Summer is almost here. In fact, it was in the 90’s here last week. It’s time to sew cool and beautiful Mexican-inspired embroidered tops. You don’t have to limit the wearing of these tops to summertime, though, since you can wear them under a cute cardigan in the fall and winter like my daughter does. I’ve been sketching out some classic embroidery placement ideas for these tops:
This blouse includes many of the ideas I have seen on commercially available blouses – the crocheted edging at the neckline, buttonhole stitching, the curlicue line at the side edges of the yoke, and the rickracky up and down line of embroidery above the buttonhole stitch at the bottom of the yoke. On the front ‘skirt’ portion of the top, there are three panels of embroidery outlined by the up-and-down stitch. The center panel is shorter and thinner, usually. These panels are extra work, of course, but they are really slimming. Lots of the blouses have trim or embroidery on the sleeves. The blouse below uses more buttonhole stitching.
The backs of the blouses are often decorated, too, with a few motifs and the continuation of the buttonhole stitch.:
The blouse above shows a classic old-style blouse with gusset construction. There are bands of embroidery on the sleeves, around the neckline, and forming the body embroidery panels. The particular blouse I used for inspiration for this drawing was embroidered with a straight-stitch machine doing free motion embroidery, or at least that’s what it looked like. If you have a fancier machine, you could use bands of your machine’s embroidery stitches in different colors. You don’t have to have a pricey embroidery machine to make one of these blouses, and you can always do hand embroidery.
Many other cultures have traditional embroidered blouses. The drawing below shows a modern top based on the Eastern European peasant blouse:
The embroidery can be multi-colored, but you can also make a gorgeous top with embroidery in just one color. For example, I have seen a lovely turquoise blouse with white embroidery. Other ideas are red embroidery on yellow fabric, black embroidery on red fabric, white embroidery on green fabric, and purple embroidery on mustard yellow.