Weekend Reading: The medium chill, moodboards, and American textiles



Look at what kind and generous reader Kelly sent us to celebrate our anniversary! It’s a set of the Time Life Art of Sewing books! I’ve been having so much fun flipping through them this week and admiring the beautiful covers.


Kenn and I are headed to Austin for a quick weekend getaway today. Here are some links I think you might enjoy this weekend:

  • Designer Wendy Mullin has a new line called Soft Rock and I love it. Totally my colors from my Wardrobe Architect capsule wardrobe this season too.
  • How to make a moodboard. Though this is geared toward designers, this could be helpful for those of you creating moodboards and palettes for sewing. She even has a recommendation for a color picking app, which some of you have asked about before.
  • Gorgeous photos show the beauty inside America’s textile industry. Stunning images!
  • I’m fascinated by people’s attitudes towards money. This article from a former Wall Street hotshot explores what it’s like to be consumed by greed.
  • What does it mean to be “pinterest perfect“?
  • 10 simple words every girl should know: “Men interrupt women, speak over them, and discount their contributions to a discussion with surprising regularity. Here’s how women should respond.” I’ve found that most men are well intentioned and have no clue that they do this, or that it’s a larger pattern of behavior.
  • Want to be more creative? Take a walk. I’m a big believer in using your body to help you think better.
  • This is the best thing I’ve read all week: The Medium Chill. The author explores the disconnect between what consumer culture tells us about happiness (buy! acquire! work!) and what social psychology tells us actually makes for lasting happiness. And I love the conclusion, that the solution is helping people be more genuinely happy, not guilting them out of materialism.

[images above via our instagram feed. Follow me there!]

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 21


I’ve been drooling over “Soft Rock” for days. It’s a perfect and pretty much complete Summer capsule wardrobe in and of itself. But Wendy Mullins has been thinking along those lines long before we all started to!


I mean, Wendy Mullin…


I used to own that set! I bought it when it came out – in the seventies. I was always interested in sewing after we learned a bit about it in Home Ec. Now, I still don’t sew that great, but I’m really trying to sew regularly. I just bought Laurel and am excited about that, too.

amy w

The ’10 Simple Words..’ article was so interesting. I work in an office with 5 other people. There are four men that work here and two ladies. I have at times said a great idea in a meeting, a minute or two later one of the men repeats it and Let’s Do It!! I wanted to say ‘I JUST said that’. This article will really help me be aware of interuptions and idea stealing.

The textile industry photos were so interesting!


Oh, the “Pinterest Perfect” article describes well what is on my mind right now. I always shy away from blogging the garments I made because I’m not good at taking pictures and I’m very judgemental on photos of myself. It’s not that I’m generally feeling unwell in my own skin. I’m a curvy girl and that is ok for me. I was never longing to be a model-type of girl. But seeing all the well made pictures of beautiful and happy people on Pinterest and some Blogs awakes the awful perfectionist in me.
I start thinking that none of my photos is good enough to be published e.g. for Me-Made-May. My blog isn’t beautiful enough (because I compare myself with long-time and professional bloggers). I posted two photos anyway but remain very critical. Why am I ok with me when I’m looking in a mirror, but never ok with a photo of myself? Does anyone feel the same?
Always comparing yourself to photograps taken on Pinterest is frustrating and I don’t want this to stop me from doing what I really want to do.


those books! i’ve been hunting for them ever since seeing them on a blog– orange lingerie, i think. i thought i was doing well at four!


Oh, the “10 words” article! I come from a culture where everyone speaks over each other (according to a sociology study I read, it is actually, for us, a way of showing interest, whereas letting someone speak at length without interruption would show that we are bored and have nothing to say about the topic), so when I moved to the US, the fact that I and other female friends were constantly interrupted while males could speak without disruption did not immediately strike me.
Little by little, though, I realized that I was not merely being interrupted, but pretty much ignored most of the time, and considered rude or even aggressive when I in turn, went back to my initial topic by talking over the men who had taken over the conversation (while doing this would have been considered rather normal where I come from).
Until I realized that most women were treated the same way, I thought I had just become an extremely boring person, so I am glad some attention is brought to this.


The Pinterest Perfect post is great. I actually stopped browsing Pinterest this year because I knew it was killing my self esteem and turning me into a materialistic person. I still “pin” things occasionally, but I’m thinking of just switching over to something like Evernote soon. It’s easy to tell yourself that a single image is not reality if you have enough time to really look at it, but when you’re bombarded with thousands of images and messages a day it becomes more difficult to truly believe.

I stopped tolerating people talking over me and hijacking conversations a few years ago. I think going to a school that was primarily women actually really helped because it taught me what it was like to be able to speak and not be interrupted most of the time. Once you’ve been allowed the privilege of not having your ideas constantly dismissed it becomes more glaringly obvious when someone is shutting you down and just how freaking rude it is.

The textile industry photos are gorgeous.


That reminds me of the studies of co-ed vs. single-sex learning environments that showed how much less girls talk in the presence of boys, and how adults encourage this behavior.

“Boys called out eight times as often as girls did. When a boy yelled out, the teacher ignored the “raise your hand” rule and usually praised his contribution. Girls who called out got reminders to raise their hands. “


I love this quote by Chris Payne, “If I can find an underlying geometry or rhythm within a subject, it generally makes for a more visually compelling image, one filled with beauty as well as information.” I try to take visually balanced photographs – lined squared and nothing cropped out. Why I lean towards a nice and neat photography, I’m not sure why. Chris’s quote puts it into perspective.

Enjoy Austin!

Lady ID

Those books are gorgeous! I just found a few on amazon.

I am in a male dominated field and job so I’ve gotten used to being around men all the time. Being an observer by nature, I have had to make a conscious effort to be heard more. My coworkers do not necessarily talk over me or anything like that but I don’t communicate as many of them do so I have had to adapt in a way that works for me.


I felt the same way working in a male-dominated environment. Being introverted was no help either.


Always look forward to your weekend reading edition!


What pretty books! I do enjoy taking a walk and thinking. There’s plenty of time to mull over things and consider options. I can come back with a design problem solved or ready to layout a whole presentation.

My experience of people interrupting is actually opposite – I prefer working with men because they generally seem to listen to me (at least all the ones I’ve worked with). I don’t talk unless I’ve thought about it and have something to say. In meetings with my male coworkers, they’ll listen and consider what I say seriously. When I’m in meetings with my female coworkers they’re talking over each other and no one listens to anyone. Complete chaos. I think it has to do with their fields, or personalities.

Since that’s my personal experience, it would be silly to generalize from that, which is something that irritates me about “women’s issues” type articles. Too often there’s a tendency to take the “all men do this” line, and I think it really shuts down debate and turns people off. It’s just as offensive as the “all women are emotional” kind of thing.


I don’t think you can generalize from one experience, but these anecdotal experiences are backed up by data.

I agree that it’s not helpful to make hyperbolic claims about “all men” and “all women”, but there are definitely patterns of behavior that we are socialized into based on gender. And personally, I find them to be just as damaging and confining to men as they are to women.

alice stribling

That 10 words article made me angry, which is a good thing. Thanks for sharing.


Great articles! I’ve become quite addicted to your weekend reading posts. My favourite was Medium Chill. That’s the life I’m choosing too, and it’s a great look at the traps of continually looking for something else to make us happy. I have a home, a husband, cute cats, and enough money to pay the bills and very slowly save for holidays. And I’m happy everyday that I don’t have to stress myself by aiming for more.


I really enjoy your suggested readings posts. I always discover a few thoughtful, interesting articles which I might never have seen otherwise.


Great reads this week, and those textile photos! Gorgeous!


Oh those books! My boyfriend’s aunt gave me the entire collection last year! She had been saving them up from one of her nieces, hoping one will pick up sewing, and after accepting none would, gladly shared with me! Admittedly I haven’t looked through them much — I know I’m awful… but perhaps now that you’ve reminded me of them, I’ll have to go peruse!

Michele Ferguson

Gorgeous clothes from Wendy!! Wish she still designed for Simplicity patterns.

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