Homemade flamenco dress!

I finally did it! Since I arrived to Spain three years ago, I’ve told myself that I’d like to try making myself a flamenco dress to wear during the spring fair (Feria de abril).

My first year I borrowed a dress from a friend which was green. I remember the night before going to my first feria, wearing the dress, I was so excited and could hardly sleep! I felt beautiful in it!

Unfortunately I couldn’t keep it, so the year after I bought a read one. I found it by coincidence on a street market and it costed me 20€. A real bargain! It was a bit too big in the waist, and a bit too short, so I had to go get some fabric to make the final ruffle… And it was hard work. I remember saying to myself that no way in h*ll I’d repeat this, so no, no dress would ever be made…

Last year I had a new dress, but this one was given to me by a friend who moved back to New Zealand. It is blue and has a different type of fabric which is lighter but not as traditional.

Which one do you prefer?

Traje Flamenca2

Well, anyway, my “ganas” (will) came back this year and one day, only three weeks before the feria, I went to buy some fabric. And you need a lot! I looked up some things online to make sure more or less what I’d given myself into, and I decided to make one with “falda canastera” which uses straight lines of fabric. I never use any patterns when I sew, that’s why I could never ever make anything for anyone else. I’m practically naked while sewing just so I can try it on, make changes, try it on again etc.

Traje Flamenca

I started with making a shift dress to get something I could hinch the skirt onto. As you have seen on my previous dresses a flamenco dress is very tight on the upper body and lets loose over your legs. The different styles are infinite and so are the colors, decoration etc. Since I’m not an experienced seamstress, I chose to make a dress without sleeves. It’s usually very hot anyway during the spring fair so having bare arms is not a problem.

Then the most boring part started… Measuring, cutting the fabric and doing all the zigzag. I think this part took me most time because once I can see the result, I work on well.

Traje Flamenca1

And there it was! Almost done and still some days to go… I just needed to make the straps a bit smaller, make a slip with pockets and fix the bottom of the dress.

I am very happy with my result and I know that many of my friends were impressed. Yes, I have been asked to make some for my friends next year, but instead I suggested to have a sewing-get-together. We’ll see, we’ll see… I’m sure I’ll make more though. Any suggestions of colors or style for the next one?

Feria 2015

I matched it with a flower in my hair that was the same color as the bottom fabric and with a “mantoncillo” (shawl) in beige or in black. The black one was for night visits and the beige during the day. I wanted to get a turquoise shawl but couldn’t find it. Next year maybe…

~Malena~

It’s not every day you see your students on the news…

For the last month I’ve had a new student in the academy where I work and he’s not like any other student, this one is famous! He used to play football in Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, and also in the National team of Spain. His name is Sergi Barjuan.

He is a really cool guy, very nice and humble, but also a lot of fun. He has never really studied English, he was born and raised in Barcelona and studied Spanish, Catalan and French at school, his English is more or less self taught during his years as a footballer.

When I first met him I was surprised by his level, it seems a lot higher because he dares to try! He speaks to me in English all the time and he really tries. He doesn’t get it all right grammatically, and sometimes he lacks some words, but he gets himself understood. That’s why he needed classes and came to us at the academy.

We’ve been having classes for about a month now, I loved it, someone to talk football with! And I think that his English has improved, at least his understanding of the structure of the language, but if he remembers it, we’ll see…

Anyway, yesterday I saw on the news (sport news that is) that he just got signed for Almería as their new coach. Great! I’m really happy for him and I hope he can make Almería stay in the first division (they’re third last but with quite a lot of teams with similar points). And yes, of course this means that he won’t be able to attend his classes in Seville anymore.. Bummer, but maybe he’ll be back? In the meantime we decided to keep in contact and I’m going to keep a close eye on Almerías progress… First game tomorrow against Barcelona!

Captura de pantalla 2015-04-07 a la(s) 15.01.32

Bye bye Easter

So Easter is over. It’s gone really fast, one week of holidays, friends and processions.

In Spain the Easter celebrations are a bit different to where I come from, they are very biblical and involve a lot of people everywhere and at any time.  The churches different brotherhoods have the tradition of having street parades with candles, crosses and huge floats with Jesus or Virgin Mary. The biggest one has more than 3500 participants and walk for more than twelve hours. They’re also wearing a special type of clothes that might remind you of the Ku Klux Klan, but no need to worry! This tradition has been going on for centuries, long before the KKK were known, and the white robe symbolizes innocence and they wear the pointy hat to be closer to God. 

All this makes the city stand still. I live in the center and I think I’ve seen a procession each time I’ve stepped outside my door. Although, these parades make you flexible: you have to find new ways to get around the procession because crossing it might be impossible. I’ve ended up being stuck in one for 30 min before I was able to pass, so if you know another way, it’s useful to go there. To avoid getting stuck I downloaded an application which told me where every procession was, although it didn’t update when there were any delays…

  

I’m not very religious but I enjoyed being here during this week. I usually go back to Sweden or to the beach when it’s Semana Santa (Holy Week), but this year I decided to stay. And it is pretty, it is interesting but a bit too much… 

The week hasn’t been all about processions though! I’ve had some really good friends here visiting from France and Madrid. It’s been really nice seeing them and now it’s my turn to go visit them! I also went to the game between Spain and Ucraine, the qualification for Euro 2016. They won! Yay! And yesterday I went to the beach. I burned myself but it doesn’t bother me, I can’t feel it today. My friend, on the other hand, also got burned and she feels sick today… 😦