Headlining with Louise Magazine – the online platform for contemporary seamstresses
Not even a year has passed since Julie (Louise Magazine) started up a brand new phenomenon in the world of sewing, all on her own: an online magazine for seamstresses from every walk of life packed with articles on innovations, sources of inspiration, technical info and more. In short: everything a seamstress in 2019 needs to get the creative juices flowing! And that’s why we decided to interview the brains behind Louise Magazine for every Louisette (past, present and future), to get her talking about her job and what kind of role sewing plays in her life.
What was it that inspired you to start Louise Magazine?
I learned to sew in the company of my grandparents, both of whom were tailors. When I was pregnant with my first child, I picked up sewing (again) and became an absolute addict. In fact, it was so bad that I quit my technical job to start working in this profession. I took a course that lasted nearly a year, where I also designed a brand of children's clothing. It was a fantastic adventure that lasted nearly three years. Just managing it and making a profit though were incredibly tricky, so I decided to lay that project aside.
And then I happened to move to a village near Fontainebleau, and it turned out that my new neighbour was none other than the creator of Hello Blogzine, an online decoration magazine. That really rang a bell for me! There wasn’t a nice webzine for sewing and I had all the tools available to make it: internet skills, knowledge of the world of sewing, passion... In just a few weeks’ time it was done!
Where does the name Louise Magazine and the term you use for your readers, 'Louisettes', come from?
Louisette is my grandmother's name. She and my grandfather taught me how to sew. They both had a tailor's shop. Basically, I created Louise Magazineas a tribute to my grandmother. But she didn't understand how I could quit an 'intellectual' profession to start sewing. For her it was a type of failure. Somehow the step I took made her anxious and afraid. I would have liked to have shown her that she was wrong and that sewing has a place in today's world. Unfortunately she died this summer, just after I'd created the magazine.
Which part of Louise Magazineare you most proud of?
What makes me most proud is when I get messages from readers of all ages and backgrounds who let me know that they're discovering the magazine and that they adore it. I never thought I would receive so many encouraging and loving messages. It’s incredibly touching. It was only last week that I received a message from a woman around fifty-years-old that brought tears to my eyes.
Were creative projects and sewing things that occupied your time as a child?
I've always loved doing things with my hands, for example cooking. I used to make loads of cakes with very elaborate decorations. I also think that there are a great many similarities between cooking and sewing. Both require creativity, but also a high degree of precision.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I get inspiration from everything around me! Passers-by on the street, films or series, shop windows and of course Instagram. I find Instagram amazing and frightening at the same time. It’s a network based exclusively on our projected image of a perfect, dream life, largely detached from reality. However, where I’m concerned, it’s a key means to picking up on trends or new products.
What do you see as a challenge?
It’s a challenge to beat something and to find a way to prove to yourself that you can keep on going. I never thought that I'd be able to do everything that I’ve done over the past few years. There have been failures, but I’ve learnt so much! Especially about myself. That’s why challenges are important. It’s how we make progress.
Which Fibre Mood pattern is on your sewing-project wish list?
There are several. I love the Lauren top and the Violet dress. I love simple models with clean lines because then I’m sure that I'll actually wear them too!
What are the upsides and downsides of working alone?
The upside is – quite clearly – freedom. I do what i want, when I want. You can’t put a price on that! The downside is that I don’t have any colleagues. And I have to admit, I miss that quite a lot. I'd really like to have someone around to give me advice, or just someone to chat with over a cup of coffee. However, I'm meeting more and more people and finally making my way out of the front door. That helps diminish the loneliness. Having said that, I hope I won’t be at this alone for too long. I'd like to find a partner. Calling all volunteers!
How do you come up with new ideas for articles?
My ideas are frequently based on my own experiences. Because there are already so many sewing blogs, I try to find new angles and topics that aren’t necessarily used/addressed by many bloggers yet. However, sewing covers so much – I don’t think I'll have any trouble coming up with articles for the next five years!
Where do you see you and Louise Magazine in five years’ time?
5 years is a long time! In my wildest dreams, Louise Magazinewill have become a go-to in the world of sewing, have a small editorial team and we’ll be collaborating on some fab projects with brands.
Well... we here at Fibre Mood are ready to talk!