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Resolutions for the new year


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This site is no longer being updated so head over to Seamwork to get all the latest patterns, tutorials, video classes, and more.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 can’t believe this year is over. It certainly was an eventful one for me, with the launch and pretty startling growth of Colette Patterns, my move to Oregon, and a pretty much wholly different life from the one I was leading a year ago. Last December, I was working in a big company in silicon valley. It was an overall interesting job with people I liked, but I spent most of the hours of any given day in meetings, writing reports, and commuting. It was not creatively fulfilling, and that is what I needed to be happy.

I’d spent over a year planning the launch of Colette Patterns, writing a business plan, developing my first patterns, and figuring out all the details. In March, I made the leap, left my job in the middle of a recession, and moved to Portland, OR. I have never looked back, and I’ve never been happier! Portland is amazing and running a small business is the most intense, challenging, and rewarding thing I’ve tried yet.

My main goal in starting Colette Patterns was to share my love of sewing, and that’s what will continue to drive me this year. With that, here are a few of my resolutions for Colette Patterns in 2010:

Collaborate with others

This is one I’ve been thinking about lately. I really like collaborating with other people, both creatively and on the business side. I’d love to find a way to work with other indie pattern designers* as well as other designers & artists. I just haven’t figured out how quite yet.

*A local business person referred to this the other day as “coopertition,” I love that.

More tutorials and free stuff!

I like to share stuff. I’d love to publish some free patterns here, along with more and more tutorials for techniques and projects. It’s hard because it can be extremely time consuming, but I’m planning to make it a priority.

More frequent pattern releases

This is a big change for the coming year that I’ll elaborate on a bit more later. This year, I had two big releases. Next year, I’m planning to do smaller releases more frequently. I think it will be so much better this way. You’ll get to see new designs all the time and I won’t have insane workloads twice a year!

Explore new platforms

I’d just like to find other ways to share the love of sewing. I have ideas as far as this is concerned, but they’re just ideas right now.

Share more about running a small business

I have learned such a huge amount in the last year, and have really found what works for me and what doesn’t. There have been unexpected hurtles as well as great opportunities. And of course, my business is very young so I’m learning more every day. I’d like to share more about my experience and help others of you who might be starting (or thinking of starting) your own business.

Take time off

Oh dear, this is a big one for me personally. I have never been one of those “live to work” people, but frankly running a small, growing business out of your home has a way of turning you into a workaholic. Big time. The upside is that I work so much because I love my business, I love the work I do, and I’m passionate about everything I do. The downside is that this could lead to major burnout if I don’t start pacing myself.

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 8


Oh, I loved reading these, Sarai! You are such a generous person. I can’t wait to see what you do in the coming year!


Happy new year! After seeing such beautiful creations on various blogs I am eagerly awaiting my first batch of Colette patterns. I’m also really looking forward to your future designs. Good luck with your business – I love your approach and wish you all the best.


Very well put and inspiring! New platforms…I have some ideas about this. Best wishes to Colette Patterns in the new year! I am so excited to continue guest blogging.


Very inspiring. the resolutions make me want to follow your work even more. You can be really proud : this year was very productive!
I wish you the best for colette patterns (and you and your loved ones too of course)


happy new year, Sarai! Nice to read a bit about your plans. I’m so very intrigued at what might come of “coopertition” with other indie designers; it’s a very exciting idea and I’ll be eagerly reading along to see what you do!

I also wanted to thank you again for the beautiful new designs. I looked through them several times over the past month, and it was only this evening when I realized that the pattern I had been dreaming about and searching for was in your new releases. I’ll have to wait until my next break from school now, but I think your Ceylon dress is going to be the perfect use for the lightweight fuschia lambswool flannel I got for Christmas! Thanks again – you are doing such beautiful work here, and as a home sewer it’s such a gift to have a trusty source for well-crafted beautiful clothing patterns! Happy 2010!


Happy New Year! I can’t wait to see and read about all the new things that 2010 brings to you and Colette Patterns. It truly amazes me how much you accomplished in ’09. I’m especially intrigued to read more about your business experiences.

Wishing you all the best in ’10!

♥ Casey
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Sarai, you are such a welcome addition to Portland’s Art & Craft community. I’ve love your patterns and really enjoy your blog(s). Can’t wait to see what you’ll do next!


Just found your blog while searching for indie pattern makers and you happen to be in Portland, like me! I appreciate all the hard work you have put into your business because I am where you were a year ago and hope to develop a line of doll patterns in the near future. I look forward to following your blog and welcome any posts on how to start a small pattern business! Wish you the best with your new year’s resolutions!

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