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Win a copy of Sewing in a Straight Line by Brett Bara


Hey there & thank you for reading the Colette blog!

This site is no longer being updated so head over to Seamwork to get all the latest patterns, tutorials, video classes, and more.

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I met Brett Bara at Quilt Market in October, author of the book Sewing in a Straight Line. I knew right away that we were on the same page when it comes to sewing and craftiness, but it wasn’t until I looked at her blog and saw her posts on cats and smoothies that I knew for sure she was a woman after my own heart.

Brett sent me a copy of her lovely book, and I thought I’d share it with you all.

As a person that sews, you probably hear friends and family say they’d like to learn to sew, but don’t know where to start. Sometimes encouraging friends to get started presents a bit of a challenge. You know that you should recommend some straightforward, easy projects for them to get started and boost their confidence, but most easy projects are a bit boring. It’s hard to get excited about them.

That’s where this book comes in. With lovely, clean, modern photography and pretty styling, the simple home and garment projects in Sewing in a Straight Line actually look like things you’d want to make! What a breath of fresh air, and a great way to ease a beginner into the world of sewing. Or for the more experienced sewist to get some instant gratification.

Would you like to win a copy of this book? Simply leave a comment and let me know what your favorite easy, simple, of quick gratification project is. I’ll choose a winner at random on Wednesday, Jan 26th.

I’ll start! My favorite simple project is making napkins and tea towels. They’re so fast, cute, and useful both every day and when you’re entertaining. What about you?

Update: Congrats to JP, who won (via random number generator) with her comment:

“Baby blankets! Just a big square of flannel: finish the edges and you’re good to go!”

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 541

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I made a cozy for my french press out of scrap men’s shirt fabric. I loved it. I felt so thrifty and it’s way cute was fast and keeps my coffee hot.


I’m in! I like a good basic envelope-opening cushion cover, sometimes with piping. It’s so easy and quick and it’s lovely to look at… and sit on :)


I love making small drawstring bags. You only need a fat quarter for the outside, they’re super quick and have a ton of uses including being gift bags.

Michelle Bannon

Envelope covers for throw pillows- easy way to change up a room decor !
The book looks awesome.


I make eye pillows, fill them with lavendar smelling goodness and give them to my yoga friends.


I love to make bags and pouches for gifts – they can make something simple look so personal, and I can use scraps to make a card or gift tag. I’ve sewn up envelopes for letters from fabric and they’re always so admired.


My self-drafted a-line skirts. Rectangle + darts + zip = 30 minutes later and a new look :D
What a fantastic looking book!


I love making reusable grocery bags! They’re the most practical thing ever!


I love making bias bound face cloths – just take a square of plain towelling material and trim with a length of pretty bias binding (I love the Liberty print ones) to make a pretty face cloth. Quick, easy and they make great presents especially if you package them together with some nice smellies!


I’ve seen this book around the internet but haven’t had such a close look at it. This looks like it’s perfect for me! I still consider myself to be somewhat of a beginner, so most projects take me several weeks to complete.

I would say my instant gratification project would be some sort of accessory made of fabric – like a simple necklace or bracelet, made with a tube of fabric and wooden balls. I also sewed up my Christmas cards this year with scraps of fabric and old blunt needles on my machine – a little quilt card. :)

Thanks so much for the giveaway! Have a lovely weekend, Sarai!


the most exciting quick-sew item that i’ve sewn was felt garland that i made this past christmas to decorate our fireplace mantel. i know it is a bit easy, but it was sew exciting to see it come together so quickly! i’d love to name a garment but my garment skills are still in the beginning stages. it still takes me ages to sew even the easiest of garments so i really, really hope i win this book!! thanks for the giveaway Sarai!!


Ah, I love to make simple stuffed animals as gifts for friends – I made a polka dot pink cat with an embroidered face (and an embroidered little star in a strategic place ;-)) for a friend’s birthday, and even though she is all grown up, she still slept with her new pet that night! It took me only three hours. :-)


I made table runners for my friend’s bridal shower and it was the easiest, most instant gratification! Custom table linens made all the difference, and I loved it!

I have had my eye on this book for a while, fingers crossed!


I always like a nice handbag or tote bag: there are tonnes of free patterns online, they make a great gift, and they’re super easy to customize and make unique : )


I’ve looked at this book before and it’s fantastic! Thanks for the chance to win it! My favourite quick project are pull string pajama pants!


I too love to make cloth napkins! They’re so easy and make meals so much more fun.


Looks like a brilliantly useful book! ^_^ I quite like sewing scrunchies, so easy and so little fabric required. I like this following this method too:

Susan Adamic

I’m very new to sewing, and have really only played around with simple projects. But so far, my favorite simple project has been making pillows for around the house.


my favourite quick project whether I need them or not are tote bags…which I use instead of wrapping paper…and quite often enjoy the challenge of making them from recycled/reclaimed material…

If I’m making to fill a need then my favourite project is pyjama bottoms for my 7 year old boy

Natalie Pinnock

You can’t beat a nice make-up/shower bag! Its the perfect project for all those gorgeous quilting cottons, and you hardly need any fabric! x


i like the city girl tote and the on-the-go jewelry keeper :)


a quick applique on a plain T-shirt (especially for kids). Just some fusible webbing and a scrap of colorful fabric and a zig-zag stitch. 15-20 min tops. I keep a stash of plain Kids T-shirts and onesies for last minute gifts or when inspiration strikes.


Ahm.. it’s a bit embarassing.. but I love to sew covers for my neck roll from whatever cute fabric happens to lay around.. and the leftovers become tiny napkins for hors d’oeuvre..


I love wearing headscarves and bandanas, so I do them from any old garment with a beautiful print, simply cutting and sewing the edge to avoid fraying. I also love pocket handkerchiefs, they are so old fashioned!


What I prefer is sewing a simple circle skirt. Quick, easy, and always so flattering !

Caryn Ann

A nice simply cotton dress. Heaven. And yes, I commit the crime of using quilting fabric to sew.


Thanks, my favourite quick craft project is making brooches. They dress up any outfit and are lovely gifts


I’m really new to sewing, so at the moment my favourite project is envelope cushion covers, although I’m not sure I make them that quickly!

Sondra Richter

I love sewing aprons! As beautiful as dresses, half the fabric, and no closure! They are always appreciated. Love this book!


My favorite quick thing is to make doll clothes. They are easy and still oh so pretty :)


I make little bean bags in pretty prints for my children. They love to fill them with dried beans, I hand stitch them shut, and they’re off to toss and catch in the back yard. Fun!

Jennie P.

I’d love to win this book! My favorite quick sewing project is handkerchiefs. :)

Diane Williams http

Making flannel receiving blankets for new babies on my serger. So fast, soft and edges neat.


I sewed a bunch of flannel scarves with fun trim for teacher gifts. They were a big hit. I’m going to sew some for the family this weekend!


Simple pillows are a good start, along with lots of the items listed already, napkins, simple skirts, kerchiefs, anything without a lot of seams or fitting.


Great giveaway and thanks for introducing us to Brett. Ironically, I think my quick sewing gratification projects are high-waisted straight trousers. lol. so I am definitely looking for MORE quick projects as I tend to be drawn to time-consuming projects!!


Unfortunately, I haven’t found a quick, go-to project that I return to time and time again. I love many of the ideas mentioned here though. I would particularly like to try making more small accessories like brooches.


My favorite instant gratification project is a tie: I love making skirts from old shirts and I love making aprons from dish towels. Both have the tedious parts done for you, you just add the waist bands and the embellishments and 30 minutes later, ta da! fin!


Oh to make a new spring dress!!!!

Stephanie Handy

Probably totes, although I’m starting to eye fabric for napkins!

Mimmi Thorneus

I would love this book! I have a hard time finding sewing books for beginners with projects that I would actually want to make and use, and this one seems great!

My favorite quick and easy sewing project would probably be a pair of straight, simple curtains. It’s quick and easy – and it can really improve a room!


I find some felt craft nice and easy, no fraying edges. Last easter I made ten little crocus fairys in no time at all, and very cute they look on our easters seasonal table!


I love sewing little bags and purses, they are useful and you can use beautiful leftover fabrics.

Kris Garst

My favorite quick project lately has been Christmas stockings!


Matching elastic waist skirts for my daughter and her favorite doll. Quick, easy, and she loves it!


I really enjoy making placemats and napkins or quilts..


The book looks divine! My favourite quick projects are quick ruffle/gathered skirts for my 2yr old and am just about to whip a skirt up for my 3 week old daughter tonight :)


When my Sister was little, I used to whip her up matching leggings and a top and all sorts of printed fabrics…. I mostly remember the bright sunflower ones…. I was only 13, but I feel sorry for my lil sis for having to wear them, but that’s what you get for being born in the early 90’s…..

Even now, I love just to quickly embellish with a flower or a patch of print fabric on premade singlets shirts and plain dresses for the kids to liven it up and make it unique…


I want to make that cardigan Brett is wearing in her book! My favorite instant gratification project is an infinity scarf, plus boys and girls can wear them.


My favorite is making ‘baby slings’ for my friends. It’s super easy, and they always LOVE them. Getting to see their babes in them warms the heart!


That cardigan looks fantastic! What a fabulous idea -I need to try it!

Let’s see, my favorite quick project is a stack of coasters made of a stack of scraps.

Sewing Princess

A shoe bag I can carry with me when travelling instead of those ugly plastic bags. It’s also a great gift


Making bow belts! Super quick and cute :)


My husband is a magician by trade. I love his magic egg bags. A bit of a challenge at first, but I can whip up these bags in no time at all now.


I love to make felt brooches. This book looks as beautiful as yours Sarai; owning them both would make for a fantastic wardrobe!


I love making fabric flowers – i raid my big bag of scraps and make them often, either simple flower shapes in different sizes which I stitch together in the centre with a few french knots, or, if I have longer scraps, I stitch down one long side and gather them up so they look like roses. Sometimes I fold the scraps in half first if i want a neat edge, other times I leave the raw edge so it will fray. I make them in pairs and sew safety pins on the back so I can wear them as brooches, put them on hats, and put them on the front of my shoes – they look pretty, plus they cover the dragon tattoo on the base of my instep – which is verboten at my government workplace :(

raquel from florida

pajama pants! so easy so comfy!


I love to make yoga skirts- so easy and you don’t even need a pattern.


lovely book!

quick satsifying project for me is either a pretty birdie brooch or a waterproof saddle ‘shower cap’ cover for my bike made from old umbrella material.


lovely book!

quick satsifying project for me is either a pretty birdie brooch or a waterproof saddle ‘shower cap’ cover for my bike made from old umbrella material.


Favorite easy peasy project has to be reversible pants I make for my boys. It’s 2 pairs of pants in 1…in about an hour!

Beth B

Simple skirts for my daughter.


t-shirt bags! so easy and my daughter loves to play with them.


I have mainly been sewing baby blankets. They are quick and easy. (I am on my 4th in about a month). I love to make table runners. I make different ones for each season and then put heat resistant batting in the middle so they double as trivet on the table. Quick, Easy and a great gift.


I like doing baby blankets, it’s very simple ! I just need a cute cotton fabric + some warm fabrix. I make some cute stiching with my sewing machine and tada! Everybody is happy + baby is warm!!

Linda Miller

I like to recycle favorite shirts and bodices into pillow covers

Tammie S

It is hard to sew a __straight__ line! :-)
When i need a quick project to get back into sewing, I sew an apron or do an in-the-hoop project on my embroidery machine.


My favorite quick sew project would have to be headbands. I’ll admit that I rarely wear them, but I like having the option to!


This book looks fab! My fave quick project was some poinsettia napkin rings for Xmas day!


I´ve had a look inside the book through amazon and found it great!! I´d love to sew the faux leather bag for my sister!! Thank you for this giveaway!


This books looks awesome – what a generous giveaway. My favourite instant gratification project is a zippered pouch. They’re quick to make, can look quite professional given the right fabric, and who doesn’t need a few pouches to carry make-up, a portable knitting project and other such things?


I seem to frequently have baby showers to attend and I love making swaddling blankets – 1.25 yards of flannel and cotton sewn together in a big square. It’s an easy, useful project for sure!


I love circle skirts. They are super easy with only two seams and a waist band. And if I can line up the selvages with the seams the I don’t even have to finish any seams. It does have to hang for 48 hours to let the bias set and hemming it takes forever compared to the rest of the project, but if you know your waist measurement and pick a fun fabric, it’s a sure winner.


Machine piecing quilt blocks is number one for me. My other love isn’t necessarily fast but always satisfying, and that is, creating something new from a thrift store find.


Sounds a fab book and one which I could certainly do with!!! I don’t think I’m at the stage of having any ‘quick fix’ current project being the Peony dress the fit of which is proving challenging (probably my weird shape though he he )


Pyjama bottoms are my go to easy project. I’ve been making my son’s pyjamas since they came out of sleepsuits which has averaged a minimum of 6 pairs a year for 7 years now so I can pretty much do them without thinking! They’re also the project I go to when I’m in a sewing rut or haven’t sewn for a while as they get me back into it easily and they’re so fast.


I am so so rubbish at sewing, I am desperately trying to get better but I can’t seem to do it. Even my 2 peices of fabric cushions turned out to be disasters. I think I deserve this book checvk my blog out, yes I really am that bad


I love making a simple little change purse with a frame. Very quick and simply adorable.

PAris Bruscoe

My Favorite quick and gratifying project is taking in boxy knit tops for my friends and self. It makes such a difference having perfectly fitted tops!


This may seem silly, but I made a few bra purses! Basically, they’re little money pouches that can attach to your bra strap and be slipped into your bra when you don’t have a lot of purse room. They are really good for traveling!


I like doing bags, but blankets are a close second. At least, until I get to the finishing parts, then it starts to feel like writing a term paper. Everything before that is just peachy. ;p


I like to make leggings for my daughter.

Veerle Lesecque

I love sewing easy skirts for my daughter.


I make all my friends new-borns fleece taggie (label) blankets they are so easy and look lovely. Much more vibrant that the pastel shades found in most stores, I have done some in the Dads footie teams colours!

Susan Yeske

Would absolutely LOVE to have this book! There are two projects that I like to whip up…I have small nieces and refashioning skirts for them from gently used golf shirts by cutting them straight across just under the sleeve, sewing a tube across the top and inserting elastic for a stretchy waistband. So simple, so cute and endless color choices. For myself, I can’t resist the Red Tag fabric section and often pick up remnant pieces and make infinity scarves. Another easy, quick project that gives new life to an outfit!


My quick go-to project is a paneled flared skirt (out of reclaimed tshirts). While going insane writing my dissertation I’d make them as stress busters and by the time I handed it in I found I’d sewn 27 in about 36 total hours! (whoops)


I love making skirts. They’re simple, fast and fun.


Zippered pouches are so easy and fast to make! I like playing with colorful zippers and cute fabric.


What a generous giveaway! The book looks fab. My favourite quick and easy project is to make lavender bags. It’s literally sewing two rectangles together and stuffing with lavender! I always give them as gifts and they’re always really appreciated. x


I only starting sewing a month ago, but what I am lacking in skill in make up for in enthusiasm. I made myself a lovely fitted sleeveless dress, and that pattern will definitely become my go-to pattern, so pretty and versatile!

Mommy en France

This holiday season I discovered how insanely easy it is to make infinity scarves and I whipped up four (one for me, three as gifts). A great way to use up leftover fabrics or to justify buying that funky remnant piece at the fabric store. And they truly only take about 20 minutes to make something unique, pretty and personal. What could be better?


Tailoring shirts they let me keep my favorite clothes just a while longer and give men’s clothing a flattering shape.


Definitely table linens, I’ve made napkins out of old sheets and their super handy.


I love making pillows! I’ve made several this week. They’re so simple and quick, but the options are limitless. :)


I love making little zippered pouches. They’re great for using up scraps!


I totally agree with you, Sarai! In fact I’m a total beginner in sewing (I’ve just sewn two skirts and working on a cape) and find it difficult to stick to patterns described as “easy”. A scarf or a waistcoat is definitely not exciting. I try to think that sooner or later I’ll be able to sew more sophisticated garments.

Anyway, I’ll surely be glad if I were lucky enough to win this book! The only problem is that I don’t have a “favourite simple project” yet, haha.


Oh! That dress! I think I’ve fallen in love with that book!
I like making aprons the most! And refashion T-shirts, cardigans and dresses. I’m just a 16 year old girl, so the best way to save some money is just refashion it!
I also like making pillowcushions! It’s so easy and quick to do!
With love, Fleur

Roxanne Guillemette

My favorite quick project is a 2 hour dress I make adapted from a Jalie shirt pattern. I always get loads of compliments when I wear them and they are really comfortable. A win evey single time!


Wrap pants. Super simple to make, patterns available online, and a great way to practice finishing techniques. They can be made from roughly 2.5 yards of fabric (I usually choose quilter’s cotton because of the cool prints and because I typically wear these during the summer).


Hey there!

I like to have a few handmade items readily available for the next gift giving occasion. So a couple of my favourite simple projects to do are sets of quilted coasters and bow tie brooches.

Love your work Sarai, Caitlin and Kenn! Oh Brett is pretty great too!


Simple dresses for my little girls! The smiles and twirls that show how beautiful they feel in them are the best!!!!

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