Sunday, September 20, 2009

Julie's Nyonya Kebaya

Completed just in time for Hari Raya Aidilfitri!

Julie looks lovely in this retro Kebaya, made from pink lace with raised gold threadwork. The kebaya has a panel of horizontal pleating in front.

You hardly see this style of Kebaya these days, which is a pity as the design is very flattering. Instead of horizontal pleating, the panel sometimes had a pattern of overlapping diagonal pleating in a "fishbone" pattern, which looks great too.

We matched the Kebaya with the grey satin bustier and mermaid skirt which i made earlier and which you can see here.

Style and Sewing Notes:
  • the collar is raised slightly at the back
  • there is a peplum which is joined to the bodice at the waist. this enabled me to cut the bottom part of the kebaya on the bias so that the lace edging would slant from the side seam down 9cm to the front. the peplum is great for shaping the back too!
  • The trimming on the edge of the lace was cut in a strip for the collar.
  • There wasn't enough fabric to get the lace edging on the ends of the sleeves, so remnant lace edging was tacked onto the sleeves and this matches nicely with the collar and bottom edge of the kebaya.
  • as the lace is translucent and soft, fine pink netting was used to underline the collar to hold its shape.
  • i placed netting and lace together then did the pleating. the net worked a treat to define and hold the pleating. for comfort, i underlined the pleated panel with netting.
  • the kebaya is fastened on the left side. buttons were sewn on the left edge of the attached pleated panel, and buttonholes on the main bodice are hidden by the collar. 
  • with soft and fragile fabric, the buttonholes need to be reinforced to prevent tearing. this is done by placing a small square of interfacing over the buttonhole position before machining. the excess interfacing is then cut off.

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