23 May 2017

Making a Dress - Modern hanbok (dress)


So I have a jeogori but now I need a dress.

Lucky a modern hanbok/dress seems to be simple enough although this time round I am going to concentrate on a some elements.

One, pleated skirt.  That seems to be a defining feature on a lot of the dresses I have seen.

Two, this is not on all of them but on lots of the Leesle dresses they have a little loop on the front for a decorative accessory.  How cute is that?  Definitely putting this in.  If not for decoration, I could make a little purse to put some change.

Three, as you can see from the pictures above they are quite high waist.  Normally hanboks are quite quite up the chest, similar to empire line dresses so this seems only natural.

And for me an additional feature I want to put in is pockets.  I really can not live without pockets and it is annoying that modern day dresses that you buy these days seem to be lacking them.


So time to trawl through my Otome no Sewing for a suitable pattern.

This time it is Book 8!

The two major changes.  One, I made is the neckline as this one is suppose to be square but I am aiming for a rounded one and two, the skirt will be pleated rather then gathered.

Now as I have just come back from Hong Kong with a few metres of fabric I thought I might make this dress out of the light denim I brought.

I need some lining as I have decided that all of my dresses will be made with lining unless it is a design feature.  Luckily I had some polycotton lying around from an order I made a while ago.  Yep it is multicolour dots.  Well at least it will be fun!


This all started off very easy.  Cut out the bodice pieces and sew them all together.  This was done in one weekend.

Then came the fun part, the pleated skirt.  My first pleated lined skirt with pockets!

Now I have made pleated skirts before but the lining has never been attached the lining to the skirt and never with pockets so this took a bit of thinking.

Measurement-wise I use the times 3 formula and cut out 3 panels.  One for the front and two for the back in both the outer and inner fabric.  I used the off-cuts from the main fabric to make the pockets as I didn't want to cut up more of my precious fabric from Hong Kong.

Now how should one sew pockets into a lined pleated dress?  Should the pockets go in-between the outer fabric and lining or behind it all.  It turned out that it had to be the latter because I didn't want my pleats to sit neatly into each other.

And that is when things went a little bit tricky.  Because I went with this method, I was essentially sewing my lining to the main dress.  This mean I have to be careful with construction or I could inadvertently twist things or worst sew my pockets in the wrong direction.

In the end it turned out fine although one of the pockets there is a little puckering on the outside but luckily this will be covered up by pleats!

Then I had a bright idea!  I should use some of the light blue and white striped trimming I brought for the loose sack dress!  It is the perfect colour.

If I just sewed the trimming onto the main outer fabric it would have been simple but no I decided to sandwich it between the lining as well.  My reason for this is to remove as many raw edges as possible as I wanted a professional finish.

However because of the way I sewed the pockets, I had to sew the trimming in two parts because I was not able to flip the fabric but no matter I somehow managed it.

Now to pleat the skirt and attach it to the bodice.

Add in an invisible zip and finally sew down the bodice lining.

Finally press with vinegar and a steam iron to set the pleats and ta-da one modern hanbok


Here it it.  The front.

With my fleece jeogori.

The little loop for hanging a little ornament.



There are small imperfection that I have noticed.

One, the pleats are not lined up perfectly with the pocket so you can see the opening.  You see it in the above image.  I could have tried harder but pleating is a pain with two layers so next time it will be better.

Two, I have never been able to add in a zip without some bunching of fabric but luckily the pleats will hide that ;)

And three, pleating.  It is a bit uneven but it can't be helped I suppose since I am folding two layers of fabric and each one slip past each other.  I suppose I need more practice here.

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