Friday, December 16, 2011

Wicked the Musical

I finally got to watch Wicked after missing it thanks to a tube breakdown the last time. It was nothing short of phenomenal. The Australian cast was fantastic, but the succession of beautiful, super-intricate set pieces and costumes really took my breath away. In performance, the devil is in the details as they say; the slightest twitch of the lips or eyebrow conveys a muted depth of emotion, a subtly balanced array of textures, colours and shapes complicates the mise en scene. Wicked takes this to a whole new level; the set and costume designs immediately draws you into the world of the play, a world obviously fantastical, yet one so cleverly logical with its own scheme of things.

The play is really a piece of art where the eye is never left unentertained. In the first half of the show, the supporting dancers/singers in the school scenes and the party scene were costumed in navy and white, and the audience is lead to focus on the lead characters, who were dressed in a different, outstanding colour (Pink and reds, I think.) Looking at the "uniforms" of the students and dancers revealed however that no two costumes were the same; hemlines were different, collars were different, silhouettes were different even, although everything was pinstriped and they had on either a jacket or a vest. This visually depicted the theme of individuality versus conformity early in the show, to be reflected again albeit more dramatically in the zillion green hues of the inhabitants of the Emerald City; all green but all very different in their varying choices of fashion and footwear. I was really pleased to be able to photograph some of the costumes on display outside the theatre. Apparently, there were more exhibits of Glinda's and Elphaba's dresses in Robinsons but I didn't have the time to go there last night, perhaps this necessitates another trip to MBS next week!

Custom made footwear!

Green with envy thinking about how many skilled seamstresses Susan Hilferty had to help make this dress! (And of course, how she managed to dream up this beauty in the first place. Her talent is astounding.)

Also found some behind-the-scenes videos about the costume making process:

Check out her wonderfully inspiring sketches here and also a useful article on costume design grad school here. I highly recommend that everyone goes to watch it; if not for the design, for the brilliance of the script and performance!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Upcoming Projects

Been pretty busy recently with an internship, but this is the lineup for December to March; sending it out into the virtual world means an implicit commitment to you dear readers to do my best to complete them!

1) Finish making gache with synthetic hair
2) Finish the second chima and alter jeogori. Here's the new colour palette:

All products can be purchased from Sonjjang apart from the dark green fabric which is available on, although I'll check out Arab Street and Spotlight before buying to see if I can save on the delivery fees.

3) The Houppeland/Burgandian gown Project after I am satisfied with the hanbok:

I've always wanted a gown like this; it looks like it came straight out of Le Morte d'Arthur and the romantic in me simply cannot resist a swathe of maroon velvet. Although I will probably have to investigate cheaper alternatives, judging from the prices of cloth in Spotlight :( The headpieces would also be fun and challenging to make. Thankfully, the construction of the houppeland has been more widely documented (in English) than the hanbok, so it should probably be somewhat easier to research!

4) Last but not least, a set of conceptual costume designs for a play or musical - still thinking about which text to pick at the moment - perhaps something from Wilde, or POTO, or something modern. Suggestions, anyone?

Hanbok QC

That's QC for quality check. After many occasions of prancing around in my hanbok and examining it in the mirror with a very critical eye, I've noticed some issues that need to be rectified:

1) Early on while drafting I failed to spot this in the Folkwear, or at least I thought it didn't really matter, but it does make a big difference if you are looking for authenticity. In Folkwear, the opening of the jeogori (pieces F and G) have a triangular shape as they slant towards the middle. However having made mine according to this pattern piece, I observed that you end up with a weird flapping triangle of excess material when you tie the jacket together. Hopefully the image gives a better explanation; sorry for the poor graphics quality!

Now if you follow the blue lines, the Folkwear pattern (on top) has a sloping diagonal line while the Korean pattern ends with two straight almost vertical lines on either sides of the jeogori. This gives a much sleeker shape that reflects the Y necklines of Chinese dress which were an influence on Korean clothing. It is pretty obvious in this picture of Ha Ji Won:

The Y line is even more explicit in this picture:

So here's another bit where Folkwear has gone wrong...I will have to unpick the lining and redo this edge.

2) There are apparently different widths and ways to tie the jeogori close: The 18th century one had a much thinner tie and the bow was slightly tilted to the side, as you can see from Ha Ji Won's picture. The bottom hanbok, in the modern silhouette, has a much wider ribbon that is positioned laterally across the bust. Another thing to be modified.

3) I'm going to be making another chima-mine is currently the epitome of boredom when I look into the mirror-or perhaps I'm way too fastidious, but I'm not too happy with it. I thought of putting gold foil trim around the bottom but in retrospect that would look tacky and very shiny. Also, I think I want a broader skirt and more pleats at the waistline, going to try it with 4 yards of cloth this time. Updates later on!

By the way, if anyone is from Singapore and would like to buy my chima, feel free to get in touch; I will sell it to you at cost price. Thank you for reading!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

More Wig Pictures!

Finally, some high quality photos of the wigs-on-stand I mentioned in the previous post, click to enlarge.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Traditional Korean Hairdos

Ancient Asian cultures seemed to have quite a bit of a fetish for hair, often requiring women to wear wigs, or spend hours arranging their locks into a combination of coils and chignons.

The Koreans, however, were unique in their obsession with the use of braids for hairstyling. At the height of 18th century fashion, they were probably the Asian counterpart of the French in Europe, with their demand for white powdered wigs and increasingly towering coiffures:

Now this is a hairstyle I just don't get. It's called keun meori, and was worn only by royals. To achieve this look, a huge bundle of braided hair was first wrapped around the head, before a wooden attachment (carved to resemble hair) was affixed to it. There is an excellent video here (in Korean) for those who are interested to know how to make it, click on the button below the picture.

Also, a pretty good description of the various other Korean hairstyles can be found at Ask a Korean!

You will see, that the staple of every hairstyle is the braid. The most basic daeng'gi meori is a simple braid tied with a ribbon at the end. This is twisted and wrapped into a bun at base of the head to create a jokjin meori. To create the royal hairdos or the gisaeng's eon'jeun meori, you then wrap another huge, long, fat braid around the braided bun, fold it at the top, and pin it at the bottom. The bigger you want your hair to be, the more braids you can add.

See Culture Content here for how to make the eon'jeun meori and here for the queen's eo'yeo meori. Again, click on the small button below the image. One thing that the video doesn't show is how the braids are fastened and held together; I guess they use some pins or hair ornaments/sticks to keep it in place.
Modern takes on the gache have made it a lot more sophisticated: if anyone watched the various productions of Hwang Jin Yi, the detail and variety of the wigs were incredible:
These braids seem to be fastened around a metal/plastic? stand, which is then placed on the head for support. If you watch this video of a lady getting dressed up for a photo package in Korea, you will see how the wig comes on a stand and is positioned around the head. This ridiculous getup that resembles a funeral wreath illustrates it more clearly. Braid around a braid around a braid.
Because I have no idea how to make such a stand, or how to keep the hair in position on it, I decided to do things the traditional way and braid some bundles of Kanekalon hair fibre before wrapping them around each other. I got 48 inches worth of jumbo braid fibre from ebay for making dreadlocks, but it has yet to arrive, so more updates after experimenting with the material later on.

In the meantime, some weirdly interesting pictures of gache that I found online:
Lady Gaga looking bizarre as usual in a gisaeng wig. I'm surprised that she didn't go for the more outlandish keun meori...
Or a more hair-raising design.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Hanbok Project Part V: Making the Chima

The skirt, in comparison to the jeogori, is really simple to make. First of all, you have to decide what kind of skirt you want; there are two types, pul-chima, with a separated back, or tong-chima, with a seamed back (like a modern skirt). In ancient times, the chima was simply made out of a piece of rectangular cloth wrapped around the waist/bust depending on the fashion of the period. The length of cloth was gathered or pleated and attached to a waistband with ties that fastened around the trunk of the body.

The width of the waistband changed throughout the years, eventually becoming a form of breast-binding in the 19th/20th century as I mentioned previously. The A-line shape of the skirt was more dependent on the numerous types of undergarments worn under the chima than the cut of the skirt itself; traditionally, women wore bloomers-type pants over three pairs of increasingly smaller pants and a loin cloth. Up to seven layers of undergarments were worn under the chima apparently! Upper class women would also wear two kinds of underskirts for formal occasions, thereby attaining an even more voluminous silhouette. Without the undergarments, the rectangular chima would look like this when worn:

Straight, tubular, and flat. Of course, you could create more volume by using more cloth and pleating furiously at the waistband; I tried 2.5-3 metres of cloth for the last one and it did work quite well, albeit being a lot more expensive. Also, if there are too many pleats, they tend to bunch up under the jeogori, making a nasty bulge around the bustline.

These days, however, the chima is constructed like a panelled or gored skirt, allowing for more flare and volume as well as more economical expenditure. The rectangle piece of cloth is cut up into triangular panels, which are then sewn together to form a circular stretch of cloth. To do this, first get your waist/bust measurement, and make yourself a rectangular waistband that wraps comfortably around your body. Next, take your waist/bust measurement and divide it by four. This should be the length of your skirt panel at the top. Measure the distance from your bust/waist to where you want the hemline to be, and draw a straight line perpendicular to the first line with this measurement. Finally, think about how wide you want the chima to be at the bottom and draw a line parallel to and at least 10cm longer than the line on top. Connect the top and bottom lines together at the sides, and you should end up with a triangular trapezium like this:

Cut out 6 panels of this thing. If you want a more voluminous skirt, either cut out more panels (but in my opinion, anything more than 6 necessitates too many seams around your chima and therefore should be avoided), or increase the length of the top and bottom lines. If you want to do 4 larger panels instead of 6, add 10 or more cm to each panel (waist/bust-line ÷ 4, + 10cm) and accordingly increase the length of the bottom line to match. Precise calculations aren't really needed, you just have to ensure that the top line of your skirt is longer than your waistband to allow for some pleating, and that the bottom line is longer than the top to produce an A-line silhouette. When you have cut out 6 panels, it would look this this:

Sew them up together using a french seam (take into consideration twice the seam allowance, if you use this), hem the bottom using slipstitch / double-rolled hem on the machine, and you are done! Last of all, attach this fabric to the waistband, pleating evenly across at the top. If you want it to be seamed at the back, sew the first and last panels together, but then you have to make sure you can get into the skirt by putting in an invisible zip, or by leaving a small slit open at the top.

For my chima, I used a purple charmeuse satin, topped with a layer of black nobang fabric. The satin has a slightly softer drape than Korean silk/satin, but it works as well if you have a proper petticoat to give it some structure. I had to get a microtex needle to sew it though, because it was too slippery and finely woven to work with the normal needle size. While doing the french seams, keep pressing and steaming to get a flat seam. Both the nobang and satin go beautifully flat when ironed with steam unlike the duchess satin, so no problems there. This is the nobang with the french seams and hem on the wrong side:

The satin charmeuse:

And a picture of the finished chima. I'd still like to add some gold foil trim to the skirt for a bit more decoration, and get some norigae pendants attached, but for now, here's the finished product minus the dongjeong:

Proper photoshoot pictures to come later, and a post about hair.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hanbok Project Part IV: Dongjeong and Finished Jeogori

For a while I was thinking about how to make the dongjeong, the white band placed around the collar of the jeogori to accentuate the face and neckline. Traditionally, it was apparently detachable - and I took this to mean that the dongjeong was not physically attached to the collar in any way, but folded, ironed on or starched. Now however, I am not sure if this could mean loosely slip-stitching it on, or gluing it with a substance that can be washed out with water. Silk kimonos were, after all, historically taken apart for washing then sewn back together by hand. This Japanese website selling dongjeong and hanbok does it the same way as bias tape, attaching it to the collar with a slipstitch. On a side note I wish I discovered this website sells a large variety of ornaments and some very very beautifully embroidered hanboks. Prices are quite steep though, (seriously, SGD543 for a hairpin?) and if I'm not mistaken they only deliver within Japan.

I asked Sonjjang about traditional dongjeong making and they said it was put together with guksa fabric and Korean paper (hanji). Korean paper is pretty similar to Japanese washi, it's durable and can apparently stand unsupported, thereby giving the dongjeong stiffness. Obviously hanji is pretty impossible to find outside of Korea so I decided to try other methods of fabric stiffening. In Spotlight, I found Stiffy:

According to the manufacturer's description, this product can work on most fabric types, and you can control the degree of stiffness you want by diluting it with water. It comes out in a thick white liquid. It can be used to make fabric bows, stiffen needlework, add lace, ribbon and trims to craft projects or mold or drape dollies and lace. Just rub and work it into your material with your hands (gloves!) then leave it to hang or sit in a mold overnight.

I got some double fold bias tape, rubbed Stiffy into the fabric, and here are the results:

Now it can stand! A bonus is that Stiffy stops fabric fraying as well, so no need for anti-fray glue.

I chose double fold bias tape because the white colour appears stronger with two layers of fabric, and single fold bias tape doesn't fold all the way under the first layer, ending up with a semi-transparent section right down the middle. See here. Not ideal at all for dongjeong making.

After stiffening, I ironed the bias tape folds real crisp and straight, and stitched it onto the jeogori in the usual way, without the finishing topstich. Instead I slip-stitched the closing flap of the bias tape to the collar on the inside, so that no stitching shows through in front.

Before completing the jeogori, I also added Bemsilk lining to the inside of the jacket to make it more comfortable to wear. Initially, I wanted to line it with the wrong side of the whanggeum fabric, but it felt too stiff and scratchy, and it clung to my skin in a most unpleasant manner. Using the Bemsilk lining made it a lot less irritating, but it also made the front and back panels of the jeogori more drapey and heavy, losing the perfectly clean, sleek lines that double-layered Korean fabric can still achieve. I suppose because a sok-jeogori was usually worn under the jacket, that could be made out of comfortable material to prevent the scratchy jeogori fabric sticking to your skin. Even today, hanboks are commonly worn with a basic camisole or t-shirt as an undergarment, perhaps for similar reasons. Or perhaps the whanggeum is the only problematic fabric; Korean silk would surely not be as stiff and uncomfortable, or so I would think. Have to find out more about that next time.

To attach the lining, pin pin pin pin pin fabrics right side together. Sew all the edges up, leaving the arm holes open and with the sleeves pulled through. Be careful not to catch the goreum while sewing. Invert the whole thing right side out through the armholes, then slipstich (again!) both layers together at the armhole seam.

I think I'm now pretty good at slipstiching. Hate it. Anyway, a picture :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hanbok Project Part III: Making the Goreum

The goreum refers to the ribbons that tie the jeogori shut. It is super easy to make. Sew two rectangle pieces wrong sides together, leaving one side open. Invert the piece right side out, press, and slip stitch the last side shut.

But I'm giving it a post of its own because of my quest for the perfect goreum fabric, which led to some pretty interesting experiments with lots of red cloth and a love-hate relationship with duchess satin.

What I really learnt from making it is this; when you want a particular shade of fabric for your design, seek until you find. Don't compromise with the cheapest or closest alternative you can get. If staring at substitutes makes you unhappy because you see in your mind how more perfect it will be in the colour you can imagine, wait, and then search harder. Because it exists, you just have to find it, and that is just a matter of time.

Of course you can probably choose to dye your own cloth as well but I chose not to go down that road, because I don't know anything about dying and it didn't make sense paying $10 for dye when I just needed 1/4 metre of cloth.

So then. In my original design I wanted the chima to be dark red, but after working on the jeogori and thinking about what goes with black and gold, I knew I had to use dark red for the ribbon. The red cloth that Sonjjang sent was more of a pink warm red though, and the transparent undertones didn't work with the gold. So I went to window shop in Spotlight with some fabric swatches and found the perfect shade of red in Chinese brocade with black flower motifs. Think qipao fabric. Unfortunately gold peonies did not go well with black Chinese flowers and the motif was too virulent on the cloth to be cropped out.

So I got a swatch from the Spotlight counter (If you don't know can request for little bits of sample fabric if you bring the roll to the cutting table and ask nicely. I just found out the other day!) and took it to the ribbons section but it didn't match anything they had on the shelves...which were orangey-red and dark pink-red. I then went to Arab street as Kim Soon looked promising, but they didn't have the shade I wanted either. On my way back to the MRT with Charmaine we decided to check out one of the cloth shops that was positively begging to be explored with its rolls and rolls of fabric, and in there, I found this.

A beautiful, beautiful dark red duchess satin. Actually it was polyester duchess satin. My first encounter with the fabric. And it draped so beautifully and felt heavy and expensive and perfect, I couldn't imagine how much better the real thing could get.

Texere Silk describes it:
French for ‘skin of silk,' Peau de Soie is a stout, soft silk with fine cross ribs. A medium weight fabric with satiny finish, it looks like Charmeuse, but Peau de Soie has a moderately stiff drape. Used in evening wear, bridal gowns, and elegant dresses. Sews easily, but pins and needles leave marks.
Designers prefer duchesse satin because the skirt keeps its full draped curves, instead of fluttering, as would a thinner fabric.

McQueen dress. Enough said.

Anyway when I reached home and started making the goreum I realized I had been so seduced by the fabric that I had completely forgotten about the properties of a ribbon:

1, it has to be flat, and stay flat so it can be tied neatly. You can't press duchess satin flat flat. As Gertie says, it rolls like the dickens. And two layers of duchess satin inverted rolls even more, trust me. After steaming and pressing and a few averted finger burns with the iron I gave up trying to make it flat.

2, it has to be light. I was prepared to be flexible on this one, but the duchess satin weighed more than the entire jeogori itself (made in the lightweight Korean whanggeum cloth) so the ribbon was pulling the whole piece forward and drooping sadly in front.

So I took a look at the alternatives, a horribly shiny acetate satin (bottom), and the red-pink okdolgyeon intended for the chima (middle).

The duchess satin (top), as you can see, best matches the gold fabric, the okdolgyeon gives a nice matt sheen while the acetate satin is shiny in a cheap disgusting way. (Please, whatever you do, don't buy this fabric. For $3 a metre it cannot be used to make anything decent!)
The quality of this cloth is so horrible, the corners kept fraying and popping out when I tried to invert it. Also, it was as hard to press as the duchess satin.

I then thought about making the goreum with the okdolgyeon, which is actually quite acceptable and normal given that a lot of 20th century hanboks have slightly transparent, very well pressed goreums. HezaChan's hanbok is one example:

And so is the hanbok here:

Okdolgyeon has that stiff structure and clean transparency when pressed, so it would work perfectly, but the red-pink colour was really putting me off.

The duchess satin was still calling out to me, so I knew I had to find some way to make it work. One solution was fusible interfacing, which stops the fabric rolling, but it adds to the total weight. Then I thought of a tutorial on Interfacing Alternatives I read some time ago, which suggested the use of cheap fabrics like canvas/cotton to give weight and body to silks. Two layers of duchess satin was still too heavy for the jeogori, so I thought about backing one layer of satin with a layer of stiff okdolgyeon, since it was transparent and would let through the satin's darker red on the back side of the ribbon (thus losing its pinkish colour).

After sewing them together, the duchess satin was still all rolled up and twisty.

Okdolgyeon on the top layer here. But then came the miracle, purely by experiment. Using the okdolgyeon layer as a press cloth, I steamed the duchess satin on high heat, and voila!

A flat ribbon! This is how the okdolgyeon underside looks:

Still a bit pink but I could live with it. As it is I am pretty happy with the results and the fact that the beautiful duchess satin was put to use, plus I found the exact colour I was looking for.

A proper picture of the jeogori to come after I sort out the dongjeong.

In the meantime, some tips on tying the goreum. Always remember that the left ribbon is longer than the right one, and the finished bow should point towards your left side. There are two ways to tie the ribbon:

One is HezaChan's method, posted on youtube:

The other is here, where you wrap the second tie around the loop instead of pulling it through. Watch the video from 1.00 onwards. I personally prefer this method because you have more control over the shape of the wrap and it looks neater (at least when I try it).

There you go :) Chima making next.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Game of Thrones Costume Design

Some very interesting insights into the designer's thought process behind the costumes for Game of Thrones. (Thanks Jina for sharing!)

I especially love Michele Clapton's use of colour and texture for the different kingdoms. Characterization is obviously the most important consideration, besides trying to create a visible identity through dress for the different people groups. Practical considerations are also very important in the design process or one can get carried away by concepts and ideas; here she thinks carefully about the needs of the actors, the logic of certain clothes in certain weather conditions etc.

What I call fictional realism is something used to great effect and success here (and in lots of other period shows - Starz's Camelot, The Tudors), where costumes signal "recognizable characters and elements" in a world that is "gritty and real", and therefore close to our own - while drawing audiences into the fantasy and unfamiliarity of it. Although this is progression from the purist vision of perfect re-enactment, and while many moan over how Elizabethan The Tudor's costumes are...who cares as long as it works brilliantly to suggest character, fits into the world of the show, and makes a pretty sight? Really looking forward to the series!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Hanbok Project Part II : Making the Jeogori + Folkwear Pattern Review

This is the shape of the hanbok as we know it today: characterized by loose, baggy sleeves, stiff fabric, clean lines, and simple curves. Unlike other Asian costumes, which emphasize the female silhouette by belting or taking in seams at the waistline, the hanbok derives its elegance from completely concealing its wearer's body shape. Which can either make it fantastic or frustrating to wear; on one hand, the hanbok is extremely forgiving for those with less than hourglass figures - some even point out its efficacy at concealing pregnancy- on the other, the ample amount of fabric needs to be tailored perfectly so that it doesn't look frumpy or make its wearer look like she's drowning in a swathe of cloth. Poorly drafted hanboks can look a lot worse than bad kimonos, for example.


Granted, the hanbok IS perfectly tailored and the Tang dynasty costume on the right is modeled by a miniature doll, so I might not have tried to compare at all - but the point is about the placement of the waistline: the empire cut here, in my opinion, makes all the difference between elegant and errrtrocity if you intend to walk around cocooned in a bolt of fabric. Although, I admit my judgment might have been slightly influenced by the clip-art storks and rainbow gradient. The point of the matter is, the lack of a belt or tapering in at the waist does make it unflattering for some body types, especially if you are short, plump, both; or have narrow shoulders.

But history allows for that if you are trying to create something that suits you while staying true to period authenticity. Before the massive digression which led me to ogle at Chinese costumes on Google images, I wanted to talk about the evolution of the hanbok's silhouette. Many people are unfamiliar with the earlier styles less commonly portrayed in Korean period dramas:

This picture illustrates changes in the shape of the hanbok from the 16th to 20th century. What we see are increasingly tailored garments, the shortening of the jeogori (jacket) to ridiculous proportions, and a corresponding rise in the waistline, with the waistband becoming a form of breast binding in the final picture. The more subtle differences are changes in the curve and width of the sleeves, and differences in the placement and thickness of the ties used to close the jeogori. The full article is here for the interested and it emphasizes the impact of socio-economic factors on these fashion trends.

I decided to go with the 19th century silhouette for my design because the position of the waistband is lower than that of the "empire styled" 20th century hanbok as we know it today, therefore giving the illusion of fuller hips and a small waist (which I lack!) The 19th century style also allows for the white of the waistband to peak out beneath the jeogori, but not so much so as to become a rather uncomfortable-looking breast binding. The tight(er) sleeves also didn't make my arms look as thin as twigs in a bag, while retaining some of the elegant curves that the 18th century design lacked.

A popular interpretation and modernization of the 19th century style also draws on dance and gisaeng costumes of the period, popularized by the drama Huang Jin Yi. The best thing about these costumes is the explosion of extravagance in colour and material, achieved by the layering of skirts which allows for a lot of creativity in the use of fabric (translucent, opaque? stiff, drapey?), patterns (traditional arts include fabric painting on skirt...embroidery on underskirts, tiny flower/fortune motifs etc.) and texture (rough, shiny, etc.):

The voluminous skirts and layering allow for a lot of potential puffing, pinning and pulling to create interesting curves, as Sonjjang demonstrates in their modernized hanbok collection:

I'm totally in love with it, so 19th century it is!

Having decided on the silhouette, I started working on the pattern. Now I've mentioned earlier that I've used Folkwear's #141 Misses XS which produced fairly decent results, although I wasn't too happy about the size of the collar and sleeves. Let's take a look at it:

I compared it to the Korean pattern that Sonjjang provided (if you spend above $50 in their shop!) and these were the differences:

1. The seam joining the bodice to the sleeve is curved in Folkwear, while in the Korean pattern it is straight, like a T tunic. I preferred the straight seam because it gives more room for the shoulders and it is a more period accurate cut for a time when French curve rulers were not yet invented.

2. The Korean pattern has two extra tiny bits for the closure of the jeogori, which I suppose you can make in an alternative colour for some added contrast and interest. I really couldn't be bothered to cut those out and sew them because really, it's much easier to just make it in one piece. Although, the diagonal edge in piece F doesn't work for me so I altered it to give it a rounded look similar to that in Sonjjang's.

3. Sonjjang's has an extra seam in the middle for the the back, compare with piece H which is cut on the fold in Folkwear's. I really don't think this matters, and I followed Folkwear's pattern because again, it saves on sewing one extra seam. I think the Korean method was probably followed to economize use of cloth in the ancient days, as for point 2, because tiny bits and bobs could be salvaged from scrap pieces of fabric.

4. The jacket ties are more tapered in Sonjjang's but this is not much of an issue really.

5. The last, and most obvious difference, was in the shape of the sleeves. The last time I used Folkwear's, I was appalled by the seeming disproportion of the sleeves to the bodice was HUGE. See. Here too. So I had to alter the bodice to fit the largest kid's sized sleeve, which also came in the pattern packet. Something also wasn't right about the shape of the sleeve, and it didn't drape in the way it's supposed to according to the photos of Korean-made hanboks. Then I realized what was wrong after comparing with Sonjjang's:

The one in newspaper is what I drafted based on Sonjjang's measurements. It is bell shaped, with a single convex curve tapering in at the cuffs. The length of the sleeves is also longer. These make a huge difference in the drape of the fabric. Instead, the concave shape of Folkwear's sleeve takes it in too much and produces a different effect, especially since the sleeve length (the top line) is shorter and doesn't curve in towards the end. This is the only major problem with Folkwear's pattern, in my opinon, but it can be easily salvaged with a bit of tape and newspaper. Another interesting thing to point out about the hanbok's sleeve construction is the repetition of 1:2 ratios in the draft:

It also occurs approximately in the comparison of lengths between the jeogori and the chima, as well as in some common designs of traditional norigae, where the focal pendant/knot is half the length of the bundled tassels beneath it. It is possible that this ratio holds meaning in Confucian philosophy, given its emphasis on ritual clothing and the expression of virtues through dress.

Anyway, here is my final pattern:

Cut out and put the pieces together:

Sewing the neckband to the front and back pieces is the most difficult stage of the construction process because you have to be very careful with the corners and turns while not getting excess fabric caught...but this was a lot easier than the first time because the whanggeum was such a dream to work with. I made the cuffs and collar out of the wrong side of the fabric.

The inside is nice and black. All that's left to do is to sew the sleeves up wrong side out. I did have to shorten the width of the sleeve again by 5cm because it was still too baggy and looked huge on me.

And voila :) I'm pretty happy with the finished product. Well it's not exactly finished yet. I haven't added the jacket lining or the georum and I'm still thinking about redoing the satiny white fabric, because it is too shiny and wrinkly. I haven't been able to find anything online about the construction of the dongjeong, a removable white collar attached to the rim of the neckline to accentuate the face and neck, so if any one could tell me how, or what material it is made out of, that would be a great help.

What I did for this, was to fold in half and iron a satin ribbon, stitch the ends with a tiny tiny stitch, pin very carefully, then attach it to the collar, catching the folded layer on the other side as I would with bias tape.

It worked pretty well, and I would be pleased with it if not for the ridiculous shine. And it's supposed to be stiff. I really shouldn't have used satin. But I couldn't find ribbon in any other suitable material...and bias tape looks too coarse.

Any ideas? Starched cotton? With anti-fray glue?

Better photos and updates on the chima soon to come.