Bump and Brigitte Go to London!

Lisa is back with her second post for Love Sewing – in this post she tells us all about how she has transformed the Brigitte Dress into a maternity dress to wear to a dressmaking event at the V&A.


Yep, folks – you heard me correctly. The Brigitte dress is officially maternity wear for the newly pregnant! And here I am putting the flatter-all-figures credentials of this versatile pattern to the test. I think it passes. Look closely and you’ll spot the bulge making a remarkably early appearance (I’m told this happens second time round – especially if you’re crazy enough to leave a mere 14 months between stretching out the the old tum first time round!) 

free dressmaking pattern download

Free to Download – The Brigitte Dress from Issue 1 of Love Sewing

I’m hoping that sharing these glad tidings will excuse the lateness of this post. You see, Brigitte and I have been cosied up together since May…and you’re only just getting a peek. I promise you, if it wasn’t for the Kate Middleton style morning sickness, you’d have been squinting at my satsuma bright Brigitte weeks ago. 

Oh yes…I plumped for the brightest orange crepe I could find. And a little navy colour-blocking for good measure. 

Let’s move this train along though. I love a bit of a jolly…and what’s better than a jolly? A jolly in a hand-made dress, that’s what. So, once I’d mastered the darts and (almost mastered) the concealed zip, Brigitte had a baptism of fire amongst 70-odd sewing stalwarts at the London Meet-Up (#NYLon14). For the unitiated, this is a huge annual event orchestrated by Rachel from House of Pinheiro and this year, I figured I’d just tag along and wing it in my first ever fitted dress. 

Right about now, feel free to take a sharp intake of breath. I most certainly did when I strode (somewhat nervously) into the V&A Museum and was confronted by a sea of perfectly-sewn dresses of paradise.

If anyone noticed the (many) imperfections in my Brigitte, they were kind enough to do what their mothers told them and say nothing at all. Phew. I did, however, spend most of my day walking semi-backwards in an effort to conceal my not-so-concealed zip!

Still, Ministry of Funny Walks aside, I didn’t spend the day exiled to a Phantom Zone for second-rate seamstresses. Nope. In fact, at the end of a day chatting and shopping on the fabric-famous Goldhawk Road, I am now the proud owner of several new friends…and possibly a bit of Liberty silk at a knock-down price. I spent most of the day with four seriously stylish women, all of whom write blogs I’ve either been following for a while or am following in wide-eyed wonder since seeing their handywork at the meet-up!

brigitte maternity dress 2

From left to right, we have JodieJanetbumpalicious be-Brigitted meLindsey and Chantel. If you haven’t checked out their blogs, they’re worth a click or two.

Back to sewing Brigitte though. When I concocted the scheme for my tangerine dream, I was a little tentative. Could a girl as pale as me be interesting in orange? Or would I just end up looking like an over-ripe citrus fruit? I decided it was a risk I was prepared to take. There’s always fake tan, right?!

Sewing the dress taught me a whole gamut of new skills…the aforementioned (sort of)concealed zip, darts and grading a pattern from the waist to the bust. Hold the phone: this is brand new territory. I was pretty reliant on Tabatha from Thread Carefully as I sewed (not very carefully) along with their series of tutorials. And remember those warts I told you about in my first post? Well, my first attempt at darts had some pretty hairy warts right where you wouldn’t want them! Safe to say the seam ripper came out fairly hastily! 

But, warts and all, I’m pretty pleased with mon amie, Brigitte…although maybe I will be reaching for the fake tan after all. Next up, I’m attempting Lottie – because you’ve gotta love a pussy bow. But, hang on, how on Earth do I adapt the pattern to accomodate my expanding midriff? Is there anyone out there who knows? I’d love a little advice if so. 

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