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A Little Chi Pao

Keeping to my habit of posting belatedly (and then pitifully sporadically), let me show you the dress my daughter wore for Chinese New Year in Feb of this year.

I really love the print on this fabric; reminiscent of pinwheels (both the flower and the toy) and so non-cheena (ok, only Singaporeans will understand that last term...won't explain it cos no one else will unless you grew up there), yet suitably festive.

The traditional chi pao is usually made in silk and, unfortunately nowadays, also mass-produced in satin polyester of the poorest quality, in myriad shades of headache-inducing RED. Normally, I really like red, but there is so much of it during the CNY season that it begins to repel. Luckily, I regain my penchant for it as soon as the season is over :)

Which is why I doggedly stayed clear of red fabric and all of its shiny representations when deciding on the material for this dress. I also could not see to torture Nikhita in skin-sticking satin during the blazing February weather (silk was also out of the question because it, you know, tears easily. Visions of shredding seams wrought by an overly energetic toddler does not sit comfortably in the sort of brain a Type A possesses) so cotton it had to be.

This chi pao is a half-wrap dress fastened with buttons running diagonally down one side of the front bodice. No zippers, no facings (because raw edges are bound), no complications!

Long enough now to fit her to mid calf, and will very likely be worn as a blouse by next February. Do all toddlers just elongate with only minimal broadening or is this just a case with mine?


  1. I absolutely LOVE! And yes, the fabric too. The pinwheels, or happy sakura-ish flowers. Gotta make one like this sometime. LOVE. LOVE.

  2. I would buy a pattern for this adorable frock! It's perfect.

  3. Oh no, mine as well. Seems to grow very little, and when there is some growth, it is always longitudinal!

  4. My two toddlers, 2-years apart, wore the same size clothes and were the same heighth for years.
    (Bad for hand-me-downs).
    Just wait until the teen years where 3.5" of height can happen in 2.5 summer months.

    Love the dress - might make something-like for my great-nieces.

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  7. He seems unsophisticated and carefree, but he is way smarter than he appears to be..
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