Old Gypsy Photos & Gypsy, Flamenco Pattern Picks

Whatever your feelings regarding Romani or Gypsy people may or may not be, there is no doubt that over the years they have been a big influence on design.  Their nomadic lifestyle, tendency to live outside of society’s rules, and traditions of dance and music, inspire designers, artists, and musicians.  In this post, I’ll share a few old photos I found and will list the photographer when I can find it. At the end of the post, I’ll post a few sewing patterns I found that can be reinterpreted by you, in case you are inspired by gypsy style, too. Maybe the gypsy style will inspire your summer sewing!

Stay tuned for next month when I will be taking a three week trip to Spain. I’ll be visiting some of my favorite towns there, including Sevilla and Jerez De La Frontera to see some flamenco shows.



gypsies-spain gypsies-yale-french-gypsies-playing-music-and-dancing1Gypsy children dancinggypsies2

By Joseph Koudelka

gypsies4Flamenco dancersFlamenco Dancers, Spain. These girls are most likely Spanish. Although Flamenco is considered the national dance of Spain, it was originated by the gypsies who lived there. Gypsyflamenco Flamenco artists .Photo:  Richard Whalen

Joseph KoudelkaPhoto: Joseph Koudelkagypsy-girlspostcard gypsy+children+vintage+image+GraphicsFairy004Gypsy postcards  via Graphics Fairygypsy1911police-escorting-gypsyGypsy escorted by police England, 1910GypsyAugustusShermanGypsy at Ellis Island by Augustus Herman gypsynypostcard_0001Gypsy Post card via Graphics Fairy

Below are my pattern picks for sewing with a gypsy or Spanish flair.

Vogue 8858 Flamenco Skirt PatternVogue 8858 ( Out of Print)

I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to make this! Although I would NOT be able to fit this on the carry on bag I plan on packing. But nevertheless this is one of the most beautiful skirt patterns I have ever seen.Flamenco Dress FolkwearFlamenco Dress Folkwear

I used to take Flamenco lessons and making this dress would be perfect if I ever consider starting again. Plus, flamenco dresses are incredibly expensive to buy.

Now on to some more practical but still with a Gypsy feeling patterns…swirlmaxiburdastyle

Swirl maxi burdastyle. More hippie than gypsy, but I love the design on this.

Burdastyle 116 ABurda 116 A. A bustier top and a ruffle bottom.

Layered maxideresslargeLayered Max Dress Burdastyle. This would be fun for summer.

peasanttopPeasant top. Burdastyle

And while I couldn’t find ONE ladies peasant dress sewing pattern that I would ever consider sewing  I did like this one from the forties because it has a fitted waistband and doesn’t look like a mu-mu. This is inspiring me to create my own design. Certainly it couldn’t be too difficult to come up with a flattering one?

I leave you with some Gypsy high style, from the seventies, the high point of Bohemian fashion.

70's Gypsy fashion70’s Gypsy style

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  1. says

    I absolutely love looking at old photos. To be able to enjoy old photos AND get a little fashion inspo is awesome! Great post thanks for sharing (^_^)

  2. Jaime Ethridge says

    I really enjoyed these photos, Justine! And I love the fashion inspirations, especially the not-so-gypsy-more-hippie skirt as I can see myself wearing that right now 🙂 Have a wonderful time in Spain!! I’ll try not to be jealous!

  3. says

    So excited for your trip!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s been six years since we went to southern Spain. I need to set up a savings account specifically to go back!!!!!!!! Great post and I’d love to see your version of a flattering peasant style top.

  4. says

    I’m half Spanish, my dad is from Huelva, not too far from Seville (even myself here in Portugal am about 2h away by car). I have sewn a mini flamenco dress (when my daughter was about one) already and when you do it you understand why they are so expansive to buy. In Spain it is common to hear people call it “gypsy dress” (traje de gitana) rather then “flamenco dress”. I loved your post and all the old photos. Enjoy your trip to what is my second country!

  5. says

    I loved looking at the pictures you shared! My oldest (almost 15) is very into boho chic styles of clothing. I’ll have to check out the patterns you shared.