What the rest of 2013 will bring…



Now that we’re a little over halfway through 2013, I can honestly say that this has been the best year ever for CP.

We’ve definitely had some moments of struggle in the last 4 1/2 years, like any small business.

  • There was the time our first printer (long since fired) printed our covers backwards… then tried to make us pay for it (that’s when I learned how important it is to work with people you trust).
  • There was the frustrating period of working out of a space in my house that barely fit my cutting table (that’s when I learned that I hate working from home).
  • Then the scariness of getting my first studio and having to pay rent every month (that’s when I learned how important it is to take risks).
  • There was even a time we came just a little too close to running out of money (that’s when I learned about a little thing called cash flow).

But this year has been nothing short of amazing. We’ve grown to a team of five, the response to our patterns has been phenomenal, and I finally feel like I know what I’m doing business-wise.

The coolest bit about all of this is that we’re finally able to invest in some of the new ideas I’ve had percolating around my head for years. Some of them will show up next year and maybe even the year after. But we’ve also got a LOT planned for this year and the holiday season.

  • September: As usual, we’ll be releasing our newest pattern for Fall! We’ll talk a little more about this soon, but that’s coming September 17.
  • October: We have a totally new type of product we’ll be releasing, probably towards the end of the month. I’ve been working with someone else to develop it over the last year or so, and it’s a departure from sewing patterns. Anyone want to guess what it is?
  • November: We’re working on something special for the guys (but not just for the guys). I’ll leave it at that.

Good times, you guys. Good times.

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 52


I’m going to take a stab in the dark – and guess you’re designing and releasing your own fabric line? That would be pretty awesome.

Michele Gross

I can’t begin to tell you how much I love your patterns, extremely user friendly directions and the extras that simplify each pattern such as–the Laurel Bonus book, the blog and the Flickr group. I have been a frustrated garment sewer for a LONG time but the Laurel pattern has changed all that!! I love everything about it–the fit, the directions, all the possibilities. My only problem now is deciding which pattern to make next!!!! Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


woah, new pattern??? already?? i feel like i just was waiting in suspense for the laurel and the hawthorn to come out – and now i get to play the CP pattern release suspense game again, yay! we are seriously not in april anymore? Congrats for all your hard work, can’t say I’ve been following since the beginning since I only got into sewing last fall – but im so very grateful that CP was around when i decided to learn how to sew.

My guess for mystery new product is: a sewing app?


Sarai! You are such a brave and self-determined woman! I truly admire you for what you have achieved in such a short period of time. Good luck in your future endeavors!


Hmm, “not just for the guys”… a pattern for babies/kids?


I do not want to guess anything….but on the contrary cheer for your success… I get very happy when a see someone success in business… not an easy task by all means!
And I guess I will wait patiently for your new releases and surprises.
CHEERS for a wonderful year and more to come!
PD: and YES “cash flow” very important!


I’m going to both selfishly and sincerely congratulate you on your success and wish for the best for the future. Selfishly, because I want more of your great patterns. And sincerely, because you really deserve it!


I was going to guess fabric too :) And I’m so in love with that shot of your studio. I want to live there! (I also discovered working from home isn’t all it’s cracked up to be).


Congrats on the growth of your business!
My guess is that you are going to come out with your own line of fabrics.


Wow, the little shop that could! I mean that in the nicest way possible – you must be so happy (and rightfully proud of yourself) that chasing your dream has lead to all this. And will hopefully lead to so much more! :)



I am happy that your company is thriving for a couple of reasons. For one, because you are not a huge mega company, and I very much strive to support small individually owned businesses. For another, because your patterns are exceptional and a joy to create from them, And for yet another, success is almost always good.

Lisa S.

I hope you are working on your own line of Colette fabrics. That would be amazing!


So excited for you, Sarai – and now your team too! Looking forward to seeing where you take your business next. I’m also guessing fabrics… x


I’m going to go ahead and agree with the really smart people ahead of me who guess you are coming out with fabrics….I can’t imagine what else could take your attention away from the making of beautiful clothing!!!!!


Suspense. I can’t stand it!
Cannot wait to see what the future holds, recent – September pattern release – and into the future.
So glad I found this site!


Congratulations on such a well-earned year.
My guess is either fabric line or knitting pattern. Most of your line just screams “wear me with a cardi! You’ll look so great!”
And for the guys, but not just? Mens’ sleepwear or underthings that may be unisex? I had a man once who wore an old fashioned sleep shirt to bed; it was so adorable, like a nightie for gents.

Fiona M

Congratulations on your success so far. I love your patterns and look forward to seeing what’s in store.


Hi Sarai, It has been such a delight watching and learning from you. Sharing the struggles that you and your pattern company have gone through in the last few years, is one of the reasons I think you have been so successful! Your honesty and natural sincerity shows through in everything you and your company produces. It’s so easy to love your pattern line and you- the hard part is controlling myself when I shop your pattern line…”gotta collect them all”!!! I am guessing a fabric line as well- boy do we need it! I could only imagine the scrumptious fabrics you would come up with!!
Oh and that thing for the guys that is also for the gals… could it be mens lingerie? Mens boxers or p.j.s? Cheers to many for years of success!


Congrats! I love this company so much and I, like so many others, am so glad that y’all exist. Ooh, could this new thing be some sort of accessories pattern? And oooh, I can’t wait for the 17th! New patterns are always so exciting!


Congratulations, Sarai, Kenn, and team on building such a wonderful, inspiring business! It’s been so fun watching you grow (I’ve known about you since 2009, wow!). I too found working from home just doesn’t work for me. I’m a homebody, but working elsewhere helps me get going and gives me an excuse to dress up. Can’t wait for your surprise reveals!


As a self-employed woman, it’s been a pleasure to watch your company grow & see your successes. I’ve enjoyed your patterns & learned so much from your tutorials. I’m delighted that you’re expanding & doing well & hope the next 4.5 years are just as fantastic! I’m also looking forward to seeing what you’ve got in store…


Congrats on building such a lovely business! You guys are a huge part of why I sew today– I was a lurker on sewing blogs, and your beautiful patterns inspired me to dive in and give it a try! Here’s to many more successful years!


So pleased for your success! I love your patterns and blog!
Looking forward to the surprises!

Rachel Porter

I am so excited for the new pattern, the new product and the “something for the guys”. And I look forward to seeing CP continue to grow and thrive for many a year


Congratulations on all that you have accomplished. You are an inspiration to us all! Not a week goes by that I don’t tell someone about your fabulous patterns and the change they have made in my sewing. Your drive and your business were distinct influences on my going into the craft business. I look forward eagerly to everything you do, be it new patterns or a new direction. Although I haven’t even had time to make myself a Hawthorn yet…..

Rosie Wednesday

Congratulations!! I echo a lot of the sentiments here – you are a wonderful company that I am so happy to continue to support. My guess for the something new is a knitting pattern. I used to love the cardigans and sweaters you posted on your old blog, Sarai.


I would love to see Colette knitting patterns, so I really hope it’s that!


Congratulations – your story is really empowering. Look forward to seeing your new pattern in the Autumn. Also spied your patterns in the V and A museum at the weekend


I am in the process of trying your patterns for the first time and really loving it! I am making the Meringue skirt and it is amazing and fits great! I have purchased several other patterns already and have plans to work through those as well and cannot wait for the new one on September 17th :)

I would guess you are coming out with your own fabric line now as well… sounds fun!

Congrats on your success. I will continue to follow as I am loving your work.


I am thinking eco-conscious fabrics for the home is the October mystery product. At least, that would be my ideal next product from CP.

On another note, Marie Claire just ran an article about creating your own clothing design company. I would love to read your next book on creating and running a “counter”-culture fashion design business over a main-stream fashion magazine’s advice any day. Your experience, as presented to us readers over the years, speaks more about empowerment than anything else out there in the fashion world.


How exciting!! I really hope it’s a knitting pattern!! X


It’s great to see a small business flourishing and being such a success. Congratulations to you and your team. I can’t wait to see what’s next for you…and us!


That photo of your studio takes my breath away. I picture myself in there with a dance barr on one wall and my yoga mat in-front-of the window, and my sewing space on the opposite wall. :)


How exciting! I always get complimented on my Colette projects, and I love saying the patterns are from a local small business! So fun to see lots of growth!

Rochelle New

Thank you for being such an inspiration, and putting independent sewing patterns on the map. I can’t wait to see what’s new for Colette! xo


Congratulations! Colette Patterns’ growth is inspiring, it’s so exciting to hear this has been your best year ever! Seeing your success is encouraging for other small business owners and anyone who’s dreamed of starting their own creative business. Hope the rest of 2013 is just as excellent!


Congratulation Sarai, to You and your team! I guess Vintage accessories pattern would be great too or maybe some knitting! Why not? :) Que sera, sera, whatever will be, will be… Say a famous song :) and I’m in the mood of loving you now and forever!


Congratulations! I’ve enjoyed watching you through this year. It’s been fun seeing the transition from a group of patterns to a single pattern with extra fan fare. I do love the fan fare! It brings the online sewing community together in great ways! Looking forward to all that’s ahead for you, especially now that I’m also in the pacific northwest and hope to one day make it down to Portland for one of your events!


Can’t wait to see the new pattern, and it just so happens that its release is on my birthday–yay! Glad that CP is having such a great year!


How wonderful! I just love Colette Patterns and am so happy that you took the risk to start this business :) Please tell me the October surprise is fabric?!


Something for the guys but not for the guys….lingerie?


So happy for your success after a rough start. Your patterns, your blog, your tutorials, etc. is so well written, paired with all the help you give means success for those (including me) that use your patterns. I can’t wait to see the new pattern (perhaps another sew along? ) and your upcoming new line of ?? . Well deserved!


Wow – what a year! It’s been so fun watching CP grow, ever since that Wardrobe Refashion interview I did with you, way back in the day! Five employees is a real milestone, congratulations on that and everything else that has happened this year! I really admire your vision and the way you constantly take your company – and the sewing world in your wake – to new levels and branch out in so many different areas. Look forward to seeing everything else that 2013 brings us, CP-wise! And, as somebody who’s getting ready to move to Portland, can I put in a request for more sleeved patterns? I just can’t justify buying anymore sleeveless patterns :-P, but Laurel and Hawthorne have been absolutely stunning – and so versatile.


Congrats on the growth! I’m such a scaredy cat when taking risks. I hope it’s a line of fabrics! :)


Congratulations Sarai on your success so far. I love your sewing patterns and I look forward to seeing what’s in store .
I would love to see knitting patterns.


Congrats on your success! You’ve created a very special and valuable company – and we all love it :)


Congratulationa on all you have achieved…..I can imagine the work involved. I love your patterns and make and remake them with so much pleasure. I have been sewing all my life but dropped it about 3 years ago. Your fresh patterns and blog haave fired me up again. Thank you!


I would love a mid-weight jacket that could be done in plaid wool, or a varsity style jacket with patterns drafted for both men and women. Will Colette ever make a pattern for knits??


Easy peasy Colette knitting patterns perhaps? Lovely to hear that you are having a fantastic year – best wishes for continuing success.


I think Colette fabrics would be amazing, but maybe it’s a book of cocktail recipes? That would be good too :)


Congrats on all your success and wishing you many more successful years!

My guess is a knitting pattern!

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