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?
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.
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.
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?
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…