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Monday, August 1, 2016

A Dress from the Wrong Part of Mexico

A friend of mine from Ecuador has a daughter in a dance class that includes Mexican folk dancing. She bought fabric, ribbon, and thread, and I got to work. I made the style she had sent me pictures of, it turned out very nice, and everyone was happy.

And then we figured out that it was from the wrong region of Mexico. My friend had me make a dress from Jalisco, and her daughter was supposed to have a dress from Sinaloa. Oops! There are two pieces of good news in all of this. First, they will need the one from Jalisco later. Second, I get another commission already. Oh, and the skirt from the Jalisco dress is still an appropriate shape to practice the dancing from Sinaloa, and there are a few weeks before they perform. So I guess that's four pieces of good news.

So here is the Jalisco dress I made. It's actually a blouse and skirt.

I made the top tier of the skirt a full circle, and the ribbon on that tier makes a square inside the circle. This is often a star, but when worn, a square gives a similar appearance, and it was easier to fit onto a child's skirt. The next tier is rectangular with double the fabric of the circumference of the top circle. Because it did not have a curved hem, the ribbon is sewn on in straight lines. The bottom tier is double the middle tier and also has the ribbon sewn on in straight lines with lace at the hem. Having a full-circle top tier and so much gathering in the other two tiers creates enough fullness that the skirt can be lifted up as high as it will go on the sides without it pulling up in front and back, which is important in the corresponding style of dancing.

The blouse is a very simple style with puffed raglan sleeves and a ruffle collar. The collar has lace to match the skirt, and collar and sleeves are trimmed in ribbon. (I would have put all four colors of ribbon on the collar, but I didn't have enough yellow since I accidentally used it on the sleeves instead of purple.) I also have to admit that I didn't realize how regional traditional Mexican dress really is, so this top is kind of a mixture. The solid color fabric and ribbon and lace are typical of Jalisco, but it should actually have a high neckline, and the ruffle should form more of a "V." The scoop neck and round ruffle are common in other regions of Mexico.

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