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Where are you from and where do you live? What do you do other than sewing?
I come from the very small village of Normandy, France. I lived there until the age of 17, then moved to Paris to study architecture. During my studies I was lucky to stay a year in Göteborg, Sweden, thanks to an exchange program. Last year, after completing my Masters last year, I moved to Montréal, Canada where I have been living for nearly 7 months.

I think I have always been interested in crafty stuff. I used to draw and paint when I was younger, but not much anymore. Now I sew, and I will probably stay addicted to it forever. I knit too. I’m a true beginner but it is still nice. It is testing my patience and my nerves because, for the moment, not a project is turning out the way/size I want. With knitting, the thing is, I don’t really see it is not turning out well until I am finished. With sewing I see when a project is going the wrong way but not with knitting. One day, maybe, I will figure it out.

Can you tell I have been a dress kind of girl for a long time!

Tell us about your sewing journey.
I’ve been a member of BurdaStyle since 2008 but did not upload my first project until 2010. I have always been attracted to sewing but never really got into it seriously. I’m a pretty messy person so I didn’t really start to sew wearable things until my aunt lent me her sewing machine, then I uploaded my first patterns. Before that it was just tiny projects that I, most of the time, didn’t finished.

My grandfather was a tailor (I’m really stupid because I didn’t learn from him when he was alive, only a few skills: to thread his old Singer and make a simple hem) and I think he gave me the interest in sewing, that was the starting point. I then waited for the internet and an amazing site like BurdaStyle to really learn.

I’m still a real amateur so I would not say I have any great sewing achievements. The project I’m the most pleased with would be a pair of beige shorts, probably the most tailored piece I’ve made, involving: pleats, pockets, a zipper and belt loops – yoohoo!

Who or what inspires you?
I definitely have some people whose styles I adore: Alexa Chung, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Zoey Descahnel, Ulyana Sergeenko, Anna Dello Russo; but when it comes to inspiration I am more drawn to images and illustrations: women in Mucha’s work, Elvgren’s pinup art, the elegant silhouettes of Christian Dior’s sketches, etc.
I love so many different styles but in everyday life I think I would wear anything that is a mix of comfy and simple but with a good amount of interesting details and great fabric and patterns with a retro vibe from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, all my favorites. I also like 30’s art deco, rock ‘n’ roll and even grunge accents here and there.

I’m really looking at graphic design as inspiration. I love abstract patterns, faded colors with bright accents, geometric shapes, cute drawings, etc. There are so many great designers and illustrators out there! Ffffound and Etsy are full of treasures!

In terms of fashion, I’m of course addicted to Burdastyle. I’m also loving independent pattern designers like Colette (I have to make that macaroon dress, it is classic!), Victory Patterns, and Salme Sewing Patterns. BurdaStyle member, AGoodWardrobe, created a great list of them on her, also great, blog: http://agoodwardrobe.com.

I’m obsessed with patterns!

What’s your sewing secret weapon?
I’m not an expert in sewing techniques, I have so much to learn, so I’m playing with different tricks/details in my projects. I have a thing for fabric converted buttons, I think they are a really nice touch. Pockets are always a nice detail to work with, when it comes to dresses and skirts (let’s be honest, there is nothing more practical than having pockets in a dress or skirt). Another thing, I would like to practice sewing is more collars because they are everywhere lately and starting to grow on me.

Tell us about your sewing experience.
I am always listening to music when I sew and usually the music compliments the style of the garment. When I was a student in Paris I sewed at anytime: in the evening, after classes, or all weekend. I would clear my computer, architecture models and drawings off of my desk and just start sewing.

When I moved to Montréal I gave my aunt back her sewing machine. I didn’t have a sewing machine for 6 months and I missed it! A few days ago my wonderful boyfriend found me an old Brother in a second hand shop for $25.00. I’ve spent all my time-off cleaning it, buying new needles and threads and testing the thread tension.

Now I’m officially ready to get back to sewing!

What is your dream sewing project?
One day I would like to make a garment I would be truly proud of, something tailored with nice details. It would be well executed on the outside and the inside! Now that I have a sewing machine that is only sewing straight stitches, I hope I will improve my finishing techniques because I’m kind of a lazy overlock stitch kind of girl. The Tikva Trench has been on my dream sewing list for a while now, maybe in a nice navy fabric with beautiful patterned lining. Nicely fitted pinup dresses are on my dream sewing list like the Bustier Dress with Draped Detail and Feather Motifs On Cherry Cherry from the Whirlingturban Store.

Tell us about your BurdaStyle experience.
As I said before I’ve been a member of BurdaStyle since 2008 but uploaded my first project two years later. I visit the site every other day, sometimes more, sometime less.

I love it because it has everything I need. I can brows through projects for inspiration, download free patterns, get Burda Style Magazine patterns (which is really nice when I want just one or two patterns in a monthly issue), learn new techniques, enter in contests with great partners, and discover talented members (their work and sometimes their blogs). So many things!

What is the most frustrating thing about sewing for you? What is the most rewarding?
As I said before, I’m kind of messy and impatient, and lazy too so hand stitching is a nightmare for me, ripping seams is really annoying as well.

I would like to learn about pattern making and alterations because I have bought some commercial patterns that turned out to be totally wrong for me. I wasn’t able to fix them, it was frustrating, a total waste of money and time and a big loss of hair! I would love to be able to make a garment from A to Z: draw the pattern, print the fabric, and stitch everything together.

The greatest reward is (or would be as I haven’t yet) to create exactly what is on my mind. The most frustrating thing is when I don’t seem to get the project going in the direction I want, no matter what I do! Nevertheless, every step, every mistake and every attempt at a new technique makes sewing so interesting and addictive! Every small thing I learn and every success is a great reward.

I’ve started to knit since being in Montréal, as I didn’t have a sewing machine. There is a really nice website called Threads and Needle where I have a profile.

Check out emilief’s top ten favorite member projects!


  • Tumblr_m4vtmiuoqa1qln9kgo1_500_large

    Sep 9, 2012, 05.31 AMby delama

    Cool patterns!

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    Apr 23, 2012, 07.42 PMby zabelleetlabete

    Wow! I would love to meet you. Where in Montreal do you live? Do you know about Emeline et Annabelle. We could meet there.

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    Apr 23, 2012, 12.38 PMby liliashp

    Loved checking out all your projects! Your trousers and shorts are amazing! The pockets and other details are perfect. And I love all the prints you use- so chic!

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    Apr 22, 2012, 09.09 PMby glitzysparkles3

    I just love the red dress at the top and I would love to see my little girl in clothes like these. So cute. Keep following your dreams, you are very talented.

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    Apr 22, 2012, 02.26 AMby Sewingtable

    What beautiful clothes! These look like they should be in Bloomingdales! Congratulations.

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    Apr 21, 2012, 05.19 PMby cocco1234

    Hello Emile your work is beautiful you just caught interest . My sister lives in Cherbough , Normandy . I was there visiting last summer and was so sad because I was dying to get some fabrics but could only find a few at Eurodif which had beautiful home furnishing fabrics . Normandy is beautiful and Iam hoping to go back and do some sewing for my niece and teaching her how to sew . Do you know of any stores in that area ? Thank you . Constance

    1 Reply
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      Apr 22, 2012, 12.36 PMby emilief

      Hi Constance,
      unfortunately I’ve started sewing once I left my parent’s house and moved to Paris so I don’t really have a good knowledge of fabric stores there in Normandy.
      But I will be back there for the summer and I will definitely check for some good adresses and I will let you know !

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    Apr 21, 2012, 01.07 AMby notdeadredhead

    Totally awesome projects! Both Paris and Montréal are gorgeous cities! :^D I look forward to checking out more of your projects, and I hope life’s treating you well! :^D

    1 Reply
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      Apr 21, 2012, 02.43 AMby emilief

      Tahnk you :) You are so true, Montréal and Paris are too amazing cities and I feel really lucky to have been able to live in both of them !

  • Annette_large

    Apr 20, 2012, 04.27 PMby Asiverson

    Emilie You should take the bombshell dress course. The dress is fab, and Gertie, the instructor, is absolutely wonderful. You would learn so much from her and from the class, and get a great dress! Love the write up/interview, you and Burda did a really good job. Anyway, keep on sewing, knitting, etc. Practice really does make perfect! Annette

    1 Reply
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      Apr 21, 2012, 02.36 AMby emilief

      I sure will !!! Thank you for the comment :)

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    Apr 18, 2012, 08.16 AMby hinon

    Thanks for sharing this with us! You did a great job on the shorts, they look perfect. I’m currently working on the bustier dress; it is the dress made by Gretchen in her ‘bombshell dress’ online course. This is a great course where you can learn new techniques and also how to adept the pattern so it will fit. Cheers, Anne-Marie

    1 Reply
    • Photo_de_profile-pola_large

      Apr 19, 2012, 09.55 PMby emilief

      Thank you :)
      I was thinking about taking the course too for the “bombshell dress”, can’t wait to see the result of yours !!

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