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Coming Soon! The Colette Guide to Sewing Knits: Professional techniques for beautiful everyday garments


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This site is no longer being updated so head over to Seamwork to get all the latest patterns, tutorials, video classes, and more.

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As you all know, over the last year or so I’ve been thinking a lot about creating a functional, beautiful wardrobe. I want to make things I both love, and will wear the heck out of.

So I started examining the clothes I actually wear all the time. And what did I find in my wardrobe?


Knits knits knits everywhere.


There are the leggings and t-shirts and workout wear, of course. And the underwear and bras and loungewear. And the sweaters and cardigans.

But there are also the dresses I reach for day after day, because they make me feel put together while not thinking about my clothes at all. There are knit skirts I pull on when I don’t feel like tugging at a waistband constantly. There are soft drapey tops whose comfort is belied by how darn pretty they are.

And that’s when I realized, it’s time to dive into this whole knits thing.

So I turned to my friend Alyson Clair. Alyson has her own knitwear label, but also has 8 years of experience as a patternmaker and technical designer working for large companies in the activewear industry. The lady knows her way around a serger. She also knows the difference between what’s done in factories and what we can do on a smaller scale in our homes and small studios. It turns out, the differences are not as great as you might think.

I asked Alyson if she’d like to write a book for us all about sewing knits. She’d write everything she knows, and we’d put it together in our own clear and beautiful Colette style and publish it for you as both an ebook and a physical book. She agreed.

It also made complete sense to work on some knit patterns together, so you could take all that sewing knowledge and use it. So Alyson also helped us create two patterns for gorgeous knit basics that we’ll be releasing at the same time.

(If you were wondering what we were doing in Palm Springs recently, we were shooting these lovely new patterns. Plus floating around in a pool on a swan. As one does. Note Alyson’s sewing tattoos.)


This book is for you if:

  • You are itching to try something new with your sewing.
  • You’ve always wanted to sew more wearable basics, but are intimidated by knit techniques.
  • Comfort is important to you in choosing what you wear.
  • You love making clothes that are fast, fun, and easy.
  • You like to spend your time sewing, not fitting, finishing, and pressing.
  • You want to learn how to sew knits without a serger or a coverstitch (or before you decide to invest in one).
  • You have a serger (or coverstitch) and want to learn how to do more with it.


You’re going to learn:

  • How to seam and finish knit garments, no matter what kind of equipment you have.
  • How sergers and coverstitch machines work, so if you have one, you can use it in a professional way. And if you don’t, you’ll learn what’s worth investing in as you grow.
  • Industry techniques from someone who has spent years on the factory floor (and how to adapt them for home use).
  • How to shop for knit fabric and what to look for.
  • Basic fitting and quick-fit techniques that work well for knit patterns.
  • A variety of methods for finishing edges, like necklines, armholes, and hems. You’ll learn techniques you can swap out on almost any knit pattern!
  • Fun embellishments that work particularly well with knits, such as using stretch lace, decorative elastic, and more.



Knits are easy-peasy

I have learned so much in the course of working on this book with Alyson.

But above everything else, the main thing I’ve come to realize is how doable it is to create a highly functional, comfortable, and lovely wardrobe once you start sewing with knits. They are so fast and fun and once the book and patterns come out, I can’t wait to share all the knits I’ve been sewing up!


The what and when

We’ve created a gorgeous book that will be available either as a lovely full-color paperback or instantly downloadable ebook.

We’ll also be releasing two brand new patterns designed with Alyson Clair just for knits. Think lovely, versatile, feminine basics.

All of this is coming to you next month, on April 15th. In the meantime, I’ll be sharing excerpts, the cover, and some behind the scenes stories in the coming weeks as we get closer.

I’ll also have one more thrilling announcement about the patterns next week. There’s one more thing that makes them pretty special.

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 126


This is really exciting!!!!


Yay! This is perfect!

Deborah J

I so love you for doing this. I haven’t sewed in almost 20yrs, but even back then, I wasn’t too good with knits. I can’t wait to get thee book. Thank you!


Perfect timing as I have a shiny new serger and have just begun to realise how much of my wardrobe is made up of knits! Can’t wait :-)
Ps will the hard format book be available to buy in the UK?


Yes, it will be available for our retailers to stock, and also available through Amazon’s UK and European sites.


Me too! Perfect timing. I’ve just bought a serger so that I can sew myself a wardrobe for moving abroad. (I have six months to get myself prepared). I can’t wait to see this book.


I am beyond excited!! I was just thinking the other day how much I love your first book – I’m constantly referring to it in my sewing room, and reading through it again and again for inspiration. I love having something physical on my bookshelf like that to refer to.

I cannot wait for the patterns, I just know they’re going to be gorgeous. And most of all, I can’t wait to learn about knitwear from your and Allyson’s perspective. Both of you do amazing work – what an awesome collaboration. I’m counting down the days!!




So excited about this! I love wearing knits! So much that outside of work, I pretty much can only be found in knits. I can’t wait to see more!


OMG what amazing news!! I cant hardly wait!

Isaboe Renoir

Thank you for including us who do no have a serger or overlock; I look forward to being able to do more with knits and eagerly await the new patterns!

Ruth Procter

This sounds great – can’t wait to hear more and see what the patterns will be!

amy w

This is exactly what I need!!!

lisa g

this is excellent news! i already do a lot of sewing with knits, but i’d LOVE to have a good reference for new ideas. i’ve also decided that a coverstitch needs to be in my machine lineup… so tired of trying to hem with a twin needle!


This is great! I’ve had my serger about a year but I still feel like there’s 80% more it can do that I just don’t know about. So excited to see your take on knits!


This train is coming along at the perfect time. I’m 60% into my Craftsy beginning serger class, I am really jonzin’ to sew something knit for the 1st time and I’m like a sponge right now. I want to read, learn and do as much as I can with sewing! I even started taking classes at an art $chool to learn more and MORE!

Let’s do this!


I’m SO excited!! I love sewing with knits, and am at the point where I really need to know more techniques so that I can create more cleanly finished garments. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful project with us!


Wahoo! And Thank you! I REALLY appreciate the fact that we can learn to sew knits without a serger! What a breath of fresh air! My brain is doing a happy dance.


You so must have been reading my mind… I have been wanting to get into knits but have been hesitant as I don’t have any experience with them.

So cannot wait for this.

cheers Stephanie

Melissa S.

YES! Thank you! This will be PERFECT. I think I can guess what I’ll be doing for, oh, the entire summer.

Laura J.

I was feeling dorkishly excite about this, but now that I see all the other excited comments, I’ll just say: YAY!!!!!! I can’t wait to see the patterns (and book, which I’ll have to rely on heavily)!


Yay! Thank you! This is just what I need, although I am learning how to sew and fit patterns for wovens, since following your Wardrobe Architect series I have realised that I mainly wear knits. I have no idea how to sew with knits, but am really keen to try so this will be perfect!! When will the book be available in the Uk?


Yes! I, too, am making more and more knits and I have a HUGE problem. I cannot make the hem look polished. It’s all crumpy all the time, no matter what technique I use!

Jet Set Sewing

I’m just about to embark on some vintage projects with wool jersey (by 50s designers Claire McCardell and Ceil Chapman) so I’m looking forward to the info in this book.


Yay, I’m new to knits and this book sounds brilliant.


Yaaay! I received a serger for Christmas because I wanted to sew more knits, but so far I’ve only used it to finish the edges of woven fabric because I don’t really know what I’m doing. I have your Colette Sewing Handbook and it’s my go-to resource whenever I sew. I will definitely be purchasing this book.

One question that can maybe be cleared up in your next post – if you purchase the hard copy do you get a digital copy as well? Many knitting books take this approach but I’m not sure if it’s common practice elsewhere.

Jennifer b

Perfect! I have a pile of coolmax knit on my sewing table and my serger is acting up. Help!


I cant wait! Knowing you had a part in creating this, it is for certain something I need in my library! Yay! I have yards of vintage wool jersey, AND this obnoxious 70’s slippery polyester fabric with images of Paris on it! Would make a perfect jumpsuit…..


Wow. What a timely post. I’ve been on the fence about buying a serger, but now it seems like the right time. Oh, that swan, AWESOMENESS.


What perfect timing! My coverstitch is coming in the mail TODAY! Knits are my favorites, I cannot wait to see the patterns!


This is so perfect!! I literally JUST got a serger a few weeks ago and have been really excited about the few things I’ve sewn with it, but other things like sewing with a double needle or a walking fit have been really frustrating me, none of my attempts have come out that awesome. The timing for this could really not be better! Looking forward to what you guys have made!


So exciting! I got a serger for Christmas and I love it. I can’t wait to see what the new patterns are!

paige @ LPD

this sounds like exactly what I need! Knits seem so scary as someone who has never worked with them.

Piper Springs

Woo, woo! I am so on this train with you.


Can’t wait! I have a terrible time with knits! =)


The sewing community needs more sewing with knits resources. Thank you!
I love sewing with knits! I have so much to learn. Like you, I live in knits…and jeans.

gabriel ratchet

thank-you-thank-you-thank-you for making a real book of it! :) i read travel/detective fiction on my iPad…. but for sewing/fiber reference, i want a hard copy. just so you know where my price point is, i paid about $50 to have the “cooper companion” printed and bound…(took my flash drive to the ups store)… high, i suppose, but worth it to me…


How exciting!! I finally ventured into knits and made a cardigan. It just seemed like an intimidating venture but I am kicking myself for not doing it sooner. I ran right out and bought a whole lot more yardage to tackle some other projects. The book sounds lovely! I look forward to you ladies breaking it down and allowing me to make my projects more polished.


Yay! I too have been realizing that knits are definitely my preferred fabric type and have been itching to increase the number of knit hand-mades in my wardrobe. I don’t have a serger and it’s not in the budget anytime soon so I am glad you are including regular sewing machine techniques. Also, I may have said this before but I am really enjoying your posts as of late. You have a really great perspective on things and I feel like I always come away inspired and informed!


YAY it comes out when we no longer have to worry about taxes either! Can’t wait to add another colette book to my bookshelf.


Looking forward to this! I already love your present
book – I refer to it a lot!


Sounds really exciting!


Yay! This is seriously EXACTLY what I have been hoping for! I will definitely be on the pre-order list!


I’m so excited by this! I love wearing knits and have sewn a fair amount, but have only just got a serger. Can’t wait for the book – will it be available as a hard copy in the UK?


I have a serger that I haven’t broken out of the box yet…it is one of my New Year’s resolutions. So I am thrilled to hear you’ll have a book available.

Laura Lee

Fantastic! I adore knits and have so many things I want to sew for summer. This is perfect and I am so excited!!!


Just wanted to add another “yay”! Especially for the instructions on doing things WITHOUT an overlocker. Excited to see the patterns…


I can’t put into words how excited I am about this!!! I’ve just begun sewing knits but I could really use more help.


Yay! Really looking forward to learning to make comfy knit tops that will look nice for work. I’m really glad that you’re adding tips for people with no serger, and info about the types of knit fabrics. If you have to order online, it’s hard to know what they should be used for.

Also, really hoping one of your patterns is inspired by those silk jersey dresses by Madame Grès. They are so pretty – I’d love to swan about pretending I’m Grace Kelly.


Can’t wait for this, I love knits! Looking forward to the patterns and the book. I am so on the knit train.


This is awesome! Although I just finished a knit top for my best friends birthday, I definitely have a lack of confidence with knits. (And with my serger – I straight stitched everything then just served the edges to clean finish) Really looking forward to see what you ladies have for us!!

Fiona M

Woohoo! I love sewing and wearing knits, and I have both serger and cover stitch machine. Looking forward to seeing the new knit patterns :)


Fast, fun, easy AND less fitting? What a promise! I can’t wait till April! It’s Christmas again! I hope the two patterns will be a dress and a cardigan…


This is great news! I have a serger and love sewing with knits, but I am definitely interested in learning some more advanced tips and tricks! Besides, who doesn’t love wearing nice comfy knitwear??? :)

Betty Jordan Wester

I’m very excited. I enjoyed Alyson’s insights into pattern grading last year as well as her thoughtful comments.

Laura Manning

Exciting. And right after my birthday too!!

Ingrid W

This is truly excellent news. In the early stages of thinking about getting a serger and this might just convince me…




I just love sewing books. I once sewed a knit dress..but did not like how it turned out. I do not own a serger. I rather sew structured clothing like jackets. I am looking foward to the book and 2 new patterns. Perhaps it may change my mind on knit fabric.


Can’t wait! I absolutely love sewing knits. I wear them almost every single day and they are so comfortable. I’m pretty sure that there is so much more for me to learn on sewing knits and so I’ll definitely buy this book. I have a serger and although I use it often, I know I’m not using it to its full potential. I also want a coverstitch machine.. I can’t wait for this book!!


I’d love to read the 1st chapter. I really want to learn to sew knits! Thank you!


So exciting! Another milestone in Colette Patterns…


Awesome! I just bought a serger and I’m starting my first project with it this weekend!

Johanna@projects by me

Yay!!! Finally patterns for knits from Colette!!!


This is awesome! The knits train is defiantly one I want to ride. I was getting excited reading this, but trying to not get too pumped, thinking it would be out in the fall or some long time from now. But next month!! That is amazing!


Oh, yay!!!! Happy dance!! A couple of epic fails that have taught me that I know nothing about matching the right knit to the right pattern, or adjusting size/ease in the face of extra stretchiness. This will give me the courage to cut into the rest of my knit stash.


I’m really excited to see the new patterns!


Excellent! I can’t wait to see the book. Thank you for responding to your customers’ needs/wants.


Can’t wait!!!!

Michelle Rose

I am so, so, so excited to hear this news! I’m pretty experienced with sewing knits and own a serger/coverstitch combo machine, but I’m sure that I’ll learn some new techniques. I can’t wait to see/try out the new patterns!


This is awesome! Thank you!

Beth Staten

I have just finished my first knit dress and took it apart about 6 times trying to figure out the vague instructions from one of the Big 4s. Knit pattern with Colette instructions is EXACTLY what I was hoping for! I like my new dress and am going to attempt it again but not until I’ve looked at this new book first.

Miss Crayola Creepy

My dream book! I want it nowwwww! haha :)


Awesome! I am considering a coverstitch machine purchase. A Colette guide to assist me is enough to convince me to take the leap. Such great news!


Perfect timing for my birthday! I know what I’m buying myself…


I am not ashamed to admit that Knits scare me. Looking forward to this book.


I’m excited! I’ve been seeing more and more beautiful knits around lately (and they were this week’s challenge on the Great British Sewing Bee) so I think I need to remember how it’s done and make some pretty stretchy things. Thanks Sarai!

paige @ LPD

also I’m excited that you’re using the serger I bought years ago but am too scared to learn how to use.

Alyson Clair

That is one of my all time favorite home sergers. It can do so much, and loves knits! Make friends, it’s one of my besties.


I knew there was a reason I hadn’t gotten around to sewing those pretty summer knits I bought 3 years ago :)


I am so excited about this!! I am just getting into making knits. In particular, I want to make a t-shirt. So, what perfect timing. Thank you!


So excited! I have a serger that I bought on ebay, and no flipping idea how to use it! I love knits, they are so comfy and move in all the right places. Very very happy!


I have the same exact brother serger. I’ve made hundreds of knit garments with it. Very excited to see the tips in your new book. Congrats!!


This is awesome news!!! Sewing with knit is my absolute favorite!! Can’t wait to see what you all have come up with! Already on the list for that preview.

Lisa S.

THANK YOU! I have been waiting so long for something like this. I have always been intimidated by knits, and I do not have a serger. I cannot wait!

Andrea Firth

As a self professed non stretch seamstress, I have found that the thing I have been sewing most lately, is, you guessed it – knits! I also recently acquired a coverstitch machine, and we have been getting to know each other a little better over the last few weeks. I think this book might be meant for me!

Looking forward to following Colette patterns and the introduction of knits.


This is wonderful!!! I learned to sew knits through a lot of trial and error. If it’s as fabulous as the Colette Sewing Handbook (my go-to resource) I am definitely investing in a copy! Woo hoo!

I am so enjoying your thoughtful wardrobe architect posts. It has validated that I am on the right track with my sewing. Thank you!


I am loving the idea that I can learn to sew knits (well and easily) without a serger. I have neither the space nor the cash for one, but of course, the majority of my clothes are knit. I can’t wait to read the book and give knits a go!


Perfect timing. I’ve just decided its time to trade in my serger and go all in with the new Baby Lock. Looking forward to your book and patterns. I would love to be able to sew knit wrap dresses that I can pair with a jacket for work.


This is really cool! I keep wanting to make knits for myself but have only made a couple pairs of leggings (which I wear all the time). I mostly wear knits as well although 97% of my stash is wovens. I think there’s a part of me that is concerned that knits come across as lazy and not as sophisticated as clothing made from woven fabric. Why I would care about such a thing is another matter altogether, I guess. I don’t have an office to go to anymore so I’m not sure who I’m trying to impress! ;) I’m sure you could make knitwear as lovely as anything.


Its like you can read my mind. “I really need to work on the whole sewing with knits thing” I’ve been saying to myself for the last year. Et voila!


I am SO excited for this!! I just graduated in apparel design from OSU and we worked with knits a little bit here and there but this book will help me so much! Thank you!!! Yay! :)


Jo (Dotta.)

I’ve just purchased a serger so I’ve got lots to learn, I am looking forward to it!

Essi P

This is excellent news and perfect timing as I got an overlocker and I’ve been admiring lovely knits everywhere. I can’t wait to for the book to be published and to learn how to make amazing knits for my wardrobe.


This is great news, I’m really excited!


Wow this sounds so perfect for me! I have literally just started experimenting with knits, so good timing :)

Laura Serna

ha ha. this is great although i was sure it was going to be all about zippers.


Perfect timing-Loving knits and learning to sew them well!! Now we need more interesting knit fabrics :-)

Maria Shell

It is like you read my mind! The fear of knits is overwhelming, yet I have come to realize that if I am going to really sew what I wear everyday, I’ve got to get with it with the knits. Thank you!


Ooh I can’t wait for the release! Finally a book that will show me how to work with knits and finish them in a neat and professional way. So far my knit fabric projects looked a little bit clumsy and well, self sewn… And I am Very interested in those new patterns!

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