Video: How to clean finish a lined armhole

RSS or email subscribers: Can’t see the video? Click through to view it on the web.

Version 1 of the Moneta dress features a bodice that is fully lined.

If you’ve struggled before with lining sleeveless tops or dresses, we have a little trick to show you today to get a perfectly lined, clean-finished armhole, all by machine.

The secret is not sewing the armholes all in one go. You sew the front armhole, then the back armhole separately. The video and photos below show this with the Moneta dress, which is made from a knit fabric and sewn with a serger, but you can also use this trick on a woven garment with your standard sewing machine.

Watch the video above and follow these steps to try it out.


1. With right sides together, start by stitching the shoulder seams and side seams together on both the bodice shell and bodice lining.


2. Turn the shell right side out.

3. Place the lining inside the shell, with wrong sides together.

Note: For Moneta, the neckline is left open because a collar is sewn to it later. If you also want to clean finish the neckline at the same time, you can do that before step 3. Place the shell inside the lining with right sides together. Stitch the lining to the shell around the neckline. Turn the lining inside the shell, with wrong sides together, then continue to step 4.


4. Turn the seam allowance under at the front armhole. Press if you find it necessary. You only really need to turn the seam allowance under on part of the armhole.


5. Reach between the lining and shell layers and grasp the two seam allowances of the front armhole. Pull them out through the waist.


6. With right sides together, stitch the shell to the lining along the front armhole. Stitch from the side seam to the shoulder only, don’t try to sew the entire armhole.


The armhole is now finished along the front. Let’s move on to the back.


7. Just as before, reach between the lining and shell layers and grasp the two seam allowances of the back armhole. Pull them out through the waist again.


8. With right sides together, stitch the shell to the lining along the back armhole. Stitch from the side seam to the shoulder only, meeting the stitching of the front armhole.


9. Complete the second armhole in exactly the same way, and you are done!


Like what you read here? Subscribe to our blog via email so you don’t skip a stitch! And sign up for our weekly Snippets email for even more sewing tips and tricks.


Behind the scenes at our photo shoot (spoiler: I get a bloody nose)





This photo shoot was a dream come true.

For at least a couple years, I’d had a dream of doing a photo shoot in Palm Springs. Not only do I love going there, but it’s the perfect setting when you need to feel like summer in the middle of a soggy and cold Portland winter.

So this February, the whole team packet our bags and went on a workcation.


We stayed (and shot) at the beautiful Demimonde, a mid-century home you can rent for very reasonable rates. It was absolutely perfect. I felt like I was in a 60s California dream world.


I tend to really prepare for photo shoots, but this one was planned to a tee. Above is the call sheet I used for planning, so I could track the shots we needed, the looks we wanted to do, the times the girls needed to get to hair/makeup, all that fun logistical stuff.



Kristen managed the styling, which involves planning and arranging the looks, keeping the clothes looking neat, and generally making sure nothing is getting weirdly bunched up or wrinkled in photos. It’s amazing what you can miss when you’re behind the lens, so it’s vital to have extra eyes and hands.






Oh, and did I mention my bloody nose?


You know how these mid-century homes always have gorgeous floor-to-ceiling glass doors?

When they’re kept clean, you can’t always tell at a glance if they’re open or closed. Apparently, I thought it was open. I was mistaken.

I walked right into the glass door and smacked my nose pretty hard. I actually thought I’d knocked a tooth loose at first because of the blood, but it turned out I’d only bitten my lip. So I spent the rest of the shoot with a bandage on my face.



We actually shot another batch of photos for our next pattern while we were here too! Those will be under wraps for the time being, but you’ll see more from these lovely ladies soon.


image credits:

Models: Kassidy Marley, Briana Harrington
Hair/Makeup: Jen Plus Colour
Styling: Kristen Blackmore
Location: Demimonde Palm Springs


Bowling for Kittens! Support Team Cat Fancy and help save some animals with us!


Here in Portland, we have a fantastic animal rescue organization call the Pixie Project.

This group does so much for animals. In addition to offering important low-cost and free vet services (including spay and neuter programs), they also work to take at-risk animals from overcrowded county shelters, get them on their feet (er, paws), and find forever families for them. This is an organization that saves the lives of so many beautiful, innocent creatures who might otherwise be killed.

This year, Alyson and I are participating in The Pixie Project’s annual Furbowl bowling fundraiser, and we would really appreciate your support for these animals!

Any amount helps. Here is an idea of how your donation could help:

  • $10 neuters one pixie cat
  • $25 feeds all the pixie animals for a day!
  • $50 spays and vaccinates one pixie dog
  • $100 allows the project to care for one shelter animal for one week
  • $250 opens the pixie low-cost clinic for one day and helps 12 animals who would otherwise go without care (spay, neuter, dental, tumor removal, wound care, etc)

Pretty cool, huh?

Not only that, but I have to point out two more important things:

  1. Donations are matched! That means that every $1 you donate will be matched by a sponsor to make it $2!
  2. Donations are tax deductible.

And finally, the really important enticement…

You may or may not know that Colette Patterns is named after my kitty, the ultra-glamorous (but reclusive) Colette.

If you donate on my page, Colette and I will send you an autographed glossy photo with a thank you note. Isn’t she beautiful? Can you believe that this movie star kitty was herself born on the mean streets (or possibly in a wood pile)?

(That’s a picture of Basil and Colette as wee ones at the top of this post. Still best friends!)


Here’s what to do

  1. Click here to donate any amount to help care for these animals (just click the big green “donate” button on the top right).
  2. Once you’ve done that, click here and enter your name and shipping address where you’d like Colette’s thank you note to go.

Thank you so much for helping these animals find their forever homes and avoid a sad fate!



Thank you! (+ some updates)


All of us here just wanted to take a moment to say thank you for the amazing response to the book and new patterns this week. We are beyond thrilled, and this has probably been our best launch yet.

ETA: Wow, you guys. We sold out of the Moneta pattern in less than 3 days. I can’t believe it. If you didn’t get a chance to get a copy, or you wanted the bundle, you have a couple options. The digital pattern is still available. Or, once we get them reprintedin a few weeks, we’ll offer another bundle deal for an additional day to make up for it.

Best seller!

I’m also really happy to tell you that The Colette Guide to Sewing Knits has been the number 1 sewing book on Amazon since the launch day! Amazing!

Leave a review!

If you have a copy already, we’d love it if you could take a minute or two to leave a review on Amazon. That seriously helps when it comes to other people finding the book there. Even if you bought it as a pre-order from us, you can still leave a review on Amazon.

Non-US readers

If you are outside the US, I’ve noticed that the book has popped up on Amazon’s European sites, but is listed as “temporarily out of stock” in some cases (such as Amazon UK). You can still place orders, but they haven’t finished setting up the title. I imagine it shouldn’t take more than a few days, but only Amazon knows!

ETA: It looks like Amazon UK now has it in stock.

As for Canada, unfortunately, it looks like you are better off ordering from the US site or from us directly due to the way Amazon.ca does their distribution. I wasn’t aware of this until today.

Thanks again to everyone, we are so happy about the response we’ve gotten!