Creating unique pieces to share on your blog and inspire others: the sew & blog combo is all the rage. It's exactly because the number of bloggers keeps multiplying that Fibre Mood is featuring a new blogger every month. Get to know Julie and her blog Jolies Bobines this month. Find out what sewing means to her and what her role is in this community.
Why did you start a blog? And why did you start knitting and/or sewing?
“I fancied something new in my life. I picked sewing because I was sick of never finding what I wanted in the shops, and I didn’t want to spend massive amounts on clothes I would hardly wear. What’s more, the quality of industrial products is often questionable. I thought it was a nice idea to share this passion. I started sewing step-by-step! And that’s why my blog was born. It also encourages me to challenge myself with increasingly difficult projects. The additional value of the photos for my blog (by my friend Alexandra Yonnet) shouldn’t be underestimated either.”
Did you do a needlework course, such as knitting and/or sewing?
“The spark came during a chat with one of my parents’ friends, she made corsets and hooped skirts and showed me the basic sewing techniques. It prompted me to follow an evening sewing course in Paris ☺). It was due to my blog that I eventually started sewing fanatically, or rather I should say compulsively ;) I was lucky to meet a former model and stylist from Helmut Newton who gave me a chance to take part in a collection for a prêt-à porter fashion house. That experience confirmed for me that I had made the right choice to make my own clothes. After that, I continued learning through books, online videos, etc and each time I craved new challenges."
Were you creative as a child? Did you feel the desire to be creative from a young age?
“Yes, I have always been creative. As a child I liked dressing up, face painting, taking photos, etc. As a teenager, I tried out every possible style before I found my own."
Where does the name of your blog come from? Why did you choose this name?
“That was perhaps the hardest part ;-) I wanted a name along the lines of “Arsenic et Petites Culottes” (I liked the name of that blog), but in the end I chose Jolies Bobines, a nod to sewing and Parisian expression. It started off with two of us, hence the plural Jolies Bobines. My friend Manon and I decided to launch the blog together. Initially, we wanted to talk about everything and anything. But in the end, I decided, by mutual consent, to take over the blog considering that sewing soon took up a significant part of it.”
What do you think is your best creation? Which creation are you most proud of?
"I can’t choose one specific creation; fashion moves too fast! Personally, I was very proud of the shoulderless dresses but the lined coats with slit pockets are also really beautiful …”
Do you encounter specific challenges in this handwork sector?
“There are always many challenges, especially in handwork. I consider myself as a craftsman in a profession that used to be reserved for me, and I like that!"
What advantages are there for a blogger nowadays, what does it give you?
“Meetings and opportunities. It’s thanks to this blog that I have been able to write a book and find work! I can’t deny that this enthusiastic and passionate community has given me so much pleasure and self-confidence."
What is your biggest fear when it comes to couture?
“Missing the mark, in the sense of being disappointed with an item of clothing. I like that at the end of all the sewing you can say: ‘Now that’s beautiful!’ and that you want to start on something new right away.
Where do you find the inspiration for your blog? Are there other blogs you like or that inspire you?
“I find inspiration everywhere, on the street, my favourite brands, on social media, in films ... and of course, from other bloggers. I particularly like Adaasprag and Débora Sluijs for children. So many talented people have recently started with couture, and that is inspiring!"
Where do you work? What does your workroom look like and where is it?
“My studio is in the living room of my little flat in Paris and it takes up a lot of room. (Maybe too much?) The fabrics take up the most room!”
You are very present on social media. Why is that?
“Strangely enough, my blog became popular very quickly even though eight years ago, when I started my blog, sewing was still considered old fashioned. I have worked on numerous great projects and I always want to do more. I have met some wonderful people and today I work with lots of people in the world of home-made couture. The contact with my followers gives me a great deal of pleasure! All the comments touch me and encourage me to continue with my adventure..
But being active on social media is time consuming! Simply showing items of clothing isn’t enough. For some projects, I spend a lot of time finding a photographer, preparing the photos, publishing them, writing the texts, etc. It’s a shame that’s not recognised because it’s actually an enormous amount of work (sometimes full-time) and it’s advertising for the brands.
I think my greatest pleasure is from the fact that it makes others want to sew, that I encourage people’s passions and that I am wiping out the old-fashioned image of sewing. That gives me a lot of satisfaction!"
What do you want to do in the future? What dreams do you still have?
I still want to do many things on all kinds of levels! I have thousands of sewing projects, I don’t know where to start! I am currently sewing the Kai blazer and the Peaches trousers from edition 4 of Fibre Mood. And on a professional level: live my passion!"
What advice and tips would you give beginning sewers and/or knitters?
“Allow yourself to get carried away by your passion and start with simple projects that give personal pleasure and that make you want to sew even more. Don’t be afraid to tackle challenges. You learn the most from your mistakes."