Weekend Reading: Tall women, secret diets, and ugly clothes



Seamwork is out in the world now, so yay for that!

The response has been absolutely fantastic, and I am so happy for each person that has subscribed, downloaded, or just read online. I also really want to thank our contributors to the magazine. Don’t forget that you can submit your writing too.

I still feel like I have so many ideas for the future and that it will remain this tremendous work in progress. I’m really excited for that, because it means learning and trying new things. And that’s what gets me out of bed in the morning.

Sometimes when patterns or projects are released, it seems all “rah rah hooray,” but there are always glitches, issues, or stressful moments to work through. This one was no exception. As many of you noticed, almost as soon as I posted about it on the blog and hit send on an email to tens of thousands of people, the server went down.

These things do tend to happen, especially when you send a flood of traffic all at once, but this one had us freaking out a bit as we weren’t sure how long things would be down. Luckily Kenn was able to upgrade the server quickly and get everything running again.

I’m so grateful to have this fantastic little team of people: Kristen, for all her work in creating the patterns and writing some of the how-tos, Kenn for tirelessly building this site and answering so many of your emails, and Meg for keeping the shop running and shipping all of your regular orders while we were so focused on this. They are amazing people who I’m sure I don’t thank enough. Also thanks to Stu and Edgar at Sputnik Creative, the friends who helped us make Seamwork so lovely to use.

With that, here is some reading and listening for your weekend. Have a relaxing one.

Weekend Reading:

Weekend Listening:

  • Kristen and I are both enjoying the Start Up podcast, from Alex Blumberg (formerly of NPR’s Planet Money). Though it frequently makes me roll my eyes at start up culture.

For more links every week, you can follow me on Twitter, where I’m always posting interesting tidbits I find.

image above via colettepatterns on instagram

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 18


Looking forward to a cup of coffee Saturday morning and reading my Seamwork mag! Can’t wait to make that cardigan it looks so cozy!


Thanks for the shout out! I hope you receive yours soon!

Jennifer in KS

You know, the piece on being a tall woman is really a micro dialogue on a much larger issue – feeling self-conscious (or even being negatively judged) about characteristics (physical and otherwise) beyond our control – not to mention the notion that just because you think something or have an opinion you must share it with any or all. Perhaps if we took the time to consider whether our thoughts or opinions actually contribute something that furthers a given dialogue in a meaningful way there would be more progress made toward valuing others and toward achieving a peaceful world.
Thank you for the links! (And Seamwork is fabulous!)

Betty Jordan Wester

“not to mention the notion that just because you think something or have an opinion you must share it with any or all.”

Exactly. This drives me crazy. I’ve gotten so good at deadpanning, “nobody cares.”


Also, I think when people associate a characteristic with being positive, they feel free to speak to you about it, not realizing that people have very complex relationships to their bodies and how they’re perceived.

I had a friend in high school who was over 6 foot and very very thin. It was a double whammy, because being thin is another thing people feel free to comment about. The more people bring it up, I can imagine that the more self-conscious it would make you.


As someone who is 6 feet tall and taller than the 8th grade boys when I was in 4th grade, I can definitely relate to that girl’s article! I’ve definitely dealt with issues of feeling too masculine due to my height and being forced to buy granny or guy shoes because women’s didn’t fit me! This is part of why sewing is a great outlet for me. I’ve embraced dressing more feminine and I love making dresses. and I love making dresses that fit me properly as a tall woman.


Being in Portland you’ve probably seen the outdoor company Nau, I think they do a great job at creating outdoor clothing I’m not embarrassed to wear out in the world.


True, there are definitely exceptions! Poler is also getting hugely popular here.


I second the Nau love! Wish they made shoes.


Thank you for the tall women article! As a 6′ tall, slim, red-head, I get a lot of comments; I typically just smile or say thanks, but in reality, I would love to just be left to myself. I’m perfectly happy with my hair/body now, but it took many years to get to this point… growing up was hard. However, being tall was the main reason I began to sew so that’s an unexpected bonus.

I’m looking forward to the startup podcast as well. I just attended the Portland Startup Summit a few days ago since I’m looking to start a website… the culture is definitely interesting and sort of odd; looking forward to seeing what you mean within the podcasts.


I was thinking about the culture of venture capital funding specifically, and how much smoke and mirrors is involved… and also what a boys’ club it seems to be.


We live in the NW and I am trying to wear more dresses, but it is cold. Any suggestions for outfits that are warm. I am 55 years with a “momma”, (curvacious) figure.

Thanks for any ideas.


I love fleece-lined tights! Other than that, I layer. Wool skirt, thick tights, and sweaters sweaters sweaters.

Of course, it doesn’t get all that cold where I live in Portland, but it stays chilly and wet for a very long time.

SJ Kurtz

It doesn’t get cold in Portland? Well, if you don’t mind the ice storms, it does not. Toasty 60F in Seattle today.

I am partial to leggings and heavy duty pantyhose (lasts so much longer, doesn’t cling as much to my skirt). Doesn’t take a lot to keep a 55 year old menopausal woman warm, though….(wink)


I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the first issue of Seamwork – really great job!

I also live somewhere where it is cold, windy and rains a lot so I tend to worship my Gortex. Not sure how it could look cuter without compromising what a great job it does keeping me dry.


Mum, I have an antidote to all that sports outdoor wear! Icebreaker pure merino, you will never look back. Made in New Zealand to incredibly high standards, so comfortable and always looks gorgeous. I’ve worn mine for years, now moved to a warmer climate and I’m almost sad it doesn’t get cold enougn here to wear my favourites.


I just bought some Icebreaker Merino leggings this year before I went camping! Such a smart purchase. Smartwool does some nice wool stuff too.


I am 5’11” and was always the tallest person in my class. I was teased unmercifully and because of that for many years I had a real complex about being tall. I was very lucky though because my mother is an excellent seamstress and made nearly all of my clothes so I never had to wear ill fitting clothing! She also taught me how to sew when I was 12 and I have been sewing ever since. And now that I’m older I actually LIKE being tall!!! Until I see a pair of 5″ heels that I love….

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