Searching around the web, I had trouble finding any vintage Cheongsam sewing patterns from the 1930s or 1940s. If there are any out there from that time, they must be extremely rare. Now there’s plenty from the 1950s-60s, maybe because of the influence of movies like 1955’s “Love is a Many Splendored Thing”? Or because Hollywood stars of the time were photographed wearing the cheongsam?
Anyhow, if you want to sew a wiggle dress version of the cheongsam, there are many vintage patterns available out there in the wild. I just dig those crazy pillbox hats on the first 2 below:
The only Cheongsam pattern I own is Folkwear’s. It has a different kind of neck closure than other patterns I have seen. It’s more of a bib than an asymmetrical opening. I haven’t used it yet and it looks like I would need to add bust & waist darts to make it form-fitting Bomshell/wiggle dress worthy:
Here’s a timeline below where you can see the progression of the cheongsam sewing pattern move from wiggle dress tight in the 1960s to loose caftan in the late 1970s:
The 1960s pattern is hourglass form-fitting tight, but see the hem widen to an A-line silhouette in 1972. By 1977, it’s a loose, dart-free version, harkening back to it’s 1900s roots.