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The year in review for Colette Patterns

Hello! I’m back from South America, feeling completely refreshed and rejuvenated. There’s really nothing like traveling to realign your perspective on the world.

With this fresh new big-picture mindset, I’ve been mulling over a lot of the new directions I hope to explore with the company. But before I write about that (in a separate post), I thought I’d take a little time to reflect on the past year here at Colette Patterns.

January: We launched Snippets. Caitlin especially put a lot of work into documenting and photographing tons of sewing tips. Snippets now has almost 8,000 subscribers!

January: I introduced our very first Palette Challenge. This was definitely the motivation I needed to sew for myself more, and to sew things I’ll actually wear. A big portion of my current wardrobe is stuff I’ve sewn during these challenges.

April: We introduced two more patterns to our line, Violet and Ginger. These patterns really marked a turn toward more beginner patterns, and more separates and wardrobe basics. They immediately became best sellers, so I think we were on the right track.

May: We introduced our second free downloadable patterns, the Sorbetto! I never could have predicted what a huge hit this pattern would be. You guys loved it!

June: I flew to Colorado to film an episode of Sew It All on PBS. My first ever TV appearance, and it was actually pretty fun.

July: We began working with a new local charity, The Pixie Project. We donate to these loving animals with the added benefit that we can go down and visit them in person, since they are local. Kitties!

July: I had you guys take a survey about the blog, and used that to plan lots of changes to the blog. You guys chipped in with your thoughts, and we made some subtle and not-so-subtle tweaks to the topics we write about.

August: We relaunched the blog with a brand new design and name!

August: And of course, the biggest announcement of the year: I finally revealed that I had been working on a book! You guys were as supportive as ever as I revealed more and more about the content and my writing process over the months.

August: I announced our newest patterns for Fall, Clover, Jasmine, and Peony. These new patterns quickly surpassed Ginger and Violet as our new bestsellers, and they’ve stayed at the top every since!

October: After almost a year of design and development, we launched the brand new Colette Patterns website. Hooray! We’re continuing to improve it, but I think it’s a huge improvement and ties in so much better with our current look.

November: We made our first ever trip to Quilt Market, where we officially launched the book. It was a fascinating experience, and I met so many amazing independent retailers from all over the world.

November: I did a signing and talk at one of my all-time favorite stores, Powell’s! What a dream come true.

We have one more big and exciting change around our studio to round out this incredible year. I’ll show you tomorrow!

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.

On , Andrea said: | sewcupcakecouture.blogspot.com

You guys deserve every single bit of success that comes your way! It has been so fun to read along all year and watch your company grow and mature. You are an excellent role model for any woman who dreams of starting her own business. I look forward to the next year and the great patterns I’m sure you will come up with. :)

On , betz white said: | betzwhite.com

What a wonderful year end review! You’re inspiring me to do the same. I hope you feel as accomplished as you sound. :) Your work is beautiful and very inspiring. All the best for 2012!

On , Sophie said: | cirque-du-bebe.blogspot.com

What a year! Phew! A lovely success story and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Colette patterns next year. Congrats to you.

On , StephC said: | 3hourspast.com

How exciting! It’s really fantastic to have your stuff out there, your patterns work so well for so many people.

On , Stephanie said: | star-spangledheart.blogspot.com

Congrats! Everything you do is not only well thought out and functional but beautiful down to every detail. Can’t wait to see what Colette Patterns comes up with for next year!

On , colleen said:

It was in June that I sewed my first Colette pattern — Crepe. I couldn’t believe how amazing the experience was and since then I’ve ordered almost all of them — even making a Negroni for my husband. Your patterns have made me a better sewer and have opened my world (which was stuck in quilt mode) to the deep pleasures of sewing apparel with apparel fabric. I love fabric so much and feel as though my world became wider. I know this is corny but I love your company and what you’ve done for women who love to sew.

On , Sarah said: | rhinestonesandtelephones.blogspot.com

What a fantastic year for you! Congratulations!!

I am so grateful that you came to the sewing world! Your patterns, tutorials, and simple presence within it is such an inspiration to so many.

I’m very excited to see what’s in store for 2012. :)

On , Steffie said: | honovihandiwork.tumblr.com

Eeeee, a new announcement! I always get so excited wondering what your nifty new creations might be. Thanks again for all of your hard work this year, Sarai and Caitlin. (Also, looking at the comments here, you seem to have a disproportionate number of fans named Stephanie! ^_^)

On , Rachel said:

I’m excited to find out what’s next! But I’m also eager for Christmas to get here so I can see if I got anything from your store off my wish list. I’ve been very good this year. :D

On , Amanda said: | symondezyn.wordpress.com

Congratulations on such a great and successful year! :) Though I came along late to the party, in the fall, I already feel like part of the family with you and your loyal followers :) Your book has inspired me and rejuvenated my love for even the most mundane of sewing tasks, and I’m so very excited to embark upon a ton of new projects, join in the next palette challenge, and to see what amazing new creations you reveal for the next year!

On , Salma said: | beautifullysewn.com

I have to agree with many of the above comments, you guys really are an inspiration for stitchers, I’ve been so amazed at the quality of everything you guys do, the blog, the patterns and the book, it’s made me a better sewer!

On , Francesca said:

Loved the review – what a year – you so needed a holiday!
Just one comment – I don’t think I am the only one who is very happy with the simpler patterns, and with the separates – and I would love you to come out with a cute little jacket – but I still adore the more complex patterns / dresses, and hope you continue to be inspired in that direction occasionally :)

Another change? anticipation!!!!

On , colleen said:

Oh, I completely agree with Francesca. I love the idea that we can go from beginning to more advanced with your patterns — incorporating things we’ve learned along the way!

On , Maria said: | thisismyjourneytoahealthierme.blogspot.com

First of all Congratulations to a wonderful year! Then to also add…thank you for inspiring me to go back to sewing. I purchased your book and I am completely looking forward to sewing your patterns. In fact they are in my plans for sewing with a plan for 2012. They are absolutely wearable and so feminine. Thank you so much for this! for making clothes for women that are beautiful and wearable, no matter the body size or height.

I am looking forward to next year with a great deal of anticipation to see what others wonderful patterns you have in store for us.

Have a Merry Christmas and a terrific New Year!

Maria

On , jaime said: | patchworkarchitect.blogspot.com

You are amazing! What a fantastic year. I am so happy to be a “little” part of it. I love the patterns: sewing and selling them in our stores. Best wishes in 2012.

On , Sandi said: | mamamademine.blogspot.com

I’ve discovered Colette patterns this year and they are wonderful! Thank you for all of your hard work. It helps make sewing a joy!

On , Amanda said: | sewinintherain.blogspot.com

I love Colette Patterns and all the work you’ve done just this year alone! I have so many of your patterns and I can’t wait to tackle them in the coming year. It’s truly inspiring to see ladies my age running a creative business like this, and it’s always exciting to visit a new fabric store and see your pattern line being carried there!

On , Christine said: | whatsupcupcakeblog.com

Wow, that was a busy year! And I appreciate all that you did, because as you just showed, you gave me something exciting to look forward to every month! I can’t wait to hear what your newest announcement is, and I’m looking forward to what you create in 2012!

On , didyoumakethat said: | didyoumakethat.wordpress.com

Wow! You must have had times of feeling exhausted. What I like is the way that you never rest on your laurels – always moving forwards, always changing (though never too drastically!). The danger with success is to become complacent, and you’re definitely not that. Happy holidays.

On , Miss Crayola Creepy said: | misscrayolacreepy.blogspot.com

You have accomplished so much this year! You should be proud!

On , Tracy McElfresh said: | etsy.com

Wow, you inspire me! Congrats on making 2011 a productive year.

On , Sarai said: | colettepatterns.com

Thank you everyone! You guys are so awesome and supportive, it’s kind of unbelievable.

On , Liliana said:

This was my first year with Colette and I loved it! I’m so looking forward to upcoming patterns and challenges (I will definitely join the next one!)
I also cannot wait for christmas, as I’ll get the colette sewing book!
I wish you all the best for a wonderfull next year, you really did a great job!!
Greetings from austria and happy holidays!

On , Debbie said:

Congratulations on an amazing year – you & Caitlin should be very proud of all that you have achieved. I have loved following you throughout the year and look forward to the year ahead …. and finding time to sew some of my Colette patterns (and reading your book – which I have hidden under the christmas tree as a gift to myself!)

On , melissa said:

I am also new to Colette this year, but I am very excited to get to have time after christmas to sew some things from the patterns I have so far, and I also can say that I have been very inspired by your book to be more mindful about what I sew and to enjoy it more. Thanks and way to go on such a great year!

On , Crystal said:

Congratulation on a great year. You and your team have worked very hard. I think part of your success, among many other things, is you are always thinking ahead to the next new thing. I equally love the beginner basic patterns, as well as the more complicated, beautiful dresses, so I do hope we continue to get some of both!

On , Margie said:

I’m exhausted reading all this. You are one hard working lady. Can’t wait to see what 2012 has in store!

On , Violet said:

You didn’t mention the Novi Expo in which, if I am not mistaken, you entered a fun contest and had what I thought was a very beautiful entry that was not given due credit!
You’ve been the busiest business woman of the year!!!!!
Congratulations and have a fabulous 2012.

A fan from Michigan!

On , Sarai said: | colettepatterns.com

Violet, I think you must be confusing me with someone else. :) I haven’t been to Novi yet.

On , picaropicara said:

I just wanted to thank you guys so much for your patterns. I found it really hard to actually start sewing because I’m a fat girl, and the big companies aren’t always that accommodating – but you are! I just got the Sewing Handbook, which is hands down the best sewing book I own, and have just cut out the pieces for the pastille muslin. My resolution this year is to sew every one of your patterns that I own (8 now!), complete with muslins and proper fitting so I can be proud of everything I’ve made. I wish you well in the following year and hope you continue to be as fabulous and productive as ever x

On , Debbie ericson said:

Very much enjoy Snippets because it is like a refresher mini class on basics learned so long ago..and learning the new as well.