Turning a Traditional Embroidered Mexican Dress into Something Else

You guys, I saw this dress at the thrift store yesterday and I HAD to have it:

The entire thing is handmade and the flower embroidery is absolutely stunning. I also love the shade of green. Basically I just grabbed it and made ‘heart eyes’ at it. Oh, and it was $11.99 marked down to $8. So, I was physically unable to leave it behind. I mean, just LOOK at it!

The problem is… well…

Okay, I totally wouldn’t wear it over jeans, but I think you can see the issue. I look like I’m wearing a costume. My initial thoughts were to cut it into a blouse, kind of like the ones here.

But I’m worried about ruining the entire thing.

So, help me decide… should I:

Option A: Cut the top right where the bottom embroidery starts and hope it’s long enough to not be stumpy looking. Then, make something pretty like a pillow out of the bottom design. If it is too short, I could try to add some eyelet to the bottom like this Rebecca Taylor blouse I saw at Nordstrom Rack. It doesn’t seem too difficult…


Option B: Cut the top off through the bottom embroidery, ruining it. But giving myself extra room to hem to the most flattering angle.

Comment below and tell me what to do!

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15 thoughts on “Turning a Traditional Embroidered Mexican Dress into Something Else”

  1. I think the shirt would be too short. I would cut off the sleeves so it looks less traditional and matronly and then cinch in the waist by sewing or belting (there might be a lot of fabric for belting so maybe cut out some fabric). It is super cute though!

    1. Good idea to cut off the sleeves. There is a seam there, so it would be pretty easy to do. I’ll tuck them under first to make sure it looks okay before getting the scissors!

    1. I was thinking about that, but it still seems a bit overwhelming as a dress. I like the boho look of the top paired with jeans or jean shorts though! =)

  2. What if you cut the hem in a shape similiar to a dress shirt, a U shape. Then you could have some of the top embroidery but not have the lower lines of flowers. I think the design would still be proportional with the large motif and the upper lines framing.

  3. I would cut above the bottom embroidery then add a panel to the top to make it long enough. That way you don’t lose any of the art. I wonder if you could cut out those long thin strips, surrounding the main artwork on the bottom, and piece together an extra panel out of those. Then you could use that main bottom piece for the pillow (or was thinking it’s a great shape for a bag). I have one of these dresses in hot pink that’s been buried in a box for decades. I love it but would never wear it. Thanks for inspiring all of these possibilities. One of these days…

  4. Looking back at this…
    Another option is to add a waist seam. You take some of the excess fabric out of the middle green. It would bring the motifs closer together and then you could also shorten it from the bottom to get it to a more modern sassy length. And you don’t have to lose any of the embroidery this way!
    I was thinking too.. that sleeveless might be kinda awesome because you could show off your floral tattoo.

  5. Don’t cut it at all. Wear it like it was meant to be worn. Don’t belt it either. It looks great. It won’t look frumpy with sandals.

    I love those dresses. I have been looking for one but I don’t shop much except online and I want to inspect it.

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