Salut! As I’ve written before on here, I love all things French and have enjoyed French culture, language and fashion ever since I started learning the language when I was little (the cool kids went to dance class, I went to French Saturday school…) and lived in Paris on and off between 2014-17. Years later these have inspired my Modista French label designs!
The world of French sewing is HUGE and la couture is seriously popular over there. From my experience, French culture really values anything home made and it’s expected that high quality, effort and care be put into anything fait à la main. Just think of their main cultural exports, food and fashion. French food is characterized by rich flavours, home cooked meals and a certain aesthetic that makes it quintessentially French. French fashion is also known for its classic and elegant silhouettes that we know to be iconic today. A lot of the French sewing style is no different – using gorgeous fabrics on patterns that have a classic style – with a twist, and always with a good story behind the make.
If you like sewing, you most likely have heard the success story of Atelier Brunette who sell cult favourite designs from their boutique in Paris, but do you know the other French fabrics, sewists and patterns that could be inspiring you?
In this post I’ve included a round up of my 5 favourite fabric stores, pattern designers, bloggers, and hashtags for you to explore! Many of them offer patterns or descriptions in English but even if you don’t speak French, they will still inspire you to add a little je ne sais quoi to your makes.
5 French fabric stores you should know
No list would be incomplete without Atelier Brunette. Designed in Paris and manufactured in India, these fabrics have gained cult status and captured the imagination of hundreds (thousands?) of sewists. Their latest collection is inspired by Rajasthan and I love the ochre and sage tones especially. Check out their tagged photos or #atelierbrunette for inspo. AB is sold in several stores in the UK – check their stockist info.
I LOVE THIS STORE and am pretty devastated their shipping costs are so high to the UK. Their designs in stock are so pretty however, I think it may be worth it. Mercerie in French means haberdashery and this online store has everything from patterns to buttons but my favourite section is definitely the tissus (fabrics), including the pretty floral viscoses that I see a lot on French hashtags!
Another online haberdashery with a gorgeous collection, Cousette stocks really beautiful fabrics as well as their own and independent makers’ patterns. They have some beautiful viscose twills which I think we don’t have enough of in the UK…
I’ve recently discovered this fabric maker and am blown away by these designs, made in France. They make the most beautiful jacquards I think I’ve ever seen and they would be stunning as a jacket.
These original French designs are so quirky and fun! They have the most lovely viscoses in particular and have recently started selling buttons as well. They also stock beautiful broderie anglaise which is really on trend in France at the moment.
5 French patterns you will want to sew
I have had these patterns in my basket for a while but am currently trying to wean off a serious pattern addiction (just this weekend I sold a fractional 20 of them to make room)….
Wedding dress by Atelier Charlotte Auzou
This designer has several out there but perhaps her most famous is the robe atelier aka wedding dress, from her book on how to sew your own wedding gown.
Etoile dress by French poetry
I adore this dress – it’s so pretty with a lovely sleeve detail and button down tea dress style front. I can see it in so many fabrics!
Iris dress/blouse by Le Camelia Rose
You might recognise this dress – I made the blouse edition recently in a dobby cotton and loved it. Next up is the dress, I’m planning in a cotton lawn for an autumnal day to night dress
Azur dress by Atelier Scammit
Johanna’s designs are great for smart-casual day wear with some fun details like the ruffle neck on this dress!
Jazz jumpsuit by Ready to Sew
The Jazz e-book has been ridiculously popular in France and beyond and I can see why – there are EIGHTY variations of the pattern using the skirt, jumpsuit, shirt and sleeve variations so you really can make it your own or even build a full wardrobe from it I imagine!
5 French sewers you will want to follow
This is where the rabbit hole gets really fun. I have lost count of how many French sewers I follow so it’s hard to choose but these are some of my favourite who have managed to do what I long for – really mark out their own individual style with a DIY wardrobe. These 5 and so many more really inspire me!
Le French Closet
Emmanuelle has a really minimalist style which I admire and works a lot with linens and tencel. Her makes always have a lovely drape to them and she’s a lovely person to top it off.
Roberta from Made by Robi
THIS. DRESS. I am blown away by Roberta’s creations from the South of France and her pattern/fabric combinations are utterly sublime. Every make is different but somehow all recognisable in her own style. She is such a talented sewer.
Carole from La Maison Six Chouettes
Carole is queen of the pattern hack and I love how she used the Norma blouse here as a dress. She has a really distinct style and always styles her makes really beautifully as well!
Benedicte from Louanje
Bénédicte is building the capsule wardrobe of my dreams and I especially like her autumnal looks in which she uses a lot of suede and leather in skirts. And again, she is really friendly and patient when I asked a million questions about her dreamy quilted jacket!
Nadou from Nadou Creation
Nadou has a gorgeous sewing style and I particularly love the colour palette she uses as it’s similar to the one I aspire to – pastel hues interspersed with coral and navy. I love this self drafted dress she has made recently which epitomizes summer!
5 French hashtags to follow
#jecoudsmagarderobe (I make my wardrobe)
#cousumain (hand sewn)
And finally….5 French phrases!
Now that you’re inspired to try some French patterns and fabrics, why not top your make off with the perfect French label? My French label designs are £7.50 for the 5 designs including worldwide shipping and are a fun way to add the chic to your design.
And so that concludes my introduction to the world of French home sewing! Have you got any favourite French sewers, bloggers or patterns? Let me know here or on instagram 🙂 thank you for reading et bonsoir!