June 7, 2012

Dress made of stitches with Portuguese soul

Olá! This week I had planned something different. I intended to continue on "embroiderers", this time talking about the features that distinguishes Portuguese embroiderers from different regions. But I had an unexpected invitation to show my work at National Portuguese Television and it took me all week to prepare everything I wanted to take with me... Even though I thought of something special to show you...

When I received the good news I became very worried about what to wear. I'm definitely not that kind of girl who fits in standard measures. And I wanted something special... Soon I realized that I had to put my hands on it... But time was short. And all we know that embroidering and short time don't match!!! So I thought of something different and it came out a good idea (ok... I'm not being humble...).
I recommend you to try it. What I loved the most in the process was the final result being completely unexpected. It seems that the fabric we are working on asks for a specific color or stitch... We only have to obey what it is asking for!!! Believe me...

I had at home some Viana Regional Scarves I usually work with but I had never embroidered them... They come from Viana do Castelo, a city belonging to Minho region, in the North of Portugal. They were dressed by peasant women in their folk costumes.

Rua enfeitada com os lenços de Viana
Popular festivities bedecked with regional scarves,  MNati Garrido
Viana do Castelo folk costumes, mvcaf

Final work... My photo

I cut out some motifs from the scarf that seemed to me appropriate to decorate the neckline of the dress.

Embroidering... My photo
Final work with the scarf already cut, my photo

Both sides embroidered but not symmetrically, my photo
With specially made earrings...  My photo

Stitches are not perfect but they were not intended to be perfect... I used chain stitch to go round the motives and fasten them to the dress. Some french knots, satin stitch and one or another "crazy stitch"... I hope you like my dress made of stitches with Portuguese soul...

Oh!!! Portuguese class was missing... Scarf means "lenço" and dress means "vestido"... Two words a girl needs to know!!


  1. Gabi, I don't know if I will ever remember your Portuguese words, but the heart of Portuguese embroidery is in every one of your posts and I thoroughly enjoy learning about it.  I really love how different and bold the Portuguese embroidery is, and what a great idea to use one of those beautiful scarves for your dress!  Your embroidery is very very nice, and your writing is very much appreciated.  Keep posting!  

  2. Great idea! Well, in Brazil we use the very same words for both items... so I guess I would not make a fool of myself when visiting Portugal and using them! :-) I hope the show was a success!

  3. RaggleTaggleGypsyGirlJune 10, 2012 at 9:50 PM

    This looks great, thank heavens there are no rules to creativity, hope your show went well......

  4. In this dress i like the all color combinations.Its all are attractive.Gotapparel.com has the number of collection of ladies online apparel.

  5. Thank you for all your comments... The show went well... At least it's what my friends and family say :)) I don't know if I believe them...
    I'm happy that you liked my dress!! I do like your kind words...