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We have a new challenge this week! We fell for classic, beautiful Citronille children’s clothing patterns from France years ago when they were available only in France and only in French! Now Fiddlehead Artisan Supply carries a comprehensive line of Citronille patterns for children and women, and the patterns have been translated into English!

We asked a group of very talented and enthusiastic sewists to try the patterns, tell us about their experiences and to show us what they make:

We’ll share the “wow!” results in the next week and a half, and you can also comment on each Citronille Pattern Challenge post for a chance to win one of four free patterns. Tell us what you love about what you see here, or which pattern you would choose if you’re the winner (of any Citronille pattern at Fiddlehead Artisan Supply). First up is Michelle Morris of That Black Chic with the Lou women’s pants pattern.

Michelle made these for her daughter Mori who prefers extra-long pants. Michelle writes that she especially loved the instructions for installing a zipper and that she would totally recommend this pattern to someone else. “…It is the perfect beginner pant pattern for sure…” There are lots of great photos and a full pattern review at That Black Chic. You also have to check out Michelle’s incredible page of inspiring fashions!

Diane Reafsnyder from Gator Bunny also sewed one of the women’s patterns, the Citronilla Top. She writes, “This was my first experience sewing with a pattern in French and by the end of it I felt very sophisticated and European. I mean, I’m practically French now. When you see me in my tunic you may think I fill my house with fresh flowers, wear red lipstick and eat croissants but don’t be fooled, I just finished downing a NY bagel with cream cheese when I snapped this picture.” Diane also felt like the pattern drawings were very sweet, but that it was also “…versatile enough for me to make an elegant blouse.” See the tunic all over NYC, and learn more about Diane’s experience with the pattern at Gator Bunny. Diane is hosting a sew-along for her Georgia Top pattern, so hop over to check that out too.

And finally, for our first round of challengers, we have Sherri Sylvester of thread riding hood with her Jackie coat. Sherri writes, “This pattern requires at least an intermediate knowledge of garment sewing – ie. The instructions are clearer if you are familiar with garment sewing. There are no directions for finishing seams or tips included, like we’ve been spoiled with from the many indie pattern makers. That said, they are amazing base patterns; they have simple lines that can be used as-is or altered by an experienced sewer to create many different styles. I love this and would like to make the Jackie again, only with lots of top stitching and patch pockets, and maybe a zipper instead of buttons.” Sherri has a very comprehensive Jackie pattern review at thread riding hood, plus a huge number of additional pattern reviews for you to enjoy.

Here is a little background about how Abby Gilchrist, the owner of Fiddlehead Artisan Supply came to carry these French patterns by Astrid de Larocque-Latour. From Abby:

“My story around how I am carrying these patterns is that I saw these patterns quite a few years ago, and really loved their style. What sweet children’s patterns! and while I like a slimmer look than many of the adult patterns, there were some that I really wanted to make – but, they were all in French…. I read around on some blogs and found that many people were purchasing the patterns in French from Citronille, and then either just trying to put them together based on the pattern pieces and the diagrams in the pattern, or trying to use Google Translator. So, I decided to try out carrying the few that she had translated into English herself, and when we got a positive response on them, we started making the translations so that we could offer a lot more of her styles.”

These are cute and versatile patterns and make great wardrobe staples. The patterns are written for intermediate sewists who can make their own decisions about finishing the garments, and who don’t necessarily require explanations for each step in the sewing process. The finished results are stunning! We’ll have more to share later this week…