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Weekend reading: body ethics, vintage pattern rage, and a great tip for decluttering


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I’m in California this weekend celebrating my dad’s retirement (!) and getting ready for our next pattern launch on Tuesday. So between writing newsletters, making some new graphics for the shop, and writing blog posts, I’m going for runs on the beach with my sister, eating homemade pizza, and listening to loud Italian music.

Here are some links I’ve enjoyed over the last week. Enjoy!

  • I posted the photo above of some fabric from a vintage dress I tried on, and some commenters let me know that the artist is Harwood Steiger. I love his work!
  • Heather has vintage pattern rage. I must say, this kind of frustration is one of the main reasons I started Colette Patterns five years ago.

  • Maddie has 7 tips for sewing for long periods of time.

  • How not to say the wrong thing. If you’ve ever dealt with serious trauma (yours or someone else’s), this will probably resonate.

  • Rachel has a nifty cheat sheet on knit fabrics!

  • 10 tiny tasks to declutter your home. I don’t have much clutter in my home generally, but I do feel like these tips would be useful when doing a closet purge. I love the sticker idea!

  • The price of success is an interesting look at self-censorship. I don’t think one even needs to be “famous” in any way to feel the effects of an increasingly public life.

  • I really enjoyed this profile of Jen Gotch of and especially found her decision to sell her business really interesting to read about.

  • This article about a new body ethic comes from one of the best fitness blogs I’ve ever come across (actually, the only one I subscribe to right now). “The fitness industry fails because the choice at the center of all of its products is what to buy, not how to live. You get the reward—the personal pride, the release of social pressure, the assuagement of guilt—when you pay, not when you change.”

PS: If you enjoy the links I find, you may want to follow @colettepatterns on twitter. I post these links and more as I find/read them!

Sarai Mitnick   —   Founder

Sarai started Colette back in 2009. She believes the primary role of a business should be to help people. She loves good books, sewing with wool, her charming cats, working in her garden, and eating salsa.

Comments 6


I noticed that Heather’s vintage pattern rage was over a Vogue pattern… hehe. I bought (not vintage) a Vogue pattern recently … “a very easy” one. I got to step 5 and had to take the project to a friend of mine who has 30 years experience sewing. That step was so badly written that it took her an hour–I kid you not–an hour to figure out what to do. So, I overcame that step and then was completely stumped by the next. I gave up at that point and ended up salvaging the fabric for a Moneta hack. Maybe one day someone will post a pic by pic blog post on that particular pattern (I searched for an hour), and that’s the last Vogue pattern I ever buy. These companies are killing their future. My friend with 30 years sewing experience is the only one I can go to (in person) for sewing questions. These companies don’t seem to realize that their future seamstresses don’t have mothers/aunts/whatever to go to for help deciphering their instructions, that many of us are just learning on our own. I know my “sewing friend” by complete luck–she joined my writer’s workshop group that I host at a local coffee house. She was early one day and we were just chatting and discovered we both love to sew. (My mom used to sew but she’s too mentally ill to answer questions.) I really appreciate the clear instructions in Colette’s patterns. I’ve learned so much from the patterns, the sewing handbook, and the blog.


I was really intrigued by the article on body ethics. I agree that we have a terrible problem in our country, and that we’re going about it in all the wrong ways. I thought you might be interested in my blog…I teach women how to make peace with food and their bodies. I believe that you can live a fulfilling life, enjoy food, exercise in ways that bring you joy without being part of the fitness craze. I applaud your efforts to not be part of the craziness. Please check out my blog- I think it would definitely be right up your alley.

Rachel Pinheiro

Thanks for the Love. ❤️


What an interesting mix of reading. Thanks for this.

Shams over at Communing with Fabric had a serious chat with TPTB at The McCall Pattern Company and told them in no uncertain terms what nearly everyone is saying about the craptastic quality of their patterns. We shall see if it has the desired effect. (Thus far, no.)

I am going to read the article about the increasing lack of privacy first. I have become one of those people who just assumes they are being recorded whenever they are in public. I thought it was because of working in the public sector, but with cell phone cameras, in addition to security cameras, basically everywhere…I may not be as paranoid as I thought.

Anne Maskell

The post ‘How Not to Say The Wrong Thing’ really hit home for me. My husband passed away suddenly eight weeks ago today, and some of the comments I received still bother me. Things like, ‘I couldn’t come to the funeral because his death affected me too much’ (really? how do you think I feel?) and ‘ You didn’t know him like I did’ (are you trying to say the man I lived with for twenty years was a stranger?) and my personal favorite, ‘Too bad you couldn’t have done something to help him’. (My husband died of a heart attack in the middle of the night in his sleep. There was nothing anyone could have done) People just don’t think before they speak, and it seems like they have to make the situation about themselves in some way. Thank you so much for recommending this post.


I’m so sorry for your loss, Anne. It’s a shame that those people couldn’t see beyond themselves. Those comments are shocking in their lack of empathy!

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