Frida Kahlo Inspired Sewing

Today we are taking inspiration from Frida Khalo to create a wearable look for little girls to feel beautiful and empowered. This was an easy choice for me for many reasons- First, Frida being a trendy figure these days and with the Mexican trend in the children's clothing industry this season it made it clear I was going to go this route. Also, on a more personal level I've always found my daughter to resemble Frida, her olive skin tone, mini unibrow and dark hair almost makes it her twin. So it's no surprise that Frida is known around this house and that maybe this is why this outfit happens to be my daughter's favourite out of the three I created. 
Frida Khalo had a very unique style, especially for her times. It was probably because of her body shape and brace that had her design and work with seamstresses to create loose fitting tops and long skirts. She also wore a lot of vibrant colours and different mix and matching print combinations. It wasn't until recently that her home and wardrobe was open to the public to see. I was inspired by a few of her outfits to create this kid friendly one. 
To create this look I used the Crop Top Set with some very simple modifications. I also created an under skirt to go with the look, that my daughter can choose to wear or not with this outfit. I completed the outfit with some black wedge booties from the Gap and added some flowers to the hair. You can see my inspiration collage here
For the top I used a rayon textured fabric I had on hand. It has a bit of sheen and is medium weight which was great for adding the trim on it. The trim is also something I bought a while back and fit this look perfectly. 

I made very little changes to the top pattern, I omitted the sleeves and modified the armhole to create more of a Huipil box shaped top. 

I drew in white the original armhole for you to visualize the changes I made. So I basically extended the side seam straight up. The I increased the shoulder slope by 1cm (3/8") and drew a line from the neckline to the side seam. I move the armhole opening down by 2.5cm (1") and notched my fabric at that point.
To create my armhole opening, I overlocked the front and back sides individually. I sewed my side seams up to my notch. I then folded my fabric in by 0.5cm ( 1/4") and stitched around the edge. 
Also before I sewed my front and back shoulder seams together I added two rows of trim. I laid the trim onto my top to determine where I wanted to place it and how much I would need. I used a pin to indicate where I needed to create my corners. To create the corners I sewed the trim at a 90 degree angle with right side together and iron them down. I then pin my trim in place and sewed at the very edge on wither side of the trim.  

I kept the back the same and used the one button options. I used a light blue snap that matched the light blue dots in the trim. 
Next, I made a skirt from some yellow gold sateen cotton. It's soft and has a slight shimmer. The only downside is that it creases just by looking at it! 
The changes I made to the skirt are really simple. I lengthened it, I wanted the skirt to hit mid calf and then added a floral border. I love that the floral border has both some of the turquoise from the top and the baby blue from the trim. I also made an under skirt to lengthened the overall look. 

The floral border is about 20cm (8") wide and the same width as the skirt pattern. I sewed the sides together and then sewed a skinny rolled hem. Next, I iron in the top of the border by 1cm, pined in place onto the skirt and stitched right on the very edge all around. I made sure when I pinned my border that I covered the hem seam from the original skirt. 

For the underskirt, I used a nightgown ( handmade in Haiti) I have been hoarding for way to long. The details of the lace and pin tucks are really pretty and fit this look perfectly. I determined the length by doing a quick fitting with the fabric worn under the yellow skirt. I then simple created a casing for my elastic at the top. Nothing too fancy. 

Finally I to complete the look I braided my daughter's hair and added some cute little flowers.

I could not have created this outfit at a better time. A girl in my daughter's class told her she had a moustache and my daughter came home really sad. I honestly thought she would get teased about her eye brows first and wasn't quite ready for this. Also, I was expecting these things to happen when she would be a little older! I remember being in grade 5 or 6 when someone told me that I wasn't the prettiest in the class but at least the nicest, this is something that affected me my whole life. I know it's silly, but the society we live in is so focused on looks.  I make a really big effort not to talk about people's physical appearance or weight and to never judge, especially around my children. So when my daughter told me what happened, I was surprised, angry and sad. First I told her she didn't have a moustache and that it was cute peach fuzz. I told her I had it too ( it's true!), then I mentioned how Frida and her had the same moustache and eyes brows and that they were both very beautiful. I think having such an influential woman she can look up to is so important. Next time someone tells her she has a moustache, she is going to answer "so does Frida and she's cool! And anyways I think my moustache is cute just like peach fuzz". Man this parenting thing is not easy. 

I hope to see little Frida's pop up all over the web this summer! Coming up next, Jackie O's impeccable and chic style. 
March 28, 2016 by UpCraft Club
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Carina said:

This is so cool – love the look you created. Lovely colours, beautiful daughter!


Shawna said:

I love how playful the dress looks. My daughter and I love looking at the outfits you make (she really wants to be Amelia Earhart now!). Your daughter gives the outfits you make life and character and my little one gets excited when she sees her up on my screen – so in my house she’s a rockstar!
Jenya Thompson

Jenya Thompson said:

Your daughter rocks this outfit! The colours suit her so well. I am glad she has a cool adult to look up to – both yourself and Frida :)


Audrey said:

Your daughter is so beautiful! Love what you did with the skirt, of course!

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