Articles in Studio

  • My writing process for The Colette Sewing Handbook

    If you’ve ever wondered how a craft book is written, well… I don’t know how anyone else does it, but I can at least tell you how mine was written. I’m someone who likes really big projects. I like planning them out, organizing all the moving parts, then focusing on the little details until everything …

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  • Photos from the launch party

    I wanted to share some photos from our recent book release party for The Colette Sewing Handbook. We had a great time, and I’m so thankful so many people pitched in to help out. Thanks especially to Rachel (former contributor to this blog) who offered to come early to help set up. What a pal. …

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  • Quilt Market & thoughts on the sewing industry

    Quilt Market was intense. It was hard, but gave me a serious education and some food for thought. On our end, designing, shipping, and building a booth in an unfamiliar city is an incredible amount of work. Our booth was pretty modest, but still, we worked hard on this thing. During the whole market, we …

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  • We’re off to Quilt Market!

    Today, Kenn and I are flying off to Houston to participate for the first time at Quilt Market! Quilt market is the biggest sewing industry trade show of the year. We’ll get to show off our products and book to lots and lots of independent retailers. Plus, hopefully check out all the new up and …

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  • The Colette Sewing Handbook: Behind the scenes at our photo…

    I love photo shoots. They’re kind of like planning a big party. Lots of work and care, plenty of moving parts, people to coordinate, and tons of excitement and energy on the big day. I think the video above pretty much sums it up. I’m really a lucky lady, first of all because I was …

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  • Behind the scenes at our fall photo shoot

    Photo shoots are one of my favorite parts of my job. From coming up with concepts to figuring out the palette to gathering all the props, I love every ounce of hard work that goes into them. And then there is the big pay off of seeing it all come together on big day. For …

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  • Sneak Peek: Choosing Fabric for Fall Patterns

    After going back and forth on different palette combinations for our fall photo shoot, Sarai and I finally settled on seafoam, cream, black and ballet pink. One of the fabrics is extra special because Sarai designed it! She used Spoonflower, which is an excellent tool for anyone interested in printing their own designs on fabric. …

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  • How The Colette Sewing Handbook was hatched

    From what I understand, there are two main ways to get a craft book published. Method one is to create a book proposal and shop it around to publishers, perhaps with the help of an agent. Method two is to be very lucky and have a publisher contact you. I fell into the “very lucky” …

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  • Sneak Peek: Fall patterns, from inspiration to design

    Many of you have said that you’re interested in hearing about how we decide on what patterns to make. In other words, how do I go from inspiration to concrete ideas? I thought I’d use the upcoming Fall patterns as an example, and tell you a little about my design process. Last week, I shared …

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  • Sneak Peek: Fall Pattern Inspiration

    Everyone loves Audrey Hepburn. It was about the time we were doing a brainstorm of ideas for the upcoming Fall patterns, and I happened to get a copy of Funny Face in the mail from Netflix. I happen to love both Audrey and Fred Astaire, but I hadn’t seen Funny Face in years. When I …

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  • Gingham twins

    Ever since I made a pair of gingham shorts a month or so ago, Caitlin has lived in fear that we would both come in one day wearing matching pairs. She once almost texted me to tell me not to wear mine, because she was going to wear hers. Well, the dreaded day finally came. …

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  • Meet: Ida Sjöstedt

    Ida was born in Stockholm Sweden, but her clothes aren’t what you would expect when you imagine Swedish fashion. Ida studied fashion design in London at University of Westminster and then returned to Sweden in 2001 to launch her own line and has been producing her elegant but fun collections ever since. Ida’s clothes are meant for a woman …

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  • Can sewing hurt your health?

    Last week, I threw out my back and hip. Those of you who follow me on twitter might have heard me complaining about it. I try to complain as little as possible about this kind of thing normally, but… wow! It hurt. Now, this wasn’t a sewing related injury. In fact, I’m not 100% sure …

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  • Meet: Recollection

    Sandra Murphy’s website sums up her vintage inspired line, Recollection, in one phrase: “New Clothes With Old Soul.” Sandra grew up in Ireland, where she learned to sew from her mother and grandmother who inspired her to go to fashion school. Upon graduation she came to the US and worked for several large American brands …

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  • What are your colors?

    Do you find yourself turning to the same colors over and over in your wardrobe (like I do)? Do you think the colors you choose say something about you… your style or your personality? I’m a very color-oriented person. I tend to go for very specific colors. You might remember my hemming and hawing about …

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  • In the studio: Flowers and swatches

    Just about every week, Caitlin is kind enough to bring flowers from her garden for my desk. On Monday, she came in with this gorgeous bouquet of roses and irises. I’d brought flowers that day too. Mine were poppies and a peony from my garden. I love having flowers around the studio every week in …

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  • Meet: ERMIE

    ERMIE started out as a blog, named after Jennifer Parry Dodge’s great aunt who encouraged Jennifer’s creativity. ERMIE then developed into a clothing line defined by Jennifer’s beautiful prints and modern but simple lines. Jennifer designs and creates the prints for all the ERMIE pieces that are then hand-made in Los Angeles, CA where she …

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  • Meet: Holly Stalder

    I first saw Holly Stalder’s work at Seaplane, the Portland boutique that she co-owned with Kate Towers that closed in 2008. But she has not slowed down at all since then as she opened another shop called Haunt, also in Portland, with fellow Portland designers Laura Irwin and Rachael Donaldson. Holly’s designs are dramatic, vintage-inspired …

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  • Free pattern to download: The sorbetto top

    I have a little treat for you today: the Sorbetto top, a brand new free downloadable pattern! Several weeks ago, Kathleen of grosgrain asked me to participate in a little something she put together called free pattern month. I thought it would be a great opportunity to put together another freebie pattern for you all, …

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  • Meet: Unforeseen Circumstances

    Teo Griscom is part of the trio that creates the womenswear label Jackon, Johnson & Roe that was founded in 2004. In 2009 Teo launched Unforeseen Circumstances, a brand that focuses solely on creating beautiful undergarments that are produced in US. Her pieces stand out because of their impeccable details and vibrant colors and are …

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  • Meet: Nadinoo

    Whimsical British label Nadinoo is the creation of designer Nadia Izruna, who I recently had the pleasure of interviewing. Nadia left her job at a large brand in 2009 to launch her first Nadinoo line with her last paycheck. Nadinoo has an enchantingly retro and very feminine feel that heavily features Liberty of London fabrics. …

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