Colette

Articles in Tutorials

  • Free Pattern Hack: The Florence Slip

    When I lived in L.A. I had a drawer full of vintage slips and nighties. These were all items I had picked up from thrift store over the years. These items were exclusively from the 1950’s onward. This meant that while they were pretty, they were synthetic. When I made the move from Los Angeles …

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  • Make the Ultimate Lounge Bra: Florence in Jersey

    What is the first thing you do when you arrive home after a long day? My ritual goes as follows: Greet my boyfriend and cat Unload my purse and gym bag Take off my underwire bra (sometimes this even happens before my shoes come off) I look forward to that moment everyday. It’s the little …

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  • Free Pattern Hack: Shaped Hem Mabel

    I love a good chameleon garment. Take your favorite pair of jeans for instance, no matter your mood, you rarely feel out of place wearing them. Mabel is one of those pieces. Made up in a grey french terry and worn with your favorite t-shirt it is perfect for a lazy Sunday, or worn with …

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  • How to make an easy elastic waist Mabel

    I have a sewing confession. Sometimes I am a lazy sewist. I love that sewing is an activity that forces me to slow down and immerse myself in the process. It is meditative and relaxing. On the other hand, sometimes you just want to make something, not to revel in the process, but to have …

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  • Tutorial: Add Corset Inspired Ties to the Cinnamon Slip

    Today, we have one more tutorial from Devon, for a more lingerie-inspired look for your Cinnamon. -Sarai Add a little bit of ooh-la-la to the back of your Cinnamon slip with these corset-inspired ties! No special skills required – just some bias tape and pretty ribbon. We’ll start out by doing a few pattern alterations, …

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  • New pattern hack: The Cinnamon maxi dress

    I’ve been saving up this pattern hack for a long time. In the fall, Kenn and I cashed in some airline points and took a quick trip to Panama to celebrate our anniversary. I knew I wanted to make something special to wear there, something romantic and flowing and long and breezy. I decided to …

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  • Tutorial: Add a Fagoted Seam to the Cinnamon Slip

    One of the great things about vintage sewing books is finding instructions for techniques that aren’t quite so common any more. When looking through one of mine, I came across a page about how to sew fagoted seams. A fagoted seam is a seam in which both edges are hemmed, then hand stitched together with …

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  • Tutorial: Creating Adjustable Bra Straps

    Adding adjustable straps to your sewing projects is a simple way to bring an incredible level of functionality to your clothing. Whether you’re making lingerie, a layerable camisole, or a strappy summer dress, knowing how to make a strap adjustable is an important skill that you can use on a variety of different projects. The …

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  • Free pattern hack: Violet sans facing

    I don’t know about you, but I’m not always crazy about facings. Sure, they’re easy to sew, and there are certainly times where a facing is the best option for finishing a neckline. There are even times when it’s really the only option. But with a little more work, you can often change out facings …

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  • Tutorial: Add a keyhole and ties to the Violet blouse…

    One way to make the Violet Blouse your own is to play with the sleeves, which are the perfect blank canvas for a bit of customization. Adding a keyhole and ties is a fun and feminine detail that doesn’t take very much extra time or pattern alteration. To do this modification, you’ll need the sleeve …

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  • Tutorial: Add pockets to the Violet Blouse (with free pocket…

    Whether it’s a snazzy style statement or a place to stash your pen collection, adding pockets to the Violet blouse (or any other blouse) is a fun and easy way to switch things up. Below are the instructions for adding a basic rectangular pocket. At the end of the post is a free pattern download …

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  • How to sew a couched edge finish

    The other day, I was perusing the Bernina blog and came across a tutorial for an edge finish technique I’d never tried before – a couched edge using cord. Susan over at We All Sew demonstrates this technique for craft and decorative projects such as book covers and wall hangings, but I wondered how it …

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  • Free download: How to match plaids and stripes

    I wrote these instructions for making Dahlia or other garments in plaid or stripes for this blog post before deciding to also create the free download. If you don’t have them already, click the button at the end of this post to get the download. They’re helpful for all kinds of plaid and stripe situations. …

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  • How to sew bias tape straps

    Today, we’re going to go step by step through the process of sewing the bias tape straps for Version 2 of the Dahlia dress. We’ll be using bias tape to both finish the raw edges of the neckline and create the straps. As stated in the pattern, you’ll need 3 yards of ¼” double fold …

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  • Sign up for your free copy of The Colette Guide…

    Well folks, Sept-HEM-ber has officially drawn to a close. I’d like to thanks Devon for her wonderful contributions all month long. Aren’t her tutorials great? We hope to have her back again very soon. I thought I’d share a few pages of The Colette Guide to Sewing Hems, the book I put together from all …

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  • How to sew a machine rolled hem

    Today, we’re going to tackle one of the trickier hems you might want to sew – the machine-rolled hem. I struggled with this hem for a long time. I consider it to be a little on the advanced side, because it requires careful handling of the garment while you sew. If you’re new to the …

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  • How to hem Jeans, with Bernina

    Have you ever tried to hem a pair of jeans? If you have, you probably realize that there are a few special considerations, both because of the fabric (denim is thick!) and the look (decorative topstitching). For your next pair of jeans, I’d like to point you to this wonderful tutorial from the folks at …

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  • 4 ways to sew a turned hem

    There’s no doubt that the easiest way to sew a hem is to do a simple turned hem on your sewing machine. With no handstitching required, this hem is fast, easy, and efficient. Because the stitching from a turned hem shows on the outside of your garment, turned hems tend to have a very casual …

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