I’m frequently asked which pattern in our line-up is my favorite.
I think people are surprised when I’ve said it’s the Negroni shirt.
Why Negroni? I just think there’s something intensely satisfying about making a man’s shirt. Menswear is so classic, so stylistically rigid, that making it really gives you a chance to focus on technique and small details.
I’m also proud of the level of instruction in the pattern. I really feel it epitomizes what I want our patterns to be: fun and fulfilling learning experiences.
I think you guys have agreed, because it’s been one of our most popular patterns. And little by little, I began to see women adapting the pattern for themselves too. I loved this idea!
So why not introduce more men’s patterns that women could wear too?
Walden, our specialty menswear and unisex line
Today, we’re announcing Walden by Colette Patterns, a specialty line of men’s patterns. This smaller line-up (which will now include Negroni) has a new look, with even cooler packaging.
I have always loved a classic duffle coat on both men and women. A style taken from the British military and popularized in the 60s and 70s, it looks just as modern today.
Simple, clean outerwear
We kept the overall construction simple and the lines clean, so with its simple straight shape, this is one of the easier pieces of outerwear you might sew.
At the same time, we didn’t neglect the important details that make a coat look polished.
Version one is a longer lined wool coat, designed to be made in a typical wool coating and lined with flannel, just like a traditional cozy duffle coat.
It has both outer patch pockets and roomy in-seam side pockets, so there’s a place to warm your hands and a place to stash a wallet and phone.
The 3-piece hood also has a completely removable button-on neck tab to keep you extra cozy on blustery days.
Version two is a shorter unlined jacket, a great transition piece or rain jacket.
The jacket works beautifully in a sturdy canvas, like the blue canvas version Zoe wears here. You can also use a waxed canvas for a more water repellant finish, like the deep green jacket worn by our male model. Or try a heavy twill or a strong waterproof fabric.
Because it’s unlined, the seams are neatly finished in a combination of felled seams and bias-bound seams. The in-seam pocket has a clever construction, so it also acts as a hidden interior pocket. This jacket looks as good inside as out.
Albion looks great on women as well as men (I’ve actually taken the navy sample Zoe is wearing home for myself).
Because Albion is available in sizes XS through XXL, even smaller women can likely find a size that will fit. You can wear it loose and boxy with a slightly dropped shoulder, or follow some of the tweaks we’ll be covering in our soon-to-be-released companion book to give it a more feminine shape.
Get more help and sew along with us!
Outerwear can be a little intimidating, but it’s so much fun to make a big project like this with other people.
We’ll be announcing a sew-along for Albion coming up in a month or so, along with an optional companion book. So you can get plenty of support when you make this beauty.
But first, we’ll be working together on our other new pattern.
We wanted to do something a little different for Cooper: create a truly practical, versatile, and well-crafted bag that men and women could both use.
We turned to our friend Laura, designer of Pansy Maiden bags, truly an expert on creating exceptional non-leather bags (though you can use leather in making Cooper too).
Laura designed this fantastic bag in 3 variations, with just the right hardware and details to look professionally crafted.
Messenger, Backpack, or Satchel
Version 1 is an adjustable messenger bag, great for carrying a laptop or transporting books to work or school.
Version 2 is a backpack. It has adjustable straps, a hanging loop, and plenty of pockets inside and out.
Version 3 is my personal favorite (by just a hair). It’s a satchel with clips on the back for attaching to your bike rack.
The Companion Book and Sewalong
If you’re new to bag making or just want tips and instructions for customizing your bag, check out our brand new Cooper Companion ebook!
Like our Anise Companion before it, the Cooper companion offers tons of extras to help guide you through the bag-making process.
- Hundreds of step-by-step photos. Over 400 photos fill this 130 page ebook to the brim with in-depth visual detail.
- Learn more about bag supplies. We included lots of information about fabric choices, hardware, and special tools that might make your job easier (and more fun).
- Learn special technique. Get even more information about special techniques like reinforcing stress points, installing magnetic closures, and squaring corners.
- Customization tutorials. We give you instructions for even more options, like making self-fabric straps, adding a key ring attachment (so useful!), installing feet, waxing your own canvas, and creating a shoulder guard.
We’ll also be announcing our Cooper Sewalong tomorrow. We’ll be covering the whole process in the sewalong of course, so you don’t need to purchase the companion book to sew with us. But if you want all the fun extras and an extensive bag-making guide to hold onto for the future, it’s a great supplement to pick up.
Get going with kits
One of the challenges with making a bag can be sourcing all the hardware and specialty materials. With hardware especially, you often have to buy large quantities, which can get expensive, or get something not-quite-right.
So we have kits to help with that, available now at Gifts for Crafters.
Our hardware kits come in an aged bronze finish, so everything will match. Choose from a kit with enough hardware to make the messenger or backpack, or a separate kit for the satchel.
We also have full kits for making a beautiful forest green and oak brown bag in waxed canvas. Waxed canvas is a heavy cotton impregnated with special waxes and oils to repel moisture. It ages beautifully, with creases and scratches giving it a wonderful patina over time. Many of the bags above were made with it, and you can see how well it holds its shape, and the aged look it develops.
These kits include the same aged brass hardware, along with fabric, ripstop lining, and cotton webbing. They are a very limited edition item, so once they’re gone, they’re gone.
Pattern instructions that lay flat!
Finally, I wanted to show off our fancy new packaging for Walden!
Take a look at those new kraft paper covers and spiral binding. That’s right, these new patterns will actually lay flat while you sew!
With me all the way to the end? Let’s review!
- Walden is our new specialty line for men (that can also be made for women).
- Walden patterns have fancy new packaging, including lay-flat spiral binding.
- Albion is our brand new duffle coat, in sizes XS to XXL.
- Cooper is a 3-in-1 everyday bag, including messenger, backpack, and satchel.
- We have kits available for Cooper. Purchase just the hardware, or a complete kit with hardware, webbing, beautiful waxed canvas, and ripstop lining.
- We’ll be announcing a sewalong for Cooper tomorrow.
- Our companion book for Cooper has hundreds of step-by-step photos and even more variations.
- The sewalong and companion book for Albion will be coming up soon.
If you buy Albion, Cooper, or the newly revamped Negroni through Gifts for Crafters, you can get 15% off when you enter coupon code WALDEN at checkout. That coupon is good until Friday, November 15 at midnight PST, only at Gifts for Crafters.
You can pick up any of our patterns at Gifts for Crafters, along with kits, tools, and all kinds of other goodies.