About Afi Atelier

Afi Atelier

Who we are and what we do

Afi Atelier is a space about crafting my small and big dreams into: beautiful handmade items and adventurous projects whether it’s a delicate lingerie garment, or designing a sewing pattern. This is where I flirt with all sorts of fabrics turning them into clothes. Or where time to time I cheat with some hand or machine knitting projects.

But our main language is designing and sewing lingerie.

Pattern making is our guilty pleasure. Some of the patterns we share with you and the sewing world. In short, this is a virtual sewing studio, and my little corner of the internet!

The girl behind the studio

Hello, my name is Ana. Nice to meet you! Of all the hobbies I have, sewing is my greatest passion. Apart from it, I tremble when I see or hear about knitting machines. I also love movies, math, colors and website design. This blog is my sole effort to combine them all: planning, coding, testing, taking pictures and writing articles. I hope you’ll enjoy your time spent here. But above all, I hope I can inspire you to try and make your own lingerie. Welcome to my website!

My assistant … the cat

Sewing job is always fun having a cat around. She’s my furry and best friend. Her name is Izi  – just as you’d say the word “easy”.

We are at an email distance. Get in touch. We love meeting our readers!

Our story

The journey to where we are today

I love to sew & knit since I was a child. I do not remember when I held the needle in my fingers for the first time or what my first project was. If I could go back in time I would ask the time machine to send me at this exact moment so that I can mark it and never forget about it. Because sewing is my passion and what I am confidant at. I can neither recall the first time I sat at my grandmothers sewing machine. But sewing was not enough. Making a pattern was even more interesting. Yes still a child I designed my own clothes from scratch: drew the pattern, cut and sew. I learned to draft from pattern drafting books following meticulously each point, turning each angle and adjusting all the curves.

I remember the effort my mom put into buying me a sewing machine. I remember the moment I was gifted a very old Singer which in a couple of years will turn one hundred years old . With even greater effort I got a basic overlock. Folds, ruffles, tucks, pockets, jacket collar, sleeves, lining, chiffon blouses, silky pants, velvet trousers, jeans suits, leather bags, stuffed coats – I tried them all!

Then the sewing stopped. I had to change the country and get a university degree. I was a grownup and had a life to manage. Later on I was gifted a new sewing machine – my first computerized one. This machine had the zigzag and the elastic stitch, and I realized I can finally sew knits. And suddenly all the ruffles and the tucks, the pockets and the piping, designs and patterns, they all came back to me! The modern serger opened even more doors to the world of stretch fabric projects.

The year of 2012 is the time Afi Atelier entered the online sewing community. It started as a blog written in my native language. Meanwhile I learned about pattern drafting on my computer and released my first sewing pattern – The Hourglass Dress. I was enjoying all of the creative projects, the sewing, the drafting, the writing.

And then one day, scrolling through the sewing blogosphere I came across a post about someone sewing a bra. An underwire bra! The kind of bra you only buy in a store. The kind of bra you never thought possible of making on your own. But there it was, with wobbly stitching, with imperfect sewn elastics.

That bra was made by a hobbyist!

And there were others sewing lingerie. Laces, Lycra, picot elastics – a wild territory for me. I let the idea grew for months while studying supplies and available books and articles on the subject. But as in childhood, I could never feel complete without knowing to draft my own bra pattern. The first bra I made was drafted from scratch but had foam cups. The bra worn out – it was my favorite. Event today I believe its the best bra I ever made!

From that point the joy I got from making lingerie only grew stronger and stronger. I could never explain in words the excitement and the satisfaction of making the delicate and feminine underwear garments. But can I share the feelings with others? That’s why in 2015 I released the Maya Bra Pattern. A FREE pattern to download, print, cut and sew at home. A pattern to get you started in the wonderful world of bra making. The pattern is accompanied with detailed blog articles on sewing the bra, however I did not finish writing all the steps. By making the pattern free I hope I can open the door to lingerie sewing to others.

The 2015 is also the year I started writing in both languages. In 2016 the international blog moved here. The Romanian version of the blog remains at my old address.

My favorite things

Your at-a-glance guide to where I stand on truly important sewing things

  • FAVORITE SEWING TOOL: Soap
  • FAVORITE THREAD COLOR: Gold
  • TRUSTWORTHY SEWING MACHINE: Brother Innov-Is Anniversary 10
  • MOST ENJOYABLE PROJECTS: Panties
  • MOST DREADFUL PROJECTS: Shortening trousers
  • GUILTY PLEASURE: Pattern making

Our goals

What we believe and stand for

  • You can make beautiful lingerie

    You deserve to wear beautiful and fine lingerie. And you can make it yourself! The secret is to start simple: make a pair (or more) of underwear and get the handle on sewing lace and elastics. Move on to a bralette and get acquainted with bra sizing and basic construction. Try an underwire bra. As scary as it may seem, the experience you get from the previous steps will be your confidence. Because once you master a technique you can never forget it. It just like ridding a bike. You may think you forgot how to ride it but all it takes is some practice to remember.

  • Rushing and sewing do NOT mix together

    Haven’t we all been there: I need it done in a few hours, I have to have a new garment!? And then the trouble starts, one slip here, one little accident there, and when we think nothing can get worse, the sewing machine starts behaving like a savage animal. Stop right there! Do you really need it today? Is it so important you have to finish it now? Besides all this, can you contemplate for a moment what your feelings are? Because we for sure see the sewing joy and satisfaction fade away and the sorrow and frustration break in.

  • Simple things with one original detail

    Over a bloated item. Nothing is more chic than a simple item with a twist. We know you like the ruffles from that item, we know you adore the tucks and folds in that other garment, oh and we know how in love you are with that bright and patterned fabric. Why not mix them all together and have that elegant piece? Only to discover a circus of techniques, with all possible details having all the colors in the world.

  • Quality over quantity

    Of all the list items this is something we advocate the most. The satisfaction you get when you turn the item with the wrong side and it’s neat an pretty just like on the right side is immense. We know it’s fast to let the seams as they are, we know how tedious is to hustle with all the details. But in the end all this effort pays off more than you think!

  • One project at a time

    I want to make that dress, I love those trousers, I must have that blouse. I can do them all! Yes you can, but one at a time. The goal is not to have that dress and those pants, and that other thing. The goal is to sew one item from start to finish. Every item is a journey from the idea to the finished piece. The goal is to enjoy the sewing journey and have the satisfaction when you get to wear your make.

  • One new technique in a project

    Sewing is a world of learning. One nice stitch here, one french seam there, a jacket collar over there. Learning is not easy. If you try everything at once it will all be overwhelming. Don’t do that. Instead set a goal. With this item I learn this new technique. With that item apply the learned technique and try one new thing. Evolve gradually.

  • All the tools in the world will not make you a professional

    But will empty your pocket and will fill your cabinets with things you barely get to use or even remember about. Tools are somehow like learning new techniques. Yes there are basic tools you have to own. But then there are nice gadgets. But if you do not learn to use it, it will be just one more item and nothing more. It’s not important that you have it. It’s important what you make with it!

  • Practices makes us better

    Yeah, yeah, haven’t we all debated: what about talent? Yes talent is there from the day we are born. But if we do not polish it, if we do not practice, if we do not cultivate it – talent hides away. If given a choice between an interesting dress but of poor execution and a simple but impeccable sewn dress what would you choose? Yes I would notice the originality of the first, but I know I’ll wear the impeccable dress many times. Behind the neat and clean finish are hours and hours of practice.

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