Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Filipiniana Costume: Mestiza Dress

It's been a few weeks since I wrote about my Mestiza dress sewing project. I managed to finish my dress on time and wore it to the wedding on 1 September as intended. Here are some photos of my dress.


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Mr. L and I in our Filipino traditional outfits
Mr. L bought that shirt (barong tagalog) he's wearing in the above photo on our visit to the Philippines in 2010 for a cousin's wedding. I convinced him to buy one since it's what men normally wear to such occasions. You can tell I've been out of my country too long 'cause the foreigner was the only one wearing a barong tagalog while the locals were wearing coats and ties (in May... summer... in the Philippines... you get my drift?).

Anyhow, when we got invited to his mate's wedding, I immediately announced that that would be a chance for him to wear his barong tagalog again... not much resistance from him but with the proviso that I should wear a Philippine outfit, too. That's the story behind my Mestiza dress sewing project.

Closer shots of the dress:


Pink cotton peplum dress with orchid lace panel

Mestiza dresses are traditionally made of expensive materials, such as silks and/or laces, or materials indigenous to the Philippines, like pineapple, jusi or banana fabric. Since I had no access to indigenous fabrics, was on a budget, strapped for time and didn't want too much attention, I decided to make it relatively casual and added a peplum to make it a bit up-to-date. The lace panel was an afterthought as the pinkiness overwhelmed me.


The characteristic flat sleeves of a Mestiza dress

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Needless to say, I was pleased with this creation... still am - I feel a surge of happiness every time I look at these photos. Although a bit more practice, especially on the sleeve construction, would greatly help.

Give credit where credit is due... heartfelt thanks to Rhonda of Rhonda's Creative Life for her help with those flat sleeves. She's an angel.

5 comments:

  1. I've come across your site and your dress. Very nice, by the way. I've been trying to find a pattern and can't seem to find one. What pattern did you use?

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    1. Hi Nancy! I share your sentiment; there's just no sewing pattern available for a mestiza dress (aside from this collectible for over $200 - http://www.amazon.com/Patterns-Filipino-dress-Mestiza-1890s-1960s/dp/971854612X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1382167512&sr=8-1&keywords=mestiza+dress), or at the very least a sleeve pattern. For the dress, I just modified a regular dress sewing pattern... as for the sleeves, I've found this treasure!

      http://rhondabuss.blogspot.de/2012/08/sleeves-on-saturdays.html

      I wouldn't have finished my mestiza dress without Rhonda's help. Good luck on your sewing project.

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  2. Love love love this creation! Where did you get your mannequin? I can't find it online anywhere

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  3. Thank you, April!

    The online shop I bought that floral dress form from doesn't stock it anymore. Although a quick google would give you a posting from Alibaba (minimum 50 pieces order though):
    http://loutoff.en.alibaba.com/product/314571864-220951995/loutoff_female_floral_fabric_dress_form_mannequin_MM4.html

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  4. Thank you so much, you're the best! :)

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