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Member in Focus: lakaribaneBy DianeSev on 7/23/12 3:25 PM

Member in Focus: lakaribane
Arielle Celestin
Member Since: 2007
Your PR Name: lakaribane
Your Full Name: Arielle Célestin
Your Birthday: December 12th
Your Blog: http://fashionmate.blogspot.com
How did you learn to sew?
I'm mostly self-taught. Though several generations of women sew in my family, my mother was (and still is) a sewing dilettante. As a teen, I sewed doll clothing for my Barbie and those of my BFF's kid sister. I also refashioned/recut several of my mother's UFOs (another hereditary trait, I'm afraid). Then, I stopped sewing through college and my early work years because I could shop RTW with my paycheck and foolishly thought that was fantastic. I got back to sewing when my brother got married in 2006 and I had to make my mother's MOH/MOG outfit. And it was like breathing again.
What aspect of sewing do you find most challenging?
I would say fit and finishes. I think I've pretty much identified my fitting problems (Narrow Shoulders, Petite, Low/full Butt, Forward Shoulder) and more or less developed an alteration sequence for my patterns.But I resent making them, so I alter with a grudge. At the other end of the sewing journey, finishes. I need to practice my hand sewing for delicate hems and I still sometimes wear garment with the seam allowances left unfinished (the armscyes in particular). And I need to reconcile myself with basting.
Which sewing book do you refer to most often?
I own both the Burda sewing book in French and the Threads sewing book. However, I find myself going online more and more. I read the reviews here on PR before starting a project (though I really should learn to read them BEFORE buying the pattern!) and participate actively on the boards. I also read a thousand blogs that I bookmark and blog roll. It's insanely addictive but [I love] the wide variety of tutorials, the wonderful inspiration to be found in the sewing blogosphere. I always say that the internet changed my life and that is especially true where my sewing is concerned.
What are your sewing goals for this year?
I want to upgrade my skill levels from Beginner, which I've had up since I joined, to Intermediate so I printed out the contest rules (can't recall which one) and I try to keep them in mind when I choose projects. But the biggest goal, and my greatest failure, is sewing regularly. In times of high stress, I tend to abandon the fun stuff, but I'm trying to remember that sewing makes me very happy. So sewing, sewing often, sewing for sanity.
What are you sewing right now?
I did a quick muslin of the bodice on Vogue 8280 and I'm hoping to find the time to make the dress for this big work event. As usual, it's the shoulders that are giving me trouble.
Pick your favorite pattern (only one please).
Amazingly, I'm a big fan of circle skirts, either full or 3/4 or half. I just keep making them. It must be because they are THE garment that reconciled me with geometry. At one time, this would have seemed IMPOSSIBLE.
Do you have a dress form?  What's her name?
I don't have a dress form. I made an attempt at a duct tape dress form, pretty accurate except in the bust. I called her Adélaïde I. Sadly, she didn't survive January 2010. The next iteration will continue the dynasty and become Adélaïde II, of course!
What you love most about PatternReview?
I love the community. I have PR as a tab on my laptop at home, as well as my computer at work. I check in every day and I love participating on the boards. I have no one around me IRL who sews, much less someone my age. So it makes me feel good to have found hundreds of thousands of virtual kindred spirits here.
Any other hobbies?
I'm a criminally irregular blogger, I love going to the cinema (though, sadly, I have to wait until I travel abroad, all movie theaters have closed here in the several years), I love reading and politics and, obviously, I surf the net A LOT, lol!
Your profession, where do you live, etc.
I'm a museum technician by training, but I'm also in the throes of a Promethean Delusion, i.e., I teach English as a Foreign Language and French Litterature at my old high school. Teenaged girls are an acquired taste some days. I live in the Metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince, in the suburban town where I grew up. I work downtown, a couple of blocks from the port. It can smell wonderful...or not. But the view from the roof of my building is really beautiful (just don't look down). I own two dogs, a Dobberman/Rottweiler mix named Ben and an embarrassingly fat black Labrador named Malika. She helps me sew by snoring under the sewing table. Does wonders for my motivation.
What would PR members be surprised to know about you?
I love beets. And leeks. And broccoli. Can't stand papaya. Think it's really unfair that ice cream, chocolate, popcorn, caramel and Jolly Rancher hard candy are bad for you (and your teeth). Just got a machete as a gift and called it Ti George (long story but if you want to hear it, I can tell you. Haitians love to tell stories. Appropriately, we call it "bay lodyans", i.e., giving audiences. Like royalty. *wink*)
Is there anything else that you'd like to tell us about yourself?
I blame my sewing stash completely on my ancestors. Haitians love familial explanations to behavior ,so here's mine. My grandfather was head of the Philatelic Agency at one time and was a life-long stamp collector. My maternal great-grandmother, grandmother, aunt, and cousin are all great seamstresses, as well an aunt and a (fourth?) cousin on my father's side. Do you see why I need all this fabric and patterns and notions and scissors? Blood will tell.
Actually, I aspire to having my own mythology like Cousin Mama (Emma Defly). She was a lingerie seamstress, and it's said that she could just cup your breast in her hand and cut out the right size bra cup. Everyone speaks of her with awe in their voice though she's been dead over 30 years now. I have no way of knowing if this story is real, but it's one of two tales they always tell about her. That and the time flood waters almost carried her out to sea during a particularly bad hurricane season. And they whisper behind their hand about how incredible that is, considering her girth.
 

38 Comments      Login to Add a Comment
ConnieBJ said...
Thanks for letting us "in" on your interesting life! By the way, I thought we could be friends..but Beets??!! Great write up Arielle!
7/23/12 5:32 PM
Nancy Rhodes said...
Wonderful to get to know you better... Thank you for sharing so many fascinating tidbits about your life.
7/23/12 8:00 PM
marec said...
Arielle, I was just thinking of you today when the Boden catalog arrived! It was great to read about your daily life and your family.
7/23/12 8:51 PM
AndreaSews said...
What a fun and interesting read! I am so glad I was introduced to your blog through this write up. (Perhaps my very poor French will improve...) We could definitely enjoy a meal together, I am a fellow beet (all veggies) lover, but papaya - not fond of it!
7/23/12 11:05 PM
KatC83 said...
This was interesting! It's great to know a little more about you. And I LOVE the story about Cousin Mama, whether or not it's true ;-)
7/24/12 2:12 AM
mpastinelli said...
It's a real pleasure to see you on the home page of PR Arielle! Amities de Quebec :-)
7/24/12 9:52 AM
ArtAttack said...
So enjoyed learning more about you and your family. What great stories! We're kindred spirits...I love beets, too!!
7/24/12 10:58 AM
GrenadaNative said...
I enjoyed reading more about you. My church just arrived from Haiti. Had I read this before hand, I would have had some of them find you and sneak some fabric and notions back to me in Tennessee!
7/24/12 11:29 AM
MariannaSew2Pro said...
Lovely to meet you, Arielle. And Cousin Mama....!
7/24/12 11:36 AM
Noelle Mac said...
I have always so enjoyed your posts on the boards and so I am so happy you gave us this interview!! Funny and interesting- great to have that family history to share with us.
7/24/12 11:39 AM
Robin Denning said...
Oh Arielle, what a funny interview! I can just see (and hear, and smell) it all :) I hope you are able to visit the US again sometime. And see lots of movies!
7/24/12 12:07 PM
CSM--Carla said...
Wonderful to meet you and hear more about your life. I always appreciate your comments on the board--especially interesting are the 'sales' you find. Thanks for posting!
7/24/12 5:27 PM
zoe said...
I love your stories about Cousin Mama; and especially the tale of her amazing expertise in fitting a bra. For me, here in Canada, you seem to live in a very exotic country with a long and fascinating history. It's so wonderful to be able to hear of your life, and your family, and to imagine the sight, and the smell of the sea that you gaze out to every day ( I am one who loves that sea smell; even though others think it smells terrible). I'm also a teacher, and smile when you say that teenaged girls are an aquired taste somedays. How lovely to meet you.
7/24/12 8:02 PM
marymary86 said...
I squeed when I saw you were featured on PR ... I love your posts and couldn't wait to read more about you!!
7/24/12 10:12 PM
Sewsirius said...
I'm into sewing lingerie so I was amazed at how your Cousin Mama could fit a bra! Now THAT's something to aim for! I love sewing for myself I can't find RTW to fit me or my kids, we're all odd shaped, makes us human I think! I loved ready your I depth bio, it's made me appreciate the local cinema much more. We live in the UAE so getting fabric and supplies is often hard. I'm with you on finishing projects...I hate hemming! This is my first posting on these PR blogs!
7/24/12 10:20 PM
Monica Ann said...
Very interesting. Lovely life stiry.
7/25/12 6:12 AM
lakaribane said...
Thank you every one for your kind comments. I was very honored to be chosen. I'm happy to see comments from people I "know" and to meet some new faces. Welcome, SewSirius. Beet lovers unite! (Sorry ConnieBJ, hope you can overlook my fatal flaw, LOL)
7/25/12 6:23 AM
bookfreak said...
What a delightful and entertaining interview! I am right with you on alterations--HATE doing them! I nearly choked on my coffee when I read your description of your Promethian Delusion . . . girls that age are, indeed, not always a joy. :-)
7/25/12 8:58 AM
Vintage Joan said...
You love beets! I knew there was something I liked about you. :D No seriously (although sharing beet-loving is also totally serious), thanks for this fun and insightful peek into your world!
7/25/12 9:20 AM
norie creates said...
Wow! What a great read and a very interesting life! I could listen to your stories (true and untrue) forever Arielle! I'll brush up on my french as I read your blog :)
7/25/12 2:14 PM
norie creates said...
Wow! What a great read and a very interesting life! I could listen to your stories (true and untrue) forever Arielle! I'll brush up on my french as I read your blog : )
7/25/12 2:18 PM
Judy Kski said...
What an interesting life you lead! I really enjoyed reading all your interesting responses to the questions. Thanks for sharing so much with us.
7/25/12 3:55 PM
strongnow said...
You obviously have writing skills as well as sewing skills. Let the mythology begin...I am going to remember your phrase "Promethean Delusion". Perfect for so many situations in life! Thanks for a great read. Such a pleasure to visualize your life
7/25/12 7:20 PM
sj3663 said...
Such an enjoyable interview. Love your stories. So nice to "meet" you!
7/25/12 8:49 PM
SusiM said...
Loved reading about you and I have always enjoyed your reviews and posts.
7/26/12 11:39 AM
KathySews said...
A very interesting interview. You and your family sound very entertaining and full of stories. Cute picture also ;-)
7/26/12 12:09 PM
Mrs4Him said...
So nice to learn more about you--I see your posts all the times on the message boards and enjoy them. Very enjoyable stories, as well.
7/26/12 12:58 PM
poppykettle said...
oooh - Vogue 8280! Such a ripper of a dress!! It was absolutely lovely reading about you :)
7/26/12 6:59 PM
TJSEWS said...
I enjoyed reading your fun interview!
7/26/12 8:56 PM
SquishSews said...
Always enjoy your posts and bright smile! So nice to "meet" you and get to know you little more!!! :-)
7/27/12 2:24 AM
bananaoil said...
I too love beets. :-)
7/27/12 10:01 AM
ggf2005 said...
Thanks for sharing...makes me miss my friend Anide who is from Haiti but I met her in FL.
7/27/12 1:01 PM
ASiverson said...
Aah, beets and sewing are two of my loves also! Great write up. Loved your stories! Thank you
7/29/12 3:21 PM
peaudane said...
I just love those kinds of stories. Woudl love to hear more...
7/30/12 8:03 AM
jenniferr said...
I love these Japanese pattern books! I think this is one I am going to have to own myself.
7/31/12 8:58 AM
1SewSweet said...
Congratulations on being the featured member! I really enjoyed your stories and could relate to a lot...especially being hooked on reading sewing blogs and pattern review!
7/31/12 7:58 PM
monijo said...
It's wonderful to find you here: eager, hopeful, a mind full of sparkling thoughts. God will be good to you.
8/2/12 7:31 PM
Mufffet said...
I missed this whole thing - no excuse....you look lovely and your energy is really spreading good vibes! :)
10/10/12 11:02 PM

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