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I Made Chinese Frog Buttons for my Fibre Mood Maya Dress

The pleated sleeves of Fibre Mood’s Maya Dress are yummilicious! They literally remind me of fat chicken legs that I want to sink my teeth in. You might think that that’s not such an appealing description for a dress, but as a foodie, when I make a food connection to clothes, it means I am super excited about the garment. This dress is one of the new patterns from their new magazine launch for April 2021 (Magazine 14), which is jam-packed with fabulous patterns - again! As always, every new issue brings many exciting patterns to create and this issue is no exception.

For my participation in the Fibre Mood Link Party, my eyes immediately went to the Maya because the sleeves were too good to say no to. There are a total of 8 pleats on this sleeve, and they work together to create volume and stylish poof. Best of all, there are 3 options to customize the exact kind of poof that you’d like on your sleeves. The first option is one where the sleeve has an inverted pleat, which will provide the minimal amount of poof. The second one with an “outsy” pleat creates the maximal poof; while the combination of the 2 (outsy on top and insy at the bottom) gives poof factor at the shoulders, and slims down as it approaches the upper arm. I went with the combination option because I felt it would be most flattering for me. Also, they best resemble fat chicken legs! Join in the delicious Maya Dress fun and put your best juicy poof forward!

The dress also comes with eight double-ended darts to shape the bodice, then fans out into a skirt shaped like a tent. The combination of all these details give me magical Alice in Wonderland vibes, but it’s a more stylish version. I imagine it’s what fashion-forward Alice would wear when she’s all grown up. The detail that drew me in the most (besides the pleated sleeve) is actually the simple round collar finished with bias-binding. Why? Because a plan immediately hatched in my head to redraft the front dress so that it’ll have a faux side-front opening in order to convert it into a modern Cheongsam! I also ended up making my own Chinese frog buttons from scratch with bias binding cut from the self-fabric.

If you are curious about how I made these buttons from self-made rouleau cording, you can go to my Youtube Channel. My new video this week shows you how I did it, and the whole process of converting the front dress pattern to accommodate the faux side front opening:

As for the fabric, I possibly swooned when I saw this Robert Kaufman Cotton Batik that comes in a myriad of colour options. The one that gave me all the feels is called “Carribean” - it has shades of neon yellow, chartreuse, emerald green and cobalt blue - moving from lightest to darkest in an ombre treatment. There’s also a tie-dye print applied like batik, which means that there are no right and wrong sides of the fabric. Both sides have the same colour intensity and can be used. There is no chance that any garment made in this fabric would fade into the walls. This fabric shouts out for attention. It’s also incredibly easy to work with since it’s a very stable cotton, it provides the dress with the right amount of structure and body to hold the shape of the sleeves. Now I want to buy this fabric in all the colour ways available. Minerva gifted me with this loveliness as part of the Minerva Brand Ambassadors Program, and I want to squeeze all members of the Minerva staff in a big hug!

Sizes for the dress come in size 4-30. I made up a size 6 with quite a few modifications. First, I had to shorten the dress above the bust dart apex by 2.5cm, and I also shortened it below the hips by 9cm. I did it mainly to fit the length of the dress to the width of the fabric. Also, I am a shortie. I wouldn’t have done that much shortening below the hips if the fabric was wide enough to accommodate the full length of the dress. But this move actually turned out alright since I really love the length of the finished garment. It meant that I had to reduce the width of the bottom hem, but that’s no biggie. I suggest making a muslin for fitting issues since the bodice is rather fitted. Don’t dive in and cut into your actual fabric the way I did. Fibre Mood’s patterns tend to fit me very well and I took it for granted that it would not be different here. However, the back bodice was gaping at the neckline, and I ended up having to add 2 darts from the neckline to the scapula. It wasn’t such an elegant solution after the bias binding had been installed, but it did do the trick. Also, the back skirt is considerably less wide than the front skirt. So for future Maya makes, I may equalise the width of the skirts more by removing about an inch on both sides of the front skirt and transferring it to the back.

This week, I also joined the affiliate program for Fibre Mood. So if you're interested in buying their patterns or magazines and want to support me in the process, you may use this link to make your purchases. It won't cost you more, but I get to earn a small commission through your purchase. So big thanks in advance! You may also click on the following picture below to view the new magazine issue. Fibre Mood Magazine #14.:

All in all, I am very happy with the finished result of my Maya Dress. I love the eye-catching colours and how the dress stands out from the crowd with these glorious sleeves. Best of all, I like how I managed to put my own spin on the dress, personalising it with the faux side front opening and Chinese frog buttons. Yay! Another modern Cheongsam for me to wear! And another jump for joy!

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