Member since 11/28/01
Date: 2/9/10 10:32 AM
PR Name: Mahler
Full Name: Anne-Marie Labrecque
Birthday: January 6, 1967
Member Since: 7/28/07
Pattern reviews by Mahler
Anne-Marie is the organizer of our first PR Weekend Canada (Montreal). More information can be found here.
How did you learn to sew: As a child, I use to love the sound of scissors cutting fabric on the kitchen table. I was fascinated buy those strangely-shaped pieces that would slowly be transformed into a coat, a dress or one of those Bohemian tunics my mother wore in the 1970's. It is only years later, when I stepped into a fabulous fabric store and couture studio, that I met the lady who designed my wedding dress and became my first sewing professor. Elisabeth had work in France as a petite main before coming back to Montreal to open her own business. I started with a blue wool crepe skirt for the office.
What aspect of sewing do you find most challenging: This is a difficult question to answer. Sewing a perfect garment is always a challenge for me. I love when it is perfect, inside [and] out. Especially, if there are a welt pockets or a challenging sleeve slit. When I sew those, I need faith in my precision before cutting all layers of fabric.
Which sewing book do you refer to most often: I have a series of Singer books on basic techniques, tailoring, shirts, pants and on fitting; those are open so frequently. I think they are the best investment of my life. I love their step-by-step pictures as well as the simple instructions.
What are your sewing goals for this year: Fully understanding tailor jackets for women and men is a major goal. I enjoy sewing by hand and sewing garments that require time as well as passion. It is my way of silently contesting our society of speed and high consumption. If there is a bit of time left after that, I would love to successfully fit and sew a very complicated Molyneux (Vogue 2544) knit dress from the 1960's. When I bought the pattern I thought it was a piece of cake. This was until I received it. Look here.
If I may add one more goal, I would say, for June 2010 organizing the best possible PR Weekend in Montreal.
What are you sewing right now: A beautiful wool jacket for my sewing class. I am using one of Claire Shaeffer's patterns in Vogue 8333. Fitting it was so interesting! I am learning a great deal with this jacket. I have not sewn a tailor collar in more then 10 years; this is why I took a new class as refresher.
Pick your favorite pattern: My favorite pattern is from the 1990's and was designed by Christian Dior. It is a very simple knee-length fitted evening dress with tiny straps. It is worn with a fluid silk chiffon overdress that flows elegantly around you when you dance. This evening outfit is timeless, chic and always has been a head turner. It was part of the pattern collection I left at a friend's house when I moved to Europe in 2001. When I came back to Canada, my friend had been taken away by cancer and her son had thrown away my 200-pattern box. I cannot remember the number of this Vogue, but if I find it on Ebay, I will review it with such passion!
What you love most about PatternReview?: I am always so much impressed by the generosity of PR members. It seams like the most wonderful sewing women and men are converging to Pattern Review. I have PR friends I feel so close too. I met sisters of heart and soul. I hope to meet all of them soon. Thanks to us all, PR is probably the biggest living source of sewing knowledge in the world.
Any other hobbies? Yes of course, sewing, sewing and sewing. I am kidding! I enjoy hiking, cycling, kayaking and most of all cross-country skiing. During summer I also scuba dive in the St-Lawrence Estuary with my husband, who is a professional under water photographer. Any moment in the outdoors will fill me of joy.
Your profession, where do you live I started my career as biologist specialized in environmental assessment. Though I now have a management position at the Universite de Montreal, biology is always in the centre of my life. I live on Montreal Island, near the river. I can watch ducks and blue or black crowned herons at only 20 minutes of the centre of town. I live in a condo full of sun. Since there is no sewing room in my home, I cut in the kitchen as my mother [did] and for sewing, I use my office of my son's room with his permission.
-- Edited on 2/9/10 10:32 AM --
Member since 12/31/03
Date: 2/9/10 12:40 PM
Having had the distinct pleasure of meeting Anne- Marie in person, visiting her home, and eating dinner with her, I am pleased that you are featuring her today! Impeccable sewing skills aside, she is one classy lady!
Facebook: Connie Bontje
Desperately trying to keep ahead of my pattern, fabric and dressform collection!
Member since 4/8/08
Date: 2/9/10 2:54 PM
Great to get to know you Anne-Marie. Looking forward to meeting you in June.
"sewing very slowly to fill an empty closet"
2014 Stash Tally: 106.625 yds out/145.125 yds in (net +38.5 yds)
2015 Stash Busting:
12.5 yds sewn (as of 02/09/15)
3.875 yds purchased (as of 02/09/15)
Member since 7/30/02
Date: 2/9/10 3:25 PM
Nice featured dress on the featured member!
With a great wardrobe that's still in the flat-fabric stage.
Member since 3/6/03
Date: 2/9/10 7:25 PM
How are the members in focus chosen?
Visit my pro-sewing store!
Member since 7/1/08
Date: 2/9/10 7:49 PM
Wow, great sewing and fitting skills. What a great feature member to introduce us to!
Sewing: A creative mess is better than tidy idleness. ~Author Unknown
New South Wales Australia
Member since 6/3/08
Date: 2/9/10 9:45 PM
How lovely, to meet another member that I had not seen as yet... beautiful photo.
Just as an aside, I for one, would love to know a bit more about the MIF's personal life, if they are willing to share - you know, kids etc, or maybe it is just because I am at that stage in my life!
Thanks again Deepika
Imaan in Sydney, NSW.
The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavourable. Favourable conditions never come.
Member since 11/21/04
Date: 2/10/10 7:39 AM
Anne-Marie is a wonderful choice for this feature! She is a tour de force in all she does, especially organizing the first Canadian PR weekend coming up in June. It's a privilege to know her.
Member since 3/19/05
Date: 2/10/10 10:05 AM
Not met Anne Marie personally - yet - loooking forward to that pleasure in June. Her warmth, humour and just plain niceness (doubt that's a word) comes through in all my dealings with her re the PR week end.
Her reviews are always great and funny and also inspire me to try my best at all things sewing.
Great choice for Focus!
Member since 7/16/07
In reply to carolynw
Date: 2/10/10 11:04 AM
Her warmth, humour and just plain niceness (doubt that's a word)
Yep, that's a word, and Anne-Marie seems to be all of the above and more.
I, too, am curious to know how the choices are made, and whether revealing that much personal information is a requirement when one is asked. Just askin'...
my shield and my very great reward ~ Gen. 15:1
Image: many years ago