Couture at her finger tips

By Audrey SomnardLex Kleren Switch to French for original article

Anne Pelagie Balikan uses all her spare time to fulfil orders for custom-made clothes, with her creations made in her garage turned into a workshop.

From sewing classes to survive to creations that make an impact, Anne Pelagie never lets go of her sewing machine and is always busy with projects. It is at her home in Pétange that we find the dressmaker, dressed in one of her creations. The woman who created her own brand chose sewing by chance. Born in Dakar, Senegal, she grew up in a family that had to follow her military father around the country. It was out of the question for her family that she should stop studying, so she opted for a "girls' school" for four years, with two options: catering or sewing. She soon realised that the catering business was not for her, and after all, sewing required less investment. With a second-hand sewing machine you can start quickly. She gave some sewing lessons for an NGO that seeks to empower women and give them an activity that allows them to develop an income-generating activity.

A second-hand sewing machine

Anne Pelagie flew to Portugal as an adult, married and a mother. She looked after her daughter for three years and only used her sewing machine for the household. Then a separation and life brought her to Luxembourg. "I always had my sewing machine, I wanted to develop my knowledge and do something with it, but I couldn't find any sewing training in Luxembourg", she says. So she joined the hotel and catering industry as a chambermaid to make ends meet and bring up her daughter. During this period, she did not leave her sewing machine behind and started making her own skirts in 2019. Not only does this allow her to get what she wants, including African fabrics, the famous wax, but also to save money.

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Couture at her finger tips


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