Hmong Jacket/Dress

Folks, over winter break I visited Hmong Village again (it’s an indoor marketplace in St Paul, Minnesota, with a lot of shops run by Hmong-Americans). See this lovely, lovely jacket or dress? You can wear it either way. All mine.

The red, purple, and orange panels down the center are cross stitch! Here is a closer look.

Here is a closer look at the applique on the sleeves and at the side. The dark blue is the base fabric, the red is sewn on, and the little white marks are done with a bleach pen. I really love the geometric styling.

Now, on to the back! It has a gorgeous cross-stitch panel too! It must have taken forever to work.

It’s incredibly detailed work. I love the color scheme.

For the picture below, I unfolded the dress so you can see the applique. The cross-stitch panel to the left is on the front of the dress, and the cross-stitch panel to the right is on the back.

Here it is completely unfolded:

So, are you inspired or intimidated? I think this style is perfect for incorporating embroidery into a dress, though I think I would choose something that worked up faster than cross-stitch.

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21 Responses to Hmong Jacket/Dress

  1. Sharon Brodeuse says:

    Love the colors, design, and geometric embroidery patterns! You will love wearing this for sure. To answer your question, I could never, never, do so much cross stitch (or any cross stitch at all, for that matter)! It’s just not my choice of embroidery technique to do. But, am really enjoying learning Hardanger, and I love traditional surface embroidery.

  2. Carol says:

    I live in a suburb of St. Paul, but have only been to the Hmong Market once, after most of the shops had closed (we were there for the food, anyway). Looks like I’m going to have to go back to check out the Hmong needlework. I love the Hmong designs; I wish I knew of a teacher of the pa ndau style of needlework–I would love to learn this and I don’t know where to go to find out.

    This is a lovely dress/coat. I hope you get many years of good use out of it.

  3. Monique says:

    Oh my! lovley, lovely. Tah dah, lucky you! Hmmm, did you say something a while back obout your studies? taking a break? 🙂
    Enjoy your jacket.

  4. martabrysha says:

    The dress is absolutely gorgeous and I’m sure you look stunning in it. I bought a lot of traditional hill tribe textiles when I was in Thailand about 15 years ago. At the time I bought pieces that were already becoming rare, or I believed would shortly be so. I always wondered how they did the batik so fine on the cloth. Now that I know they do via discharge dyeing using a pen it makes so much more sense.

    • Hannah says:

      They are definitely getting rarer. These shops I went to cater mostly to other Hmong immigrants in the US. So they know where to find this stuff.

  5. Anita says:

    Gorgeous dress/jacket.I like the colours and geometric pattern .

  6. Jaan says:

    WOW! that is one really cool dress. You are so lucky to have it. It really is amazing, all the work on it. LOVE IT!

  7. Gosh. I have to say that when working for clothes I would always go for something quicker than cross stitch – but then, neither would I choose to work such an intricate, geometric design, which is very well suited to cross stitch!

  8. Mary Corbet says:

    Hi, Hannah! Coincidentally, my sister just sent me photos of a Hmong “quilt” or wallhanging that a friend of hers made for her. It’s not nearly as elaborate as this – the stitches are really just a few backstitch lines and some straight stitch accents in the corner, and the colors are not very bright. But I thought it was funny that I just received an e-mail from her about 10 minutes ago with pictures, and then scanning through my feed reader, I saw this! Love the jacket – wear it somewhere FUN!! ~MC

  9. tanvel says:

    Fabulous! I love it, I wish we’d have shops that carry the Hmong work around here.
    Thank you for sharing your great find, enjoy.

  10. silkystitch says:

    Thankyou for bringing us this photo Hannah. It looks like this is something which is really enjoyable to do.
    I had never thought about using bleach to white out areas. I’ll have to try it out next time I’m having a ‘just messing’ session!

  11. Sandy says:

    Oh . . . covet . . . covet . . . .
    I like to do cross-stitch, but that looks a little ambitious for me at this point. (We’re moving in a couple months; I don’t DARE start any more projects.) Do they do mail order? 🙂

  12. redgatestitchery says:

    Oh, gorgeous! That cross stitch would have taken me years to do. What a treasure!

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