For the Roots sew-along at Elegance and Elephants, I decided to make an outfit that represented our Guatemalan roots. In Guatemala, the traditional outfit for women is composed of a huipil (a square cut blouse) and a corte (a skirt made out of hand woven fabric) which is also also accompanied by a faja (belt or sash). These outfits are only worn by the true natives or Mayan descendants of Guatemala. These outfits are usually very elaborate and embroidered with intricate and colorful designs. The Guatemalan natives weave their own fabric by hand, using a loom. The designs and colors embroidered and weaved on the fabric are not randomly selected. Usually, the colors and designs on these traditional outfits have a meaning (for example: they identify a specific town, marital status, fertility, etcetera).
I found good examples of the Guatemalan traditional outfits here: http://www.terraexperience.com/
The outfit that I made is inspired by the Guatemalan traditional outfit, however it is not identical because I would never be able to replicate these incredibly elaborate outfits. I also wanted to make it a mix of traditional Guatemalan outfit, with some Spanish influence and modern fashion trends.
The shirt is made out a white eyelet cotton fabric. I decided to add ruffles to the sleeves, to symbolize the Spanish influence in the Guatemalan culture. Both the shirt and skirt patterns are self drafted (tutorial below). I also added a little bit of colorful embroidery outlining the square neckline a small flower is also embroidered on the center front of the shirt to add a pop of color!
|I used the blanket stitch to outline the neckline|
The skirt is made out of a woven fabric I bought a while ago. I also made a sash for the skirt, made out of the same fabric.
To complete the outfit, I also made a colorful necklace to add a splash of color (to compensate my lack of embroidery skill :) ) Here is what the completed outfit looks like:
For the photo shoot I made a round flower crown, because, every time I think of Guatemala I think of Spring time. I think these flowers represent Spring very well!
I'll quickly walk you through the steps I took when making these outfit. Let me know if you have any questions ;)
|making the skirt|
- I measured the my daughter, from waist to knee and added 4" for the fold over waist style I wanted. I folded the fabric lengthwise (the width of the fabric is about 35") and cut the desired length. Then I folded about 3"of fabric over and pinned it in place, while trying to have a straight fold.
- I sewed along the pinned edge, while leaving about a 1 1/2" inch gap unsewn to insert the elastic. Insert the elastic and leave out both raw ends.
- Stitch both raw ends together to fold a loop and sew the gap closed.
- topstich rith above the elastic, to create a tight casing and forming the ruffled edging on the top of the skirt.
- To form the hem, fold about half an inch of the fabric and press to have a clean finish ( I serged all raw edges, but you can use your zig-zag stitch or fold in the raw edge to finish your hem).
- You are finished with the skirt.
- To make the belt I cut a strip of fabric about 6" by 35", folded it right-sides-together. Sewed along the edges, while leaving a gap to turn it right-side-out and topstitched along the gap. Press the sash for a more professional look.