Self Portrait as Frida Kahlo

At the start of they year, when we were asked to name themes for the upcoming challenges, one that immediately sprang to mind was a creation inspired by art. This idea came from my near obsession with one artist in particular. I first encountered Frida in a rather round about way, it’s all a bit of a mystery. I can recall finding artist and blogger Elsa Mora while researching doll making. She had created a doll house of Frida’s home Casa Azul and spoke about her connection to the artist.

Though I had encountered her before, I was suddenly ravenously curious about Frida. I researched her online and I borrowed books from the library. I watched documentaries and the feature film about her life. I even made a doll version of her so that she would be by my side.
The art, life and sheer presence of Frida Kahlo have by this point influenced so many other aspects of my life that my sewing should hardly be left out.

Frida the woman and her artwork are difficult to separate. Most know for her self portraits (she did paint other subjects occasionally) they are, in fact, one in the same. Having studied her work, her life and art a bit I had some knowledge of her paintings already, and some definite favorites (The Two Frida’s, What the Water Gave Me, and Viva La Vida) I thought to pull inspiration from one of those works. Verdant greens, deep blues, red, whites, blood, gore, death and life. But just before I read the list of upcoming challenges, I purchased this book and found my inspiration within its pages.

Self-Portrait with the Portrait of Doctor Farill

In this painting, Frida is not featured in the customary heavily embroidered garb of her personal life and many of her paintings. Rather, she is simply attired in black and white. In the book there is a photograph of this outfit beside the painting. It is sort of eerie as it is missing the artist, the woman herself.


Something about the tunic called to me. I decided I would make it. Just like that.

I looked to my patterns and sewing books, and found the perfect substitute in the Japanese pattern book Drape Drape One. I used pattern no. 15.




What a relaxing experience it was! No fitting woes at all when you’re making a tunic! It should even transition to my real life wardrobe well. What a feeling! Lol


The inside is gorgeous as well. All serged and neatly pressed for the seams. For the skirt I used a vintage Simplicity pattern (4018) I purchased from Etsy.
I will definitely shorten this, though. Unlike Frida, I quite like showing my legs ;0)

I was so high on sewing ease juju I made a bonus project!

Tunic W (for Wanett!) from Stylish Dress Book One. I substituted ruffles for embroidery, as one is doable in a weeks time and the other is nor, at least for me. The inside of this one is neatly finished with my serger also. So, that’s three(!!!!) never before used patterns done in one week! You see how Frida inspires me!

The Facts | Art Challenge
Fabric | The same white fabric from my Gal Friday blouse (might have finally used it up), blue cotton shirting, black cotton sateen
Patterns | Pattern no.15 from Drape Drape One, Simplicity 4018 skirt pattern, Tunic W from Stylish Dress Book One
Year | ALL over the place! 1950’s to present!
Notions | Mostly thread, one zipper and a bit of interfacing for the skirt
Time to complete | A few of hours a day over three days or so. That includes tracing the patterns and cutting. Not bad.
First worn | While getting my Frida on for these photos.
Wear again? Yes! I love them all!
Total price | Really can’t say. The fabrics and patterns were all in the stash. The books cost about $50 together, but contain many other patterns. Simplicity 4018 was $6. I’m fairly cheap, so I know the fabrics didn’t cost much. I’m also wearing my vintage store find Enzo Angiolini booties from The Urban Jungle $15. And Sew Weekly meet up flower from Oona! With paper flowers my twins made in Pre-K ;p

Even more pics here


13 thoughts on “Self Portrait as Frida Kahlo

  1. You are beautiful. This is by far the most original and unique style-up I’ve seen all day. I loved Frieda after watching the movie where Salma Hayek played Frieda (before that I’d seen some of her paintings and found them a bit disconcerting-but of course the themes make sense once you know the stories behind them…).and I think you’ve done very well capturing the lady’s essence…

  2. yer sewing skils and finished pretties have me swooning over here! the joy in your photos spills over as well and is making me wish my brain let me sew clothes. someday. for now i will stare at what others make and applaud!

  3. Pingback: MMMay Rewind & Some Guest-ing | Sown Brooklyn

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