"" The girl who makes things: Getting back on the (sewing) horse with Brigitte

Monday, 23 February 2015

Getting back on the (sewing) horse with Brigitte

Ola! Tudo bem? How are you all today? I have some good news to share with you: I made a dress! Yes, I've finally broken through my sewing drought and and got back into the swing o' things. What pushed me? Well, the BF and I went on a mini break to Porto last weekend and the extended time off work got me thinking about things. I've been really quite stressed at work recently. Not just a bit stressed, I mean heart racingly, breathlessly, breathing into a paper bag kind of stressed. It's been rather unpleasant. While we were in Porto I decided to reflect on things and work out some strategies for managing my stress. I thought of three changes I could make: exercise more, eat well and do more creative activities, ie sewing. I remember reading an article a while ago about how important it is to give yourself time to be creative, especially when your feeling under pressure. So with that in mind, I gave myself the deadline of last Friday to get started on all three. Well, the first two are a work in progress (I'm working on them though - honestly!) but I succeeded in the last point and spent all of Friday playing with my sewing machine. The result is Brigitte.


I wanted to make a simple, easy to sew, easy to wear dress. Something that I could easily complete in a day - no stress involved. I found the Brigitte Dress PDF after perusing Pinterest for free patterns. I saw a couple of versions that other bloggers had made, all of which looked gorgeous, so I downloaded the pattern and got started.


This pattern is really easy. It's a basic 60s shift with bust darts at the front and darts at the back for shape. I chose to sew with a ponte knit which I picked up from Feira dos Tecidos in Rossio. I cut a size 8 at the top and graded out to 10 at the waist and hips. There was no need for any fitting adjustments (thank god for knit fabric!) but I did have a few concerns about the bust darts which seemed a little too high. I changed my mind about them five times, but in the end I decided to stick with the pattern and I think it worked out ok.


I decided to forgo the zip, which the pattern suggests, as I could easily slip the dress on and off over my head. I hand picked the sleeve and skirt edges as I've never been able to successfully machine hem knit fabrics - they always end up wavy. Besides, hand sewing in front of the TV on Friday night is soooooo therapeutic. 



I love this dress already. I can wear it almost anywhere; at work, at home, on a night out. It's so comfortable. I'll see how I feel about making her again, I have a few other projects in mind, but I might just have enough space for another Brigitte in my life. Maybe a stripy one.

I've really enjoyed getting back into sewing and so far, I'm feeling a lot calmer! I'm also glad to be able to share some snaps of my 'hood with you. You see that tiling behind me? Isn't it pretty? Buildings are covered with tiles like that all over the city. Now that I'm back on the sewing horse, I hope to be able to show you more pictures of this beautiful city, as well as my handmades.  Here's a pic of Lisbon to finish:


12 comments:

  1. It looks really lovely! And what a great backdrop!

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  2. Really cute dress and lovely fit. Glad you've got sewing again. Your photo background is rather more attractive than here in a wet and grey cumbria!

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    1. Thanks Mags, I hope the weather cheers up in Cumbria!

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  3. Ooo! Your dress is gorgeous. Yey to getting back to sewing.

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  4. Hey. Your dress is really nice! I made my first version out of knit as well and skipped the zipp! So comfy aren't they!
    And yes do share more of your adventure in Portugal!

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    1. Thank you Simona! Yes, your stripy dress was part of my inspiration

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  5. What a fun backdrop! The dress looks cute and comfortable. I did squint a bit at the bust darts. I don't know anyone- not even preteen girls!- that would need them that high. ;-) It must be meant as a design detail rather than for fitting. Your hems are beautiful! I've never hand-stitched a knit hem, but I really like the way it looks.

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    1. Thank you Charity, I think the hem must be a design detail too. You definitely have to try hand stitching - it's so relaxing :)

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  6. Rachael, so sorry to hear your adjusting to Portugal has been tough. But lovely to hear you back, thanks to a trip to Porto (my hometown), and lovely to see some Portuguese tiles! Anything you need to talk about Lisbon or Porto, or Portugal, let me know!

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    1. Thank you, that's very kind! I'll certainly look you up if have some questions, do you still live in Portugal or have you moved away?

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