric for a particular project - the fabric either makes or breaks it. Usually I can't find what I have in mind - as usual, no suitable printed satin in chinatown. Most were rather auntie-looking type prints (giant mumsy flowers). The alternative was plain satin, which they did have in a good variety of colours. I did stumble on some cute printed stretch cotton which I bought (i'm planning to use it for another dress), but it wasn't something that I'd use for the cheongsam.
Not wanting to make another trip to Arab (so mah fan & very likely face disappointment) and eager to start, I decided to work with some chartreuse satin. This is the greenish-yellow shade of Nicole Kidman's famous Dior dress by Galliano at the '97 Academy Awards.
Since it was plain satin, I bought some contrasting bias binding to trim the skirt & sleeve hem, collar and neck opening. I got a deep red binding, hoping for a shanghai-tang-ish feel but Kisu thinks I should go for something like white (?!) or dark brown, which I originally wanted but eventually vetoed as I didn't think it looked striking enough. He thinks the red is too festive looking (i.e. Christmas!)
Here's what I've done so far - sewn in the front & back darts. I've pinned it on my mannequin to check out the shaping of the skirt and just for general effect. It's not going to look like that of course! It's still missing the front right shoulder panel, sleeves & collar. The satin was pretty slippery to work with - it was kind of a pain working the darts in. I tried to take a shortcut, but the darts ended up wonky, not to mention I also got the "pointy-bust" effect so I repinned them properly and ironed in the sew lines to help me sew straight! Crease lines are because I didn't bother to do a proper ironing job (yes leaving school makes one lazy)