The Brigitte Dress and the Charity Shop Fabric

Fashion, Sewing

Brigitte Pattern Dress, Fabric TRAID, People Tree necklace

Dress: Handmade (fabric from TRAID)
Bag: {Think} Boutique
Bracelet: People Tree
Necklace: People Tree

I’ve only gone and made myself a dress which is actually 100%, totally wearable! HOORAH! Everything I’ve made up until now has always had something just not quite right about the fit, but this time, THIS TIME, it fits perfectly and I am beyond excited – hence the weird pose below!

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I love this dress so much, it has a bit of a 1960s feel to it, and the fabric is so beautiful. I’ve found myself just staring at the pattern for minutes at a time. I picked up this fabric from TRAID in Dalston, just before I moved back to Cornwall, and often wonder what other prints I’m missing out on.

If you haven’t heard of TRAID they’re a charity working to reduce the amount of clothes that are thrown away. They’ve set up recycle banks around the UK and have divert around 3,000 tonnes of clothes from landfill and incineration every year! They hand sort through all their donations with the best going into their charity shops, and use any other fabric to upcycle outfits which are then sold in their stores. The funds they raise goes towards global projects to improve working conditions and practices within the textile industry. They also support local authorities, businesses and schools around the UK to work towards a zero waste environment.

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I’ve had the Brigitte Dress pattern by Simple Sew Patterns saved on my computer for quite a while, waiting for the perfect piece of fabric to come along. I knew as soon as I saw the fabric in TRAID that this was what I would be making that dress out of! So, taking note from the Great British Sewing Bee I carefully aligned my fabric so that the pattern runs straight down the center of the dress and got to work. It was a really simple sew which I worked my through across two days.

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I’ve worn this dress quite a lot since I made it, it’s super versatile and I always get complimented on it. I’m getting a little better at admitting I made it, but I still feel a bit awkward and embarrassed – does anyone else get that? It’s been so lovely warm lately I’ve mostly worn this dress with bare legs and sandals, but I did pair it with some block heeled ankle boots and thick black tights for a Pixies gig at the Eden Project a few weeks ago, and I loved it. I felt like I was at 60s festival!

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My {Think} Boutique bag has made another appearance! I love it so much. ❤ It’s the perfect summer size satchel.

Both my necklace and bracelet are from People Tree. The Heart Charm Cord Bracelet is part of People Tree’s Wheelchair Campaign, where they work with Bombolulu Workshops in Kenya to create a range of beautiful jewellery, which after selling 100 pieces, People Tree donate a wheelchair to a disable child in Kenya.

The Love Charm Fan Necklace is made in partnership with TARA Projects (Trade, Alternative, Reform and Action) who make a collection of jewellery and crafts for People Tree. TARA Projects has worked with marginalized people in Delhi for over forty years, and the fight for people’s human rights and campaign against child labour. TARA Projects also supports an education programme for child labourers, providing them with free education so they can escape exploitation and poverty. They are currently helping more than 1,100 children! The necklace is handmade from small, green glass beads with a little bird charm on it, it’s so beautiful and I wear it with everything – at just £16 it’s definitely worth every penny.

Minus the shoes this is almost a completely sustainable outfit. My wardrobe is slowly filling itself with ethical goodies!
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2 thoughts on “The Brigitte Dress and the Charity Shop Fabric

  1. The dress is lovely, I can’t believe you made it yourself! Have you been practising for a long time?

    I’m so happy that I found your blog, since I want to fill my closet with sustainable and ethical clothes as well (it’s so hard not to give in to beautiful pieces at zara though…). Reading your posts (and seeing how stylish you are) really encourages me to continue trying!

    Hanna xx

    1. Oh my, thank you for your lovely comment.

      I’ve been sewing for just over a year, I honestly couldn’t even sew in straight line until then. You should give it a go, I find it so calming!

      Shopping ethically is really hard, but after a few months it becomes much easier. Once I had a few different places to shop up my sleeve I found myself drifting away from the high street. I’ve also found you can really develop your own style rather than whats being dictated in stores. I hope you stick with it, it’s quite fun discovering new stores and brands. 🙂

      Thanks you so much for your comment, you have encouraged me to keep going.

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