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Albion Sewalong and Contest: Win a Bernina 380 + more!


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This site is no longer being updated so head over to Seamwork to get all the latest patterns, tutorials, video classes, and more.

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It’s almost that time! Are you ready to work on an Albion together? Because this contest and sewalong are going to be different than any we’ve done before.

The grand prize for our contest this time is pretty exciting. Bernina USA has generously offer one US winner a Bernina 380 sewing machine, worth over $2000!

Grand Prize: Win a Bernina 380!

Let’s start with the fun part… the contest!


As I mentioned, we have a pretty incredible grand prize for you this time. One US winner will receive a Bernina 380 sewing machine, provided by Bernina USA. This is a versatile machine suitable for both beginner and more advanced sewists, and you all know how crazy I am about my Bernina. This is just about the most amazing prize I could think of.

This grand prize is available only to those within the US. My humble apologies to those outside the US, but Bernina distributes their sewing machines through their network of local dealers, who will become your support for your machine going forward. For this reason, it’s important to them that the winner is within the US and able to pick up their prize from a dealer.

But if you are outside the US, please consider entering and sewing along, because you can still win one of the other prizes!

Runner Up Prizes: Two crafty gift packages worth over $400

Two runner up winners will receive a gift package from Colette Patterns, full of wonderful sewing tools, patterns, fabric, and more worth over $400 each!






Each gift box includes:

  • A $100 Colette Patterns gift certificate
  • Gingher 45mm rotary cutter (retail of $70 alone!)
  • The Art of Manipulating Fabric by Colette Wolff (one of my all-time favorite sewing books)
  • Paris Studios 1 and Paris Studios 2 books from Paumes (gorgeous, inspiring books of Paris ateliers)
  • Handmade cupcake pincushion (colors may vary)
  • Sublime Stitching Ultimate Embroidery Kit
  • 4 Sublime Stitching embroidery patterns
  • Woven Sew-in labels (“fait avec amour” and “made with #%&!?”)
  • My favorite leather thimble
  • 1 bamboo point turner
  • Curious Doodles geometric embroidered notebook kit
  • Vintage bow buttons from France (color may vary, I have peach and blue)
  • Vintage lace collars and/or cuffs (selection may vary, since they’re one of a kind)
  • Vintage paneled fabric with roses (6 panels each, perfect for making pillows!)

Again, anyone can win these gift packages, whether you are within the US or not.

Our new sewalong site!

Now, let’s talk about the Sewalong.

There’s one thing that has always plagued me about sewalongs, and that’s the fact that they take up so much of the blog while they’re going on. I always feel a little bad for those who aren’t participating (or just aren’t participating at that moment), because the blog becomes completely jammed with sewalong posts.

I asked about this problem on Facebook, and many of you responded with the suggestion of starting a separate site for sewalongs… so that’s what we’re doing!

It’s actually really cool, because each sewalong will be a lot more organized and browsable, instead of getting lost within the archives of this blog. It will be a resource you can turn to again and again.

We might even host other indie pattern sewalongs there in the future (if you’re a designer or blogger and interested, drop us a line).

It will be up and running by the time the Albion sewalong officially starts, and we think you’ll love it.

The Albion Companion

We’re still working on getting The Albion Companion book ready for the sewalong. It will be launched at the same time, on January 24.

As usual, the companion guides are totally optional extras to go along with the sewalong. If you want all the sewalong information and more laid out beautifully in one handy-dandy PDF, this is the option for you.

Sewalong (Rough) Schedule

I’ll be posting a detailed schedule once we get going, but for now what you need to know is that the sewalong will begin Friday, January 24. That’s in about two and half weeks. We’re starting on a Friday so that you have the weekend to get started.

We’ll be sewing together for about 5-6 weeks, which will include time for fitting.

How winners will be chosen

There will be only one category this time, with one grand prize and two runner up prizes.

Finalists will be chosen by the Colette Patterns staff and voted on by participants.

What does that mean? Well, I am a little concerned about keeping this contest fair because of the prizes involved. I’d like the winner to be chosen based on his or her creativity and skill, and not just popularity on twitter or facebook or a blog.

So the people participating in the contest will be the ones who vote. Not just the finalists, but everyone who enters. We’ll be asking everyone to submit their entry with a quick form, after posting it to Flickr. Only those people will receive the voting form. As usual, we will use instant runoff voting, so you can choose more than one favorite.

Sound fair?

Get started today!

Are you ready?

Since there is only a little over two weeks before the official start, you probably want to start shopping for fabric.

Later this week, I’ll do a separate post about buying supplies, sort of a pre-sewalong post. That should help get you on your way.

If you have any other questions, just let me know.

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 68

Diane @ Vintage Zest

This is going to be my first sewalong that I can actually participate in! I’m so excited! I think I’ll even post progress photos on my blog along with the posts. :) Time to start piecing together my PDF pattern!


I already have my fabric! So excited to get started!

Sassy T

Looking forward to seeing the creations.


Can’t wait to get started! I picked up outer fabric over the holidays, and this start date should give me plenty enough time to gather everything else.


I won’t be sewing along but I couldn’t help but think the reason for excluding non US seamstresses for the Grand Prize seems irrelevant. Bernina is a Swiss company with dealers worldwide (I should know, I live in Germany). Nice giveaway/sewaling anyway.


Yes, they are. But it’s being contributed by their US division, and this was their decision.


Love the idea for a separate blog for sewalongs! I think opening it up to other indie designers is a GREAT idea! Still deciding on fabric for my Albion – the hubs wants something super simple, though, so I may have to get creative on my own version – haha :)


Yay! I’ve been (im)patiently waiting for you to announce the sew-along and am excited to get started. I made myself a muslin before the holidays and definitely want to make some adjustments for my “final” one and I have vague memories of you mentioning some tips/tricks about modifying the Albion for women. Is this still the case? Thanks!

Amy N

Can the 3rd place prize be a date with that smokin’ hot male Albion model?


Ha! Hadn’t thought about that.


Well, I definitely won’t be participating in the sew along due to it being well beyond my skill, so i’m sad that I won’t be voting for once….. but i guess I understand.

Amy Peck

Hooray! I do think this is the perfect project for my first sew along. Can’t wait!

Sue Vite

I’m in! I have fabric and pattern and can’t wait!

Kalie Jayne

Where can we purchase the types of fabric that are suggested? Are there any places online? Thanks


I’m excited to see what everyone does with the pattern. I need to have my coat finished sooner than the end of the sew-along (my husband’s jacket is literally falling apart at the seams), so I won’t be able to participate. Can you still enter your finished jacket if you don’t follow the sew-along?


Sure, no problem! Just keep an eye on the sewalongs site once it starts for the entry details.


Awesome, thanks! I dropped my fabrics off at the cleaners today to be laundered before I start. Hoping to have the muslin & adjustments made over the weekend so I can dive in when I pick the fabric up on Monday!


I’m looking forward to taking part, but I’m a bit sad about the sewing machine not being available to entrants outside the USA. (;-;)


DANGIT! I really wanted to participate in this one, but it will be ending while I’m traveling. Of course, the main reason I wanted to make an Albion was for this trip. Hmmmm. Decisions.

Sharla B

cant wait…

Laura Lee

How exciting! You talked about focus and wow; a great contest with a separate area and super fair rules for everyone to participate with. I can not wait to see all of the amazing creations. Thank you for creating something really fun to start the year with!


Oooh, yay! I’ve been waiting for this for a while now… fabric bought, ready to go!


Will the sewalong include instructions for making the jacket for a woman? Not that I’m able to sew two jackets at the same time, but I was just curious, because at some point it was promised that you’re going to blog about alterations necessary for transitioning it to a women’s wear garment.


Yes! This will be part of the fitting section of the sewalong.


This would be my first sewalong. I cannot wait! I bought buttons, string, three fabrics – wool, fleece and some weird linnen batting for insulation (the saleswoman said it keeps you from cold or hot, we’ll see) ages ago. I had a really really warm winter coat in mind, but sadly there have been exactly 2 cold days where i live. I really hope that sewalong keeps me motivated, because who wants to sew a winter coat with the next winter in mind when there is +5C outside.


Utterly gutted that the Bernina won’t be available outside the US. How likely is it that I can get a visa to move to the US for the purposes of a sewalong? Do you think that might raise a few eyebrows at border control? Seriously gutted though. I’ve already started my Albion for this competition and my sewing machine is on its last legs. This was my last hope for a new machine! I’m still looking forward to the competition though.


I allready had a feeling, that this would happen. A lot of big US contest prizes that have a warranty are US only. Still I did postpone the idea of buying a new machine and hoped on winning this secretly. :)))


This will be my first sew along! I just bought some plaid wool flannel for my lining, and I have wool coating on the stash. Let’s go!


Oooh, Friday the 24th is my birthday… what a great day to kick off a sewalong! Haha. : ) Really looking forward to checking out the new site – what a great idea.

Steph Skardal

Hooray! I’m excited to participate! I was considering making a men’s version for +1, but I think I’ll be selfish and make myself one. Fabric ordered!


Sounds like a fun sewalong. This one will be my first!! Is this one that any skill level can accomplish or more for an experienced sewer??

Laura Lee

Thought I would jump in since I did a test Albion before Christmas. I truly believe that you do not have to be “experienced” to sew this coat. In fact, I think it will instill a lot of confidence in those beginning to sew. My advice is to read the instructions beginning to end a few times before you begin and imagine each step as you go. If there are areas you are unfamiliar with, practice those with cheap test material over and over until you are comfortable and of course you can do a test muslin on the whole coat before you begin. There will be a lot of folks in this community that will help with every step. You will do great!


I’ll echo what Laura said! This is one of the easier coats you might sew. for a beginner, there will be some challenging parts, but I think with the extra support of a sewalong, almost anyone can do this!


I’m in!

Kristen F

I just happen to have enough corduroy for this coat! Might just have to jump in :)


If we’re willing to go to a US Bernina dealer to pick up the prize can we enter? Or do we have to be legal US residents? My brother and his family live in the US, so I’m there pretty regularly visiting. Not that I have much chance of winning with my beginner skills, but it would be good motivation to tackle a challenging project!


Wow amazing prize! Did you happen to mention what the coat would be judged on? For Cooper it was best use of fabrics, or best satchel, etc. Is there specific criteria for this one, or it will be just whoever gets the most votes as favorite?


This might be a silly question, but does it matter which version we do? The post refers to the coat, but my gent says he’d prefer I make the jacket (it’d be for him)–is that grounds for not being a part of the competition?


Either version is fine!


Sorry to be a dunce, but do we have to order a pattern, or can we use any appropriate pattern to participate? Thank you.


Sorry, this is just for the Albion sewing pattern.


I’m so excited to begin my first sew-along! I’m on the hunt for toggle supplies, so any advice/direction is most appreciated!

Do U.S. military members and their families serving overseas (FPO/APO addressees) qualify for the grand prize? Just curious.


Gosh, I’ll have to check with Bernina on that. I believe the main concern is that you can get to a US dealer to pick it up.


Hi Sarai. Just wondering about my question regarding entering the competition from outside the US if I have someone within the US to pickup the prize. I live in the UK but would love to give my prize to my Gran if I just so happened to win. Would be great to have an excuse to make something new! ;)


I’m checking with Bernina about eligibility for both of these questions. :)


Cassandra, I just heard back. They said it is fine as long as a family member (like your grandmother) can get to the dealer in the US to pick it up. :)


Nadeen, Bernina says that if you have a family member that can pick up the machine at a US dealer, it’s no problem.


Hi Sarai. My Grandmother lives in the US and if I so happen to win, could pick up the Bernina sewing machine. Is it still possible to compete if I leave outside the US but can have someone within the US receive any prizes?

Monica Petras

Hi, this sounds fun, I’m a bit confused about what pattern the sewalong will use —is it the pattern for the duffle coat?


Can we submit more than one entry?

Lea Rude

I’d like to do the coat with a lining. I don’t have the pattern yet so I’m not sure how easy it would be to adapt. Will you cover that possibility in the sewalong? Thanks!


The coat has a lining, but the jacket does not. Did you mean that you wanted to do the jacket (shorter version)?

If so, it would be very easy to adapt. Just shorten the lining and follow the coat instructions.


Already finished the Walden Coat, and gave it to my son, who is 6’7″ for Christmas. I lengthened the arms, and body of the coat and it fits perfectly! He is out of state at college, and I didn’t take a decent photo of him in the coat. Darn. I would have loved that prize.


How do i sign. up for the sew-along? Sorry if I’ve missed something obvious.

Deserrie Aguirre

I have never done this before and I have no clue where to start or how to go about a sewalong. I would love to enter this contest but need a little guidance. Do we have to log on at a certain time or how does this all work? Do I have to have any specific social medias set up?


It’s easy. We publish posts on a timeline and go through the pattern step by step. You sew along to the posts.

We’ll give instructions for the contest once the posts start. To enter the contest, you will need a Flickr account, so you can upload your finished project photos to our group. But that’s it.


How do we sign up?


Deserrie, to answer your question to participate in the sew-along you don’t really have to “sign-up.” You just follow along with the posts step by step once they are posted starting Jan. 24th. If you have a blog you can post your progress, but that’s not required. Once the sew-along is complete you will post your finished coat pictures to the Colette patterns Flickr group. That’s why Sarai says you need to have Flickr account. The Flickr group is from where the finalists will be chosen and where the contestants will be voting. I hope I got that right and I hope it answers your question!


Thank you!

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