Thanks for reading the Colette blog!  This site is no longer being updated so head over to Seamwork to get all the latest patterns, tutorials, video classes, and more.

Colette
Articles in

Inspiration

  • Inspiration

    Contrast Fabric Dresses

    If you have read any of my recent posts for this blog, you will already know that I’ve been thinking a lot about ways to use smaller pieces of fabric you may have in your stash. I find it very frustrating when I have a great piece of fabric, perhaps in an amazing print or …

  • Inspiration

    What is modern luxury?

    I’ve just finished reading Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster by Dana Thomas, and if you are at all interested in the world of fashion and the drastic changes it’s undergone, you should definitely pick it up! Luxury used to mean the best money could buy. Luxury products were expensive and totally out of reach …

  • Inspiration

    Sewing finds at the Antique Expo

    I thought some of you might like to check out some of the gorgeous sewing-related items I picked up this weekend at the Portland Antique Expo. It was kind of amazing.

  • Inspiration

    Make Do and Mend: ‘Getting Ready For Baby’

    Yesterday I went to a massive flea market here in Barcelona called Encants (where I previously picked up the amazing vintage hand-painted buttons), with a sewing friend of mine who was on a mission to score some supplies from the haberdashery stalls. I was only going to keep her company but ended up getting in …

  • Inspiration

    The great sewing blog roundup!

    {image above: sweet dolly pins} Ok guys, I feel that my links have become embarrassingly outdated. A long while back, I just threw up some of my favorite links and haven’t had a chance to revise them or seek out new ones. I think it’s important that we get to know our community of fellow …

  • Inspiration

    What are your thoughts on learning to sew?

    I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how and why people learn to sew. I was discussing this with someone recently. She said that knitting really took off a few years ago, but it seems like sewing is still just on that verge of popularity. I think the reason for this is largely that knitting …

  • Inspiration

    Vintage Details: Scallops everywhere!

    I’m a wee bit obsessed with the scallop detail with this Du Barry dress on ebay. Even though it looks to have been shortened considerably, I’d still buy it in an instant if I could fit into its 24 inch waist (ha!). But I can still be inspired by it. Check out the rows and …

  • Inspiration

    Internal Contrasts

    As you may already be aware, recently I’ve been thinking alot about sewing with my existing stash of fabric rather than buying more, and I’ve been trying to encourage others to do the same. Tackling the larger pieces of 2 metres-plus is proving easy enough, but so much of my stash seems to be comprised of smaller …

  • Inspiration

    Stash Bustin’ Fabric Swap!

    You may have seen my post here on this blog a few days ago which spoke about the Stash Bustin’ challenge I have set myself and others to work through our fabric mountains and avoid trips to the fabric store. Well the post received many lovely comments, including a couple calling for some kind of …

  • Inspiration

    Vintage Details: Navy Rose and Vines

    Ooh la la. This navy dress from salvagelife is really lovely. I really love how the taffeta contrasts with the crepe of the dress, the way the leaves fan out from the waistline, and how all the appliques are fairly flat so they don’t add bulk at the waist. Anyone have any ideas on how …

  • Inspiration

    Stash Bustin’

    I’ve been thinking a lot recently about fabrics stashes. Of all the beautiful and useful pieces of fabric that I, and probably every sewer everywhere, have stashed away somewhere not realising its potential whilst I (we) have been continuing to make trips to the fabric shop to harvest yet more. I like to think that, …

  • Inspiration

    Vintage Details: Ric-rac vines

    You know I love those vintage surface details. They often look so luxurious, but when you break them down, they’re not hard to do. Often they involve making some bias tape, cording, or piping and sewing it on in an ingenious way. But this one looks even easier than most! At first glance, it looks …

  • Inspiration

    Vintage Lace from Dishy Vintage

    I have to admit, I hesitated a little bit before writing this post to tell you about all the wonderful trims at Dishy Vintage. I almost wanted to save this source for myself. But that would be selfish. Personally, I am very particular about lace. I do not like to sew with scratchy nylon lace …

  • Inspiration

    Vintage Details: Stitched Bow

    I found this dress at one of my favorite vintage shops, Dear Golden. I’ll admit that the color isn’t for me (and I adore pink), but those pockets! I’m completely enamored with the stitched bows. I captured a close up shot for you. I’m not an embroidery expert, but it looks to me like some …

  • Inspiration

    Decorative elements: Lace appliqués

    What are sewing blogs for if not to share our triumphs and tribulations? If you follow my personal blog, you may have seen a skirt (pictured above) I made back in April 2009. It was a simple A-line shape made in red poly-cotton twill. I carefully cut out some shapes from scraps of my mum’s …

  • Inspiration

    Books: Tim Walker Pictures

    Pictures is a collection of photographs by Tim Walker, perhaps my favorite modern fashion photographer. It’s a large tome that includes a huge array of his brilliant work and, perhaps even more fascinating, glimpses into his artistic process. Readers of British Vogue are, I’m sure, familiar with Tim Walker’s work. His photo are distinctly romantic …

  • Inspiration

    Vintage Details: A Corded Neckline

    I just came across this really pretty dress on Etsy. I really love vintage dresses like this: simple, but with eye-catching details. This dress even has pockets! Alas, it is a bit small for me, but take a look at that neckline for inspiration! It looks like two rows of fabric-covered cording are appliqued at …

  • Inspiration

    The Beat Generation

    When it comes to TV shows, if I’m going to get into them, it’s going to be near on a decade after everyone else, which explains why I’ve only just started watching the first series of Mad Men. And like pretty much every woman I’ve heard on the subject, I have become obsessed with the …

  • Inspiration

    Vintage Books: Dressmaking Made Easy, 1928

    This dainty little book from 1928 was written by a woman named Laura I. Baldt, who held the title of Assistant Professor of Household Arts, Teachers College, Columbia University. Here’s a picture of Ms. Baldt: She looks like a knowledgeable sort of woman, does she not? Inscribed in the front of the book in tiny …

  • Inspiration

    Inspired by conversation

    After a heady weekend of enjoying the finer things in life, which for me include: coffee, wine, the company of good friends, and illuminating discussions on art and life, this week I find myself inspired by the alchemy of conversation. Talking about reinvention. Goals. The spark of creativity. I will not be ashamed to admit …

  • Inspiration

    Britex notions online!

    Having lived in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, I’ve had the privilege of shopping is some pretty darn good fabric stores. But my favorite fabric store of all time is Britex in San Francisco. It’s four floors of gorgeous, top-quality fabrics, notions, and trims. It’s where I bought the gold Italian 4-ply silk …