The wonderful world of French Sewing

The evidence out there is incredible. While there are so many different sewing pattern companies popping in the sewing scene; there is no denial that the french designer-makers are here to stay or even ‘dominate’ the couture scene. So many interesting, on trend and even reinvented classic shapes. I feel like Alice in wonderland. I’m fascinated. I have declared March the month of sewing french couture on my atelier. I have been exploring some of the different pattern companies out there by sewing at least one of their patterns to discover what’s behind their huge success. Their je ne sais quoi. Excited about it too? You are invited. Feel free to talk about your favourite french sewing patterns, what would you like to know in more details etc…

Feel free to also tag #CoutureMarch.

I would like to start by introducing you to the patterns companies & highlighting which ones I will be sewing from. I know some of them will be very popular in the scene already. On series of videos I will talk my personal views of each pattern. First impressions, fit, quality of instructions, etc. The juicy stuff. Of course all the garments will be in detail over the blog.

Deer & Doe. The founder; Eléonore started the company back in 2012. It’s a well establish sewing company in the UK market.The patterns instructions at first were very concise. She listened to her customers and now the company has a whole new identity with the same great drafting quality. The new spring collection has improved size ranges {34 to 46 (printed) – 34 to 52 (PDF)}  and it’s available to print at home.  There is a free pattern available.  Available in other languages besides French. Women range only.

PatternPick:Luzerne trench. Type:PDF.

Wear Lemonade.  A mix of RTW and home sewing; Lisa -a trained stylist commands a little fashion and DIY empire. In 2015 she launched her first series of sewing patterns with instructional videos. Her collections goes from concept, fabric design, patterns to clothes. It’s very inspirational and beautiful.  Unique to all other sewing pattern companies she runs a “netflix” style sewing pattern where you pay monthly and get access to all her PDF patterns. French and English language. Woman range only size 34-46.

PatternPick:Robe Dita.Type:PDF.

DP Studio. Fresh new company. I’m super excited about their  fashion forward designs. The launch collection has 28 patterns; Women range size 36-48.  French and English. In their own words:“These collections are made to illustrate the trend of the moment, so as to help you in this world of fashion sometimes so complex.Each season we will take the main lines, the shapes, the volumes, the materials, the colors, to use in our patterns.

PatternPick:Bomber Jacket with seam detail. Type: printed pattern.

République Du Chiffon. Steered by designer Geraldine the brand has grow from blog to sewing books & sewing patterns since 2014. Patterns available both in PDF and printed formats. Women and children range in French. Only a few patterns have English translation. Sizes 34-46.

PatternPick: Chemisier Suzon. Type: printed pattern.

Dessine Moi un Patron. Easy to wear and feminine patterns are the inspiration for Milou’s designs. Women range sizes 34-46. French only.

PatternPick: Chemisier Dahlia.Type: printed pattern.

Orageuse sewing patterns. Launched in 2016 offers contemporary, minimalistic and urban  patterns. Patterns available both in French and English. Sizes 34-46.Free pattern available.

PatternPick:Londres Trench. Type: Copy-shop PDF.

Parisienne de Couture. Beautiful sewing kits. All you need to complete each individual sewing project. Andrea is behind the concept. Patterns not available separately from kit. Size 34-46. french only. * Youtube videos in progress.

PatternPick:BOX HIVER 2016/2017 – Cape (Fabric, pattern& Notions).

Slow Sunday Paris. Launched by Caroline in 2016; the patterns have a very playful feel.  The first collection has a lot of fluidity and feminine details. French only. Printed version only. Sizes 34-46.

PatternPick: Iris Top.Type: printed pattern.

Louis AntoinetteBeautifully present sewing patterns and kits. A real wow printed pattern. So many pretty details and a little sparkle of humour. Sizes 34-46. available in French and english.

PatternPick: Petra Jumpsuit. Type: Kit (Fabric, pattern& Notions).

Les Modelieres. Back in 2015 their initial concept was to provide made to measure sewing patterns. Customers would provide half-measurements and receive a personalised pattern. After the launch their realised most customers wanted to buy a range of sizes. Now you can get their collection sizes 34-46. French and English. Pdf format.

PatternPick: Not decided.

Pauline Alice. Pauline launched her sewing patterns back in 2013. The sewing patterns aesthetics are feminine, with a modern take on retro. Women printed and PDF patterns size range 34-48. Free pattern available.  Available in English, French and Spanish.

PatternPick: Not decided. Waiting new patterns to launch.

Aime Comme Marie. Similar in product range but in a smaller scale than Wear lemonade. You will find sewing patterns, stationary, fabrics and homeware. They have a capsule RTW collection with Poudre. Patterns size for the women go from 36-44. They offer men, baby and children patterns and sewing courses.

PatternPick:Magnétique jumpsuit. Type: printed pattern.

Iam Patterns. Offers sewing patterns and sewing-kits. They take their inspiration from the arts, music, cinema, science, travels: the everyday. Patterns in English and French. Sizes from  36-46. Patterns available in print & pdf format.

PatternPick: Not decided.

Ready to Sew. I missed this company on my initial roundup but seems this brand get a lot of love on social media. Patterns in French and English. PDF only. Sizes 32-46.

PatternPick:Janis top. Type: PDF.

Other french companies in the market. I won’t be exploring them in depth but worth mentioning.

  • Anne Kerdilès Couture. Anne has a range from beginners to advance women sewing patterns that range from 34-48. Both available in PDF and Printed format. French and English instructions.
  • Chez Machine. Pdf women’s patterns range 34-56. Has Children range. French only.
  • Blousette Rose. Women and Children Pdf patterns. French only.
  • Pregnant and baby patterns: Atelier Des Cigones.
  • Baby sewing and knitting patterns: Citronille
  • Mom & Children
  • Delphine & Morissette (Belgium but patterns are in french), Sizes 34-42. PDF women range.
  • Eglantine Zoe. Patterns, sewing kits and fabrics.
  • Histoire de Coudre: Printed and PDF women’s patterns.Sizes 34-48. French only.
  • Vanessa Pouzet. Woman and child pattern. Some patterns available in English. Sizes 34-48
  • L’atelier scämmit. An avid sewer, knitter and crafter herself Johanna launched her line of sewing patterns back in 2014. Sizes: 34-48. Women and children patterns.
Noteworthy to mention. Don’t get discourage if you don’t speak french. Have you heard of this sewing translator app?
  • A great roundup!

    • Thank you. I was fascinated by the sheer number of different companies.

  • Sarah @yoursewinstyle

    This is a great summary as l’m already following some of these on Instagram and love the style and classic lines, with modern twist on the ones I’ve seen. Will be investigating others you’ve mentioned too. Thank you 😊

    • Indeed.I find they all classic and feminine with that french essence.

  • Cassandre

    Great summary here, I tried and love a few of this companies already 🙂
    Do you know Ready to Sew? It’s also a french Designer and I think Raphaëlle’s patterns are all really unique, like you can really easily reconize one of her pattern, I think they really have a personnality 🙂

    • Hi Cassandre. I just updated the blog and included one of their pattern for a review,

  • Your post was so helpful! You itemized all the important bits – printed versus PDF only, language and descriptions of style. I have made a couple of Deer & Doe (love them) and I have the Pauline Alice Xerea? in my pattern stash but I haven’t made it yet. I’m always keen to see what new indie pattern makers are up to and it’s exciting to see how many are launching.

    • I love keeping up with the new brands. At school me and my best friend always tried to look for the new up and coming bands before they became main stream.

  • I agree that most of these designers have the chic when making patterns. French indinpatterns are the one step I buy the most. Last week I received my 2 latest acquisitions, a Republique du Chiffon and a Slow Sunday 😉

  • I’m looking forward to all the French Couture posts! and I got to know a lot of new-to-me pattern designers! 😀 Compagnie M however is definitely a Belgian pattern designer.

  • Francesca Amodeo

    I’ve been using some of these (obviously not the newest ones) for years – my French is pretty good and I’ve been following French blogs for years – they, like the Italians, never stopped sewing so there was never the “revival” there was in the UK and the US 🙂 – and in fact I usually don’t bother ordering the English version as I sometimes find the French easier to understand than the iffy English:) (I’m looking at you, Rep de Chiffon)

    Some of them are excellent, some, not so much. Like British pattern designers, American pattern designers, Italian etc etc etc….. And like the latter, some of them are serious and some are a little bit less – patterning for women has attracted a lot of amateurs who present patterns made up into wierd looking badly finished and unironed clothes I would be embarassed to wear to clean the house. (and people buy the patterns! And blame their sewing problems on themselves! ahem…)

    Was VERY impressed with the drafting on DP Studio’s and Slow Sunday’s patterns, not so much by Dessine moi un patron, Citronille and Vanessa Pouzet. Rep de Chiffon can be ok but I have had problems with her drafting at times – she’s improved in the last couple of collections.

    Blousette Rose, Orageuse, IAM patterns, Atelier Scammit, Delphine et Morisette and Ivanne S I found good; Aime Comme Marie and Wear Lemonade are not bad, but you need to watch out for slight drafting errors in piece length and a tendency to very tight armholes. DP Studio are I think the only ones (but I could be wrong, and of course I haven’t used all the ones you’ve mentioned) to furnish a full list of body measurements a la Burda.

    Deer and Doe are brilliant, of course. I have loved them from the start. I never found their instructions too concise – but I think our culture has become accustomed to hand holding, and it’s not enough to say finish all seams (duh!) at the beginning, it has to be repeated ad nauseum. Sooo boring. I grew up sewing from Burda…. ultra concise and sometimes incomprehensible! And adding seam allowances to everything – so I find most of these patterns ultra easy to use…

    Perhaps you could add the seam allowance thing to your list – I have having to add it to complex patterns so I wouldn’t buy (for instance) jacket patterns from Rep du Ch and aime comme marie

    • what an excellent review. I do think that even when they start a bit amateurish the pattern market is so competitive that either their improve their product or they fade.

  • Excellent roundup! I’ve been dipping my toes into the French pattern designers, but had no idea of half of these 😄 the Berlin skirt from Orageuse has gone screaming to the top of my sewing queue!

  • Nice tips for expanding my sewing horizons! Thanks!

  • Very well researched article. I have been following many french blogs but quite strange that i was not aware of many of the companies you have mentioned.

    • thanks. And I’m sure there are a lot more waiting to be discovered.

  • Mandy Chun

    Brilliant! Thanks to your wonderful article I have managed to track down the Atelier Scammit ‘Be Pretty ‘Blouse and have sent for the pattern. Many thanks. Mandy.

    • Hi Mandy. do let me know when you sew it. i would love to see it.

  • Elaine

    Adorei o artigo. Moro na França e conheço os trabalhos destas estilistas. As roupas são incríveis. Elas são muito talentosas e fazem muito sucesso aqui. Parabéns !

  • Fern Utz

    I found Ulyssia, a women’s top on Pinterest. I downloaded the free pattern but it doesn’t have any instructions on sewing it. Can you help me? It came from a French website that doesn’t seem to have a valid email address.
    Fern Utz
    Sent from my iPhone

    • Hi Fern. Im not sure how I could be of any help. I don’t speak french. My suggestion is to look for a sewing pattern that looks similar to what you have and read their construction order/ instructions.