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Big News! Announcing The Colette Sewing Handbook


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This site is no longer being updated so head over to Seamwork to get all the latest patterns, tutorials, video classes, and more.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 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…this is delicious! Humm my birthday is in November, what a perfect gift-check and my darling niece who is 19 needs this for Christmas-check. Now the big question signed copy or Amazon…???

I’m so excited and a gigantic congratulations Sarai and a big thank you for the perfect surprise. From looking at the preview on Amazon I would say it’s love at first sight!


I will not check this out of the library – I will BUY it straight away.


“sew” exciting! Sorry, I couldn’t help it. Seriously, I have an Amazon gift card with this book’s name written all over it. If it’s half as great as your blog and patterns it’s a definite must-have. :)


This is so exciting! Congratulations.

Brandy Layton

I love that this book is about the why. I am a why kind of person and I like to know how of course; give me the why however and I can really get going with that. I just pre-ordered my copy tonight. Great work on the book and everything you guys do!


Does the sewing patterns in the book go to size 18?


Yup! Same as our regular patterns.


Congrats, Sarai! It looks so beautiful and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!


This is fantastic news! I just completed my first Negroni, and I am in love with your writing and pattern drafting. I can’t wait to read your book. Congrats!


Yay what fantastic news. How about a standard Colette banner/code etc that links to your web shop or Amazon for bloggers to put on their pages to help advertise your brilliant and amazing achievement. Cant wait to buy myself a copy yay congrats to you.


That is a fantastic idea, Kazz! I’m going to try to put something like this together over the weekend. I should really put one in my sidebar too!


I have to say: THANK YOU!! I think that everything you’ve done — especially recently (new patterns, new blog design, so many new posts and tutorials, and now A BOOK) — is incredible and truly inspiring! And gorgeous design and styling throughout! I am so excited to sew my own wardrobe and continue to learn as I go…Really, I can’t thank you enough.


Congrats! I love your patterns and cannot wait to get my hands on this book.


it looks so beautiful! had a sneek peek of the inside on Amazon and I can’t wait to get my hands on it! would you say it’s suitable for a Beginner?


Yes, I’d say for beginner to intermediate, though some of the fitting information (and the patterns) would be of interest to more advanced sewists. The patterns are meant to be suitable for beginners while also teaching some more challenging techniques. They will hopefully help beginners stretch a little!

It is really focused on the big “concepts” of sewing, which is what I find missing from a lot of sewing books: planning your projects, working with patterns, getting a good fit, choosing fabric, and achieving a nice finish.


I may have just slipped this into my boyfriend’s Amazon shopping cart…Happy Birthday to me! Congratulations Sarai, I feel really creepy saying this, but as someone who has followed your blog and bought your patterns obsessively over the last year I am so proud to see this. Creepiness aside, congratulations, what a wonderful achievement :)


That is the opposite of creepy, lady. :)

Sewing Princess

Congratulations on the book. It looks really cool and exciting. It will be on my wish list in a few moments ;o)


This looks very exciting and promising!
I’ve been taking sewing lessons for 2 years now, but I started to get this feeling that it was all a bit scattered – a technique here, a technique there, I was not really gaining a bird’s eye overview, so to speak!
As a result, I haven’t been sewing anything for myself these past three months, but instead read and thought about it a lot. Slowly, a “plan” began to shape in my mind: must get a better idea of my own body shape to attain a better fit, must think more about “missing items” in wardrobe, must get better feeling for personal style, and get a better grip on the sewing basics and then take it further.
So I am slowly preparing to dive in, but I feel I need a little nudge, someone to hold my hand. And then I read the announcement of your book! As your blog has become one of my “reading & learning references” these past few months, I quickly checked out Amazon.

Reading through the substantial “look inside” there, I was blown away – it feels like this book could be THE companion on my sewing adventures! I especially like that it holds both techniques *and* projects, and that it builds upon what you have learned previously. Yup, I am having high hopes :-)

It’s going to be a long wait until November!


This is exactly what I want to hear. :)

My idea was based on the fact that sewing is a very complex skill, and I think many people (of ALL skill levels) can get lost in the details while missing the big picture. And the big picture for me is that you should love the clothes you make for yourself.

Jane Elise

My best friend is buying her first sewing machine and this will be the perfect Christmas present for her. Because let’s face it, there are some really good sewing books around that are..ahem, a little less than pretty. Pretty + functional = perfect. Congratulations!


You lay-dee’s are so so amazing! Can’t wait to get my hot little hands on this :)


Yee for pre-ordering! Can’t wait for the book to make its way to Belgium!!!


Did you pre-order on the US site? Have you done that before? I’m a bit confused by the options :)
Greets from a fellow Belgian :)

Sewing Princess

You can order from Amazon UK. Compare the prices and then decide. Often it’s cheaper that way.
A former expat to Belgium


Thank you Sewing Princess (yay, expats!) I probably should just pick a website and pre-order, there are too many options to compare:
– exchange rates of pounds and dollars for US and UK site vs none for DE and FR
– advantage of the pre-order price guarantee on US and UK vs no such thing on DE and FR
– discount price on US and UK vs no such thing on DE and FR
– shipping rates US and UK vs no shipping costs DE and FR
Bottom line: I shouldn’t be geeking out like this and just order it instead :)


OH MY GOSH! THIS is AWESOME! I am one of your ‘silent’ followers and have been so impressed with the way you explain the different techniques needed to know in creating a well made ‘homemade’ item. This is totally a book I’ll be looking for when I have some money to spend.
CONGRATULATIONS! and you seriously have nothing to fear. You’re awesome.


Thank you so much, Vicki. It really means a lot to me to hear from you guys like this.


Congratulations!! This is exciting news. I can’t wait to learn more about this book. I added it to my wishlist for future purchase. Your blog is very interesting so I’m sure the book will be too.


Oooooh I need something like this! But in September already! I want to sew a professional wardrobe, it’s time I get a job :) And I could use some guidance…
Now I’m all confused by Amazon’s shipping and pre-order price guarantee options and by currency exchange dilemma’s, since I live in Europe: should I pre-order on the US site or on the French one, hmmm…


Oh I forgot to say something: congratulations Sarai!!!


I was wondering: will there be a digital version, for us people living in places to which Amazon shipping is dreadfully expensive? (plus, extra points for being green and not using paper …)


That is a good question, and I will check on it for you. My publisher did talk about a digital version (which wouldn’t have patterns included), but I’m not sure if it’s a for sure thing or not.


This is really great! Can’t wait to get my hands on it.

Sara @ Sew Sweetness

Ooo I can’t wait to get this book. My birthday is in November, so if I put it on my Amazon wishlist hopefully someone will get it for me. ;-) I can’t wait to see what patterns will be in the book!!

Patricia Austin

Holy cow!!!!! This is amazing! Congrats! That is quite the endeavor. I can’t wait to hear more about it. I am in total awe. Go Collete!


the book looks great, I already pre-ordered mine and posted a comment and link on my blog. I know this is an amazing feat and a huge amount of work, we sewists in the blog world are very proud of you and through your posts I feel like we have met. Anyway, best of luck.


Congratulations Sarai!


I’m so excited to see this book coming out! I adore your patterns and your tutorials; they make it so easy for my husband to understand what I’m doing when I re-draft patterns to fit my body.



I’m so excited about this! I have put it on my wishlist and will hit up the next person who asks me what I want for Christmas.


Congratulations Sarai, and the whole colette sewing team! How exciting- I can’t wait to get it. I’ll be sure to spread the word!



Wow–just checked it out on Amazon it looks totally awesome. Last weekend, I picked up another book on sewing as a re-fresher but now I wish I hadn’t. I’ve put it on my Wish List. :) From the Look Inside feature, love the pictures. :D


Oh my goodness! Huge congratulations & I really can’t wait!!


cannot wait! this looks amazing! I’m adding to my amazon cart now. :) looks so beautiful congrats!


I have just heard about this and have already pre-ordered my copy! Thank you and congratulations on the book.


Congratulations!! Your new book looks fabulous! I soooo hope that it is available from your site too… Books take forever from Amazon to Australia… And I will also NEED it in Nov….. Another one who won’t be able to wait…..:) lol…

I absolutely love the dress pattern on the front cover….. Totally gorgeous and can’t wait till that is released also!!! Any hints when that pattern will be released??

Lou x


Hi Lou… that’s included in the book! It’s one of the five patterns contained therein. :)


Congratulations!!! I’ve been following your blog, which is so inspiring and wonderful. I am so excited for you! Amazing!


I’m sooo excited about this! Already pre-ordered it! Everything you design is just so breathtakingly gorgeous!


that is fantastic!!!! go you. i look forward to checking it out! :)


Oh thanks for the reply re the pattern….:) Absolutely love love love that dress!!
Also love the white one…. In the amazon sneak peek…:) and of course dying to see the rest…..:)


Congratultions! I can’t wait to read it!


Hi Sarai, love your new layout! I’m super excited about your book, but I do wish I could have it sooner than November! Congratulations! :)


Many many congratulations. And looking at the preview on Amazon I can’t wait for this to come out. Finally a sewing book that not only helps with tips and techniques but seems to have patterns for very wearable garments that slightly more experienced seamstresses will want to make. How very exciting. You must be thrilled.


I can hardly wait to hold this book and see for myself. It’s already on my gift list for a very special person in whom I am hoping to spark the love of sewing clothing !


Oh my! I am glad to read this today! I will sure pre-order the book!!! Thanks!


EEEEeeeeh!! So so so exciting! And so sneaky to keep it under wraps! Very excited for you!


Im so excited to buy your book!!If only I could buy it earlier than November coz I was planning to sew a dress for my sister for her bday on January.Thanks for sharing to us what you love..:)

Keren Duchan

Sounds great!!! Will we be able to see (online) the dresses / patterns in the book? That would be really awesome for us living overseas, who can’t see the book in bookstores but only on amazon – you can’t always see what you need to see before purchasing the book.

I would much appreciate it! Thanks!


Yes, I plan to post more sneak peeks as the book gets closer to being available!

Becky P S

Congratulations!!! You must be over the moon excite and proud! Way to go. Hurrying to the amazon for to pre-order!


I have added it to my Christmas Wish List… and also forwarded it to my best friend’s hubby as she is just learning to sew! It looks beautiful – I saw the preview on Amazon…. Congrats Sarai!

Petitpas Sophie

I follow your wonderfull blog since few months. And I love it. I’m doing a blog in France on Fashion, art living, trend linked to astrological signs.
Well done for your work and this book. And if you have look on my blog So Astro Style you will see a post where I announce the parution of your book.
Sorry for my english writting. I’ m french !!! Once again well done for this great blog
I hope you will like mine and gets a lot of new readers from France
Au revoir !!!!


I am loving the idea of this book and I cannot wait for it to come out. Just a quick question, I was looking on Amazon and saw it was also going to be an ebook. Will someone be hindered getting the ebook instead of the big book with patterns? I am not sure if you are doing an actual pattern envelope or if the book uses patterns that can be downloaded from your website. So looking forward to it!!


The ebook version does not include the patterns, just the rest of the book contents. Perhaps that should be more clear on the amazon page.


Thank you so much. Curious question since I am on a tight budget how many patterns are in the book so I can know how to plan? :)

So Happy about this book. I LOVE your site.


There are 5 exclusive patterns.


I just ordered your book from Amazon. As a beginner (over middle age) I find your tutorials and instructions clear and easy to understand and follow and Iknow having your beautiful book will be immensely helpful. Congratulations and thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience.

Mark Doyle

Love this blog! I have six consew handheld paper bag sewing machines and spend a lot if time at a local industrial sewing machine repair shop. I told my repair man than I wanted to learn to sew and was leaning towards leather jackets and such but wanted to have a machine that would handle delicate cloth fabric as well. He took me back in his repair area an pulled a tarp off of a Pfaff 138-6 that has never been used in an industrial environment. Actually, it looked like it was brand new. It had a servo motor attached and a 2 inch pulley allowing full range of speed control without having to feather a clutch. He said someone had him set it up that way so the could make gloves and belts and needed the ability to work as slow as two stitches per second. The other amazing thing to me was when he turned it on it was whisper quiet. He then turned on a Chinese made consew machine and I couldn’t believe how loud it was. Upon closer inspection of the castings and parts as compared to the new machines coming out of china I was sold. He even had it set up with an LED light.
So . . . I go to Barnes and Noble and had to buy your book. Why? When my wife passed away three years ago she asked me to spread her ashes on on Collette’s grave in Paris. That was her favorite author and i have every book she ever wrote, so your book seemed appropriate. I look forward to following your blog as I read your book and learn to sew!

Ann Van Regan

I only buy from independent stores or directly from a supplier. Where can I get your book?

It looks terrific. I’m making view 4 Laurel as I write this.

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