Flamenco dresses, originally worn in traditional celebrations by Andalusian women, have become the standard professional costume for flamenco dancers. The dress can be either one or two pieces, and usually include an expensive ensemble, many dancers prefer to make their own flamenco dresses to wear for practice. Here's how to make a flamenco dress from a separate blouse and skirt.
Decide what type of top you would like. You can buy a leotard that matches the skirt fabric, or find a pretty blouse. For this example, we'll use a blouse.
Take the blouse apart at the seams, using a seam ripper. Take the front and back pieces, and lay them against a single layer of the dress fabric. With the fabric pencil, add 1/2-inch seam allowances to each seam. Make sure to get the side seams, armholes, shoulder seams and bodice piece seams. Add 1 inch to the hems and necklines. Fold the rest of the dress fabric in half, and lay the sleeve piece on the fabric. Add 1 inch to the sleeve hem and 1/2 inch to the side seams and armhole seam. Cut two of the sleeve pieces.
Pin together bodice at the shoulder seams, and stitch them in place. Then press and finish the seams. Open up the bodice, and pin the sleeve armholes to the armholes in the bodice, and stitch them in place. Fold the bodice back together, and stitch the side seams closed. Turn under the hem, neckline and sleeve hem 1/2 inch, and press. Then turn them under another 1/2 inch, and stitch them in place. Turn the blouse right side out, and press all hems flat.
Measure your waist for the skirt, then the distance between the waist and mid-calf. Create a rhombus-shaped pattern piece that is 1/6th the waist measurement at the top, and five times that measurement at the bottom. Cut six of these pieces from the dress fabric, and stitch them together at the sides. Turn the top under to make a waistband, and stitch it in place.
Measure the bottom circumference of the skirt, and cut a 6- to 8-inch wide piece of dress fabric that is at least twice as long as the circumference of the skirt bottom. Stitch together the short ends, and hem one long edge. Gather the other long edge. Stitch the gathered edge to the bottom of the skirt, creating a ruffle. Add as many ruffles as you like, making the skirt as long and flamboyant as desired.
Things you need
- Flamenco dress pattern
- Dress fabric and matching thread
- Sewing equipment and supplies
- Measuring tape
- Fabric pencil