Why Parisian seamstresses don’t get fat (even though they eat croissants)

French author Mireille Giuliano proclaimed years ago in her book that French women maintain slim figures even though they indulge in wine, bread, and cheese. I remember scoffing at that book and lumping it in with the rest of the “lose weight without even trying!” miracle-diet books. I’ll stick to my super-sized, fries-with-that American lifestyle, thank you very much.

Parisian seamstresses may be the one exception–or rather, the one group of French women who actually live up to Giuliano’s assertion. To create haute couture, with all of its detail and intricacy, and with such precision, must burn off the calories in at least one croissant. Heck, just embroidering a dress like this should burn off a bottle of wine, no?

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The (pregnant!) bride that closed the Chanel show during Spring 2014 fashion week. That’s an embroidered neoprene train, folks. Soak it in.

New York magazine actually described haute couture as “manual labor” when they peeked inside the Chanel workroom a couple years ago. (Which yes, it is, but talk about sucking the glamour out of Chanel with that phrase, “manual labor.” Show some respect.)

Hand embroidery takes time, patience, and a lot of concentration (at least for me). I feel like I must be breaking a sweat, but I don’t think I’ll be earning any Weight Watchers activity points from it (boo). So instead, I’m trying my hand at the projects in Artfully Embroidered, which uses vintage Japanese embroidery techniques on smaller scale projects that are just as beautiful as anything they’re cranking out over in Gay Parie.

You can grab a copy of Artfully Embroidered in the Sew Daily shop–pick it up and sew with me! We can still reward ourselves with chocolate croissant afterward, calories be darned!


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One Response to Why Parisian seamstresses don’t get fat (even though they eat croissants)

  1. A. Clifford says:

    Loved this article!
    Today , my interest is in ribbon embroidery so, whatcha got?

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