• Transforming a dress with elastic shirring

    This pretty little sundress started out life as a baggy, shapeless 80s suburban housewife dress, but with the help of some scissors and elastic thread, I gave it a facelift. Elastic shirring is much easier to create than it appears! Some of my best fitting sundresses have panels of elastic shirring, which help the dress …

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  • Thoughts on Fashion

    So with fashion week over, I’ve read quite a few discussions online about the relevance of such a bizarre institution. In times like this, when people are concerned about their future and making a living, the lavish pretension of it all makes Fashion (with a capital F) an easy target. It all seems so showy …

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  • Gone to Print!

    {pictured: mock ups of some rejected cover designs/illustrations} I’m excited that the very last piece for the sewing patterns has officially gone to print! I am truly looking forward to holding them in my hands, because the printing and packaging is going to be just gorgeous. Stay tuned for more updates very soon!

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  • Inspiration Board

    A snippet of the very large inspiration board in the studio. We used cork tiles to cover a small wall, almost from floor to ceiling. I rotate all sorts of things in and out: images, vintage notions, flowers, etc.

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  • Doilly-embelished sweater

    I can’t seem to visit home without picking up at least one cashmere sweater from the Goodwill near my parents’ house. This one was a lovely lilac color, and I love the way it snaps up the front. I wear a lot of vintage cardigans and I have a rainbow of them in my closet, …

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  • Post-holiday thoughts

    Yesterday, I was lured to a nearby shop* when I heard about a post-christmas sale that promised an additional 40% off all previously marked down merchandise. This is a shop that already has very good deals on good quality ready to wear type stuff. I knew I’d find nice things for cheap. I spent some …

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  • Sketching

    I’ve been working on some designs for the pattern covers and falling in love with watercolor.

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  • Indie craft shows for your holiday shopping

    Check out this awesome roundup of indie craft shows at shelterrific, and if you’re not in a major metropolitan area, take a look at the extensive listings at indiecraftshows. {image above from the 2007 bust craftacular from astulabee}

  • Paper Dress by Jolis Paons

    Wow. Check out this dress made from the pages of a telephone book. I am fascinated by this sort of clothing-as-sculpture. {more images on flickr, found via notcot}

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  • 101 Reasons to Buy Handmade

    I love this. There are 101 reasons to buy handmade over at Poppytalk. It’s just so inspiring to see all the ways people value the creativity of others, isn’t it?

  • Sewing weather

    I do believe fall is the perfect time for sewing. These are some sneak peek shots we took this weekend while shooting designs for the debut collection of patterns.

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  • Tutorial: Make a silk scarf

    Fall is the perfect time of year for extra-long, colorful silk scarves that can be tied in a big floppy neck bow. This scarf would be particularly awesome with a matching skirt and little jacket or sweater. It’s made in silk charmeuse, which shows off saturated colors so well. And depending on how you tie …

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  • Tutorial: How to create a french seam

    French seams are wonderful for professional-looking, clean seams. The raw edge of fabric is essentially encased within the seam. They are perfect for light, delicate fabrics such as silk. This tutorial will produce a 5/8″ seam. If you are making this silk scarf, you can use a french seam to join the two pieces of …

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  • Tutorial: How to create a hand rolled hem

    Hand rolled hems are so lovely, and with a little practice and a few tricks, quite easy to do (if a bit time consuming). Begin by machine stitching 1/4″ from the edge along the entire edge. Press the stitching flat. Thread a hand sewing needle with matching thread. For a delicate fabric such as this …

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  • Announcing Colette Patterns

    Hi there. I’m Sarai. I began Colette Patterns because I wanted to increase the opportunities for creativity in other people’s lives through making clothing, because I wanted to share the joy of making over the joy of buying, and because I wanted to make things that would contribute to the amazing craft movement going on …

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