16

New pattern pre-sale starts Friday!

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One more quick reminder, friends:

We’re offering a special discount and sneak peek for those who wish to pre-order the new upcoming pattern!

Secret details and the discount will be mailed out this Friday, so be sure to join the list before then for access:

Get first access

To get on the sneak peek list, enter your email below:

ETA: The preview has already gone out… check back Tuesday, July 15th for the official announcement!

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.

46

You’ve gato make your own clothes when you run a half meowathon

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When Kristen and I decided to run a half marathon together, we knew it would be the perfect opportunity to make our own running gear. And what’s better than handmade running gear?

Cat-themed handmade running gear.

The patterns

My top was made with the Fehr Trade XYT top pattern, which Melissa kindly let me try out. It was a lot of fun to make and I finished it in just a couple hours.

I made a couple minor adjustments, which are mainly a matter of preference and my general love of experimentation. I decided to finish the edges with fold over elastic, which makes the binding process very easy. I did the back X in black powermesh, just for fun.

I also did a little switcheroo in the order of sewing operations and left one shoulder seam open until the binding was installed, in order to avoid binding in the round. I’ll avoid binding in the round whenever I can, and with knits that’s pretty easy to do.

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I went by the size chart to determine my size, which put me at an XS (I am usually a small or medium, fyi). The only issue I had with cutting this small size was that the bra lining was extremely tight, perhaps because I am a larger cup size.

As a busty runner, I usually avoid compression-style sports bras, so I think next time I might omit the lining and wear one of my favorite encapsulation-style sports bras underneath.

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Kristen’s top was modeled after a tank top she already had, but her shorts were made from the Fehr Trade Duathalon shorts. Kristen cut them a little longer than the booty-shorts version.

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Check out the gel pocket! Kristen even matched up the little kitty heads on it.

The Fabric

The fabric we used is from Spoonflower.

Spoonflower has a couple of options for performance fabric. The regular performance knit has moderate one-way stretch. The hand feels like you’d expect a poly jersey to feel. Not my favorite thing to touch, but it’s sort of what you’re used to if you wear athletic gear.

(If you missed it, here’s a more in depth look at why polyester is such a good choice for athletic apparel.)

I opted for the performance knit because I thought the smaller amount of stretch might help provide support. This turned out not to be necessary, but still the fabric worked out just fine! It performed well all 13 miles. The print I bought was this one called pussycat in summer coral by magentarose.

Kristen went for Spoonflower’s other performance fabric, the performance pique. This is a bit softer and much stretchier, very similar to the sorts of fabric I’m used to in serious athletic clothes. In the future, I’d go with this fabric for tops, for sure.

These fabrics aren’t cheap, but you don’t need much to make summer workout gear. I used much less than a yard.

The Race

I know that talking about running is super boring to non-runners, so I’ll just say that this race was a real beauty: flat, gorgeous, and perfect weather.

This was Kristen’s first half, and it was really fun to run together. We should make it a tradition. Every year, a different cat-themed outfit!

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3

Weekend Reading: bias tape tips, breaks, and learning from failure

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Just a quick roundup for you guys today, as Kristen and I are running a half marathon together this morning… in handmade and rather amusing activewear! I’ll be posting our finished garments on the blog next week, but if you want a sneak peek, I’m sure something will turn up on Instagram.

22

12 beautiful travel wardrobes: Check out the Knitcation contest winners!

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Going through all the entries into our Knitcation contest was like a quick trip around the world right at my desk.

To recap, this contest invited you to create a 7 day travel wardrobe using our two latest patterns for knits, the Mabel skirt and Moneta dress. Thanks once again to our beloved prize sponsors, Hart’s Fabric, Grey’s Fabric, and Brooklyn General Store.

We had ladies traveling to Greece, Vietnam, Uganda, Iceland, and California. We even had one staycation right here in beautiful Portland, and a trip around the world for fabric shopping!

Thank you to everyone who took the time to enter. I hope you all had as much fun creating your travel wardrobes as we did looking through them.

I wish I could showcase every single outfit here, but that might be a bit much. I’ll share the winners, and a few more to show the wide variety. We had so many entries, there’s no way I could post all of them, but if you created one please feel free to leave a link in the comments if you’d like everyone to check it out!

Thanks from the bottom of my heart for all of you who took the time to show off your beautiful creations.

Grand Prize: Emma’s trip to Iceland, Greece, and France

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Emma writes:

“In a month I’m off to Europe! I’m heading to Iceland, Greece and France amongst other places. I am relatively new to sewing but I am now totally addicted and excited about creating a handmade wardrobe. As soon as I saw the Moneta and Mabel patterns I knew I had to make them. I hope you enjoy my pics, next I’m looking forward to taking snaps of these outfits in the real places!”

Read more about Emma’s travel wardrobe >

Second Prize: Sim Shwen’s trip to Melbourne

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I loved how creative Sim Shwen got so creative with her paintings! And it was fantastic to see some options for the southern hemisphere as well.

She writes:

“I love Melbourne as it has a great mix of fun, outdoorsy things to do as well as heaps of cultural/educational destinations! It’s winter in Australia so I had lots of fun mixing in big jackets and coats and cute tights. Melbourne is one of the top fashion destinations in Australia so I wanted the outfits to be quirky and colourful, but also feminine and romantic.”

See more of Sim Shwen’s travel wardrobe >

Instagram winner: Becky Geller

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Our Instagram winner is Becky Geller!

Becky writes:

“Later this summer, I will be heading to the Heartland to celebrate my grandmother’s life with my family. Nothin’ too fancy or formal, and we’re all about comfort – knits are perfect! While we are family reunion-ing, we won’t be doing the usual vacation things like shopping and sunning at the pool, but there will be plenty of relaxing and hanging out together (and eating). There will be some sights to see and walks around the park and food and bein’ cool.

This was so much fun! I loved having the motivation to make a bunch of makes and then putting together an entire week’s worth of outfits from them.”

More travel fun

I can’t leave it at just that, so here are some selections from just a few of the beautiful entries we got. Again, I wish I could include them all. Since I can’t, I went for variety.

Danielle’s trip to California

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“I actually am going to Cali in a couple weeks and coming from Boston, wasn’t quite sure what to bring. I really wanted pieces for this trip that were light, fun and versatile and I knew the moneta and mabel would be wonderful jumping off points for this. I love how easy it was to make these patterns “my own” and think they’ll be perfect for California!”

See more of Danielle’s travel wardrobe >

Amber’s Independent Fabric Shopping Around the World

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“I travel for work and one of the things I really enjoy doing is visiting fabric stores. I’m completely happy, getting out of my work uniform, putting on something comfortable (like my Moneta dress), and going out to see a new place. I’ve taken sewing classes in Portland, searched for bag hardware in the LA garment district and gotten lost in Cabo San Lucas searching for a specific shop with limited Spanish.

I love my new knit patterns and this was a fun way to see all the possibilities to create outfits. I used Polyvore to get started”

See more of Amber’s travel wardrobe >

Carla’s 7 Days in Singapore

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“We’re about to move to Singapore for a while, and its always great to get rid of surplus stuff when you do a big move, I thought this would be a good exercise in paring down my wardrobe.”

See more of Carla’s travel wardrobe >

Amber’s trip to Uganda

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“I traveled to Uganda recently and really could have used Moneta and Mabel. Too bad I received my Colette Sewing for Knits book and Mabel and Moneta patterns just before I got on the plane. So for my knitcation, I made a fanciful recreation of what my travel wardrobe would have been for the trip had I been able to stretch time to get a bit more sewing in.”

See more of Amber’s travel wardrobe >

Ally’s trip to Toronto

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“I wanted to channel my wardrobe architect work into this mini travel collection and sew my modern/hippie style into reality! Toronto is HOT, MUGGY and a generally stylish city, so I really wanted to sew comfy, breathable (read cotton), clothes that made me feel like I fit in. Mission accomplished I think!”

See more of Ally’s travel wardrobe >

Aimee’s trip to Los Angeles for the Anime Expo

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“I have some friends coming in to Los Angeles from out of town for Anime Expo so I decided to do an ideal trip I’d take my friends around town with. We are all seamstresses who like Japanese Animation, cute things, geeky things and yummy food. Sadly, we will all be too busy that all of this will not actually happen on their trip, but we’ll do as many as we can fit in.”


See more of Aimee’s travel wardrobe >

Raphaelle’s trip to Normandy

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“We went to Normandy two years ago and I fell in love with that place. Warm but not too warm, friendly people (did not get teased about my french canadian accent even once!), good food (as ever in France!), beautiful scenery, history… I want to go back! Especially since we didn’t have the time to see everything I would have liked to see.

My outfits are inspired by the area. A lot of nautical blue and white as well as stripes. French people tend to dress up more than north americans and my choices reflect my desire to fit in rather than stand out as a tourist.”

See more of Raphaelle’s travel wardrobe >

Victoria’s trip to California

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“I’m a born and raised California girl now living in Missouri. I miss my west coast. The ocean, the city, the deserts, DISNEYLAND! I’d give my left arm, right leg, and a kidney to go back. These are the outfits I’d would have loved to have worn when I was there, and while hopefully visiting back home.”

See more of Victoria’s travel wardrobe >

Clare’s trip to Helsinki

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“So I’ve actually booked a trip to Helsinki for September and I’m actually going to take my knits with me! I’ve never been, but have concocted a trip based on some of the things advertised on the Helsinki tourism website. In reality, I’m probably just going to go into shops and touch all the beautiful scandinavian clothing and homewares. Thanks Colette Patterns for putting on this competition, it was fun playing with my new Mabel and Moneta & now I have lots of ways to wear them around!”

See more of Clare’s travel wardrobe >

Thanks to everyone!

Thank you so much to each one of you who prticipated in this challenge! I hope you had a great time.

I loved seeing all these outfits, but even more I enjoyed reading all the stories of places you’ve been, plan to go, or dream of going. It was truly inspiring.

If you still haven’t picked up your own copy, you can grab Mabel and Moneta in our shop.

6

Giveaway: Win 64 colors of cotton thread from Craftsy!

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Today, we’ve got a fun giveaway from our friends at Craftsy! They’re giving away a set of 64 spools of heavy weight thread (worth about $366). Read on for more info on both the thread and the giveaway.

How to use cotton thread

As a garment sewist, you’re likely familiar with the old standby thread: all-purpose polyester. And you probably own an assortment of it.

But have you ever thought about having a collection of other types of threads for more specific needs?

If you’re a quilter, you might be used to sewing with cotton thread. In the garment sewing world, it’s used less often because poly is stronger and has more stretch, so it’s the thread of choice for seams that get a lot of pull and wear over time.

But cotton thread has plenty of uses! I like to keep some on hand in a heavier weight for several purposes:

  • Machine or hand quilting (I’m not much of a quilter, but I am using it on the quilt I started long ago)
  • Machine embroidery and decorative stitches
  • Applique
  • Buttonholes (I love how they look in a heavier thread)
  • Decorative topstitching

Basically, a heavy cotton thread is a good choice for decorative stitching, and when you have it on hand you find some really cool ways to use it.

Win 64 spools of cotton thread from Craftsy

This month, we’re partnering with Craftsy to give away a 64-spool set of sulky 12 wt cotton thread (that’s the heavier weight, perfect for the uses I described above), which retails for $366!

We kind of forget how expensive thread is when we buy it one or two spools at a time, huh?

To enter, all you need to do is click the link below, and enter your info to sign up. Craftsy will choose a winner at random on July 11 (the winner must be in the US or Canada).

If you already have a Craftsy account, make sure you are signed out, then click the link and sign in again from there to enter.

Click here to visit Craftsy and enter to win!

Note: This giveaway is sponsored by Craftsy. We only partner with companies that we truly believe in and think will be helpful to you guys.

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