Oriane, a woman, poses with a Brother V3 and ScanNCut

Oriane Pruie’s turns her hobby into a #BrotherBiz

Oriane Pruie found a love for sewing and creating as a child, taking clothes apart and re-sewing them into different fashions.

But it was after appearing on a French television show ‘Cousu Main’ – which translates into ‘Hand Sewn’ - that she gained the courage to leave her job as a postal worker and set up her own brand La Grande Rouge.

When did you develop your love of sewing?

I became interested in sewing when I was around 10 years old. I’m completely self-taught – I would borrow my mother’s sewing machine and just disassemble and reassemble clothes - sometimes with more success than others!

I have always been tall and have a unique style, so I soon discovered the benefits of being able to create things for myself.

I loved the work of Jean-Paul Gaultier, Vivienne Westwood, Chantal Thomass and Fifi Chachnil, but I couldn’t afford their pieces, so I had to come up with some myself!

By the time I had my children I was much more of a proficient home sewer. I was able to make clothes for them – I loved it. It’s a great way to show my love for them and makes me feel very special. It brings me lots of joy, they love wearing their special clothes and it’s good for the environment!

When did you decide to turn your hobby into a career?

Appearing on the competition ‘Cousu Main’ on M6 with Cristina Cordula gave me a huge confidence boost.

We carried out six intensive weeks of filming, but I loved every minute. It was physically demanding because it was filmed in Paris between 7pm and 2am three days a week. I was travelling back and forth, returning to Nantes at the weekend to be with my son and daughter, but it was worth it.

After making it to the semi-finals I realised I didn’t want to return to my old career. We only have one life. It was time for me to create my company, to try making a living from my passion.

Oriane, a red haired woman, sits with a seam ripper

Tell us about your clothing brand La Grande Rouge?

Today I work as a seamstress, fashion designer and teacher.

I chose the name ‘La Grande Rouge’ for my business because of my height and the colour of my hair, but it also represents the fact that the things I make are bespoke to my customers’ shape and style.

At first, I wanted to imagine my own collection of retro-style women's clothing, making 1950s style dresses in gingham, lace and polka dots. I quickly realised that a whole line was a bit too much for me to manage, so I scaled down to just doing made to measure pieces.

I love it! I make dresses, high waisted jeans, evening dresses and even wedding dresses – it’s very satisfying.
La Grande Rouge logo

How did you get into teaching?

To develop my sewing skills I attended weekly sessions at the Café Couture du Perray in Nantes, which welcomes sewing enthusiasts of all abilities to share space and ideas. Every Monday afternoon I would meet up with friends with our machines and make a garment, I discovered I was a bit of a natural teacher helping the others with their creations.

I started to give sewing lessons and then I had the idea to set up my workshop in La perle des loisirs store in Rezé, near Nantes. At my workshops we look at different techniques, how we can adapt things to suit our own styles and different shapes and sizes. I love working with others, it gives me a real sense of satisfaction!

What are your favourite Brother machines?

I use the Brother Innov-is V3 and the ScanNCut SDX1200.

I use the V3 to customise clothes I design. It gets a lot of use at the moment, because I also embroider work clothes for a friend's company. The machine is very quick and easy, but one day I hope to upgrade to the VR or the PR680W as I develop more skills and designs.

The ScanNCut has also been invaluable in helping me customise my clothes. I can use the machine to make labels for my brand, make brooches with rhinestones and lots of embellishments – I have lots and lots of ideas so watch this space!
A red headed woman stands behind a sewing machine

What’s next for La Grande Rouge?

I currently work part-time at the fabric store, so I’d like to be able to leave this and devote myself fully to my business. I would also like to create a very small line of patterns and continue to run my workshops with passion.

Do you have any advice for other small businesses starting out?

My advice for any business venture would be to do something you are passionate about. Find something that makes you stand out from others, but do not compare yourself too much either!

As a mum of two children, I also put a lot of importance on taking care of myself and making time for them.
It takes a lot of patience and determination to make a career out of what you love, but it’s also very rewarding.

Where can people find you?

I have an Instagram, so people can get hold of through there, or they can book lessons and discuss pieces they’d like me to make for them via my website:


In real life they can also come to lessons at the La perle des loisirs store in Rezé, near Nantes.


Do you run your own #BrotherBiz? We’d love to hear from you! Why not tag us into a post about yourself on Instagram, or drop us a message on Facebook?

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