Forum: Folk / Flamenco

Flamenco
How to Make a Bata de Cola?
By Cutesewer Comments: 10, member since Tue Apr 03, 2007
On Tue Apr 03, 2007 12:37 PM

Hi!
I was wondering if somebody could roughly explain how to make a Bata de Cola (design, construction, tips, etc.) I was unsuccessful about finding any information on the Internet. This site was the only one with a mention of anybody attempting to make a Bata de Cola. I don't have a way to put my hand on a Bata de Cola to see how is made without buying one and I can't afford to buy one right now. So any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated.
Thank You,
Cutesewer

20 Replies to How to Make a Bata de Cola?

re: How to Make a Bata de Cola?
By glitterfairyPremium member Comments: 12135, member since Tue Oct 01, 2002
On Wed Apr 04, 2007 03:39 AM
Just got back from work, let me have a shower (and wash my makeup off too lol - did a flamenco performance today) and I'll draw up some guides for you :)
re: How to Make a Bata de Cola?
By glitterfairyPremium member Comments: 12135, member since Tue Oct 01, 2002
On Wed Apr 04, 2007 05:42 AM
Edited by glitterfairy (42646) on 2007-04-04 05:48:07 edit
This is the basic shape I used - F stands for Front piece (cut on fold, no middle seam) and SB for Side Back - cut 2.

Author's note: I'm not an expert on bata's. I've only ever made one, which I'm not 100% satisfied with. All I say below is purely from my own experience :)

You would not BELIEVE how long it took for me to figure out how to cut out the back piece. I've made trained dresses before, but not in the flamenco style where the train just kinda 'sits' on the floor. The back pieces are basically just extended - you don't really need to reshape the CB seam at all! Just keep it going!

Tips: Do a heck of a lot of bata-watching prior to sewing. Figure out how you like it - poofy, narrow. This will help you decide how wide you want the skirt, as well as how long it is. Most are about 1.6-1.7m in length, with a circumference (total circumference) of 3.something metres.

Try to keep the SF and SB seam hemline 'smooth', as opposed to having a 'straight' F piece hem then a SB hem that angles sharply downwards (angles are bad! Angles are bad!). It's hard to kick around otherwise - it might take a fair bit of trial and error, or just an insert like I ended up doing :P

As for the ruffles... it's really up to you how you like them set out. There are lots of pictures on the internet, however I ended up with kinda medium-large sized ones. I have three at the front, and five at the back - I sneaked in some 'half ruffles' (ones that don't come around at the front) for my 2nd last and 3rd last layers :)
re: How to Make a Bata de Cola?
By Cutesewer Comments: 10, member since Tue Apr 03, 2007
On Thu Apr 05, 2007 11:24 AM
Edited by Cutesewer (176479) on 2007-04-05 11:25:06
Thanks for your reply Glitterfairy. I will take your advice when making the skirt. Based on your experience, What do you think is the best to make the front? Narrow? Or wide?? For dancing anyway. I have seen pictures of very narrow bata de colas but I have also seen some that are wide. What will be the advantages or disadvanted of the different styles when dancing??
Thanks,
Cutesewer
re: How to Make a Bata de Cola?
By glitterfairyPremium member Comments: 12135, member since Tue Oct 01, 2002
On Fri Apr 06, 2007 03:39 AM
I did a slightly narrower style, with a 'medium' flare at the bottom.

I don't like the REALLY fluffy ones because I think they look silly, but I do wish I'd made mine a bit wider - flipping the tail is just *that* much more difficult because there's less manuevering room and I wonder whether that's one of the reasons I'm still having issues with it flipping over.

The perfect shaped bata in my opinion, is the one on the Alegrias video here: www.youtube.com . . . (or maybe it's just perfect because they seem to DANCE perfect in them ;))
re: How to Make a Bata de Cola?
By Cutesewer Comments: 10, member since Tue Apr 03, 2007
On Fri Apr 06, 2007 01:43 PM
Thanks, I just checket the video and the bata de colas are incredible. I wish I could dance like that! and sew a bata de cola like that.
Elizabeth
re: How to Make a Bata de Cola?
By Cutesewer Comments: 10, member since Tue Apr 03, 2007
On Thu Apr 19, 2007 01:12 PM
Hi Glitterfairy!

I am working on my bata de cola pattern. I have a question about the measures you gave me. ItÂ’s the 1.7 m length from the waist to the end of the cola? About the 3 meter circumference, is the circumference all flat on the floor? Your previous tips are really helpful!
Thanks
Cutesewer
re: How to Make a Bata de Cola? (karma: 1)
By glitterfairyPremium member Comments: 12135, member since Tue Oct 01, 2002
On Fri Apr 20, 2007 12:23 AM
Edited by glitterfairy (42646) on 2007-04-20 00:36:17 adding on
yes, 1.7 is length from waist to hem following the B seam.

"circumference" shouldn't really change much whether flat on floor, or just following it around. Again depending on the height you might want to kick it out a bit more than 3m - my teacher's bata was about that wide around the bottom, and she's my height (just five feet, if that). If you're taller you'll likely want it a bit bigger :)

Will do some more drawing soon to explain what I mean about the S seam. Still trying to work it out in my head... as well as that bata 'feet' LadyKnight was talking about.

EDIT: Ok here are some drawings!
Image hotlink - 'http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g26/glitter_on/batascan.jpg'

The drawing in the top left-hand corner is about how the hem should curve down at the sideseam. the "NO" box shows what it should NOT look like, because it's ridiculously hard to dance in (a lot of the bata kicks come from the side - if the front piece is totally straight then you always have to kick from the back, and that's annoying). I guess this means that the front piece will have to be curved... enough to be ankle-length towards the centre but then curving down towards the side.

The picture in the top right hand corner shows how I imagine the F piece is supposed to be cut... haven't done this myself yet but will be doing it on my next practice bata when I have time.

The bottom drawing is how I'm guessing the bata 'feet' are supposed to be as described by LadyKnight (it's an underside view, the hole is the waistline and the ruffles are on the 'tail' part of the bata only). I haven't done this before myself, but have many issues with my possibly too-narrow bata flipping over constantly and have had "feet" suggested to stop this happening as much...
re: How to Make a Bata de Cola?
By Cutesewer Comments: 10, member since Tue Apr 03, 2007
On Fri Apr 20, 2007 04:59 PM
Thank you so much Glitterfairy!
Your drawings are very helpful. Based on your original response I was trying to figure out how to avoid the angles but you made it so clear on your drawing. Thanks for the clarification on the measures of the bata de cola. About the feet I will try to add one to my design.
I have another question about boning. I read your comment about your teacher's bata. Do you think is necessary to add some boning? and how I will do it??? What kind?

Thank you,
Cutesewer
re: How to Make a Bata de Cola?
By glitterfairyPremium member Comments: 12135, member since Tue Oct 01, 2002
On Sat Apr 21, 2007 12:03 AM
Edited by glitterfairy (42646) on 2007-04-21 00:28:52 putting in pictures
To tell you the truth I didn't notice any marked difference when I put the boning (well, thick piping really) in. Granted, my current bata is too narrow and there might be more of an effect in a wider bata.

What I used was this plastic tubing stuff I bought from a fabric/craft store (closest match to my teacher's bata as I could get. Funnily enough, we call it boning, but it's really not boning...) It's very cheap and you buy it in pretty long lengths - I think 10m was $6 AUS.
Image hotlink - 'http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g26/glitter_on/plastictube1.jpg'

And this is how the boning/piping was done on my skirt (you'll need some fabric tape or bias binding as well, to provide a casing for the tube. I think my tube was a 1/2 cm in diameter, and a 1.5cm tape was JUST wide enough for it.
Image hotlink - 'http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g26/glitter_on/batasketch2.jpg'

The two sketches at the top show where the boning should sit - right at the bottom hem of the base skirt either at or a tiny bit above where the hem of the bottom ruffle will lie. I don't think it matters too much whether the boning or the ruffles are put on first, but perhaps it would be best to do the ruffles first - some of the top ones can be tricky to put on and require a lot of hefty manuevering with the sewing machine, and boning could get in the way there (seeing as you work inside out/inside to the edge). It's very easy to put on last, anyway.

The three sketches at the bottom show how you sew on the boning on the UNDERSIDE of the skirt.

Sketch one is just the overlocked edge, folded in about a centimetre (it doesn't matter much as most of it will be covered by the boning) and pressed.

Sketch two is sewing one edge of the casing in preparation for the boning. I really can't remember whether I did the outside edge first or the inside... so I'm guessing here. This is probably the part that scared me the most as my tape was so narrow it only allowed me a 1 or 2mm seam allowance on either side of VERY TIGHT STITCHES (you do NOT want the boning to fall out).

Sketch three is putting the boning in. If you are doing this by hand it will be easy (and time consuming), if by machine try to go slow and use your thumb to a) press the tubing to the far side (the stitched side) as possible so it is tightly wedged in place, and b) press the tape down neatly so the machine can stitch it into place.

Now, at some point (when you get back to where you started) the tubing will have to be cut. Obviously there can be no overlap, so just try to cut it so the two edges of the tubing don't have much of a gap in between. Then, sew it in making sure all the boning is covered by the tape, and voila! :D
re: How to Make a Bata de Cola?
By Cutesewer Comments: 10, member since Tue Apr 03, 2007
On Sun Apr 22, 2007 08:18 AM
WOW! Fantastic! I am so excited! This is going to help me tremendously. I have a few more questions. I haven't had a chance to go to my craft store yet to check on the tubing.I saw the picture you posted. Is the tubing rigid or soft???
Do you attach tubing to the front of the skirt too?

Now regarding the ruffles, What type of ruffles you used? straight or circular? How did you attach them? Do they have a heading?
How far from the edge of the skirt does the edge of the bottom ruffle falls? I am not sure if a ruffle edge that hangs to far from the edge of the skirt will cause a problem while dancing?
Thank you very much!
Cutesewer
re: How to Make a Bata de Cola?
By glitterfairyPremium member Comments: 12135, member since Tue Oct 01, 2002
On Mon Apr 23, 2007 05:34 AM
The tubing is kind of in-between. Obviously there's a lot more rigidity to it than say, fabric cord, but at the same time it's remarkable pliable. And yes, the cord goes all the way around the bata :)

Will do a more detailed ruffle section later, but basically the style of ruffle is called a 'donut' (circular) - it is a "cut" ruffle, NOT gathered. The ruffle itself doesn't fall much past the edge of the skirt - either only a centimetre or two, or not at all.
re: How to Make a Bata de Cola?
By Cutesewer Comments: 10, member since Tue Apr 03, 2007
On Mon Apr 23, 2007 04:33 PM
Thank you so much glitterfairy! I'll get to work on my bata de Cola and will let you know of my progress. I appreciate very much the time you dedicated to explane the process.

Cutesewer
re: How to Make a Bata de Cola?
By glitterfairyPremium member Comments: 12135, member since Tue Oct 01, 2002
On Tue Apr 24, 2007 05:51 AM
my pleasure - it's good to be able to pass on things :)
re: How to Make a Bata de Cola?
By lapolaka Comments: 2, member since Tue May 22, 2007
On Mon Jun 04, 2007 05:26 PM
Hello Ladies,
How is it going with sewing the Bata? I too am making my first Bata and am starting to realize that it might be much more complicated than I originally thought. I'm just at the stage of drawing up a pattern and cutting the fabric. I did get to look at one of my fellow student's bata that she purchased in Spain, so I'm not completely doing this blindly, but I would appreciate any thoughts or tips!
La Polaka
re: How to Make a Bata de Cola?
By glitterfairyPremium member Comments: 12135, member since Tue Oct 01, 2002
On Tue Jun 05, 2007 07:25 AM
Argh I still have to start on my second one, will do so after uni exams are over...

My best advice is probably everything I've said above, in addition to "PIN THE RUFFLES ON BEFORE YOU SEW!". If they're placed on too steep an angle, it will just fold over itself as opposed to sitting the way it's supposed to.

Best of luck sewing! Let us know how it goes!
re: How to Make a Bata de Cola?
By glitterfairyPremium member Comments: 12135, member since Tue Oct 01, 2002
On Wed Jul 04, 2007 09:56 PM
Ok, so I'm committed to starting my next bata this holidays! (I'd also like to whip up a few more flamenco skirts, but I don't think I have the right fabric - I hate ironing so need to get some different type of fabrics, like something with lycra or a crepe weave)

Time to re-draft my bata pattern... I want something wider this time! And I'm doing an under-ruffle! ("feet")
re: How to Make a Bata de Cola?
By glitterfairyPremium member Comments: 12135, member since Tue Oct 01, 2002
On Sat Sep 15, 2007 09:18 PM
How did everyone's bata's go?

I didn't start my second one due to time clashes, although I've given serious thought to starting it today now that mid-semester exams are over. I'm getting really frustrated with my pattern now... do I need to make my skirt wider, do I need to make the tail part a bit narrower (ANYTHING to avoid the tail flipping over itself), are the under ruffles really that important, etc etc?

Just found an image of Eva Yerbabuena today and she has underruffles galore on her bata. :(
www.evayerbabuena.com . . .

I'm so frustrated. Been playing around with my own bata today and all it seems to do is flip over itself. *cries*
re: How to Make a Bata de Cola?
By lapolaka Comments: 2, member since Tue May 22, 2007
On Thu Sep 20, 2007 03:19 PM
I'm back on my bata project - it got put on the back burner for awhile, but now I need one for a workshop ASAP. Glitterfairy, did you have any luck attaching the 'feet'? If so, how much material did you approximately use? Do you think the fabric you used for the feet might add to the flipping over problem? My former teacher called it the 'chorizo' problem and felt it was addressed by the sewn-in cord and the material in the feet ruffle. She has some of this material that she brought from Spain and wants to sell - that's why I'm curious as to how much you think is needed.
re: How to Make a Bata de Cola?
By glitterfairyPremium member Comments: 12135, member since Tue Oct 01, 2002
On Thu Sep 20, 2007 10:57 PM
Haven't done the "feet" bit, no. Not sure how much fabric it would need, but probably the same amount as you'd use for the bottom ruffle. Alternatively if you do a FULL underruffling (which is what I'm beginning to see in many professionally-made batas), then it would use as much fabric as it took to do the outside ruffles :/

I'm inclined to think the type of fabric used doesn't matter too much - I think it's more the weight and placement issue that influences whether it flips over or not (as well as technique and cut, I guess).
re: How to Make a Bata de Cola?
By oriflamenca Comments: 176, member since Fri Oct 05, 2007
On Sun Oct 07, 2007 01:54 PM
This is Amazeing!!!! One day when I can sew better and have a machine I am going to try it. This was the only helpful link i found on makeing a bata.... I think most people are not brave enough to try it. You ladies rock:)

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