Catarina, a Swedish tailor who adores the Paris region

Having developed a close bond with sewing from a very young age, Catarina is an extremely busy Swedish woman. A mother of three children, she took up residence in Paris in order to fulfill her passion.

A childhood influenced by nature and sewing

I grew up in Malmö in southern Sweden in a large house with my two sisters. Looking back, one of the hardest things to get used to in Paris was the small spaces. I started sewing at the age of five. As a teenager, I made my own party dresses and sewing class was my main incentive for going to school in the morning.

The Scandinavian years

For some years I moved around between Sweden, Norway and Denmark, where I trained and gained my first professional experiences. I ended up passing my apprenticeship diploma in tailoring for men and women, before moving to France in 1997.

Discovering the Parisian workshops

In the beginning, I had just planned on going to Paris for four months to learn French. My only stated ambition was to learn to read fashion magazines in the original French. But I soon grew to like it here and wanted to stay. In the mean time, I also met my husband: it happened when I was out jogging on the Champ de Mars. I found a job with a Parisian tailor named “Le grand Tailleur”. Then I continued to gain experience and training, notably working for Cerruti, and Smalto (12 years), before joining Lanvin last year. I like working in the workshop. This working practice requires precision and a love of work that is well done. Tailoring is a passion. My next goal is to enter the Meilleur Ouvrier de France competition next year.

Returning to roots through sport

It’s an exciting job, but in a highly exacting environment. In order to find a balance between my family life (my three children are 12, 10 and 5 years old) and my professional life, I began practicing Swedish gym. In fact, I became so involved that I’m now a trainer and, my husband and I, we manage a Swedish gym association located in the 7th arrondissement of Paris.

French-style Epicureanism

If I ever get a bit homesick, I always hold onto the positive things I’ve built here that I enjoy. Foremost among which I must mention this ability Parisians have to enjoy the moment – I appreciate that frame of mind. Together with my French husband, I’ve learned not to always think about the next move, not always doing practical activities, and just enjoying the good times when they come along.

Favorite places in Paris

The banks of the Seine: Port de Solférino  (metro 12 – Assemblée Nationale) / Port des Invalides (metro 8 and 14 – Invalides) / Port du gros caillou (metro 9 – Alma Marceau)
The Champs de Mars (where I met my husband out jogging)
L’Ile-Saint Germain in Issy-les-Moulineaux.
The Marché Saint Pierre: Montmartre, 2 rue Charles Nodier (metro 2 – Anvers)