This month I had a chat to Sabine who has got you covered (pun intended) if you are a lingerie maker, or a budding lingerie maker in Belgium. She heads up a collective who teach workshops all over the country and designs gorgeous pdf patterns for the rest of us!
Q ~ De Lingerie Academie is a collective of lingerie teachers and pattern makers, is that correct? Tell us about how that came about.
I started making lingerie in 2006 and gradually turned a hobby into my profession. After years of learning every skill in the lingerie business, I started organizing lingerie making workshops. At that time lingerie workshops were almost non-existing in Belgium and I have always felt a bit like a lingerie making pioneer in my country. Combined with making tailored lingerie and working part-time I found myself in need of some helping hands. It was too much work for just one person. Over the years I have had so many enthusiastic students, so finding a team to join my new found collective, was easy. We started out with just 3 in 2017 and now, 3 years later, we are a team of 9 passionate lingerie teachers. I have turned my focus onto designing all our lingerie sewing patterns and managing De Lingerie Academie. The other team members organize lingerie making workshops all over Belgium.
Q ~ What is your greatest joy in owning De Lingerie Academie?
Passing on the passion for lingerie making is definitely my greatest joy. Seeing so many beautiful lingerie made with patterns that I have created, is very rewarding.
Q ~ You provide lingerie making workshops all over Belgium which is quite exciting! How does designing patterns for a workshop differ from designing for the general sewing community? (via pdf downloads)
There actually is no difference in the patterns. Our patterns are available via pdf downloads as well. They include all necessary information and written step-by-step instructions. Experienced lingerie makers can easily use our patterns to make the most beautiful lingerie and swimwear.
We do recommend that beginners start with a workshop. Making lingerie is so much more than just following some written or drawn guidelines to make a bra. Our teachers have tons of experience to share, tips to give, ... Following a workshop first can make all future makings so much easier.
Q ~ What fascinates you at the moment and how does it influence your work?
I am currently working on a lingerie design course that I will be teaching. So at the moment I am feeling very inspired. Working out themes, color charts, moodboard, etc,... It is all bringing me back to the days that I created my very first lingerie collections. I am itching to create a new collection. In the future that will probably result in new creative patterns for De Lingerie Academie.
Q ~ And for the non-sewing related question...If you didn't live in Belgium, where would you like to live?
I have lived abroad before (in the US) and that was a great experience. But I must say I am pretty happy living in Belgium. Being away for a while has made me re-appreciate our country. You can drive from one end to the other in just 3 hours (if you are not stuck in traffic...). But the diversity we have in our nature and culture is immense. Belgium is a small country with so much variety. I encourage everyone to visit it for a few days. You will love the people, beer, fries, chocolate, waffles and so much more... (and the lingerie makers, of course...)
Thank you so much Sabine. I traveled through Belgium last year and was fascinated by how much of the countryside reminded me of New Zealand. We only passed through though so sadly I didn't get to experience any of the food and drink you mention above but it has me yearning for a return trip!
You can find out even more about De Lingerie Academie here: