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  This site is no longer being updated so head over to Seamwork to get all the latest patterns, tutorials, video classes, and more.


This week: Rosy


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This site is no longer being updated so head over to Seamwork to get all the latest patterns, tutorials, video classes, and more.

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Sometimes Caitlin and I will get to work and find we match each other. Both of us have an affinity for gingham, navy, stripes, and chambray, which can lead to some embarassingly matchy-matchy days.

But I don’t think I’ve ever seen Caitlin match the project she was sewing quite this well.

I’m excited to say that I approved all the proofs for the two new Fall patterns this week! Above are the proofs for the pattern sheets, which were the last pieces in need of approval. In a few weeks, we’ll have everything ready for binding, gluing, assembly, and finally… finally… shipment in September!

In the meantime, I’m starting to sketch ideas for Spring. Does anyone have any thoughts? I always lean toward dresses for Spring because that’s what I like to wear in warm weather

Have a fantastic weekend, everyone. Here are some links Casey put together for us to peruse:

  • Incorporating a back neckline dart can create a better fit in some cases.
  • Altered a pattern that throws off the grainline? Here are some thoughts on what to do.
  • A cute, self-drafted peplum pencil skirt tutorial.
  • Some darling inspirations from a 1940s booklet on gingham and cross stich embroidery.
  • If you have never bought a sewing machine before, some things to consider before your purchase.
  • Pins and pinning basics from Susan Khalje.
  • Darts in the way of your perfect design (or obscuring an oversized print)? Check out how to remove them altogether.
  • Create a handy guide for serger thread tension, so it’ll never be a mystery which tension dial to adjust again!
  • A quick overview on adjusting a fitted pencil skirt to double box pleats.
  • End this summer (or celebrate it’s coming) with a yummy, homemade rootbeer. (Perfect for sipping with sewing!)

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 66


Please post where you got those lovely shoes from! :)


ditto on the shoes. LOVE


Thanks, ladies! I got the shoes here.


I could really use a Colette lesson in sewing with knits, so…something fun and stylish in a knit with your spot-on instructions would be so appreciated.


A cute blazer would be GREAT! More of a fall request for next year, I guess… something that could be casual over a dress or with pants, or dressed up for work!
Can’t wait for the new patterns! :)


Yes, a feminine blazer – maybe a rounded collar- would be lovely.


I would also love a blazer pattern! I like the round collar idea, or other styles but I would really love one with a collar. I’m with Gillian, I would love something versatile that can be worn with a dress, cigarette pants, shorts, skirt, jeans, etc…

Claire (aka Seemane)

I vote blazer too – how about a soft, easy fit to wear stable knit (double-knit) blazer?
Single-breasted, with 2 lengths (cropped on the waist/top of hips) – 2 longer with a slight peplum-ish (i.e. not gathered at the waist seam, … more like a very smooth short a-line/circle-skirt panel- extension from bottom of cropped version) – that the hem hits top of thigh (to cover the love-handle area LOL!)? :)


I would love a retro style 3/4 sleeve light jacket with a trim to put on over a dress for when the afternoon get cooler. Or a short swing coat. I adore jackets they are the perfect transeasonal item.
3/4 pants, clam diggers with a button-up collared shirt with a tie waist. Now that would be cute!!! Everyone loves a cotton shirt on a hot summer’s day…


Thank you so much for the pingback!!! You guys rock :)


A lovely, lightweight robe pattern. Just in time for spring and summer and vacation!

Adri H

For spring, how about a DIY panel or gore skirt tutorial. For patterns, how about a linen series… sleeveless top w/peplum option and w/cap sleeve option, a jacket/blazer, a pair of loose trousers w/different tie options (ribbon, cinch, button fly), a blouse w/pin-tuck detailing?


Second on the sleeveless top with peplum!


How about a shirtdress? I’m not sure if you consider the style a spring/summer one or not but it’s one of my favorite silhouettes. I could be especially handy if you include 3 sleeve options. I have a shirtdress pattern waiting to cut up that may be a contender but I have thus far come up empty in RTW & patterns. I think you might just be able to make the “perfect” pattern:).


I second the shirt dress idea with different sleeve choices. I could wear one of those every day, and there isn’t a really good pattern on the market from an indie designer.


I love a cardigan or light jacket in spring – you want to get rid of that heavy winter jacket but it’s not warm enough to go without one altogether; I think a Colette piece to complement those pretty dresses would be just lovely! :)


I love the idea of a shirtdress and a light swing coat for spring!


I’m with some of the others on here that a lightweight jacket would be nice. I don’t know how comfortable you are with drafting for knits (for mass production), but I would adore a cardigan pattern for knits. Adore. I think it would be one of those staple patterns that people would make over and over. I know I would.


This might be way out of the scope of your pattern designs, but a beginning-to-intermediate level dress with a bodice that’s easy to re-draft–or even that comes in different cup sizes–would be a real gift for me. I’ve made Peony twice, altering the bodice to fit my cup size (I have a small ribcage and a large cup size), and the second one was the first dress I’ve made that I’m truly, 100% happy with. The pattern is so beautifully written and easy to follow, and there are plenty of books or tutorials showing one how to alter that type of bodice.

But some of your other dresses have such lovely, clever bodice constructions that I wouldn’t even begin to know how to alter them, but I also know that the proportions won’t flatter me (even though I SO appreciate your designing for a C rather than a B cup!), so I haven’t dared try them. (Hazel and Chantilly come to mind.)

Hm…As I write this, it occurs to me that maybe this is more a request for a tutorial/series of tutorials on altering patterns?


Also, I second the knit suggestion. I have been wanting to venture into knit fabrics, and would love to see/make a knit top in Colette’s style. (I find most of the larger commercial patterns for tops either too “here one minute, gone the next” trendy or just…uninspiring.)


I definitely second the cardigan pattern! It would be a great addition to all of the previous spring releases.

I love dresses – especially your patterns, but I am also realizing i have far too many and not enough seperates. I would love to see a few more seperates maybe a pencil skirt and a cute spring blouse pattern with the Colette spin.


Love the knit suggestion. I tend to go for blouses that can be worn with jeans now and under blazers/sweaters in the fall. Separates would be great. Selfishly, I would love a skirt pattern that looks good lower on the hips (about the high hip level?). I’m so high waisted that anything with a defined waist band looks super goofy to tuck in shirts. I’m sure there are ways to alter the current patterns – I’m a beginner and am intimidated by the thought. Can’t wait to see the new patterns!


I am the same way with skirts–I love the look of Ginger, but I like skirts to sit a little more on my hips, usually. And I would love to see the Colette version of more classic (or even not-classic) skirts.


All of the above! Everyone has great suggestions! I just wanted to pop in and say YOU GUYS ARE ADORABLE with all your rosey-ness and creativity and cute shoes and Caitlin’s blue fingernails earlier this week. and aaaargh! so much talent and hard work! Love it! Love it all. (don’t worry – not a stalker – just a fan. Caitlin can vouch for me.) :o)


I love the darling sundresses you have put out this past spring and I’m going to try the shorts next year. But I would like a cute sundress that has sleeves. Maybe that doesn’t make it a sundress anymore! In any case, I never go sleeveless. By the way, thank you for your website suggestions on Fridays! I love them and I learn so much!


For a sundress with sleeves, you might try Colette’s Peony pattern. I’ve made it twice and am utterly in love with it, and it works really well in a lightweight fabric. Plus it’s really easy to alter (neckline, bust darts, length, sleeve length, etc.).


I love Adri’s idea of a blouse with a peplum! What about a cute little bolero to throw over a dress?

So do we get to see the new fall patterns soon? So exciting!


I’d love to see a variation on the Peony. Pleats in place of the gathers and perhaps a scoop or v-neck would be super cute, with a sleeveless option.
Can’t wait to see the new fall patterns!


Love all the above suggestions esp the blazer! In Scotland we don’t have many days where you can go without a jacket so a blazer would do me all summer too. And/or a 60’s style sleeveless blouse/shell top. Something to wear with Capri/cigarette pants, or a pencil skirt. Also love the idea suggested above of something with pleats. Keep up the good work. Excited to see what the autumn collection brings! X


I would love to see some more lingerie! or knits- it’s always hard to find cute knit patterns. A wide leg pant- for linen or gauze would also be very nice- perhaps they could also have an option to be turned into high waisted palazzo shorts (I am itching for a pattern for those- looks like a skirt, but comfort of a pant!)

And seriously- where did you get those shoes!?


I would love to see a knit dress from you guys! However, I am also looking for a nice vintage (but modern) inspired blazer and a shirt dress would be lovely. Also, my four year old said that she would love to see you guys do something for her size ;) she is a huge fashionista and loves all of your patterns.


The serger video is good…but honestly fiddling around with the serger is best thing you can do. Thread it and rethread it until you are cursing or reaching for a Guinness in the fridge (as I do)….The way I was taught to understand the different threads (courtesy of Mac Berg at Vogue Fabrics): the needles threads are the librarians, they don’t do too much. In other words, you won’t change the tension much on these…Ruby (left looper) is the star of the show. Raoul (right) is always compensating for Ruby. It really does help to think of your threads of people….once you start serging a lot, scary to say, those threads **really** are people. Yipes!


I’d love to see a pattern that is vintage inspired in a knit fabric. I’ve been learning how to sew with knits lately and I love them, but a lot of the knit patterns out there are very modern looking.


A shirtdress would be so lovely — they can be such year-round staples (no sleeves, short sleeves, long sleeves) and can flatter so many body styles.


Great matching, Caitlin!! I am so excited about the new fall patterns and I cannot wait to see what brilliance you’ve come up with.

I’d love to see a pattern for capris – something with button details or the like. I normally gravitate toward dresses and skirts, but a good capri pattern is something I’ve been looking for. A jersey wrap dress would be great, too.


Oh, yes, a dress. love dresses, the more the better! – and a jacket :). I’d love a jacket – something cropped and shapely and with a cute collar. Or maybe a jacket and a skirt that could make up a vintagey sort of suit – I’d love to be able to make a suite with Colette details!
I finally got into sewing with knits this year, and like the no iron bit:). But I was really disappointed when a dress I made with a big 4 pattern totally didn’t work. The fabrics specified were jersey AND two way knits…. which should have warned me something was off, as the two don’t work for the same pattern – and lo and behold, the two way stretch viscose I used was way too stretchy – whole darn thing was way too long in the bodice, the midriff, everything. I lean towards two way stretch as decent jersey knits – no elasteane or a small amount – seem to be a little hard to find. Even the Liberty jerseys I’ve bought have been mainly two way stretch! (Lucky I didn’t use any of them for the aforementioned pattern!) So my suggestion is for a knit dress which uses two way stretch, if any. But I have to be honest – I don’t associate Colette with knit patterns. I like the way you design clothes which have details you can’t really do in knits. And which have vintage style, which have lots of lovely sewerly details, and which are quite unique:)


I meant a suit!
But seriously, you guys – aprons and tote bags – Colette?


Dresses just scream spring. I think a lovely, full-skirted 1950s shirtwaist dress would be just the thing for warmer days.


I second (or third) lots of these ideas! I think you guys would make a gorgeous shirt dress, and a blazer/ light jacket of some sort would be so useful. I kind of like separates for spring though- the weather can still be so changeable and I think separates can be a bit more versatile.

I’d also love to see some patterns with a few more technical details, maybe a notched collar, placket or fly with a zipper or buttons.

But seriously, we all know that whatever you design, we’re gonna love it, as we always do :) Can’t wait to see your new patterns!!


Hi, Ideas for Spring –

1) A matching/co-ordinating knee length, light weight coat and sleeve-less or short sleeved dress, both with pockets
2) A jacket, with pockets
3) Trousers, various lengths, with pockets,
4) A bag – shoppers, totes, clutch – with pockets
5) Aprons – full, half versions, with pockets
6) Wrap skirts, with pockets
7) Tunic tops, with – you’ve guessed it, pockets
8) Shirt dresses, various lengths, with guess what!
9) Shorts, knee length, with you know what!
10) More variants on the super sorbetto (top) pattern, with pockets

In case you were wondering, yes I like clothes with pockets!

The idea of the above – for everyone and anyone to create a capsule wardrobe, where you can mix and match items, ie team knee length shorts with a tunic top, or a wrap skirt with a sorbetto top. Using different types of fabric would create clothing for all 4 seasons. Just an idea, hope it helps.

Oh and please don’t forget about the pockets! :D

nothy lane

I ;d like a gored skirt for spring but what I really need is something to wear over my spring dresses, spring is cold, warm and cold again here.


Bolero jacket and wrap around skirt for me please!


I love the matchy-matchiness! Makes for a beautiful photo. : )


Some sort of tank pattern with a lot of cute details would be great. Bonus points if it can come in multiple lengths (top, tunic, dress)


I agree with those suggesting patterns for knits, like vintage-inspired knit tops and maybe cardigans. I would LOOOOVE that.

I also LOVE this blog, you are great and very inspiring! Thanks!

Emily Hutchinson

My thoughts about your Spring pattern are toward a biking savvy dress or skirt. Bottom appropriate for hoping on bike without concern with a bodice appropriate for hand bar leaning. My hazel is awesome but not biking awesome :)


Definitely interested in a Blazer and Shirtdress as many have added above. Also, I’d love some full skirted dresses – I’m altering my next Crepe to have a fuller circle skirt, but a 1950s style dress with a big skirt and not sleeveless (I’m in the UK – we need sleeves) would be amazing.

Most of all, keep up the good work, I’m delighted with every pattern I’ve used so far!


Caitlin, I adore the combo of brown and pink. Here I was thinking the only colour I could wear with brown was white!
As for spring, I’d love to see a few separates. That section of my wardrobe is sad, so some sweet tops and skirts would be great! Pleats are a bonus too :)


will the new patterns be available in pdf format too?


I love your work and appreciate your continued requests for feedback on style and design. I am a fan but need to tweak the patterns to get a look which is more suited to my age (58). It would be wonderful to see a dress or top pattern with a sophisticated 60s vibe. Perhaps a sheath dress with interesting seaming. I’ll continue my support in any case :-)


I’d love a 60s style suit, something with some tailoring details, but not too overwhelming.


I would love to see a men’s vest pattern! I have loved everything I have made and I think my husband wishes that I would make him something every now and then :). Thanks!

Kathi sorensen

Remember the 60’s? Well, a lot of American designers do. On a trip to a very upscale shopping mall in Silicon Valley, I noticed that most of the designer shops had A-line sundresses in bright prints featured in their windows. I thought it would be simple to find a similar pattern as I had made them myself in the 60’s. No such luck- all I could find were either tight sheath styles or the neck line was wrong- too high. I am not talented enough to do a “Frankenpattern” and not rich enough to bid on a vintage pattern- if I could find one in my size. I bet there are others who would appreciate finding just a simple classic as the scoop necked A- line dress.


Kathi – try Etsy and ebay – you may be pleasantly surprised at the the prices- anything after the 50s is usually very well priced – it’s 50s down which are pricey.


I would love a pattern for just below the knee capris!
I second the idea of a blazer.
Vintage feel is always good.

I think that’s all for now :)


I totally agree that a spring “topper” would be awesome. I need more lightweight toppers.

I live in Texas where spring=fall=summer (i.e., it hits 90 for the first time in March or April and stay there until late October at least), BUT the indoors is freezing so sleeveless is not always an option, especially for work.

So my suggestion for spring is a mini wardrobe:

A shirt dress (w/ sleeve options – short, long, or sleeveless, maybe with a cuff detail?)
A cardigan with neck/collar options (round, v-neck, maybe a Peter Pan or lace collar that could be added)
A blazer with sleeve, lining, or pocket options – personally I prefer unlined with 3/4 length sleeves, but I know others might not
A skirt (love the gored or full skirt w/ pockets idea) that could make a suit with the blazer/jacket. Just make it more of a trumpet of full circle skirt than a dirndle – my middle doesn’t need an extra fabric!
A peplum blouse (maybe w/ a 40s flavor, I see a dark color w/ tiny white dots, lol) with some kind of unusual feature (back button, shoulder button, or keyhole or something other than regualr button up the front) – please include sleeves, but an option for those who like sleeveless is OK

What would be really cute – if the blazer/jacket was cropped (or bolero-ish) and looked good with the peplum from the peplum blouse peeking out! Layered over the skirt. You could also show the “suit” (or skirt and cardigan) with a Sorbetto or a Violet!


Like so many other commenters, I would love a knit top – something more interesting than a plain t-shirt (empire waist? puff sleeve? opportunity for a contrast yoke? interesting options for embellishments?), but keeping the easy wearability. I have a couple of Peter Pan collar t-shirts with tucking on the ‘bib’ area that I am wearing to bits, because they’re so pretty and so comfortable at the same time. Most knit tops that you can get patterns for are either boring (lacking interesting details) or have a very limited range of details (cowl necks! I hate cowl necks, and they turn up on three out of four knit patterns, it seems!).

And more generally, I am all about separates. Particularly things that use small lengths of fabric!


I agree with the many above suggestions for a shirtdress. It is not the easiest thing to make, but that is why it would be especially nice to buy it from someone we know would write clear directions and test the garment. Sleeves with a cuff would be very nice. Several people recommended a blazer. I don’t wear a blazer, just because I’m a student and no one around me wears a blazer, but I do wear a cotton shirt during the summer over whatever I am wearing to keep my arms from getting more sun. I thought I had seen a pattern somewhere on the web that was for a top that could be made either as a shirt or jacket. I really liked it because that is my ideal top. Something a little more flattering than just putting an unbuttoned collar shirt over everything. I was wondering if I could just take any jacket pattern I like and just make it out of cotton gause. Would it work? I worry that there would be things I would need to alter to make it work and I just don’t have the time or experience to figure that out. If you took that into consideration if you do make a blazer type garment I would love you for it. So far as a cartigan, I wore one a couple of summers ago and my MIL asked me why I was wearing a sweater. So I stopped, looking like you are wearing a sweater in Texas 100 degree summers is not a good look. Lots of sun concious people wear light woven cotton longsleeves though. I look forward to hearing what you decide to do.


I’m not orignal – but a swing jacket would make my heart sing. They are incredibly flattering if you are big busted (which most jackets aren’t) and one would go beautifully with your skirts and skinny pants patterns. I seem to be able to buy a;line/swing coats, but bever anything a bit shorter for spring. Also if you are going to do more dresses or tops- could we have one with sleeves – some of us can’t wear sleevless to work (much as we would like to).

Lisa S.

I second the shirtdress idea! And I would love to have a pattern for a gorgeous pencil skirt that could made using wool. All of the currently available pencil skirt patterns I’ve tried have fallen short.


I’d love a shirtdress (or even a shirtwaist dress!) and lingerie patterns, especially for slips and other sweet, practical underthings.


Probably a little late, but I would really love to see a dress with a shape like that lovely light blue shift dress you made from a vintage pattern.


I love the idea of a blazer and a shirtdress – two things on my sewing wishlist that I’m going to have to work my way up to, skill wise.

I’d also love to see an expanded size range. I know there are really complicated logistics around this, especially for a small company – and I’d like to thanks you so, so much for going as high as you do. I’m sized out of most patterns, and don’t even bother clicking through to most indie designers because they will be miles away from fitting me. But I have plenty of larger friends who would also love to be able to sew your patterns without redrafting and fiddling. Again, I know there are reasons that you can’t offer that right now, but I thought I’d put in the good word, and then maybe one day…


I totally get this, and would love to offer it one day.


I second the wrap dress idea. I feel like there are some good shirtdresses out there already, and though I’m sure Colette would make one even nicer, I find wrap dresses so flattering, versatile and elegant.


Lots of ideas I like have already been mentioned (I am clearly late to this party), but I would like to second the shirtdress. Maybe something that can have a full skirted 50s-ish look but also a straight-ish skirt variation? I had been hoping to make something like that (with the straight ish or A line ish skirt) for summer-into-fall out of chambray (in my head it has long or 3/4 sleeves with a little tab and button for rolling up… sigh) but haven’t found a pattern I like enough to mess with it so far.

Also! Wide-leggedy-pants! I’m thinking swingy pants that would Katherine Hepburn swoon. There is probably no one other than you I would trust with drafting such pants.

Thanks for all the awesomeness!

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