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The Floral Issue + Meet Astoria and Bristol


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This site is no longer being updated so head over to Seamwork to get all the latest patterns, tutorials, video classes, and more.

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

In this issue:





Some favorite quotes from this issue:

"But if you measure your waist, and it’s 40”; you just make a 40” skirt. It’s a straightforward equation, and there’s really no point in pretending you’re a different size or judging the number." – Jenny Rushmore, Coming to Peace

"As women’s roles have developed and the moods and values of society have shifted, we see feminine florals morph in fashion." – Piper Springs, A Century of American Florals

"We miss quality. We want to feel creative and connected, and to avoid wearing clothing made in dangerous and exploitative sweatshops. We are a movement, and the fabric industry is catching up to us, slowly but surely." -Heather Lewenza, Good Silk Hunting

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


The Astoria pullover is a cropped little sweater inspired by the ultra-flattering knitwear styles of the 40s and 50s, but adapted for a more modern and casual look. It features a wide waistband, simple crew neck, and fitted shape. Make it up in a casual French terry or double gauze knit like we did, or go for a sweater knit to give it a dressier look. Astoria is a wonderfully comfortable transition piece for spring or fall and looks especially nice with a full skirt.


The Bristol skirt is a versatile semi-full gathered skirt with easy pull-on elastic waist and a single front pocket hidden in the center panel. This skirt is easy to make, might teach you a new sort of pocket construction, and can be made in a huge range of fabrics, from Liberty tana lawns to chambray to rayon challis. I think it looks especially lovely with a fitted top that ends near the waist (like Astoria above), or a white button down tied at the waistline a la Audrey Hepburn.


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

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 35


Brilliant, THANK you! Just when I think you’ve produced my favourite issue to date, the next one arrives – crammed with even more goodness!

Aside from the immediate appeal of the patterns, I find myself referring back to previous issues and incorporating techniques you introduced there into other projects. Seamwork is truly evolving into a fantastic reference source for me, and I’m so glad to be along for the ride. (I’m about to settle down for a proper read, but Jenny’s article – the first thing that caught my eye – is already a favourite.)

Well done, you!


I was immediately drawn to the Astoria pattern. SO CUTE! But in looking at the fabric requirements, is there something off with the size chart? I would be somewhere between an XL and 2X but in ready to wear I am a size 8=10. And the finished garment measurements show 10 to 15 inches of ease in the bust in the larger sizes. Is this right??


We accidentally uploaded the wrong size chart image there! We’re uploading the real ones now. They’re correct on the pattern itself when you download it, it was just the images on the site. :)


Another winner! I am already looking forward to the May issue, because I know it will be awesome. Each issue is informative and inspiring.

Loved the article by Jenny! I had the same/opposite problem for so many years – I was thin, but tall and quite long-waisted so that nothing fit and I always felt like something was wrong with me, why couldn’t I walk into a short and have something just plain FIT! Clothing was never just comfortable. Sewing allows me to do just that – for me and my daughter. I can make a T-shirt for her that doesn’t ride way up her torso all the time, and pants that actually reach her ankles.

I also enjoyed the article about the sheer fabrics and layering them. Maybe I’ll be adventurous and try this now that I have such an great resource on HOW to do it and have it look good also.


Oh, this is a truly glorious issue! I’m off to dive in now!


I love Seamwork so much – it’s like Christmas morning when it arrives in my inbox! I can’t wait to make the Astoria, it’s so beautiful! I don’t know quite how you do it, but there’s some magic in your knit patterns, the sleeves, and in particular the shoulders just fit so beautifully. You somehow manage to make knit patterns look so crisp and tailored. I’m definitely going to adapt the Astoria into a cute cardigan too. As for the Bristol skirt – I see piping in my future for those front seams! :)


I was thinking it would make a great cardigan too! But I don’t know how to do it, any tips please? How would you finish the edges? Never done this before! Thanks


Hi Zoe! I’ve never done it before either! :) I have made the Muse Jenna cardigan though, and I was just going to base the construction on that. Cut the front piece as two halves with a seam allowance. Do the same with the neck and waist bands. Then cut bands for the placket (and use interfacing, since there will be buttonholes). I don’t actually like the exposed seams on the inside of the cardigan, so depending on the weight of the fabric I was thinking I might try a bound or french seam, especially for the placket. I might even attempt a shoulder yoke based on last month’s Seamwork tutorial!


Wow! My favorite issue to date! So interesting! And I love the Astoria :D Thank you!


Wow is right! I’ve been hemming (ha!) and haaing! about subscribing, but this issue definitely nailed it. It’s a fantastic read online, but it’s those 1 and 3 hr patterns that make you want to experience that month’s topic literally hands-on. Love how your mag is evolving. Great job again, Coletterie TEAM!


The article by Heather was excellent! I thought I was the only one that felt that way. I get super excited about sewing something, but then get bummed out during the fabric shopping part of it. I can never find what I’m looking for. I know Heather isn’t the only one thinking of the things she brought up in her article and I want to find and connect with others having this conversation.


I think so many people feel that way, especially those without access to great local, independent fabric stores.


Great looking issue, love the florals. Am looking forward to making both patterns. Would the sweater also work with short sleeves in a lighter knit to make a T shirt? Thank you for including fabric swatches available in the UK too.


I’m not sure why not, although the fit might be different, especially around the waist, since thicker knits generally tend to be more stable. I haven’t tried it, so it’s hard to say!


What great timing! Just searching through my skirt patterns. Now I have one. Perfect! Love all the issues. Wonderful treat every month.


Thank you.
First I tought the patterns are supercute, but not for me, then I read Rushmores article.
Wow, I will make them. You people, are the best.


That’s so sweet! I bet Jenny will be happy to hear that. :)


I love this issue. In many ways, Seamwork just keeps getting better. Thanks! One thing I wanted to ask about though, in the Guide to Portland was it an oversight that Rose City Textiles (RTC) wasn’t mentioned? They offer a huge selection of technical fabrics including breathable water repellent options.


Good point, I’d love to do a whole article featuring them sometime. Not only do they have hard-to-find fabrics, they are really nice people to boot.


If you’re looking for a Portland writer to pay them a visit, let me know if there’s anything you’d like the feature to cover and I can see if my writing skills would be up to the task :).


Great article on Portland! Does anyone have an idea on how much time/days should be devoted to your itinerary? I’d love to plan my vacation around that road trip.


To do all of it, I’d suggest at least 3-4 days.

Portland does not have many tourist attractions or sites, but the food is superb and the fabric shopping excellent! If you are into hiking and nature, give yourself more time because there are so many wonderful trails nearby.


Love getting Seamwork each month! I especially appreciate the diversity of models – all gorgeous women w/out looking the same!

I have to confess that I don’t get the sloper alteration articles by Devon. I read them, but am not sure what I would do with the modified block? Maybe a photo of a garment made using the individual modifications would help – so we can see how a shoulder yoke differs from same basic garment with a french dart? Pattern modifications are still something I’m learning…


Gorgeous! I love that these two patterns pair so nicely together, and they both seem eminently wearable. Such a beautiful publication that you and your team have put together!

Jet Set Sewing

I saw Jenny’s article on her blog, and have to say that a lot boomers feel the same way about retail clothing…it doesn’t fit right anymore, or it’s boxy and dowdy, so we feel marginalized (even though women our age have the most disposable income in the U.S.). Sewing can really empowering as you get older because well-fitting, classy clothes really help you stay visible and relevant.
Love the cropped top pattern; it would work on just about anyone, even a “woman of a certain age.”


Love this issue, but I’m confused about using Liberty fabrics for the Bristol. The pattern states 60″ fabrics, but Liberty lawn is only 54″. Do you have a different weave of Liberty in mind?


54″ will work as well. Fabric widths vary, some are 54″, some are 57″, some are 60″ or more, but we design all our patterns to fit that range of widths.



I just made the Bristol skirt and when attaching the waistband it seemed like the circumference of the skirt is a few inches larger than that of the waistband. I double checked my pattern tracing and all looks OK. Am I missing something? I made a size 6 if that matters.

Thank you!



Hi Kelly! Is it possible the waistband stretched while handling? I just measured the pattern and, using 5/8 inch seam allowance, it looks to me like the pieces walk precisely together along the seam lines.

If you don’t think that’s the issue, maybe use our contact form to email us and we can try to sort out if there’s something we’re missing. Right now, I’m seeing that both seamlines measure 23.1 inches on the half.


Thank you! I unpicked the waistband and my pieces measured 23″ too. I did a better job of matching notches and portioning off sections and stretching the waistband REALLY well and it all worked out. I think I had too much slack In the waistband when sewing it to the skirt the first time. Thanks so much! Love the pattern and can’t wait to make the Astoria to go with it!


Ah, that tricky elastic! ;) Glad you got it figured out!


The issue looks great. Can you tell me more about the floral dress that is pictured with the black sheer overlay? Is that one of your patterns? So pretty :) Thanks!


Oh I see. It is a vintage pattern. Those dresses have inspired me. Thanks for sharing.

Marsha Nikooforsat


Just downloaded my copy of Seamwork for this issue and the format is not like my others. My Adobe is updated and I have checked my view. I am not sure why but I am getting two pages on one screen. For example pages 2, 3, and 4 are all on one page. How can I restore it back to the format of my other three issues?


I love this issue! I stumble on to this online magazine and fell in love with it. I am addicted to sewing so this is so right for me. I have told all my sewing buddie about it! Has anyone made the skirt and shirt yet from the April issue? If so, pics please!

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