The Red Packet Dress
Added Feb 29, 2012
London, United K...
My trip to SIngapore last month coincided with the start of the Lunar New Year, so I decided to make a dress for the festivities. Red envelopes filled with money, known as red packets or ‘hong bao’, are often exchanged during the Chinese New Year, and red is generally considered a ‘lucky’ colour, so guess what colour my dress was?
The shiny, red brocade fabric came from eBay about six months ago – I think they started life in the 1960s destined to become curtains, but were left somewhere and forgotten about, until I got my hands on them.
The dress itself is fairly simple – a sleeveless, jewel necked bodice, with darts at midriff and bust, and a half-circle skirt on the bottom. I lined the bodice with some cream habutai silk – very luxurious, and very comfortable too, especially in the tropical heat. I also put in a lapped zipper in the centre back seam, using a vintage metal zipper from my stash.
Lastly, I finished the hem with some horsehair braid (following Gertie’s tutorial ) to give it some shape. That handsewing very nearly defeated me – I was frantically catchstitching just hours before my flight on Friday morning. I think it was worth it though – the hem certainly stands out nicely instead of hanging limply around my knees.
More on my blog
vintage satin brocade, vintage metal zipper, habutai silk, horsehair braid