‘Sharing my love for craftmanship is very inspiring’

During her career as an occupational therapist, Petra Krijger never gave up her greatest passion: making clothes. To deepen her knowledge of couture, she participated in the masterclasses of couturier Leon Klaassen Bos.

The designer offered her an apprenticeship in his couture house, where she had the opportunity to learn more about high-level technical design. “In Leon’s atelier I became acquainted with couture techniques that are also used in Paris”, tells Petra. “And I learned to really observe and listen to what the fabric tells you by how it drapes. I learned to trust my instinct and that it’s okay to fail. After all, there are so many ways to make something in a refined way!”

Creatief process

As an example she mentions the creation of clothing on the bias, where fabrics are cut diagonal to the grainline. Diagonally the fabric is more stretchy and the drape of the fabric becomes more fluid. “This method has really become a part of my creative process and I discover new shapes. I am very proud of the bias cut top I developed by working in a three dimensional way on a dress form, instead of just working flat on a table. This was for me a new approach of making clothes, almost like sculpting with fabric. The confidence to actually create a garment that way I have acquired during my apprenticeship.”

Secrets of the craft

Besides making clothes for clients, Petra herself has also become a teacher in tailoring techniques. With her past as an occupational therapist she knows how to help people developing their skills. She now shares her know-how about couture with new talents who want to know more about the secrets of making clothes in a refined manner. “The great thing about it is that I recognize a lot of myself in my students. It is very inspiring to share my love of craftmanship that way.”