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Seamwork 21: Changes


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This site is no longer being updated so head over to Seamwork to get all the latest patterns, tutorials, video classes, and more.

Go to Seamwork


The August issue of Seamwork is up and ready for you to read!

This issue is about changes, and not just the ch-ch-ch-ch-changes that David Bowie sings about (although you should probably start by reading Betsy Blodgett’s article on Bowie’s style) but also the creative changes that sewing brings.

Learn how to alter yardage with ombré dip dye and fabric manipulation, how to change the color palette in your wardrobe, and change how you think about fabric waste.

We’re also very excited about this month’s patterns, as both will take you through all the changing seasons!

A Peek Inside the Issue:

ink-spindle-01 copy

“The mythic image of the solo artist persists in our culture, and many people believe that true artistic practice is something that can only be done alone. But watching two women work together so seamlessly to create a single vision is a reminder of the power of creative collaboration.” -Sarai Mitnick, Printing Fabric with Ink & Spindle


“Manipulating fabrics before the cutting process gives sewists the ability to experiment with texture and transparency without altering patterns. There are countless ways of altering surface textures and this month we will take an in-depth look at how to pre-pintuck fabrics for a fully pintucked yoke.” -Katie Whittle, Sewing Specifics


“We’ve all done it: We’ve fallen in love with the color of a gorgeous sweater/handbag/skein of yarn/bolt of fabric, only to come home to the realization that it goes with absolutely nothing we own. (Please tell me that’s not just me.) ” -Lindy Thibodaux, Color in Your Closet


“I felt cocooned in my comfortable, personal daily-wear clothing. No longer just interpreting others’ ideas, I was now adding my own to the mix. What I wore uniquely expressed who I was. I learned to personalize my clothing at a new level— sewing became an expressive art for me.” -Sallianne Hines, Sewing Lessons

And here are the two new quick-to-sew patterns in this issue:


Have you been looking for the perfect, multi-season cardigan? Look no further, because Elmira has got you covered!

This fitted, cropped, ballet-style wrap will keep you stylish through the seasons. In a lightweight jersey, Elmira is just right for summer and spring. In fall and winter, try a medium weight sweater knit or French terry for a cozier version.

Elmira is the perfect match to many wardrobe staples. Try pairing this wrap with dresses like Lynn, from this issue, for a feminine look. Alternately, pair Elmira with Weston for an easy to wear outfit with a ladylike twist.


It’s the last month of summer, but you still have time for one—or two—more vacations before your fall obligations take precedence. Wherever your travels take you, Lynn is the perfect dress for traveling in both style and comfort.

This shift dress boasts a tailored shape, short sleeves, and a knee grazing hemline, making it perfect for travel. Lynn also features just the right amount of ease, making this dress perfectly comfortable for long trips. Best of all, it’s a pullover! Make sure to make plenty of pit stops to show off your travel style.

Lynn has plenty of options for customizing, such as the contrast front and back yoke, center back placket, and bias binding along the neckline. Make Lynn in a colorful printed quilting-weight cotton with a Georgette yoke and fun buttons, like we did. Is subtle more your style? Make Lynn up in a solid color linen and a matching lace yoke for a classic dress you’ll want to wear year-round. This versatile wardrobe staple is perfect for any situation, from office, to cocktails, to vacations.

You can visit to read the issue, download it from the current issue page, or subscribe to get the patterns.

Also, also, also! A New Issue of Seamwork Radio is up!

In September 2015, Marie wrote a post on her sewing blog called “Loving a Person, Not Their Gender.” In that post, she talked about the experience of having her partner come out as transgender. In today’s story, we talk to Marie and her girlfriend Charlotte about that experience, and what came after.

Listen here.

Meg Stively   —   Communications Manager

Meg is here to help you. She's the smiling face behind our customer service and social media. Keeping in touch with our family of stockists, and shipping your orders all across the world, she loves seeing what you're making with our patterns.

Comments 19


I absolutely adore these two patterns! I really like the vintage touch to them.


Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I have had “Ballet-style wrap cardigan” on my pattern wishlist for a looooong time now – and Elmira is the perfect pattern to fit the bill! I was a ballet dancer as a teen and often think wistfully of the gauzy black wrap sweater I was allowed to wear during pointe class, or until my body was properly warm (ballet dress codes are quite strict). Although my first Elmira will probably be made up in charcoal grey sweater knit, I love this bright example and will likely follow suit!


So happy to hear that. I’d love to see your cardigan when you’re finished!


The wrap cardigan is very pretty and practical-looking, and will definitely be finding its way onto my list of projects. I’ll pass on the dress – doing up back zips is hard enough, and back buttons are practically impossible, not to mention very uncomfortable to lean against when sitting. The last thing I’d wear when travelling, TBH.


Hi Pelly! So glad that you like Elmira, it is such a great pattern! If the style of Lynn appeals to you, but back buttons aren’t your thing, check out Block Paper Scissors. This month, Anna walks you through eliminating the placket and buttons. They are non-essential since Lynn is a pullover dress. Thank you for the feedback and happy sewing!

Betty Jordan Wester

Haley, you should totally edit the above post and the pattern description to let people know Lynn is a pullover. I have to admit, that’s a great selling point for people looking for a fun, easy, and easy to wear pattern. :)


Hi Betty, I really appreciate your suggestion. We will add that detail to the product description ASAP.


I love the idea of eliminating the back bottons, but hate to give up the three part structure – color blocking! Would it be possible to keep the bodice and skirt separate, and remove the button placket? I’ve read and re-read Block Paper Scissors and am still not clear as to why the bodice and skirt pattern pieces are merged.


You can definitely still keep the bodice and skirt separate! Just follow steps 1 & 2 to eliminate the buttons. The Block Paper Scissors article just adds more steps to simplify in case you want a one-piece shift dress.


Would this tutorial work for removing plackets in other patterns too?


As long as the garment is constructed in a similar way, yes. Just pay attention to the seam allowance that your pattern uses!

Betty Jordan Wester

The Elmira and Lynn are both very cute! I like Lynn’s contrast yoke a lot. Good work!

Amy Amelia

Looks like a great issue, and I’m looking forward to reading it. Just wondering what fabric you used for the Brooklyn skirt in this issue? So pretty!

Taylor Pruitt

Hey Amy! Here is the fabric we used for Brooklyn :).

Amy Amelia

Thanks Taylor :-)


Hi, Love your frock and the different yoke options! Can I also reverse the back yoke to have the buttons in the front? I like that style too -thank you


Hey Claudia, you absolutely can. If you envisioning a button placket going beyond the yoke, you may need to adjust for fit. If you are planning on just adding a button placket to the front yoke, it’ll work out great. The main purpose for the placket is to allow room for your head to fit through :)


Looks like a great issue! As a commenter who has complained about the poor fit of your samples before…thanks for stepping up your game this time around :-)


Thanks for the feedback! :)

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