Friday, July 27, 2012

Fabulous Free Pattern Friday

I was recently in Houston. My trip is never complete without a trip to one of my favorite stores, Surroundings. The owners find the most interesting pieces and it is always a delight for the eyes. On this visit, everything was on sale. Not a good thing, although I was quite good and only bought a couple of things. The most interesting piece that I purchased was this Huipil from Guatemala. The ties that you see in the picture were added by me.
Huipil is the most common traditional garment worn by indigenous women from central Mexico to Central America. It is a loose-fitting tunic generally made from two or three rectangular pieces of fabric which are then joined together with stitching, ribbons or fabric strips, with an opening for the head and if the sides are sewn, opening for the arms. Traditional huipils, especially ceremonial ones, are usually made with fabric woven on a backstrap loom and are heavily decorated with designs woven into the fabric, embroidery, ribbons, lace and more. However, some huipils are also made from commercial fabric. Lengths of the huipil can vary from a short blouse-like garment or long enough to reach the floor. The decoration of traditional huipils generally indicates the ethnicity and community of the wearer as each have their own methods of creating the fabric and decoration. Some have elaborate designs with the designs having significance. Ceremonial huipils are the most elaborate and are reserved for weddings, burials, women of high rank and even to dress the statues of saints.
I thought the piece was interesting, but that was about it. My friend who was with me wanted me to put it on so I did and once on, I liked it so much more especially when I cinched it in around the waist.
I sewed ties to the front and then pulled the ties inside to the back and tied them.
I sewed a casing onto the back and then threaded my cord through.
 This gathers the back quite nicely.
 It took me all of about 15 minutes to do this.
There are quite a few Huipils available on Ebay, but why not make your own? After all, it's nothing more than a rectangle. Use a fabric that you love and rather than the embroidery around the neck, maybe use a beautiful piece of embroidered ribbon. The length can be any length you like. For the width, you will want your rectangle to be approximately 3/4 of your hip measurement. This will give you enough to wrap to the front and to the back. The opening for the head to go through is just a square.

Measure your head. Find the center of your rectangle and draw in a circle and then square off the corners. Fold in the raw edges and then attach your trim. Try the piece on and mark your waist. Sew ties to the front at your waist. These ties will tie to your back. Sew in a casing on the back of your piece, I used bias tape. Thread your cording through the casing and you are set to go.
I think I am going to get a lot of wear out of my piece as it is so easy to throw on.
Good luck if you decide to give it a try. As you can see, it is probably the easiest piece you'll ever make. Happy Friday!

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