When I visited Hong Kong last year my mom and I went fabric shopping at an old fashion Chinese department store which still stocks Chinese silk brocade and other silk fabrics for lining. I promised my mom to sew a jacket and a dress for her if she pays for the fabrics – so she did and I totally forgot about it until last week when she reminded me that Chinese New Year is coming soon (it’s 1st week of February this year).
We bought four sets of fabrics in total and they are all in bright fun colours. It’s uncommon to wear traditional Chinese brocade jackets at normal days but during Chinese New Year people do pick up the courage to wear something bright and oriental. So here’re the fabrics which I stashed away for a year.
I paired the brocade with a contrast lining to have some extra fun and since the brocade is pure silk, the dragon / flower details are really crisp.
I’m hoping to sew at least one jacket for my mom and if I work fast enough maybe another one for me. In order to save time, I’m going to use the same pattern for both garments and luckily my mom and I share the same dress size. I picked Burda 02/2012′s brocade jacket 112 / 113 which are the same pattern but with different hem length.
The design has limited number of pattern pieces and does not require interfacing except for the pockets and collar. I made a mock-up using the long version but with the Mandarin collars and the following changes were required:
- Shorten jacket hem
- Shorten pockets accordingly
- Taper front and back joining seams to create more ease around the hip
- Shorten sleeve hems
- Pinched a bit of fabric at the centre back seam near the waist to remove excess fabric
- Increase the height of the Mandarin collar otherwise it looked a bit half hearted…
I’ll be sewing the lime brocade / pink lining version first and if there’s any time left I’ll tackle the turquoise one as well. Although the brocade fabrics are quite substantial in weight, I’m planning to underline them with cotton flannel to give a bit of padding and warmth. Hopefully I can show you sewing in progress pictures in the next post.