So here is my Mexican dress for a crayzzeeeee Cinco de Mayo party (already previewed as part of my first May Made May round up). Yep there were Margueritas, wraps, amazing veg enchiladas (made by me & they went down a storm 😉 ), Sol beer with wedges of lime (I know, it’s so 90s, but we love it) & of course a pinata. Folks came dressed with differing levels of commitment to fancy dress, but there was a fine array of sombreros, ponchos & oversized fake moustachios (& you should have seen the men hahahaha!).
So I am glad that I made the effort therefore to make a dress that received compliments aplenty, even from the blokes. I think they were visioning the fabric made up as shirts for themselves. Or couldn’t believe how lucky I was to find a dress that was so appropriate. Well it’s because I sew, innit?
I was organised & made this up with a few weeks to spare. Funny for me, not my usual seat-of-the-pants sewing for an event, but with the marathon I somehow predicted the unexpected lack of time, or more true, lack of energy to spend sewing afterwards.
The fabric was the starting point. I had a most pleasurable time surfing Fancy Moon (totally obvious choice for themed fabric- I did not need to look anywhere else. ) I had remembered some Frida Khalo fabric, but it was out of stock & also too day of the dead, which when I did my research was so far away from what Cinco de mayo was all about. Like Der. This might seem obvious to peeps living in much closer proximity &/or with much better world history & general knowledge than me, but I admit to blanding out & generalising. I am so sorry- I am truly ashamed to admit how ignorant I was. It always goes to show- do your research! Having done my research it was much clearer that I needed some fierce lady Mexican riders with cacti & even fiercer steeds! Giddy up! This ‘Charras Bright ‘ Folklorico Alexander Henry fabric shot the can right off the range.
But I was only able to stretch to 1.5m so had a challenge on my hands with choice of dress pattern. AND with such a large & bold print there was real danger of being drowned in senoritas & flaring nostrils. BUT (lots of emphasis here with the capitalisation- this is important!) – BUT – I also wanted a pattern that allowed the images on the print to show & not get lost in gathers or pleats. So where do I go for such a dress pattern – one that I have used before? Why the Hepworth dress by Sinbad & Sailor. However, due to the size of the print, I felt that I needed a different bodice, one that showed more flesh. Not knowing how low the neckline would be on me I went for the Flora dress – By Hand London.
And I moved the zip from the centre back to the side. What forethought, I am still pleased with myself on that one!
Matching the bodice to the skirt though was not without its trials. I lengthened the bodice when I cut it out first of all as I wanted it to hit at waist level. Then there was the trial & error exercise matching the bodice darts to the skirt darts. That took a few attempts & lots of line drawing on the skirt 😉
But got there in the end.
Once I had done that I could attach the skirt to the bodice & then try on. I did have to adjust the bodice length – I think I had been over generous, so once on I could mark where it needed to be & resew. But for all that, it wasn’t too much hard work & it came together relatively easily – even if it was over the course of a few stints rather than solid sewing.
So it went down very well at the party, especially with my suede jacket & cowboy boots. I am not sure if the strappy Flora neckline suits me particularly- it’s probably why I held out originally, but it’s different from usual & nice to wear. In fact I really like the neckline with the jacket on – just not so sure about the square straps. I won’t be making any changes though & love Mexican food, so think I will definitely use it as my no thought required outfit whenever we have Mexican! Hahahaha!!!
Now I have a bit of catching up to do, so tune back tomorrow if you are at all curious about my second Me Made May round up – the second ten days. Ta ra!