How to Make a Hanfu Dress

Make a hanfu dress that's rich in color and history.
Make a hanfu dress that's rich in color and history. (Image: Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

The hanfu is a traditional form of dress worn in Ancient China by the Han Chinese people. Historically, the hanfu has varied greatly between different styles, including being worn as a single silk robe or as a set of robes. The hanfu is similar in appearance to the Japanese kimono.Today, the hanfu dress is only worn for cultural events or festivals in Chinese culture. In the West, the hanfu dress can be seen worn mostly as costume attire. You can make your own hanfu dress to honor the Chinese culture or to wear at your next costume party.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper and pencil
  • 6 yards of fabric
  • Sewing equipment and supplies

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Draw a pattern for the hanfu dress that includes the robe, cuffs, belt, overlap (lapel pieces that hangs on the edges of the front of the robe) and collar. Draw a rectangle that is 80- inches long by 18-inches wide for the robe. Draw a rectangle that is 40-inches long by 18- inches wide for the sleeves of the robe. Draw a rectangle that is 40-inches long by 9-inches wide for the overlap, cuffs, belt and collar.

Pin the fabric to the pattern pieces, right sides together. Cut two pieces for the first pattern, two pieces for the second pattern and six pieces for the third pattern. Fold the first and second pattern pieces (robe and sleeves) in half lengthwise. Mark the fold line on the backside of the fabric with a pencil and then unfold the pieces.

Stitch the robe pieces together with a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Line up the fold line on the sleeve pieces to the fold line on the robe pieces. Pin them together and then stitch. Open the seam allowances.

Fold the overlap pieces from the third pattern in half. Pin each piece inside the edges of the robe pieces and sew them in place.

Measure the distance between your hip and shoulder. Take that measurement and mark the distance from the middle inner of the robe pieces to the overlap pieces and mark it with your pencil. Extend the mark by two inches to the right, straight down four inches, and connect the line diagonally to the left overlap marking. Cut this section from the fabric.

Fold the collar pieces and sew in place. Leave a 1/2-inch of collar edge loose. Pin the loose edge to the cut out in the robe from Step 5. Be sure to match up the center of the collar to the center of the robe. Stitch the collar to the robe.

Fold the cuff pieces in half. Sew the cuffs to the ends of the sleeves of the hanfu dress. Sew the side seams from hem to cuff inside the robe. Press the hem of the robe under at 1/2-inch and then fold another 5/8-inch. Stitch the hem in place. Make the hem shorter if needed.

Fold the belt in half and sew along the long side only. Turn the belt inside out and fold the loose edge inside. Stitch the loose edge down. Steam the belt flat. Wrap the belt around your hanfu dress while wearing it.

References

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