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Big News! Announcing The Colette Sewing Handbook


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This site is no longer being updated so head over to Seamwork to get all the latest patterns, tutorials, video classes, and more.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 have a huge announcement today, folks. I have a book coming! It’s called The Colette Sewing Handbook!

I’ve been so jittery and nervous to announce this, I can’t even tell you. I’ve worked so hard on this project and am so incredibly proud of the result. It was a complete and total labor of love.

I decided to keep it (relatively) under wraps until now because I though the surprise would be more fun and exciting. But now I have tons of stuff to share with you about what it was like to write a book like this, and I am going to be talking a lot about that in the coming months. I’ll also have plenty of tidbits and photos from the book to share, plus fun stuff like giveaways and freebies, so stay tuned!

Seriously, I am extremely excited about how this book turned out. It’s just a lovely, lovely sewing book.

I’ll also probably be asking for your help in getting the word out about it. My patterns have only been successful because of you guys and the incredible word of mouth you’ve provided. Honestly. I don’t spend money on advertising, because I think actual people spreading the word is a lot more effective. Well, that and I don’t have any budget for it. So I’m sure I’ll be coming to you for help.

About the book

The book will be available in November, so perfect for holiday gift giving and receiving!

I’d say the book is meant for beginner up to intermediate sewists, though of course even experienced sewists will enjoy the lovely patterns and beautiful photography. Seriously, the book is really, really pretty.

Here’s a description:

Five simple fundamentals can help you perfect any sewing project: a thoughtful plan, a precise pattern, a fantastic fit, a beautiful fabric, and a fine finish. With these five core ideas, The Colette Sewing Handbook shows you how to start sewing the wardrobe of your dreams.

Includes five beautiful patterns for modern classic pieces, including a scalloped-hem skirt, flutter-sleeve blouse, sweetheart neck sheath dress, asymmetrical flounce dress, and a lined dress with gathered sleeves. Each project will help you put the fundamentals into practice as you sew.

  • Approachable and easy to follow. Instead of a big, confusing catalog of sewing techniques, you’ll build your knowledge gradually around the five simple fundamentals. A section of basic sewing lessons means you’ll never feel lost.
  • Hands-on learning. Start improving your skills immediately by applying each of the five principles of the book to a beautiful project, included in the book.
  • Feed your creativity. Have more fun designing sewing projects for your personal style, and create the things you’ll actually love to wear!
  • Feel more confident. Gain the know-how to work with any sewing pattern out there.
  • Look great in what you make. Become your own custom seamstress and hand-tailor clothes that fit you the way you want.
  • Get inspired by fabric. Expand your creative palette and get the look you want by choosing the best fabrics for your projects.
  • Perfect the details. Make clothes you can be proud of with beautiful finishing techniques.

Do you have any thoughts or questions about it? Let me know in the comments and I’ll be sure to answer!

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 213


Oh my goodness, I am so excited! I cannot wait to read your book.

Tabatha Tweedie

It looks wonderful! Congratulations! I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy…


Ok, thats on my Christmas List!


Ready for November? That’s great, I’ll ask for it for my birthday! I’m really looking forward to seeing some more details about the book, and maybe some pictures of each pattern?


I can’t edit my post, so I reply to it. It is to be published *exactly* on my birthday? Best publishing date, ever! ;)


I arranged that just for you. ;)


I can’t wait! I work at a small indie bookshop and so I actually saw this book in one of our catalogues. I put my order in right away and got my colleague to do so as well! I was wondering if the five patterns included were original patterns and it looks like they are. I’ve never adjusted my patterns before so I’m curious if there will be enough info on that for a beginner.


Added it to my Christmas list, but I’ll probably won’t be able to wait that long and purchase it myself in November.

The cover already looks amazing. Hopefully we’ll get a peek of the inside as well!


Congratulations! It sounds wonderful.


I had heard about the book just this last weekend on a blog from someone who saw it on Amazon–but am impressed you managed to keep such a big surprise under wraps! I am DYING to know what the five patterns are for….can we have just a sneaky peek as to the types of garments the patterns are for??


Yes, definitely! I’ll be doing some sneak peeks soonish.


That IS very exciting! I’ve put it in my Wish List at Amazon UK. Congratulations! Ooh, you’re good at keeping secrets, aren’t you?! I bet it’s beautifully designed, too. From what I’ve heard from other businesses, advertising spend is largely a waste of money. Am happy to spread the word!


I think ads work better for some businesses than others! I’m not against them, but word of mouth has been good for me. :)


This book will be on my birthdaywislist!
Are there new patterns inside or the “old” ones (because these I’ve got all)


New patterns! One of the reasons I’ve had a hectic year. :)


Oh I am SO excited about this!!!! I’ve just e-mailed the Amazon link to my boyfriend as a not very subtle hint! Also so glad to see that it’s out in November in the UK too!


I am SO excited about this, it’s already on my Wish List! Someone on Pattern Review noticed it a few days ago so it was a big surprise to us all! One question – the UK Amazon review says there will be patterns included for 1 skirt, 3 dresses, and 1 top – can you tell us anything more about these? Are they new patterns, or reprints of existing Colette Patterns? And will the size range be the same as your envelope patterns?


These are new patterns, and the size range will be the same.

I’ll post more details about the included patterns soon!


I wondered how long you were keeping it a secret for! ;-)
I found it on amazon via pinterest and put an ‘oh my god so excited’ type post on my blog already. I hope that was okay?
I just know it’s going to be awesome!


Of course! I should probably have announced a couple weeks ago when I started seeing it pop up here and there, but I’m definitely happy to see that it’s already getting some attention!


Just pre-ordered mine – can’t wait for it to be released!

Brandy Layton

This is wonderful! I cannot wait to purchase!


Congratulations on your book! That’s really exciting news, it’ll be going on my Amazon list too. I’m amazed by how much you manage to do, from the blog to adding new patterns to your range as well as a book. I love how your pattern instructions are written and the great tips in Snippets, so am looking forward to seeing how you expand that into a book.


Thank you, Kerry. I’m slightly overwhelmed by everything going on right now, and you guys and your appreciative comments are seriously the one thing that helps me the most.

Claire (aka Seemane)

Oh, dear me looks like I’m spending more on books again ;) LOL!
Huge congrats on the book – looking forward to cuddling up on a sofa with it this Winter :)


I saw that on Amazon and pre-ordered it a few days ago. Can. Not. Wait!!!!


I am so, so excited that the cat is finally out of the bag, so to speak! hehe. The cover looks amazing and I cannot wait to be able to get my own copy to page through–it looks like it’s going to become a sewing classic! Congratulations again on authoring a book! :)


Thanks Casey! Hugs to you!


The site is gorgeous and your book will be MINE!!!


Yeah!! It looks great!



Veronica Darling

Congratulations Sarai and The Colette Team! Great work, and I shall HAVE to purchase a copy for my sewing wannabe friends! (might have to flick through first!)



Ooo, how exciting! But I have to wait until November…I’m not so good with waiting, I feel a pre-order coming on! I do enjoy your blog so much, and learn absolutely oodles from it – I bet the book will be just as good. You must be pleased as punch, congratuations!

Reana Louise

That’s so funny! I saw it yesterday on Amazon when I was looking for another book, and it was suggested to me. I was so confused! The book is absolutely beautiful, and I’m looking forward to having my very own pretty little copy. Congratulations Sarai! x


Darn, just a day too late to surprise you! :)

Reana Louise

No, it’s still terribly exciting! x


Congratulations on the book! There was a thread about new sewing books on Pattern Review a few days ago and I put in my order right away on Amazon. I can’t wait to get it!


Wow, how exciting !! I ca no WAIT!!


Congratulations! What great news for you, and for all of us who will want a copy as soon as it comes out. I’m curious to know if you will share photos of the five patterns included in the book with us prior to its release… I can’t wait for it to become available. Congrats again!


How fantastic! Can’t wait – just pre-ordered it on Amazon – hooray!

Vicki Kate

Oh. WOW!

Congratulations and it’s on my birthday list (Hurrah for a November birthday!!) I’m really looking forward to your sharing posts…


Ooh, how exciting! Congratulations!! I already placed my pre-order at amazon. And now I hope november comes soon..! ;-)

Gail Ann Thompson

I’ll be ordering one for my 17 year old Granddaughter’s Christmas present, and, maybe one for myself, just because.


Congratulations! This is such exciting news! I will definitely be getting a copy and I really look forward to your posts about working on the book.


Congrats, Sarai! Way to go!! I’ m pre-ordering today.


Oh my goodness! This news is better than I could have ever expected! I wasn’t sly enough to find out via Amazon recommendations yet, so the news is a complete surprise. I was expecting new patterns, but new patterns PLUS a book!? Congratulations, Sarai – you deserve all the success that comes with this. ;) I’m placing my pre-order now! I seriously don’t think I can wait until November to see these lovely patterns.. ;)

Take care.


Thanks Amanda, what a sweet comment.


Sounds like a wonderful book and perfect for a beginning sewer such as myself, I look forward to November. I don’t think I will put it on my Christmas list as I can’t wait that long!


Amazing! I’m so excited to get this! You ladies have done a great job of introducing me slowly to basic techniques and reasonable, effective practices in my sewing. I am so glad you continue to contribute so meaningfully to the sewing community (particularly for beginners). Thanks!


I am so excited for you! The styling of the book is just beautiful. I pre-ordered my copy–I can’t wait to get it!


I am so excited! Like many here have said, I probably won’t be able to wait till Christmas… I can’t wait to have this in my hands!


Congratulations! I’m looking forward to the book & patterns & I’m off to preorder as soon as I finish this post!


Congratulations! I’m sure that this is a beautiful book with the kind of attention to detail that makes your patterns such a pleasure to use.


I just finished my first Colette pattern yesterday, it was the Ginger Skirt. I’m very new to sewing, and I loved that pattern! The instructions are fantastic. I’ll definately be ordering the book. It’s very exciting! Good luck with it! :)


this book was actually recommended to me on amazon last week! i couldn’t understand why i hadn’t heard about it yet – and decided that either i’d missed a VERY important announcement, or someone was posing as you! glad to hear it’s not either :) i’m SO EXCITED to see this book! i might just have to buy it for myself as an early christmas prezzie :) uber congratulations – this is awesome news! :D


Ha, wouldn’t if be funny if someone was impersonating me?


I’m really excited! I hope you’ll preview some of the patterns in the book so we can really salivate until November…




Best News! I can not wait to get my copy and copies for our store!


Any chance it will be able to buy in Sweden/Europe as well?


I will check on this. I know it is available in the UK.

Sewing Princess

Yes, it’s available via Amazon UK, too. And they ship anywhere in Europe.


I actually stumbled across the book a few weeks ago on amazon and preordered it on the spot! Was wondering when you would mention it here :). Congratulations on what I know will be an amazing book!


I do think I waited a bit too long for the announcement since so many people saw it on Amazon! I take it as a good sign though… I’m glad Amazon is recommending it!


YAY!!! So happy the news is out, and oh my goodness, the cover looks gorgeous! It’s obvious even from these few images that the book is of good quality with the full photo and hard cover spine. I cannot wait to get my copy!!! Huge congrats!!!

Jeanne Marie

It looks absolutely gorgeous. I’ve put it on my wish list and will order with my next Amazon order. Congratulations!


Can’t wait to get my hands on this! I’m new to sewing and love your designs. Your blog has been helpful already so I can’t wait to see what is coming in print. Congratulations!

Ashley at The Feisty Redhead

This is so exciting! I just added it to my Amazon wishlist!


Congratulations! This is incredibly exciting. The sneak preview you can look through on Amazon looks absolutely amazing. Can’t wait to add this to the bookshelf!


Oh, wow!! This is INCREDIBLE! I cannot wait until it’s available to order – please tell me it will be available in Canada, too! Everything about this book sounds scrumptious. Congratulations, Sarai and your amazing team!

I’ve put it on my wishlist!


I’m pretty sure it is available in Canada!


Wow! I thought your exciting news was going to be a new pattern…this is way better! I can’t wait to see more pictures!! Congratulations!


Just Pre- Ordered Mine. So Happy for you and to put another lovely book in my sewing book stash.


Woo hoo!! The news is out. And looking at your comments you already have about 60 pre-orders in hand. This book is going to be a huge success. Congrats! Also, definitely post your book tour schedule when it’s available so we can all come out and meet you with our books held tightly in hand.


Thanks Lisa, I will do that! Hopefully I can make it to a few places.


Congratulations! i love your tutorials and know how via this blog. I can imagine, how book will be great! I don’t have any sewing books for fundamentals but I need one. I would be happy to own one.


I started a thread on Pattern Review when I saw this on…ugh, can’t remember who’s blog exactly at the moment but someone on my Google Reader. Anyway, my question is: will the book address all types of fit adjustments? In my case: Petite and Narrow Shoulders. TIA for answers.


The book covers how to make fitting adjustments generally, and then several common ones, though not all adjustments since that would really require its own book. It does show how to adjust torso length (for a petite figure), though there isn’t a step-by-step for narrow shoulders. It’s more focused on concepts of getting a good fit, and then applying those to some of the most common adjustments. Does that make sense?

I’ll give a more thorough run down of what’s covered in the fitting chapter later!


Well, can I make a special request? Sometime in the future, maybe as part of the blog if not the posts around the book? Would love to see one (or both, I’m greedy) of my usual alterations addressed!

Can’t wait for the book!

Clair McLaughlin

Congratulations! I can’t wait to get my hands on it! I love your blog and your patterns.


It looks wonderful! I’m adding it to my Christmas list. =)


It looks beautiful!!!! I will absolutely put this on my Christmas list, if I can wait until then…


Congrats! What will the pattern sizes be? I’m small, and was wondering if I’ll be able to use the patterns (bust 31.5).


The pattern sizes will be the same as my usual patterns (here’s a link to the size chart), but there is also quite a bit of information on pattern adjustments and fitting int he book!


This is perfect!!… and just what I need. I cannot wait I am pre-ordering my copy right away!!


WOOOOHOO! This has been a big week over here! New blog, new book… I hope you’re taking a vacation soon or something! Looks like it’s available for order in Canada, so count me in. I’d love to see some pictures/line drawings of the patterns as others have mentioned.

One suggestion that probably doesn’t really apply to the book since it looks like it’s done and dusted, but have you ever thought about releasing a bodice fitting block/sloper pattern? I would love to have something like that to work out fit issues that I could apply to other Colette patterns instead of starting from scratch on each pattern.


I haven’t really considered that, but it is a great suggestion. The only problem might be if I tweak the blocks at all. Hmm.

Sadie Fox

WOW! I am so incredibly excited. The cover is luscious and it is on my Christmas lists for sure. Congrats.


Congratulations! I am so happy to hear this news, and can’t wait to see the book!


I confess, I’d already seen this on amazon! I kind of did a double take and got very excited. Great to hear more details about it and congratulations! I am definitely grabbing one!


That’s very good and exciting news, big congratulations! Have pre-ordered it too! x


It looks amazing, and I can’t wait. Congratulations!


Congrats Sarai! I knew you had to have something cool like this up your sleeve. I’m sure it will be a success!


Congrats, Sarai and the CP team! I was expecting patterns, but like someone else said this is so much better (and patterns included!). This will be a great addition and I can’t wait to have a copy. Now I just need to start sewing again :) You must have such a fun time in the CP studio!


i read through the preview and preordered – looks fantastic, can’t wait to get my copy and would be really interested to hear more about the writing of it :-)


That’s good to hear. I’m planning some posts about the writing process and how the book came to be.

Natalie | FrizzyDizzy

I am so excited for this! I just want to flip through it right now.


Definately going on my christmas list! What are the five patterns included in it? I’d love to have a sneak peak if poss.


I’ll be posting lots of sneak peeks, don’t you worry!


Congrats! I already took a peek inside with the amazon preview feature. Can’t wait to see it in person and all of the lovely patterns.


It’s nice that they put such a substantial preview up on Amazon!


Eeeek! I feel like Veruca Salt– “I want it now!”


Sarai! That’s super news – I’m delighted for you and also for myself as a potential reader – what a treat.

I read through your small bust adjustment post earlier today and thought how wonderfully clear you’d made it all feel and how lovely it would be if there were a whole book of that type of cleverness out there….I’m so excited that as of November there will be!

Florence x

Sherisa D

OMG Congrats! This is so going on my to-buy list! I’m extra happy for you :)


Exciting! Will we get to see previews of the included patterns?


Yes, definitely! There will be a lot more to come!

Angelina S

Ridiculously exciting. Congratulations are due! This looks to be a lovely book &I can’t wait to have it!


WOW! I am preordering right now!


Yay! This is SO exciting! Another MUST purchase item to add to my list. I’d also love a sneak peak at some of the patterns. I’ve loved every single pattern I’ve sewn of yours, they are beautiful and the instructions are so easy to follow. Keep up the good work!


I’m a follower of your blog since a long time ago and never thought you were working in such project! No doubt you can keep secrets =)

I’ll be looking forward for your book to come on sale! -and for some friend to come to visit, hahaha, since shipping to this part of Mexico is expensive!

Big hugs!!


So so excited about your book. I already preordered it yesterday. Hoping for some sneak-peaks of the included patterns.


How exciting! I’m certainly looking forward to November.


It looks positively delightful! Oh I’m so excited for you! Congratulations on such a beautiful accomplishment! I’m terribly excited to get my hands on this – and what great gifts it will make just in time for the holidays! Yay!


Thank you, everyone! I’d love to reply to each of you individually to express my gratitude for you warm and thoughtful comments. But that might be overkill.

I truly appreciate all your congratulations (and your pre-orders, keep those coming too!)


Absolutely gorgeous! It looks really substantial too. I love that you allowed such a big preview on Amazon.
My Aunt offered me one of her old sewing machines and I haven’t taken it, because I can’t commit to sewing classes. Perhaps after reading this I will feel confident enough to take it on and start learning the basics.
Congratulations Sarai – I’m sure it will be very successful!


Looks gorgeous!! And what perfect timing. I copies of every new sewing book (aimed at the younger demographic) that comes out, read & enjoy it, then give to my nieces. Both of them are catching the fever and sewing. The contents sound like a very good balance between inspiration and skill-building.


Great news!! Congratulations Sarai!! I can’t wait to get the book — maybe even two. The cover is lovely and I’m certain your book will become one of the classic sewing books.


In my excitement, I forgot to add my question and comment. Will there be a way to purchase signed copies of the book? Maybe by ordering it from Colette Patterns, if you’ll be selling copies directly. I also have a suggestion about getting the word out – how about a live and on-line book publishing party? Not sure about the technological logistics, but it might be fun event.


I’d definitely like to make signed copies available for those that order through our site. I haven’t made definite plans, but I don’t see any reason not to.

The online book party sounds like it could be really fun! I’ll think on that one.

Krystle Laura

Wow! I can hardly believe this amazing news…your own sewing book!!!! And I love the new blog…looking forward to continued pattern sewalongs and new patterns. You are one amazing lady!! :)


Wow, that’s awesome!!! And it’s out the week before my birthday, so guess what’s going on my birthday list? ;) I’m so excited – all new patterns and more sewing fundamentals – even better than just a pattern launch alone!


Taht is SOOO Great !!! On my wish list too….

Abigail Buzbee

I gasped with excitement when I saw this!!! Congratulations on such a beautiful looking book! That cover really is gorgeous, and I can’t wait till November when I can see the inside. I am so glad you made this book. I know it is going to be as wonderful as everything else you have created. Your patterns are the best, and I know this book is going to be too! I recommend your patterns to anyone who wants to sew, and finally there is a sewing book I can recommend as well. Your instructions have always been so easy to follow, I wish I had them when I first started sewing…it would have saved me much frustration!


Congratulations!!! How exciting. This book is going on my wish list. Your blog and patterns have been hugely inspiring to me. Thank you for all your effort and hard work!


Wow, how incredibly awesome! Good on you, it looks fantastic! :)


Ah! This is so gorgeous! Congrats :) I’d love to have a copy on my shelf. Plus, I’m so dying to be a successful seamstress, and I feel like your patterns are perfection. I can only imagine that you’ve put together the perfect sewing book.

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