A sewing themed holiday season at CPHQ





We decided to get a tree for the studio this year. But what to use for decorations?

It didn’t make sense to go out and buy a lot of ornaments and things when our studio is chock full of pretty trims and doodads. So we decided to decorate a sewing-themed christmas tree with spools of vintage silk thread, giant metallic ric-rac, and fancy grosgrain ribbon tied in bows.

We made some hot spiced cider in the crockpot*, put on some holiday music, and decked the halls. Hope you all are having a simple and relaxing holiday season with your loved ones too.









Here are some interesting links for your weekend reading:

* I just throw cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, and a whole nutmeg into a pot of cider and let it go a few hours.

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 27


Ahhhh… that tree is so beauuuutiful! Can you bring one round here too please? You can bring the cider too, I don’t mind x


One dream of mind is to spend a christmas in London, so perhaps we shall have hot cider together some day!


What a great idea – love it!

elizabeth rehmer

I love this tree!! :) You are all so creative and inspiring. I adore the gold button ornament–i may need to copy that idea and or do some clusters of buttons spray painted etc… Happy Holidays!


Hi all,
I love your blog and your creations. Your taste is dreaming and your technique clean.
Anyway i can’t appreciate this post. So many trees cutted away from the ground! And most of oll they are Abies picea normandiana! One of the best species of christmas trees!
In Italy we haven’t great forests like in America so we think trees should stay at their place. We love sintetic trees and nature.
Something like fur coats… to let you understand.

gabriel ratchet

so in italy, leave the trees in their place. here in colorado, “thatch” forests can be devastated by insects and rage into fires that take homes in vast numbers, and lives. every year, my tree is “ladder fuel” from my property bordering one of our national forests, and my seasonal service commitment is serving chili at the firehouse to the christmas tree cutters taking that same ladder fuel out of the forest. we raise tens of thousands of dollars to pay for equipment and training for the local volunteer fire department.

there are no christmas tree farms where i am, because there isn’t enough water, but tree farms in other parts of the country (like sarai’s where it rains a lot) provide jobs and wildlife habitat, help control erosion, and preserve open, un-urbanized space. a well-managed woodlot is both beautiful and productive in many ways.

i love sarai’s tree, and it’s not at all the same as fur.

wishing you the best of holidays, decorated and celebrated as you like best.


I think a lot of people have environmental concerns about Christmas trees, because at first glance it does seem like it would be an environmentally destructive tradition. However, in America many people get their live trees from tree farms, which are surprisingly good for the environment because they fertilize the soil! In fact, the environmental impact of a live tree is much lower than that of an artificial tree. Our wonderful tree came from a local farm here in Oregon.

People do still cut down their own trees at national or state parks. You have to have a permit from the park, and you can’t just walk in and take any tree you want! There are a lot of rules! I trust that the park service wouldn’t issue so many permits that it would devastate the local eco-system.

gabriel ratchet

no, in fact it helps the local ecosystem. the deer prefer a relatively open under canopy, and if the forest hasn’t developed into an overgrown mono-culture of one type and size of tree, there are more shrubby type plants for browsing and bedding down. open forest burns much less readily, and when fire happens, it’s less destructive to the composition of the soil. insect infestations also don’t spread as rapidly through open forest, and the light encourages smaller plants, birds and other animals besides deer. the forest service moves the boundaries of the cutting area as needed, and regulates the trunk size. you’re not allowed to use chainsaws and they check for your permit tag when you come out of the cutting area.

cynthia gehin

I also love real Christmas trees and all trees. Just how long does it take a faker tree to decompose in a landfill?


Love the tree!!! I did make a cape, I love it and get so many compliments on it! You can see pictures and my blog post about it here:


Thanks for the mention! I love the tree decorations, how creative to use sewing notions and pretty trims! I bet it smells nice and Christmas-y in the studio now too :)


That is the best thing about christmas trees, the smell!


Thank you for the link to The Day Book’s post. I struggle with these same reservations, as I imagine a lot of fashion/ lifestyle bloggers do. When you put even a tiny sliver of yourself out there for all to see, it’s hard not to feel like you’re creating an unrealistic (or even obnoxious!) picture of your life.

But I think as long as you approach your work with transparency and a healthy sense of humor, you’ll be fine. I, for one, would love to read your home-oriented blog!


Thanks, Jacqui.

I don’t like the idea of fueling this unrealistic image many women have of each other’s lives because of blogs (myself included!). On the other hand, I am a reserved person and have a lot of trouble taking “the bad parts” public in any way. I love what you said about approaching such things with humor.

Anna McClurg

I love how you decorated your tree! How creative! We still don’t have a lot of ornaments, so I usually try to add a few homemade decorations like stringing popcorn or cranberries. Although last year I got a bunch of pretty Swedish ornaments from my mother-in-law, so that helped! I also want to say that I would love to read a more personal/home blog if you decide to start one. I know how you feel, though. I got a rather discouraging comment the other day and it is does hurt, probably because it’s coming from someone who doesn’t know me at all. But I decided to ignore it and not even give it another thought. :)

P.S. Thank you for the link! I think everyone should have a pretty warm cape. They are awesome because you can wear bulky things under it and no one would know!


What an adorable tree!

As for the cape, you should give it a shot. Capes are fab. I finally made one last month ( and I looooove it. It’s super comfy and warm. However, driving in it took a little getting used to as it can get bunched up in the seatbelt.

Your new blog idea sounds great, too!


Oh, that tree is amazing! I also LOVE your red boots :) Great idea for that button ornament…I got a bunch of gold buttons from a random thrift shop bag and don’t know what to do with them, IDEA! I also love Feuerzangenbowle at Christmas – taste and drama when you drown that sugar cone in alcohol and light her up! . Gluhwein is also great, but less fuss


Thanks! They’re Hunter wellies. I felt a bit like wonder woman there, but it was icy that day and the wellies do keep my feet dry and toasty.

Laura Lee

Beautiful photos. The last few posts have been really warm and thoughtful, thank you for sharing. I do not get out much and often have trouble with comparisons and “not good enough” thoughts when looking at how fabulous everyone’s life seemed to be via the blog lens. So, I limit my viewing and try to find balance by spending more time doing and less time comparing..but it takes mindful effort on my part! Great link and discussion.

Melinda Stanton

Oh. My. Goodness! I just discovered your website– don’t even remember how because I scrolled through pages and pages of archives! My love for sewing has been recently reawakened– I’ve been teaching school full time for 21 years– but I’m about to retire and I just made my grown daughter a complicated, beautiful dress for a Renaissance Festival. The last time I sewed there was no Internet, no blogs to instruct or share… Wow! I’m so excited to be here!


You always share the best links! Thank you for the article about comparisons, it had a lot of food for thought.


eeee thanks for linking to my constellation quilt! you should totally make one, i’m sure it will be gorgeous!! also i’ll take a mug of cider, pleasssse :]


Here’s the other one I saw and fell in love with:

Ack, I have to finish the Dresden plate quilt I’ve been “working” on for over a year now. So much hand sewing on that one, it’s going to take a century.

Heather L

Thanks for sharing the link about the comparison loop…wow, is it ever powerful! It’s one I will be sharing with a lot of friends. I find that as I do more yoga, as I have been doing recently, more of this “be at peace with where you are” feeling is sticking and it’s great to increase our awareness of this kind of thing. And cute tree…ours is thawing as I type and the smell is great (though a tad overwhelming…it’ll settle overnight I think!). :)


Meditation helps me as well. When I remember to do it. A new year’s goal!

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