Clair'de Line, a sewing vocation
FR - Claire is a specialist in "baby cuteness" and is particularly inspired.
Decoration, clothing, bibs, games and so many other creations are to be discovered here below. Follow UzEssentiel guide!
Slipping dexterously behind her sewing machine, scissors in one hand, thimble in the other, Claire the seamstress invents again and again what children are sure to love.
So nice to meet you for the Art de Vivre section of UzEssentiel blog.
Sewing for children is your full-time occupation. How long have you been doing it?
I started sewing as an entrepreneur in 2017. I am a collaborator in the family business where I am responsible for the administrative side, but I am also a designer. I am therefore self-employed.
Is Clair'de Line a team or are you alone behind the needle?
At the beginning there were the two of us, my sister and I. We created a blog and started marketing our creations. That's where the name of my shop comes from, which combines our two first names: Claire and Line. Since then, she has moved on to other professional projects.
Today I am alone behind the needle, but also for the selection and purchase of raw materials, photography, packaging and shipping, running the shop online shop, and social networks. Not to mention the management and accounting part... That's a lot of hats!
However, I can count on the people around me to help and support me. My husband supports me 100% in the development of my creative activity. When I have a doubt, I can also call on my sisters to give me their opinions as well as my Instagram community that I regularly poll. This allows me to better understand their expectations or desires.
Is Clair'de Line the result of a professional reorientation or have you always been a seamstress?
It's more of a reorientatio, a complement that gives free rein to my creative side in addition to my activity as administrative manager.
What was your training? Did you sometimes work with other professionals, did you take your first steps in sewing workshops?
I am self-taught. After learning the basics with a friend who is a seamstress, sewing became a passion. A lot of training, new learning, sometimes failures, to reach my know-how today.
I have already collaborated with a shop by offering my creations for sale. At the moment I am collaborating with an online shop and a physical shop that offers a selection of my creations.
Without the know-how, inspiration is nothing more than a simple reed shaken by the wind (Johannes Brahms)
Do you remember the first Clair'de Line creation? How was it received by your customers?
My first creation was a cushion in the shape of an owl. It was meant to be a gift and my niece liked it a lot!
I started sewing for my relatives and myself. Then came the first requests, and finally, I started my own business to offer my creations for sale.
What are your favourite materials, gauze, honeycomb, cotton, moleton...?
My favourite materials are cotton, because it offers a large number of colours and patterns, double gauze for its softness and honeycomb for its relief. To this I would add fur (fake of course!). Its softness is very popular with children, especially for cushions.
How do you choose them? Do they adapt to your creations or are they chosen specifically for your ideas. For example, honeycomb is perfect for toddler bath towels, cotton for cuddly toys...
Most materials are chosen to match a specific design. For example, honeycomb is particularly well suited to baby bathrobes, but I also like to use its pretty relief for the ears of elephant plushies or the belly of whale plushies.
I let my creativity run wild, which leads to unique creations! Even if sometimes the test is not conclusive.
Do you choose French products for fabrics, elastics, wood, etc.? Are they eco-responsible?
I mainly buy my fabrics and accessories from French websites. I prefer cotton fabrics and the oeko-tex label which guarantees the absence of harmful substances. I find this all the more important as most of my creations are for children.
In addition, to minimise waste, I use fabric scraps as much as possible. For example, to make the barrettes, I only need a small piece.
For the sending of my creations, I reuse cardboard (and wedges) to avoid creating waste, and eco-responsible envelopes. I try to limit plastic and unnecessary packaging as much as possible.
Did you know?
13 June is National Sewing Machine Day and 31 July is World Embroidery Day
How the idea of animal cushions came to you ? The cushions are very realistic in shape and friendly. They must certainly be popular with young people. How do you make them?
Many things inspire me: my surroundings, trends... A trend in baby/children's room decoration - nature, animals, forest.... - inspired the fox. I used a photo of a fox that I simplified to create the pattern and give it a pretty face. I then created the raccoon on the same basis. I also made a panda, brown and white bears but for the moment, victims of their success, they are sold out on the online shop. They are always a hit with children, especially when they are very soft.
The cheeks, eyes and nose are sewn onto the base fabric of the head. I then sew on the ears, before doing the final assembly, stuffing and closing by hand.
So you mostly create your own patterns, your own models. But are there any patterns suggested to you by customers or acquaintances?
At the beginning I used a few free patterns, for example for the owls I created at the beginning and the bibs, but now I create as many patterns as possible myself: fox, raccoon, panda, bear, swan...
Some creations are born from particular requests. Whether it is to recreate a model in a particular colour/pattern/theme: for example the Christmas check fox, or to create a new product: for example the little clip. When the small baby clips were getting too small, the pinch clips were still too big.
According to the Greek poet Pindar, sewing is the queen of the world
Do you have collections according to the seasons? Do you have a favourite colour or colours?
I don't create a collection for each season, because my creations have the advantage of being timeless.
For accessories: clips, headbands, scrunchies... I try to put forward patterns/colours according to the seasons but I don't have a favourite colour. I rather like to make pretty associations of colours and patterns.
Any future projects?
Well, my studio is a bit small now. So I'm planning to build a bigger and more functional one next year. That way I can continue to put stars in the eyes of the little ones! I'm also thinking of continuing to expand my offer and have more matching creations to create pretty sets and birth gift ideas.
Continuing/developing my collaborations with boutiques, and why not with other designers, are also part of my plans.
My ultimate dream? To create a physical boutique offering my creations and a selection of carefully chosen designers/brands.