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Chang pao sewing tutorial

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While trying to make a cosplay for Wei Zhijun (Darker than Black), I realized there is a definitely lack of available patterns for this  type of clothing - and decided to make a tutorial to share. I drafted my own based on a qipao pattern. Qipao patterns are much easier to find than chang pao patterns (which are few and far between and also run $30). There is a difference between qipao and chang pao.

Difficulty: Intermediate
You need to be willing to take some creative measures by drafting new pattern pieces based on something pre-existing. Consider it a baby-step to drafting your own patterns.

If you are nervous about your pattern, I strongly suggest using cheapo fabric for a mockup before using your pattern on your good fabric. To get an ideal fit for this garment, you will have to do some strategic tailoring as most commercial patterns require some tweaking to fit a person perfectly. However, tailoring is not that scary if you have someone help you or if you have a dress-form. So, go to town!

You can grab a free qipao pattern to work with online here:…
I used McCall 4369 (which may be out of print). There are probably a slew of new "qipao" patterns from the BIG 3 (McCalls, Butterick, and Simplicity) too.

This tutorial will help you create garments for characters such as Wei Zhijun (Darker than Black), Lau (Kuroshitsuji), and many others without emptying your pockets on the pattern alone.

This is a picture tutorial showing how to put the garment on. It's my Wei costume lol.

P.S. Feel free to link any creations you have made using my tutorial! I love seeing everyone's unique work! :D
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anonymous's avatar
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SherlockHolmes1654's avatar
so i'm confused with the cut 1 an cut 2 stuff. can you help me understand what did you mean by that? just really stump on how to cut
Stealthos-Aurion's avatar
It means you cut either one or two of the fabric just like you do when using a commercial pattern.
SherlockHolmes1654's avatar
oh for the shoulder i'm so confused in how to get the right size for shoulder to the sleeves. it got me really stump.
Stealthos-Aurion's avatar
The way my tutorial works is that you are modifying a pre-existing pattern which accounts for proper armhole and sleeve dimensions and shaping. 

Drafting completely from scratch is an advanced technique. This tutorial and modifying patterns in general is intermediate level. 
tsubame17's avatar
Thank you so much!!!!
Stealthos-Aurion's avatar
You're welcome & glad this helps!
Asianguy1's avatar
I thought about make one from directions i found on ehow [link] but i am not that good when it comes to writen instructions for somthing like clothing.
Asianguy1's avatar
Because this is an evelution of the hanfu. I am wondering if this can be adapted to make a hanfu?
Stealthos-Aurion's avatar
It could be adapted to make a hanfu, but I think a kimono pattern would be an easier starting point with less work for you. 
Asianguy1's avatar
Technicly the kimono is a nockoff of the hanfu.
Stealthos-Aurion's avatar
Yes, however my point was that a kimono pattern would require less modification for shape than using this chang pao pattern and there are always variations of kimono patterns either on the internet or sold in many fabric stores. When I said "starting point", it was referring to the fact that it will be ultimately less work for you to start with a kimono pattern but hey, it's your project so proceed as you will. :)
Asianguy1's avatar
Can this be adapted to fit men?
Stealthos-Aurion's avatar
This can be adapted to fit both men and women since you are inputting your own measurements. The pattern I linked to was just a free one that anyone could access and was more for shape reference than saying one has to use it as a basis.
Asianguy1's avatar
TeiRaven's avatar
I think this is exactly what I need to help my friend with her Seeker shirt. Thanks for sharing, I'll let you know how it goes!

also I'm pretty stumbled across you on tumblr, working on a Rafiel costume...? I'm looking forward to seeing pictures that!
Stealthos-Aurion's avatar
I'm glad that this tutorial will help you and your friend!


Also, yes! That was my tumblr post. I should have some forthcoming photos of Rafiel from Katsucon. I couldn't wear it too long though, it was way too crowded with the wings.
TeiRaven's avatar
My roommate is about to be attacked with a tape soon as we're done making dinner.

Oh, I'm very excited for those XD As well as Seeker, I'm helping friends with Reyson and Leanne. Leanne's about halfway done...I'll have about a week to make Reyson before the convention? ^^; She unfortunately lives in South Dakota and I'm in...New England...XD I was thinking of perhaps attempting Rafiel myself someday. SOMEday.

UGH YES THE WINGS. I know this pain. I have little chibi wings for my Naesala and they STILL get beaten to all hell. And yours were going to be rather large, weren't they? I was amazed at the disregard people have for them. I mean yes, they're a thing and I should do my best to keep them out of people's way but really you can't spare the seconds to apologize when you run into them...? I have some major wing repairs to do.

(I apologize for the wall of text ^^;)
Stealthos-Aurion's avatar
Yea, I plan to rebuild the wings. I had originally designed them to fold several ways but ran out of time and had to make them fixed position but supposedly foldable behind me. [link] Derp photo my friend snapped as I was starting to get up but yea, over an 8 foot wingspan. Not a good time at a con I thought wasn't going to be as obnoxiously crowded on Saturday. It usually wasn't bad on Saturdays.

I thought about chibi wings too but the whole "no time" business put a kibosh on doing anything extra or fun. Next time.
TeiRaven's avatar
Someday I want to try making foldable wings, but I'm no engineer XD Due to time and money constraints, Tibarn and I both had little wings that I was able to get my hands on. (that I...don't actually have any picturers of, oops) For purchased wings, they're not bad, but someday we'll make bigger, fancier ones. and maybe bring a sign that says "stop walking into us"

Not as crowded on Saturday? Really? Saturday is the day I bargain on being the MOST crowded--but I guess most of ConnectiCon happens on Saturday, masquerade, death match, etc etc.

:omfg: but those WINGS! 8' wingspan, holy hell. I can't even begin to imagine moving with those O.o were they heavy? How did you attach them? (My Naesala wings have elastic that goes through the slits in the back of my coat--with wings that huge, though, there's no way that just elastic would do it, is there?)
Stealthos-Aurion's avatar
Hm, maybe I should move this to a DA note. Hahah. Sending one now.
JennieBart's avatar
This is really cool! Favourited! <3
edylisation's avatar
thank you for the tutorial! And the link to the free pattern! It's very useful :)
Stealthos-Aurion's avatar
No problem, glad that you found the resources helpful! Thanks for leaving a comment.
f1shhy's avatar
After seeing this tutorial I am actually thinking of making one myself instead of buying a ready made one xD
Thnx a lot
anonymous's avatar
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