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What We Made Volume 5


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This site is no longer being updated so head over to Seamwork to get all the latest patterns, tutorials, video classes, and more.

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This time of year it can be hard to sneak in some selfish sewing. This month at Colette HQ we sewed wardrobe staples perfect for our winter travels.

Sarai made an amazing coat, Taylor made a cozy flannel pull-over blouse, and Kris made a classic pair of Black Moji pants.






Who: Sarai
Role: Founder, cat herder
Pattern: Vintage 1950s Simplicity 3451
Fabric: Pendleton wool, lined in burgundy silk, interlined in flannel.

What was your original inspiration for this project? How did it come to be?
Originally, I was planning to make a completely different coat from the 1960s, which had a very simple Audrey Hepburn vibe. I also originally wanted a dark tartan fabric in blues and greens, something similar to a blackwatch plaid.

But when I came across this cream and grey checked wool at the Pendleton outlet, I completely changed my mind.

Then I got back to my cutting table, opened the vintage pattern envelope… and discovered that 90% of the pattern pieces were missing. UGH.

Instead, I dug out this little cropped swing jacket pattern from the 50s. In the end, it’s nothing at all like my original plan, but I love it.

How do you plan to wear it?
It’s quite voluminous, so I think it’ll look good with slim pants, sheaths, pencil skirts, and fitted knit dresses. That’s mostly what I wear already. Since the sleeves are a bit cropped, I may knit some long gloves to cover my wrists.

What did you learn?
I was reminded just how confusing vintage pattern instructions can be. Seriously, some of these instructions made no sense, particularly with regard to the lining. I mainly used the traditional and modified tailoring techniques I like best and I ended up with a lovely bagged lining.

I learned to always buy way more plaid fabric than you think you’ll need. With cut-on sleeves, the pattern pieces for this coat were very large, and matching the plaids ate up a lot of yardage!

What are you most proud of?
I love that I took the time to add double welt pockets and do the bound buttonholes. I’m also happy with all the matching plaids.



Who: Taylor
Role: Graphic Designer
Pattern: Schnittchen’s Kim Shirt
Fabric: Robert Kauffman Flannel (yes, again)

What was your original inspiration for this project? How did it come to be?
I’m not really sure who sent me the link to Schnittchen, but I really fell in love with their clean lines and simple garments. I saw their free pattern download, The Shirt Kim (Kim Shirt?…the translation may be off) and thought it’d be a fun one to try for a nice comfy top.

How do you plan to wear it?
I plan on wearing this with jeans and a cardigan all freaking winter. I’ve already worn it three times in a week.

What did you learn?
I learned that my body type isn’t always going to fit a pattern, and that’s totally okay! After I finished it and tried it on, it was quite tight and definitely not how I wanted it to fit. So, I decided to seam rip the side seams and add two side panels that start at the shirt sleeve and flare out towards my hips to give it a more loose fitting look.

What are you most proud of?
That I troubleshot my problem and ended up with a shirt I will seriously make over and over again.



Who: Kris
Role: Designer
Pattern: Moji
Fabric: Rayon Twill

What was your original inspiration for this project? How did it come to be?
I took a big trip to Europe in October. I visited 3 countries and took 9 flights in two and a half weeks. I travel frequently and know exactly how to put together an outfit that’s easy and comfortable without feeling sloppy; I knew Moji was exactly what I was looking for. I finished them up a week before my flight to Lisbon and was totally comfortable during my first 48 hours of travel – back to back red eye flights in coach!

How do you plan to wear it?
They mostly get worn with a chambray button-down, a pair of brown oxfords, and a big cotton scarf.

What did you learn?
Rayon twill isn’t as wrinkle resistant as I thought it would be.

What are you most proud of?
I’m always happiest when I make practical garments that actually get worn. These pants were a life saver during my travels I’m looking forward to wearing them more in the spring once it warms up a bit!

What did you make this month?

Feel free to leave a link in the comments (even if it’s just a photo on instagram!) if you have one too. We’d love to see!

Haley Glenn   —   Editorial Director

Five years ago, Haley left the apparel industry to join the world of home sewing. She has been empowering women to sew ever since – first through years of in-person teaching at Sew LA, and now through her writing at Colette. Haley writes tutorials and articles on our blog, teaches sewalongs, and writes and edits for our magazine, Seamwork.

Comments 22


This month I made two vintage patterns: McCall’s 7552 from 1960, a sleeveless A-line dress, shaped with French darts (front and back) and bust darts with a collarless jacket from a novelty cotton printed with glow in the dark stars and finished Style 2753 from 1970 in a cotton lawn with a floral print. Apparently, the unseasonably warm temperatures in the US Midwest were getting to me!'s_7552


I’ve got no pictures of either project finished, but I have pics of the fabrics:


You can always wear your glow-in-the-dark jacket on New Year’s Eve.


I am so digging Taylor’s hacked top! I like it about a zillion times more than the original pattern, and I looove that it’s in flannel instead of something more typically breeze-y, swing-y, lightweight. <3

Jordan Slice

I echo this comment! I love Taylor’s hack of the “Shirt Kim”! I remember running across it and thinking that a looser fit at the bottom would be much more comfortable. Might just have to try adding a little swing to one myself!


How inspiring all these outfits are! I love the buttons on your jacket Sarai and the plaid is so soft in gray & white. It looks cozy and classy at the same time. I love the way you altered your top Taylor and I will definitely remember that as an option for tops in the future that are too close fitting for comfort. I love that top and can understand perfectly why you’ve already worn it 3 times in a week. Just the sort of top you reach for automatically when you’re going to be busy and want to be comfortable but presentable too! I love those Moji pants Kris for their colour and fit. I haven’t made myself a pair yet but you’ve inspired me to get to it. Always looking for a pair of pants to wear that are comfortable but not leggings! :) Brilliant and inspiring post all around. Thank you!


These posts are my favorite ones! I always like to see the faces behind Colette and how the staff interprets the patterns according to their own aesthetics! I feel like everyone’s style is so different which I love.


I finally committed to purchasing knits and wovens in solids/neutrals to make basic garments. And lately I have had a lot of free time, and have been narrowing down patterns to a few that suit me. This week I am working with winter white and purple interlock knits to make tanks, active wear, polos and a jacket, to combine with pants and a jacket made from chocolate brown corduroy. Then I will find some prints in my stash to create a few items to go with these. I also tried my hand (pun intended) at a pair of interlock knit gloves, which was a good first attempt and proved to me there is potential there. Sorry, I don’t have a support photos. Thanks for reviewing your makes, it’s a favorite blog feature!


It’s high summer in Australia, so my sewing reflects that!

I made two Akitas, one from some old green and white geometric print voile (formerly my son’s baby sling)and one from some red and cream Japanese lawn. I found the pattern a bit too shapeless for my figure, so I hacked the top half of Akita with the bottom half of Aberdeen and I’m thrilled with the result. It’s very light and cool to wear, and protects my shoulders and chest from our fierce sunlight. I plan to cut out another two Akitadeens (Aberkitas?) tonight.

I also made a dress for my daughter to wear to her school Christmas concert – Simplicity 1456 in white voile with small blue daisy flowers, and I let down her school uniform dresses ready for next year.


I love the idea of a Aberkita/ Akitadeen hack! Voile is one of my favorite fabrics.


Made a Christmas dress out of a deep teal. Wore it with a blingy necklace and heels.


Everything is beautiful!! Happy new year! and Happy Sewing!!


I made a tan, winter Wren. You can see photos on my blog


Such a beautiful and classic color choice! Love your Wren!


I love the moji pants ! Great outfit Kris. Also really like the fabric the shirt is made of, coordinates so nicely.
Is the shirt a colette pattern?


Love your jacket Sarai. Love all the details that make it special. I will keep that in mind when I make my next garment. And I love Kris’s Moji pants. My first attempt didn’t fit right. But she inspired me to try again!


Gorgeous! I’m loving the kris’ outfit.
This month I made two garments. My favorite is the sweatshirt. Ideal for every day.


Sandra, your sweatshirt is amazing. I have a quilted knit that I have been hoarding for a couple months. I think a raglan sweatshirt is in order!


Kris’s pants look nice! For this month, I sewed 3 items… my favorite is my Simplicity 8019 skirt but I also love the Pac-Man print crossover top I made


Your Pac-Man top is so perfect! That fabric is killer and the blouse looks great on you!


Took me a bit to get my photos together. But I made Phoebe on Christmas Day (Merry Christmas to me!) and also a Marianne, by Christine Haynes adaptation. I want to try the other version of Phoebe, but the buttons…oh they scare me….


I made a coat from a vintage pattern for my daughter. I agree about the weird instructions for the lining. I had to read the instructions a zillion times and they still made no sense.

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