Introduction: La Parisienne : the 8-step Story of a Wristband Becoming a Doll's Blouse

My grand-mother Suzanne was a seamstress.

My mother Raymonde graduated at 17 from a school curriculum with a specialization in dressmaking (or "couture") and ranked 2nd within her "département" (an administrative division roughly equivalent to a county).

Both were talented professionals.

I first sewed however clumsily at the age of 4, sitting on a little bench next to my grandmother, and i still can picture her feet which seemed so big at the time, but were so small, just as her hands in mine, when she died.

Having engaged in another vocation amid the 3 i had chosen very early on -- i wanted to be a fashion designer to put my drawing skills to good use and the service of beauty, a stewardess for i wanted to see the world, or a translator most probably due to a family whose members never understood each other--, and after having traveled far and wide, i now sew for little ones and charities...

Step 1: What You Need

other than imagination :

  • a blouse
  • scissors
  • a DIY sewn-up doudou, which generally is a soft fabric doll the child cuddles up to.

The actual transformation of the cuff takes only 2 minutes, unlike the story...

Step 2: Old Blouse, Another Project, and Leftovers

I used this blouse from the 1980's for a quilt project, for which i needed just the length of the blouse arm. So i was left with 4/5th of the blouse and a cuff.

A few weeks later, i started making soft dolls and doudous for a charity, among which bunny rabbit ones.

Step 3: One "doudou" and No Clothes

That specific bunny pattern appealed to me so much that after having made one or two, i couldn't help make more and dress them up, as a gardener, a tennis woman, and so on.

There was this pink one i had sewn up using fabric samples dating back to the 70's. So i thought it could only become a "Barbara Cartland" doudou.

Step 4: Ideeeeaaaa...

Operating from a tiny sewing-room where everything looks upside down or topsy turvy to anyone but me, the left over blouse cuff came up to my mind. Tada...

Cuff, pair of scissors... and not much work if the buttoned part of the cuff becomes the front of my doudou's blouse. Let's hope it fits for i seldom check dimensions when intuition seizes me.

Step 5: Dressing Up "le Doudou"


Step 6: Et Voilà Le Travail (so There...)

I carefully made a skirt, a jacket, even a hat for my Barbara to be. But once dressed, my doudou looked like a big potato.

So, off with the skirt, jacket and even hat...

Step 7: Try, Try and Try Again

I made large pants à la Garbo....

Non, ça ne va pas du tout... who ever saw Garbo in a pink total look !

Step 8: Fin De L'histoire (end of the Story)

I looked at my doudou from every angle... and saw she needed nothing more for she was extremely elegant like that.
I also saw that there was a little Eiffel tower-like print coming out of the back of her blouse.

So, elegance and Eiffel tower = une Parisienne, of course !

The more so that there is an old saying defining elegant women : « un rien l'habille », meaning that one could wear even a burlap sack and still look elegant.

My Parisienne goes to the countryside from time to time and feels so close to its beauty, among which red roses*.

* rose stands for pink and for roses as well.

Before and After Contest 2017

Participated in the
Before and After Contest 2017