Colette

Our most popular posts, topics, freebies, and patterns in 2014

76

matching-plaids-finished2

It’s December, the perfect time to start looking back at what you’ve gone through in the last year: the things you’ve put out into the world, the trials you’ve lived through, the people you’ve met or become closer to.

Today, I thought I’d take a look at all the things we’ve done this year. At the end of the post, I have some questions for you.

Focus

I began this year with a watchword, and that word was focus.

It’s sort of funny looking back on that, because we’ve put out a ton of new projects and ideas this year. On the other hand, I approached them in a fairly focused way, generally dedicating resources to one thing at a time and going all-in on that thing.

On a personal level, I do feel more focused. I’ve been meditating every morning, and have felt way more excited than stressed in spite of the insane pace of this year.

wardrobe-architect-week-1

Stuff we’ve put out this year:

That is a load of stuff.

In addition to all that, I’ve worked with some amazing people, including our awesome team here at CPHQ. And it’s been such a pleasure to collaborate with my buddy Alyson this year, one of the most generous, thoughtful, kindhearted, and tireless people I have ever met.

how-to-organize-sewing-patterns

Best tutorials of 2014:

These are chosen by popularity.

  1. How to organize a mountain of sewing patterns with your phone
  2. How to shop for a sewing machine
  3. Sewing hems with a twin needle
  4. Stabilizing and gathering knits with clear elastic
  5. How to clean finish a lined armhole
  6. 3 favorite presser feet and how I use them
  7. The MOD-ified Laurel pattern hack
  8. 6 ways to finish the edge of your hem
  9. How to organize fabric with swatch tags
  10. How to get a level hem

dress-forms

Best discussions of 2014:

I picked these by traffic and comments. Some are lighthearted questions I asked, others are a little more personal.

  1. Introducing the Wardrobe Architect series
  2. Progress, not perfection
  3. 10 things I wish I’d known when I started sewing
  4. How to build sewing skills if you’re an absolute beginner
  5. Why do you sew?
  6. What are your favorite films for inspiration?
  7. Do you wear more dresses or separates?
  8. What skills have you avoided (for no good reason)?
  9. What do you listen to when you sew?
  10. When have you impressed yourself?

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Free stuff:

We also put out some freebies and pattern hacks this year. You’ll be seeing more of these in 2015. I love making free stuff for you when I can.

moneta-collar-tie

moneta-short-sleeve-globe

Patterns

We basically sold out of all of our patterns this year before we expected to. I had to create a new system for forecasting inventory levels because we kept being taken by surprise. File that under good problems, I guess.

  • Moneta was a huge, huge hit for us.
  • Mabel showed that you guys love a quick-and-simple project as much as I do (in which case you should probably join Seamwork).
  • Myrtle was another popular one, and the first pattern we released that could work in knits or wovens!
  • Dahlia took us back to a classic silhouette. I love this pattern.

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(That’s Kenn and Meg above with some of our inventory.)

We love you guys

I have a lot of ideas for the next year of Coletterie in addition to Seamwork, but I’ll write about the future later.

I just want to conclude by saying what a pleasure it has been to serve you this year.

Kenn does much of our customer service, and every once in a while he looks up from his laptop and says in amazement, “our customers are the best.”

Why? Because you are the nicest, warmest, most thoughtful people I could imagine working for. I know it sounds incredibly cheesy, but it’s true. You are good people, and I like working for good people.

Your thoughts?

I’d love some input from you guys as I start to plan 2015.

  • What posts have you enjoyed most?
  • What would you like to see more of on the blog?
  • Do you enjoy the weekend link roundups (it’s ok if you skip them)?
  • Do you enjoy the discussions in the comments?
  • Are there types of posts we don’t do that you’d like us to (maybe something we’ve done in the past but don’t post about much anymore)?

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 76

Anne

First of all, I loved the Wardrobe Architect series. Thank you so much for organizing such a though-provoking series. Also, I really enjoy the weekend link roundups, especially the links to articles that touch on larger issues like those associated mass-produced clothing or body image.
Finally, I’ve missed some of the weekly features this year, like garments people have made in the featured seamstress or the detail inspiration posts. It would be nice to see some of those again.

Sarai colettepatterns.com

I’d love to bring back the featured seamstresses/projects. It would actually fit in very well with some of my other ideas for 2015.

Trisha

I loved Wardrobe Architect because it helped organize my projects into what was needed to fill the gaps in my seasonal outfits instead of randomly sewing whatever I grab next. It has helped tremendously in my approach! I’ve really enjoyed the Friday links, too. They’ve brought me lots of fascinating topics. I’ve looked forward to them every week. I’ve been so excited by all the great new directions you’ve gone this year. Colette Patterns has grown tremendously, and I’m so glad I have seen it! Seamwork is going to be awesome. Thank you so much for being my inspiration!

nothy aftagley.blogspot.ca

I’ve loved the Wardrobe Architect posts, I learned a lot and I refer back to them more and more. I also love the sew-alongs page – I still can’t believe I made an Albion coat or that I plan to improve on it with another coat. And all the knits this year are fabulous. Knits are such versatile clothes for me – they always fit even when my weight goes up and down. I think this blog is more than a blog, its a meeting place for like-minded people.

Sarai colettepatterns.com

I’m so glad to hear you say that, because that is one of the things I plan to focus on in the next year: creating a place for the community!

Lara

First of all: thank you and congratulations! As I’ve mentioned before, I very much appreciate what you folks do, and how you do it. I appreciate the fact that you have paper patterns, when so many indie designers do not (E-patterns are just not for me). I also appreciate the lessons you provide to help me improve my skills, and I do read the weekend round-up.

I always read the discussions, I never know when I’ll learn something new, or at least discover I’m not the only one struggling with an issue. You have a great community here!

You are not in any way required to be all things to all people. Every person, every company has limits, but if I made any requests, the most important to me would be some how-to information for making a pattern more modest, either a tutorial or a link to one you like that someone else did. For me this mostly applies to bodices- how to raise different kinds of necklines, and adding sleeves. Lengthening the lower half of a garment always seems to be included in patterns or easy to figure out.

A once a month fit fix-it would be fabulous! How to diagnose an issue, and how to correct it. This is what scares me the most about sewing.

Lastly, a resource guide seems to be something that many of us need, not only for fabric, but notions as well. As an example, I would like to make some fabric belts, and I’ve been trying to find belt backing. It amazes me how many places offer covered buckle kits (a few or many), but no belt backing! I’ve decided that I’ll need to find a really stiff interfacing, but I’m not sure if it will work. Does anyone out here in the community know?

Again, many thanks for many things, and I look forward to seeing what you do in 2015!

Sarai colettepatterns.com

I think Threads has a monthly fitting column. I’d love to find the right person to write that (probably more likely for Seamwork, though).

Francesca

Have you tried Sunni at afashionablestitch.com? She has everything you can think of for belts. And the best service:)

gabriel ratchet

this is a great review, and i just spent too much time wandering back through several of the links… and got something more out of them than i did the first time. i guess i’m most appreciative of the philosophical musings and the wide variety of links that make coletterie so much more than a projects and techniques blog. you manage to surprise, encourage, and challenge my brain, and generally entertain my eyeballs with your very high production values associated with every thing you do. your readers/commenters provide interesting discussion and valuable additional information on topics across the spectrum, and i particularly like that you read and comment as well.

the only thing i can think of specifically for a repeat might be the pop-up shop you did before christmas last year. that. was. fun.

Sarai colettepatterns.com

I know, it was really fun to put together too. I skimmed through every post we published in the last year. It was such a good exercise, because I’m usually so focused on “how can I make this better?” that I sometimes don’t think about how much we’ve done.

Isaboe Renoir

I’ve very much enjoyed everything you’ve put out this year – Wardrobe Architect, The Knits book and patterns, Weekend Links, your personal musings on life and sewing – and I certainly get a lot out of the discussions in the comments. I’d love to see two specific things (and maybe they’d work better in the magazine format):

One, please can someone explain about thread size (cross referencing the different size systems) and how they correlate to needle size – needle type/ scarf type? I’m really desperate!

Second, if in future you had a fit expert who could do a monthly “Help with my fit problem” selected from people who write in with a brief description and photo of a problem? Even if was limited to Colette patterns, it would be helpful. (I see this sentiment was already raised – I second!)

I also agree about sourcing notions, though for the life of me I can’t figure out where Lara is finding covered belt buckle kits – please share!

Sarai colettepatterns.com

Ooh, the thread size article is a fantastic idea! If anyone out there is an expert on such things, they should definitely submit. I’ll keep my eyes open for such a person.

Lara

Isaboe- I have one source that sells everything, buckle, backing, eyelets for holes, Maxant. Maxant doesn’t seem to have the https security thingy, but if you put an item in the cart and go to buy now, it goes to PayPal, so that should be safe. Every one else calls a “kit” the buckle only which includes in the package the metal part, an adhesive sticker to attach the fabric to the buckle, and a template for cutting the fabric.

Maxant, complete kits (wahoo!) or buckles only, or backing only: http://maxantbuttonandsupply.com/catalog.php?id_cat=6

Buckle kit and backing from the same place:
Buckle kit page: http://sewbizfabrics.com/BDR14.shtml
Belt backing page: http://www.sewbizfabrics.com/IN-3.shtml

Buckle kits: https://www.voguefabricsstore.com/Buckles/?objects_per_page=40
Ban-Rol interfacing: http://www.theneedleshop.net/collections/notions/notions-interfacing

Regular buckles of many sorts if the covered ones don’t meet your needs:

http://www.pacifictrimming.com/default/hardware/metal-buckle.html?limit=all
http://www.mjtrim.com/buckles
http://www.albertzoll.com/index.php?cPath=194_222&sort=3a&page=3
http://www.tandyleatherfactory.com/en-usd/home/department/buckles/buckles.aspx?pg=all

I’ve seen things on Etsy & E-bay as well. I hope you find what you need.

Isaboe Renoir

That’s wonderful Lara, thank you so much! You don’t know how much I appreciate all the information you’ve posted.

Lara

It made my day to be able to help someone.

Sarai colettepatterns.com

This is amazing, thanks Lara.

Emme

I think your customers are just so proud of you!!!
I loved reading this and remembering where I was while I was doing my wardrobe architect homework, and how I’ve moved since then, and so I have a smaller closet now, but it’s pretty well managable.
Thanks for everything you do!

Kristin

Please keep the weekend link roundups coming! I’ve really enjoyed and appreciated the thought you put into them — you find unique articles that I wouldn’t have otherwise come across.

Dana darlindana.blogspot.com

First, I must echo what others are saying and thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you at CP do for us as a community. Thank you for being kind, and inclusive, and thought provoking. I know I am not alone in saying I wouldn’t have gotten back into sewing and felt confident enough to learn how to fit without your patterns and website.

As far as what I have enjoyed the most, I would say the Wardrobe Architect series was monumentally helpful. It has definitely made me more mindful of what I sew (and purchase). It has also done a world of good for my body image. I also greatly benefit from the Sewalongs page, and refer to it often. I do read the weekend roundups even if I don’t read all the links every time. They are always thought provoking and I love the discussions that often follow.

I think you all are doing a great job. There isn’t much I can think of for you to add… perhaps doing round ups of recent makes or featured sewers like another commenter mentioned. Otherwise keep up the good work!

Pernille

I love your patterns, your website, your books, your newsletter – everything! :-) I would love to see more patterns for knits next year as the Moneta is such a fantastic pattern and I would love sequels! :-)

Sarai colettepatterns.com

You can definitely expect a lot of knits with the Seamwork patterns, because they are so quick to sew! We’re working on a few future ones right now.

Nicole

I think what you guys do is the best, this blog is my number one go to when I have a question about something. I usually sew for my kids but, the sew alongs make me feel confident to sew for myself. I love everything you have put out this year from the Wardrobe Architect, all the patterns and books to Seamwork!

I agree with what others have been saying this really feels like a community here.

I can’t wait to see what you have planned for 2015.

Thank you for all that you do, what you have here is amazing.

Sytha

Congratulations! This year was definetely a big year!
I’m always anxious to see the link post on fridays, it allows me to discover new topics, websites, etc.
What I enjoy most with Coletterie is the mix between sewing topics, reflective thinking (about sewing, way of life and choices, body image, etc) and the insight of what it is to create or to run an enterprise such as Colette Patterns! That’s where lies my eagerness to read you.

I totally agree with Lara: a series about fit on Colette Patterns would be great, it’s the most difficult thing about sewing! To be more specific, It would be great to have pictures of people with their toile on, showing how to SPOT and name problems.

It would be nice too to have some posts about very different outfits based on the same pattern, to inspire us. I liked tutorials on how to modify a pattern like the crop top out of the Moneta!

To finish, I just can’t wait till January to see the next issue and patterns of seamwork!
Thank you so much for all your work and care about your customers!

Sarai colettepatterns.com

I am so happy to read these sentiments, you guys.

It would be really fantastic to hire someone who is a fit expert in the industrial/corporate apparel industry to write a column like that. I’ll keep it in mind!

Rose

I like Sytha’s idea of showing people wearing toiles and discussing what the problem is and how to fix it. Maybe Lauren from Lladybird?? Think she is good at fitting?? I’d also like to see the meet the seamstress feature return. Love the blog and your patterns! Good luck with your 2015 plans, can’t wait to see what you do next!

Lisa patternandbranch.wordpress.com

I loved Wardrobe Architect (that, in conjunction with the blogs Un-Fancy and Into Mind have started me on a more focused wardrobe journey) and I love weekend reading. I follow most or all of the links every week. It’s good stuff.

Kristi

Please keep the weekend roundups! Like someone else said, you find links I don’t run into elsewhere. I look forward to reading it with my coffee :)

Thanks for the thoughtfulness of your company/blog/everything.

Judy sewjudy.com

Yet another wonderful post, thank you. I love reading all that you write, I love Seamwork (and already have 2 cardigans cut out) and most of all I love all the technical advice and how to’s that you readily and comprehensively provide. The wardrobe architect series was a massive epiphany for me that I really enjoyed … My tops and bottoms are really working together now. I look forward to 2015 in anticipation for each email from Coletterie, thank you and merry Christmas :)

SabineC

I just want to say that I love the way you guys are doing this all… it’s so…., well, ‘wholesome’, and yet, there is always movement – and in forward direction nonetheless!

So, when I am for once looking backward, then there is one ‘monthly feature’ that I kind of miss, and that is the ‘bad/good habit of the month’. So I wonder… do you still put pins in your mouth? :-)
I guess that also had to do with focus, somehow: concentrate on one thing you wish to change for the betterer for a month, and hope that by the end of the month, it will have becomed fixed in your lifestyle :-)

All the best, and thank you for inspiring us – in more than one way.

Sarai colettepatterns.com

Haha, I do sometimes, but I catch myself! Kristen also cringes if she seems me do it, which helps me remember not to.

Ginna

Oh, regarding the habits, the thread trimming immediately one has been soooo helpful. I even taped a little paper bag to my sewing table, and bought thread snips that don’t go anywhere else. I used to wear things and find thread tails after every wash!

Whether this is in Seamwork or on the blog, I would love to see more posts related to technical aspects, like where to use various seam types, or when you want to line (or underline). I often read instructions to do something, like staystitch, or understitch, or reinforce a seam, and I would love to understand why these are needed. But then, I’m a nerd…

Colleen

Ha, ha to that comment above. Everytime I stick a pin in my mouth, I remember that post and take it right out. You guys are going to save somebody a lot of pain.

I have bought all but one or two of your earlier patterns and your book and have made and remade mostly all of them. I’m obviously a fan. I do think that I’ve been wary of making Dahlia because of the things I’ve been reading about it on the web and I’ve decided to use the bottom half and another bodice. I’m not sure it’s the pattern’s fault or the maker’s but I’d LOVE to know that — would love to see a site — to be or not to be called an errata — that takes on fit or pattern problems in a non-judgemental way. The people who like and support you always will — I think there’s a lot of trust here. But, I would love to see that on the site!

Congratulations for having grown a remarkable business!

Ana Bertolucci

I love your website, patterns, and style! I would love to be able to sew more but I have essentially given up sewing clothes altogether because it is IMPOSSIBLE to find any good fabric where I live, in Sacramento. There are plenty of quilt cottons, home fabrics, and slinky Indian type sari stuff but regular nice apparel fabrics in rayon or cottons, is non-existent. Any suggestions of online fabric stores that you can recommend? Sacramento fabric stores suck.

Romy

Hey Ana,
If you’re ever down in Berkeley, we have a FANTASTIC fabric store called Stonemountain & Daughter. They have been a local fixture for about 40 years and have amazing knits, silks, bamboo blends, wool, rayons and indie patterns. They also have a ridiculously huge button assortment. I seriously find new fabric types every time I visit – silver polishing cloth by the yard, anyone?
It’s worth the drive, or a fun weekend field trip!
Happy seeing,
Romy

Sarai colettepatterns.com

I’ll second the suggestion for Stonemountain! I used to live in Berkeley, and loved that shop. Britex in SF is wonderful too.

Ana

Thank you so much for the fabric store recommendation in Berkeley! I will definitely go check it out.

Sara Mayo

I don’t read most of the links on your Friday roundups. I miss the old roundups where you would feature a few blogged garments made from Colette patterns, with link to the blogs.

Lia liamarcoux.com

I used my first Colette pattern this year – the Laurel – and I LOVED it! It’s not one I would have looked at twice when I started sewing, but now that I understand how I dress better it’s the perfect blend of easy-to-wear and easy-to-customize. I’m pretty crazy about it. I’d love more styles like this – “cake”, I guess! And I LOVE outerwear. I recently bought the Negroni and the Albion and I’m looking forward to trying to sew menswear for the first time (and an Albion for me too!). So maybe more menswear patterns as well?

Stephanie whereicreate.net

Gosh where do I begin? Your site is my go to for everything. I loved The Wardrobe Architect series, I love your patterns and your tips and tutorials. But probably the thing I love about this place is the inclusiveness.

You see us all for what we are – sewers and lovers of creating…

I can’t wait to see what Seamwork has in store for us.. and what other delights you have in up your sleeve…

Keep up the amazing work…

Donna

An idea to mash up a few of these comments – maybe once a month have a featured pattern, and show examples from the Flickr group. Don’t limit yourself to the new stuff – it could even be “How They’re Sewing Us Now” and show recent (last 6 months?) versions of older patterns like Jasmine or Crepe or Ginger or even Truffle or Sorbetto.

Please continue having little tips (whether habits like the pins or techniques like zipper insertion or vintage extras) – don’t give them all to the new magazine! LOL

I also love seeing the inspirations for the new patterns (no one mentioned that yet) – and showing a bit of the inspiration might be a good tease the day before a new pattern announcement, lol.

Cecelia

I miss finding patterns for draperies. I used to have patterns for jabots, etc. but have mislaid them somewhere. I’ve tried Googling, but have been unsuccessful. I made all of my draperies and am sewing for my son and daughter-in-law’s home, but would like some new ideas. Can you help?

Mariah McPherson

What an amazing year! I am so inspired by the way you keep coming up with new ways to distribute content. I kicked off the year learning how to sew knits with you, but when I got pregnant I started sewing for my husband instead of myself (for fit reasons :) I LOVE your menswear patterns–I made 3 negronis and 2 albions! I am working on a Cooper now (for me!) and I am super excited for the smaller projects on Seamwork (now that I have a baby, my long sewing time chunks are over for a while!) I would love to see more menswear/unisex patterns–maybe not even just clothing but accessories too. It seems like the only other independent pattern maker for menswear is Thread Theory and their pattern collection is pretty minimal. Thank you so much for keeping me inspired!

Sarah rhinestonesandtelephones.blogspot.com

Colette Patterns is my #1 favourite pattern company! You are my go-to for all my most worn and best-loved garments!! I am falling in love with Seamwork, too :)

What in heck did we do without you 5 years ago??

Tisha

I am relatively new to Colette patterns and am always impressed with the professional way everything is run. I just wanted to quickly comment on your bullet point about the weekend link roundups – they are my favorite! I always read them and pass my favorites on to my husband. My internet/blog reading is very selective so I tend to miss some interesting articles. Thank you for sharing them with us.

Brenda

Every, every, everything has been indispensable during my first year of sewing. Looking forward to more as I become a better sewer.

Tammy

My favourites were the Wardrobe Architect series and related posts about fast fashion, as well as the weekend links. I like to take the time to follow the links and read on the wide variety of interesting topics that you share. I also like it when you share your pattern hacks. I would like to see what you’re adding to your wardrobe on a seasonal basis to update the colours/styles in you capsule wardrobe. Even though I’ve been sewing for a long time, I purchased your book on sewing with knits. Book reviews on sewing topics are appreciated. I would love to see even more patterns with knit fabrics.

Diane

Well, it’s rather specific but I agree with Lara–I would love more fitting advice but especially if you would show how to raise various styles of necklines. I’m a beginner and that’s the main reason I want to sew. I’m short and small-busted and look overexposed in everything. But altering necklines is tricky!

Dana

I loved the Wardrobe Architect series as well. I was really late to read it (just completed it last month) but it has given me a renewed vision for planning sewing/buying clothing for 2015!

I love your patterns. They are what got me back into sewing after several years hiatus.

I’m sure whatever you have planned for 2015 will knock our socks off!

Stina P stinap.com

What a great year it’s been!
I enjoy the roundup links for my weekend breakfasts (the more sewing- or fashion history- or vintage- realated the better :) )
I miss the inside-vintage posts – but hopefully they’ve just moved to Seamwork
I’m totally inspired by posts about you as a business owner and entrepreneur
I guess I miss a lot by not reading all comments and participating in the dialogue, but there are only 24 hr per day…
Looking forward to an equally great 2015!

Sarai colettepatterns.com

Yes, the “Behind the Seams” articles will now be a regular feature in Seamwork instead. :)

kc theactofmaking.tumblr.com

I was so glad to see Behind the Seams return as a Seamwork feature! I didn’t realize how much I missed it until it was gone. You guys always have done such lovely tutorials about how to add vintage embellishment, it was always a nice feature to see pieces from the past that featured the same techniques.

I’ll go ahead and echo what a lot of people are saying here: Wardrobe Architect was a fantastic series, the weekend links are amazing (I especially like the ones about the environmental/social toll of the fashion industry), and the discussions here are really great and supportive. I also love that you haven’t been afraid to take a stand about social justice issues like marriage equality. It made me really proud of you guys.

As for new features, I really dig the “Knit the Look” feature at the Fringe Association blog (http://fringeassociation.com/tag/knit-the-look/). As someone who has been guilty of sewing things only to find out in the end that they are nothing I’d ever want to wear in the wild, I think it’s helpful to look out at fashion blogs and then reverse-engineer what you see into something you can make. Perhaps this would be a partnership with other indie patternmakers?

However you move ahead, congratulations on such a wonderful year! It’s been so fun watching Colette grow.

nicki

I love the weekend round-ups! I don’t get much time to trawl the net so posts like these are great for me- noteworthy articles in one place.

I love the tips emails, I enjoyed Wardrobe Architect and I am really excited by Seamwork! You have had an amazing year, here’s to another in 2015!

Emma

Firstly, I have to say “Thanks”… for all your generosity. I continuously return to your website as a technical reference. I refer to the Wardrobe Architect series often. I’ve just revisted it in preparation for my 2015 sewing. I hone in on all your posts on my blogroll. But I do really look forward to your weekend reading posts on Friday. I’m also really excited about Seamwork. I am looking for more simple patterns. Can’t wait to see what you have in store for us in 2015.

Lucinda

I am a newbie when it comes to sewing clothes and am learning slowly. I really liked the Wardrobe Architect series. I’m intimidated by the amazing outcome you achieve in your garments but this coming year I’m going to practice with muslin…. lots of muslin and learn about this thing called ‘fit’. Plus, I wear separates and would like to make more of my tops. Thanks so much for the great info you share – it is a great inspiration to me and my hope is to make more and more of my wardrobe by keeping it simple and classic.

Melissa o. oylerhouse.com

I have to second a couple of the suggestions. I enjoyed Wardrobe Architect & can’t wait for you to have a chance to expand upon that in some way. I too would also love either a blog or magazine series detailing how to conquer various fitting issues, especially for your expanded sizes because fluffy girls really vary even when wearing the same size. A 20 on a 5’2″ chick is going to fit completely different on a 5’8″ chick. On that same note, I really looked forward to the featured seamstress posts because I could see how different body types worked with the same patterns. It also led me to new & exciting blogs that I still read. However, the thing that has added the most value to my Colette patterns are the extra little “hacks” that you include from time to time. I hardly look at any pattern without thinking it would be cool to have a cuffed sleeves on this or a flourish at the neckline, but I’m still too new a sewist to figure some of that out on my own. Needless to say, I love that your instructions are so clear on everything.

Stephanie

I would love to see more articles/ tutorials on gaining the right fit of a garment. I am a petite and it is very hard to find clothes that fit me, which is why I have started trying to make my own! The hardest part of getting clothes to fit seems to be in the shoulders and sleeve cap, but the length of regular size clothes always seems to be perfect. Maybe the problem is my bust isn’t large enough to wear women’s clothing (sometimes I find teen sizes fit better). Either way, please do more about achieving proper fitting garments and what tweaks can be used for different areas to fit correctly! Or maybe a line of patterns that includes petite sizes, it would amazing to be able to grade between petite sizes and regular sizes in a pattern to achieve a truly perfect fit!!! Thanks!!!

Sarai colettepatterns.com

I would just like to mention for those of you commenting on fit, Sewalongs.com has quite a bit of info on fitting for each sewalong, plus it’s a place to ask more specific questions as the sewalong happens.

That doesn’t mean we can’t cover the topic here a well, I just want to make sure you guys aren’t missing out.

Vivien

Those little fabric swatch tags have made a huge difference. I’m a lifelong and competent sewer, but with a fabric stash that matches my enthusiasm. I spent about 3 to 4 days meticulously organising and cataloging my stash, tying the tags into bundles according to which bin the fabric is in and then hung them all from a coat hanger. This one-off exercise must have saved me hours of frustration and duplicate fabric buying because now I just browse my swatch tags instead of pulling everything to bits to find that elusive piece of fabric that I know I have but cannot find anywhere. Seriously, if any burglars broke into my sewing room BT (Before Tags), they would have turned on their heels and left as it looked as though I’d already had a break-in. My friends thought I was bonkers for doing this, but now they look on my organised fabric with envy.

So ‘thank you’, Sarai, for that little idea that has made such a big difference.

Kristen smithanddaphne.blogspot.com

I just want to say that your blog and your patterns are always motivating. I opened it up today and something about the photo at the top – your dress, probably – made me think, man, I’d like to sit down and sew. I haven’t sewn much in the last year (pregnancy and now a new baby took away much of my time & energy), but the things I’m getting itchy fingers to sew are my unused Colette patterns.

I do miss the forums that you had on here for a while. I’m sure they were a hassle on your end, but the community aspect of them was something I really, really liked. I liked having info on specific patterns, on specific fit issues or modifications, all that stuff. I’ll admit that I haven’t even looked at Sewalongs, because I haven’t been actually sewing, so maybe a lot of that info is there, but if it is, there’s kind of a disconnect from here to there that makes it hard to know that I should be looking elsewhere for it.

There are only a few designers and/or companies that have a really comprehensive set of offerings for the modern home sewing community, and you are definitely one of them. I so appreciate this space and all that Colette is – so much more than just an indie pattern designer (not that there’s not a place for “just” designers or that that’s a minor thing at all, but that’s not what Colette is).

Amie

A lot of your posts have been pinned for future references in troubleshooting and learning new skills with each project I do.

Lianne

Congratulations on a wonderful, productive year! It’s been fun to follow!
I miss the posts which feature an inspiring detail of a vintage garment, or that gives us a peek inside to see construction features. I always learned a lot from those. I would also love reruns, and/or new posts about female designers of the past. Those were great references!
Thanks for asking, and Happy New Year!

Sarai colettepatterns.com

The vintage posts have restarted, they are just over at Seamwork now!

I liked the designer posts, but we did a survey at the time and found that most people weren’t all that interested in that sort of fashion history, unfortunately. Too bad, because I liked them too.

Sarah fabrictragic.blogspot.com

youve had a great year! Thanks for so much great information. Like some other commenters I also miss the featured seamstresses or your top 5 makes of the month. It’s lovely to see what others do. All the best for next year.

Anna

Thank you so much for all that you and your skilled team do to revitalize sewing! The Wardrobe Architect is amazing and changed me into a more conscious creator.

The weekend links are so inspiring and I appreciate the topics on the textile industry, creativity, innovation and body image the most.

I’d like to see more patterns for accessories and knits.

Crystal

I’d love if you showed how to install an invisible zipper in a dress with lining so the zipper and edges of the back are concealed. I guess this would be a little more advanced than your current invisible zipper tutorial? I just think it looks so much more polished and professional if the edges of the zipper are tucked in. Thanks!!!!

Sarai colettepatterns.com

This is actually in my book, but I agree that it would make a great tutorial. I don’t *think* we’ve done that one on the blog yet.

Fiona

Thank you for all your inspiration, knowledge and food for thought in 2014, you deserve every success. Your patterns are great but I think it’s your values and the thoughtfulness about society, fashion, clothes and this resurgence in hand made that keeps me coming back to the blog and therefore also supporting your business.
I really enjoyed Wardrobe Architect and while I’m still working on implementation, it brought a new kind consciousness to my sewing and clothes buying habits. One day I will have a fully handmade capsule wardrobe!
I’ve loved your links and reading and have downloaded a couple of books based on your recommendations. I also look forward to your posts about vintage and couture techniques that have been lost in mass production – while they are beyond me it’s great inspiration to continue to learn and experiment. All the best for 2015, can’t wait to see what’s next.

Zoe

Firstly, congratulations on what you have achieved so far – you must be so proud!
I have just realised that I have been reading your blog continuously all this year – don’t think any other blog has me captivated like that! I have learned so much – I really enjoyed the Wardrobe Architect and,as many others have said, would love to see more of that, perhaps seasonal updates?

I too struggle with fit issues – neck lines are often too wide and I don’t know how to fix that yet. I do enjoy reading everyone’s comments too, they can be so helpful and reassuring!

Looking back over your past articles I enjoyed looking at your style suggestions for patterns, what about some sort of ‘Outfit ideas’ and styling advice for inspiration?

Also something I struggle with is knowing which styles will suit my body type – I am petite, slim, but quite ‘ hourglass’ with a small waist compared to hips/ bust – I find it difficult to wear skirts as they ride up so much when I sit down, and dresses (if I can get one that fits!) look to dressy. So I’d love some sort of advice on how to approach building a wardrobe that suits. Maybe with suggestions on how to tweak, say Laurel to flatter different figures.

Also please, please, please a short easy to sew cardigan soon – I don’t have any to wear with skirts (another reason I don’t wear them often!)

But overall thank you for doing what you do so well and being so generous with your information and advice and an inspiration to us all.

Sarai colettepatterns.com

You know, as much as I enjoy putting together the styling ideas, I’d kind of prefer to see a range of people with different styles! I guess that’s why I like the seamstress round ups, it’s fun to see different styles and body types. :)

Diane Beavers

My favorite is the swatch tags post and how you chose to organize fabrics. It’s been a tremendous help in getting me to organize my fabric by color and record where I keep it.
Also, that you ‘ve expanded your sizing to 26 (3X) for the ladies sweaters, dresses. I have one special girl to sew for in that range and she is adorable. All your styles compliment her and I will be ordering patterns soon.
I’m just getting acquainted w/Coletterie and thus far, it’s exceptional.

Diane

Love the weekend round-up links. I look forward to that every week. Thank you for taking the time and energy to find those articles for us. It is one of the things that makes Coletterie my favorite sewing blog – you show a sincere interest in your readers’ knowledge base and development beyond sewing.

Wardrobe architect was wonderful, expanding your sizing, using models that represent women in the real world, I liked pretty much everything you did this year.

I would like to see more patterns for pants-trousers. How about sew-a-longs for basic wardrobe building? Quick projects are always welcome.

As far as a fitting column have you considered Kathleen Fasanella at the Fashion-Incubator? She works in the industry and gives great no-nonsense advice.

Looking forward to seeing what you come up with in 2015!

Beckyjopdx

Oh, the comments are already so thorough!

I really really agree with the love of the paper patterns and novella instructions. I was just reading another sewist the other day and agree that the Negroni cuff placket is so amazing and it’s a stand alone pattern kept out for use in ALL other shirt patterns needing a placket. Colette patterns have so many gems like that.

You have a way with instructions that works for all levels of sewists; that is such a gift and rarity. Don’t ever lose that. It’s eloquent engineering.

I look forward to your weekend reader links! That’s my “aaaaahhh” email for the weekend! My tea and iPad itinerary comes to me from you!

I love to hack your patterns for “my style.” I think this might be an idea to extend the Wardrobe Architect series? Once you, as a sewist, have your style and flavors dialed in, how do you make patterns work for you? Bring out your inner Project Runway. It’s more than fabric and collar style choices…it’s making it fit your life and not the donation pile. Just an idea. :-)

Again, though, I’m a fan for life. Thank you for all you do.

Hannah

I actually love the weekend link round-ups. I really look forward to them every week and always learn something new and fascinating. One thing I miss from the past is the posts you used to do showcasing one person’s take on one of your patterns. It’s so helpful and inspiring to see a pattern made up, often in ways I would never have thought of.

Mariah

I just had another idea of something I’d love to see- either on the blog or in Seamwork-an article about thread! What type to use for different projects, how to troubleshoot thread problems, brand suggestions, etc.

Laura

I miss the posts that you did (maybe last year??) about addressing/correcting bad habits (pins in the mouth, clipping threads, etc). I’d like to see more of those. And good habits to try to pick up!

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