A 'huipil' is a sleeveless tunic, traditionally worn by women in many regions of Mexico and Guatemala. This Frida Huipil sewing pattern is inspired by the huipiles worn by the artist Frida Kahlo, as well as some examples in our textile collection.
You can make your own Mexican-style huipil with our easy-to-use sewing pattern and step-by-step instructions, designed exclusively for us by Alice & Co Patterns. The joy of this design is that you add your embellishment whilst the fabric is still flat, making it easy to sew.
Download your chosen pattern (you can choose a square or scoop neck design), print it off at home, and follow the illustrated instructions:
We'd love to see your creations! Share your photos with us on social media using the hashtag: #InspiredbyFrida
Frida Kahlo wore huipiles in a variety of lengths, fabrics and designs. Many of her huipiles are made of commercially-produced cloth, embellished with geometric designs, chain-stitched on a sewing machine, or appliquéd ribbons. Some are hand-embroidered. Our Frida Huipil instructions include tips and ideas for decorating your huipil using shop-bought ribbons, which can be stitched on to the fabric in a square border design. You can experiment with different fabrics, colours and decorative stitches.
You could even try adding an embroidered design. Our textile collection includes a rare and interesting group of embroidered huipiles made over a century ago in the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico. One was intricately worked with stylised bird and flower designs in red cotton. Another was made from a single width of bought cotton cloth and embroidered with red and blue cotton thread, and a minuscule amount of wool, to depict flowers, birds and a large stag.
Our collection includes a longer style of huipil; instead of embroidery it features brocaded bands, worked with red and blue cotton, of zigzags, chevrons and lozenges. Another striking example from our collection features a woven 'double-headed eagle' motif, with brocading and cross-stitch decorations.