Palette Challenge – Spring & Summer 2012


It’s that time of year again!

I’m so happy that you guys are so enthusiastic about the new patterns. This year, I’ve decided to time the Palette Challenge to coincide with the new pattern release, as many of you have requested in the past. This will make it more of a Spring AND Summer wardrobe challenge. How does that sound?

Let me back up. For those that don’t know, twice a year we host a “palette challenge.” To participate, you research and choose a color palette for creating a mini seasonal wardrobe, create a moodboard, and then spend about 8 weeks sewing as many garments as you’d like from that palette. It’s very fun and loose, but a great way to get inspired, motivated, and thinking critically about what you want to make.

After asking for opinions on our facebook page), I decided to start the challenge a little later this year and make it a combined Spring/Summer challenge. I thought that way it would be in sync with the new patterns, and we could stretch it out a little more for some summer sewing.

If you join up with us, this next week will be dedicated to creating our palettes for the Spring and Summer. The following week, we’ll start sewing. Here are a few things you can do to create your own palette:

  • Go through your fabric stash and create a palette from fabrics you already own. I plan to cut swatches and play with them along with some sketches.
  • Look at the clothes you own and see if there are any colors you love that are missing. Or perhaps colors you simply love to wear and want more of?
  • Get inspired by Spring trends by looking at runway fashion on sites like
    Take a look at sites like Pinterest for inspiration (feel free to follow me too if you want!)
  • Take a look at other people’s palettes from previous challenges we’ve done, either on our blog or in the forum.

Once you’ve got yours, feel free to post in the forum or on your own blog!

Anyone have any ideas already? I’ve been buying up lots of blue, white, and tan fabrics, so I think I know where I’m going. I’m off to play around with my moodboard, and Caitlin and I will both share ours over the next couple days.

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.

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Comments 73


Yeaah! I was waiting for this challenge. I still have plans…
But first I have better to take photos: I don’t post any finishing garment from the next challenge. I am a bit lazy…
Great to have another challenge to start: have fun! Thants for it Sarai!


I’m based in Australia. Does thus make it my autumn challenge? And is it just Colette patterns. The mail takes a while ;-)


Of course, you can change it up for your season! And you can choose any patterns you like. I’m doing a mix of CP patterns and vintage for mine.


Ooh, I might have to join in!
Question: How does one create one of these ‘mood boards’ of which you speak? I’ve seen them before and want to do one…but I’m such a technophobe!


You can use a program like Photoshop (or a free one like Gimp), you could post a series of photos (on your blog, or perhaps in a set on Flickr or another photo service?), you could gather images into a board on Pinterest, or even go old school and just tear out images and make a physical collage. Whatever inspires you!

Jill Mandy

I’m a fairly new sewer but I’m all about these challenges to keep me motivated….count me in.


Hey Sarai, I was only just talking about the Pallette Challenge on my blog yesterday, so very excited to see this this morning! It was the Pallette Challenge that inspired me to develop my own seamstress skills this year, and make a resolution to create my own clothes instead of buying. It’s great being a part of the Coletterie community!


This would be fantastic! I have a core piece of fabric I’d love to build an autumn/winter wardrobe around (we do things wacky in reverso land down under!)


What is a mood board, and how does one go about making it?


A moodboard is basically a creative technique for gathering inspiration and creating a particular look or mood. Most often, they’re collages of images, swatches, and other forms of visual inspiration.

You can create one in a number of ways… see my comment above to Noelle for some ideas!


I missed your past palette chalenges but I am happy to participate now! I’ve already posted several ideas on my blog.

Anna | Mormor hade stil

navy, ivory and tan sounds just like what I’m in the mood for right now. I’m gonna give this a thought. Since I’m pregnant and due in September I may sew a mini-wardrobe with this challenge.


In the uk we are celebrating the Queen’s jubilee. I already have a fair bit of blue and turquise in my summer wardrobe so a bit obvious but red white and blue for me and also obvious but a 1950’s feel to it. I love the new patterns, they are going to fit so well with my ideas.
PS a tut on making a mood board would be fantastic as I too have no idea how to start.


As I’m in Melbourne, Australia, I’m doing a Autumn Winter Wardrobe on my blog. I’ve chosen a colour palette with the help of Colour Lovers. Warm yellows, charcoal, off white, ruby red and black (of course!).


ooh! I do not get on facebook much so I thought you had decided to skip this year! I amm so glad you didn’t!! I am soooo excited!! off to work on my color scheme and mood board!!


This sounds like a great challenge/project. Unfortunately, I’m in the midst of many of my own projects that I would like to finish before moving on to another project. But I will say tuned to see what everyone else creates.

Rachel W.

Hooray! I was hoping we would be having a Spring Palette Challenge this year! I recently acquired some delightfully obnoxious knit fabric with huge primary-color’d flowers: I’m sorely tempted to base my palette around those rich blues, yellows, and reds! Mm… now, to plot patterns. :)


I’ve been working on spring things for a while, but I love your palette concept and chose navy, soft yellow, candy pink and gray for this season. The palette extends to my daughters wardrobe too! I think I can add one of your new sundresses to the list to be layered for now and worn alone when it gets hot.

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Becci Manies

I am pretty sure that I will be joining in, I thought about the fabrics that I have and some patterns that have been waiting to be used and I created a mood board on my blog based on the colors (but not the sewing patterns I have).

I just have to pull out my fabrics and patterns and think realistically where I will get the time to do it with two little ones and no dedicated sewing space….hmm…. ;)

Sandi S

I’m in – needs some motivation for some summer things for myself!


YES….I think I am going to do bright yellow, seafoam grean, and red! I am super excited!


I spent some time this afternoon going through my pattern stash and my fabric stash (both WAY too big) and matched fabric to patterns to get me through the spring and summer. Once I got it all in the same place, I realized that pretty much none of it goes together! I am going to have to try and find a few pieces that could possibly tie it all into a coherent wardrobe…


I’m definately in and may I have better luck this go round than I did with fall. We’ll just blame it on pregnancy and proceed, shall we?

I’m pretty sure mine is going to involve a lot of blue since I seem to collect it. Mostly separates since I’m nursing but I can work in a dress or two.

I have to do some stash digging but I might do one for my daughter using the City Market fabric bundle I bought on etsy last year. Oooh, now that I’ve typed that it sounds more exciting than my own palette challenge. lol


Yay! I am so excited to join in this time:-) I spent far to much time gathering inspiration on Pinterest this afternoon;) I’m thinking I want to do some pretty dresses since they seem to be lacking in my wardrobe. We shall see.


I’m considering it. My main hang-up right now is that I already have a fairly large queue of patterns and fabrics paired up for my next several projects, all from my stash, and if I stick with my plan, my palette would basically be black and white, with maybe one more color thrown in. There’s no cohesiveness otherwise, and I’m not sure how interesting all blacks and whites would be!

Also, when does the challenge officially start? Spring is my busiest work season, so I want to see if I can actually have time before I commit!


The plan is to start with palettes this week, then begin the sewing next week.


Ok, I’ll give it a shot! Caitlin’s post where she said she’s only sewing 3 things made me think that I might be able to manage this. So my moodboard is here.

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I’m in! I’m down here in Australia too (and am one of your stockists actually) so I’ll be doing an autumn palette. Got an idea for how I could make my palette & garments work form autumn through winter to spring.

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So great, I was looking forward to this challenge. I was already planning my sewing for the summer so it’s coming in time. I did my moodboard on my blog, check it out:
I really these challenges, they push me to make more things and it’s a great way to discover new blogs and get inspiration from the fantastic seamstresses all over the world.

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I am signing up for this challenge. I am combining it with the Sew Colette challenge as I am so far behind on that as well! But as ever, I am always enthusiastic, even if time runs away and I don’t get to finish everything I set out to do!!


Yay! Challenge complete! I’m doing one for spring and one for summer so that I don’t get too overwhelmed LOL (hello slow sewer here LOL) and combining my Spring one with the Sew Colette sewalong, so for now only four items, but I definitely have a ton more I want to do, especially with the new gorgeous patterns arriving soon!!! :D


I missed the last challenge SO excited to participate. :) Now to figure out how to get this mood board together. O_O :-)

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Oh! I’m from Germany and found your blog at this moment. I’d like to be with in your challange. So I try to write all the things in English ;-)
It’s a really good idea!


I’m in ! Here is my moodboard on Pinterest : But it’s all in French…
I’m so excited ! I’ve already finished one piece i had planed a long time ago. Only Five left…
Happy sewing all !

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Am I the only one who is having trouble figuring out when this challenge starts and ends? Am I too late to enter it? I just found the site this morning, so I might not be on the correct page for all the info regarding the challenge. Thanks.


Shelley, it’s going on right now. This post was on April 11th, and that was the first week. The following week is when sewing began, and there are 8 weeks of sewing time.

It’s definitely not too late to join in, even if you have to go a little longer to get all your sewing done!

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