The Mid-Autumn Festival is a traditional festivity of the Chinese. It is a day families gather to admire the moon, eat mooncakes and drink tea. Children also get to carry candle lit lanterns in the park in the evening. I enjoyed the festivity as a kid but have not celebrated the festival since becoming a parent. My prince’s school is organizing a celebration this Friday with a recital of chinese poetry and performances by the kids, followed by a tasting of yummy festival dishes and a stroll round the park with lanterns! I think I’m more excited than the kids! So excited that I made a dress to wear to the event!
I called it the ‘Reflection of the Moon’ frock as this border print fabric reminded me of the moon’s reflection in water.
The sewing pattern is a vintage reprint. Butterick 5209 retro ’47. I chose to sew the version with sleeves.
When I was checking through the pattern, I noticed that the skirt pattern creates a centre seam at the front of the skirt so I decided to make my own pleated skirt. I used the 2m long fabric (I cut away the top portion with border print to be used for the bodice), folded and stitched pleats at the top. As the selvage with fringe was at the bottom, I left them as such and didn’t need to sew the hem. I love the look of the fringe at the bottom of the skirt. I might try the original skirt pattern the next time if I can find fabric with the right width and place the pattern on fold.
Given the warm weather here, I didn’t make a lining. The fabric used is a cotton santeen fabric with a slight stretch. I inserted an invisible zipper. However, I didn’t like the idea of the zipper ending at the bottom of the sleeves so I sewed around 2″ down from the sleeve before stitching in the zipper.
If you are planning to sew this dress, please DO NOT use a contrast fabric for the midriff band. The design of this dress is such that the band’s seams do not meet at the sides. See photo here.
I actually used a solid black fabric for the band but unpicked the pieces completely after my discovery. I am still not completly happy with how the sides look but the print fabric does look better than a solid color band that does not meet at the side seams. *sigh*. Good thing I had enough fabric for the additional pieces. Lessons learnt. I do think however that a contrasting fabric for the entire top and another fabric for the skirt could work wonderfully.
Did the dress resemble the pattern cover image? For most part, I think it does except for the waist and the skirt since I modified that completely. I think I need a 23″ waist to look like the image. LOL!
Nonetheless, other than the side view, I do love the front and back views of this dress, made more interesting with a border print fabric.