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Behind the scenes at our photo shoot (spoiler: I get a bloody nose)


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This photo shoot was a dream come true.

For at least a couple years, I’d had a dream of doing a photo shoot in Palm Springs. Not only do I love going there, but it’s the perfect setting when you need to feel like summer in the middle of a soggy and cold Portland winter.

So this February, the whole team packet our bags and went on a workcation.


We stayed (and shot) at the beautiful Demimonde, a mid-century home you can rent for very reasonable rates. It was absolutely perfect. I felt like I was in a 60s California dream world.


I tend to really prepare for photo shoots, but this one was planned to a tee. Above is the call sheet I used for planning, so I could track the shots we needed, the looks we wanted to do, the times the girls needed to get to hair/makeup, all that fun logistical stuff.



Kristen managed the styling, which involves planning and arranging the looks, keeping the clothes looking neat, and generally making sure nothing is getting weirdly bunched up or wrinkled in photos. It’s amazing what you can miss when you’re behind the lens, so it’s vital to have extra eyes and hands.






Oh, and did I mention my bloody nose?


You know how these mid-century homes always have gorgeous floor-to-ceiling glass doors?

When they’re kept clean, you can’t always tell at a glance if they’re open or closed. Apparently, I thought it was open. I was mistaken.

I walked right into the glass door and smacked my nose pretty hard. I actually thought I’d knocked a tooth loose at first because of the blood, but it turned out I’d only bitten my lip. So I spent the rest of the shoot with a bandage on my face.



We actually shot another batch of photos for our next pattern while we were here too! Those will be under wraps for the time being, but you’ll see more from these lovely ladies soon.


image credits:

Models: Kassidy Marley, Briana Harrington
Hair/Makeup: Jen Plus Colour
Styling: Kristen Blackmore
Location: Demimonde Palm Springs

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 31

Those glass doors! Had the same happen at a restaurant, no blood but an awful ringing noise that grabbed everybodys attention. So much detail in the works of a photo shoot.


What a great post. I love to see behind the scenes images of how its all done. This gives the book and the patterns a real-person perspective which adds a lovely “humanness” to them. And all of you are so vibrant. You all made this a great place to be for a photo shoot.


I enjoyed the post. Beautiful photos. Sorry about the broken nose–ouch!

And another pattern is coming….!


Love seeing these photos, Sarai. I can sympathize with you on the nose injury. I’ve received many wounds while trying to get the perfect shot.


I love these photos! And the Demimonde! How cool is that? I lived in California in the 70s and so much of it still looked like that. For a kid coming from the northeast where Ethan Allen furniture and chintz and checks ruled the roosts, it was a wonderful discovery.

I can’t tell you how much I love these patterns and so look forward to the next one. I hope we don’t have to wait too long.

Also: I don’t know one person who hasn’t walked into a glass door, including very truly yours…..


The model you used for the plus sized versions? LOVE. HER. Just lover her to bits. She did a great job, I hope you show her again.


Love this post. Thanks for a behind-the-scenes look. You all really put a lot of work into the photos – and it shows!


I love the dress you are wearing!


I *thought* that was a Liberty print — thanks for the link, it was nice seeing it closer up. Love it!


Oh please tell me what pattern the dress you have on is! I have that same LOL fabric in my stash and have been hunting for the perfect pattern for it. I was leary about neckline gathers but I love how this looks on you.


I wish I’d written which pattern it was in my original post! If I figure it out, I’ll let you know, but it was a vintage pattern from the 1960s.

Amy Peck

The pattern is McCalls 8750. There are some available on Ebay! I ordered one for myself because I love the dress you made with it Sarai!


Oh, thanks for figuring that one out!


LOVE your behind the scenes posts and would really like to hear more about your photoshoots and how you plan them, what you take along, and what kind of shots you want to get etc…very interesting stuff for us bloggers! Hehe…been there done that with the glass door. I ran face first into a glass door *in my own home*, however casualties also included a fishbowl wine glass, several oz. of a beautiful shiraz and my carpet :P


Wow, that sounds pretty terrible!

Let me think about the photo shoot planning stuff. Each one is so different, it’s sometimes hard to make sense of the process after the fact. But there is definitely a lot to say there, and I’ve learned a lot over the years.


Oh, your poor nose, Sarai!! I love the models you used for this shoot. Moneta is calling my name….


Totally relate to the nose incident… Had one similar encounter a few years back with a sliding glass door that did not slide… Ended up with a broken nose and lip and a knee the colour of an eggplant ;-)

Can’t wait to see photos from the next pattern!


That sounds much worse! Is it bad that all these stories of injuries worse than mine make me feel better? I sympathize, that’s for sure.

sewing princess

Love our photo shoots! And the models are just great!

Katrina Blanchalle

Right now I have a purple nose, broken tooth, and huge hole in my lip, so I literally feel your pain! I can’t blame a glass door though, because I fell flat on my face (people actually do that!) while simply walking around the neighborhood.
Your photos came out so beautifully, we would never have known you were suffering!

P.s. your new book just arrived and I am giddy with excitement! I’m going to make a big glass of iced tea, sit on the patio, and immerse myself in Sewing with Knits!


Oh no! That sounds horrible and painful.

Ever since someone told me about breaking her tooth while walking with her hands in her pockets (so she couldn’t catch her fall), I’ve been fearful of falling on my face.

Enjoy the book!

Virginia Mirowski

I love you behind the scenes post! And I am anxiously awaiting my bundle to arrive!

When I was a kid (in the 70’s) I was playing at a friend’s house (which they were trying to sell so the sliding glass door was really clean). My friend was outside and called to me to come outside. Did I run into the door? No, I ran THROUGH it! Glass shattering everywhere! My friend’s mom ran to me since I was screaming and grabbing my forehead.
Forty stitches to my forehead, my friend’s mom pantsuit ruined from the bloody forehead but they did sell the house!


Oh my gosh, I literally gasped when I read this! Horrors!

Alice Elliot

Those glass doors are a menace! At least many now are made of better stuff than they used to be. I knew a gal many years ago who lost the tip of her nose that way!!! And the cheaper houses may still use glass that shatters like that.
I always stick pretty plastic film decorations at several eye levels on glass doors if I have them. Makes it less likely that anyone will run through!
And the photo shoot looks like a joy.


Oh my, I am thoroughly squicked now. Eep!


Oh what a fun insiders’ peek! :) It’s so cool to see the photos from other angles and from the other side of the lens – thanks for sharing! :) I’ve done that with the glass doors too, only I was running full tilt at the time… thank goodness I just bounced off and fell backwards rather than going straight through haha – must’ve been like watching a scene from a cartoon, from the outside! ^__^


Ahh, such a great idea to do intensive work in a setting that has a relaxing vibe. I’ve never been to Palm Springs, but it definitely looks like a movie! Beautiful, beautiful photos.


Great behind the scenes look at the photo shoot!
I love the dress you have on — is that Laura -sleeves?
Let me know.


Sorry, meant to say is that Laura – sleeveless?


It’s a vintage pattern from the 60s. Someone identified it as McCalls 8750, which I think is correct. Laurel would be a good substitute, but it doesn’t have the neck gathers. This one has a high neck too (almost too high, it chokes me a bit sometimes).

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