Mexican Ethnic Dress

A La MexicanaOnce a upon a time, about six to seven years ago, I received this precious native Mexican (or somewhere south of there) dress as a gift from a dear friend who lives in Puerto Vallarta. It is totally hand-embroidered and has a very unique fabric manipulation.  The colored threads are  woven  between the weave of the clothe to form that great geometric pattern that you see on the bodice. There’s probably a name for that technique, however I don’t know what it is.


This dress hung in my closet and never so the light of day. I loved it, wanted to wear it, but felt that it was too traditional and a bit frumpy. So I decided to remake it into something I would wear. I have been very busy lately, studying every book I can get from the library on pattern making. My plan was to make sure I had the perfect fit before I cut  into it. I watched several tutorials online, took all of those measurements on the Burda site, and did all the math calculations and geometric drawings. It was quite a learning experience. In the end, I ended up using the bodice pattern from NEWLOOK 6968. I moved the side dart a smidgen, but used the same armhole. I also left the back as one piece and put in a side zipper.

 Bodice Muslin

Bodice Muslin

The bodice cut from the dress

The bodice cut from the dress

IMG_5467I have this habit of not trying things on enough as I move through construction. After putting in the zip, and then trying it on, I was dismayed to find that the bodice sides needed to be taken in, and that the waist was too low. I also had to adjust the skirt to fit the bodice. I unpicked everything, and took out the zipper. (When will I ever learn?)

Finally, a pleasing fit! I tried on several belts and found this one to be the best look. I absolutely love it! All the handwork is so beautiful. It must have taken days and days to do all of that hand embroidery and fabric detail. I’m proud to wear it and display this unique handicraft.


About SeamQueen

Seamstress, Sewist, Artist, Fashionista, Quilter, Upcycler, Textile Obsessed!
This entry was posted in DIY, Mexico, Sewing, Upcycle and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Mexican Ethnic Dress

  1. lee says:

    So beautiful! I go through a similar process almost every time– lots of prep work and then despite everything fit problems in the construction process. I’m good about trying things on but often unsure how to fix problems at that point. Glad you stuck with this dress and got it right.


  2. I think it falls under the category of “some lessons are so much fun we do them again and again…”. This is a lovely remake, good job finishing it!


  3. That is so beautiful. You’ve done such a lovely job of making it fit (sorry you had the stress of having to unpick the zip. The embroidery is lovely. So glad you made something so pretty wearable.


  4. Oh, this turned out beautiful!!! I think it’s a much more flattering fit now and you can wear it for many occasions. Great job!!


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