Do you have any sewing rituals?


I love rituals. They shape my life and make me a happier, more centered person.

For example, every weekday starts the same way for me. I wake up early, turn on the coffee, and meditate for 10-15 minutes while it brews. I drink my coffee and go through a list of quick tasks I call “my dailies”. I eat, run or work out, eat again, shower, get dressed. Every day.

You might call this a routine, but I prefer to think of them as rituals. They are the things I choose to do, the things that center me and prepare me for the rest of the day. They make me feel calm and more creative.

And that’s what I think the difference is between a ritual and routine. Rituals energize and prepare you, routines (while helpful) are rather mindless.

I realized recently that I also have sewing rituals.

I clean off my space. I brew a cup of tea or coffee. I make sure my tools are handy. I put a pair of nippers on a ribbon around my neck.

Doing these things helps to put me in the right head space. It makes me feel (1) more prepared and (2) relaxed. The latter is especially important, because I find that beginning with this feeling of ease and relaxation is the number one thing that prevents me from getting frustrated.

This made me wonder if you guys also feel you have rituals around sewing, and what those might be. What makes you feel prepared to work on a project?

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New lower shipping prices!


As I mentioned on Friday, we’ve made some big changes along with our move into a new studio. The most important one is overhauling the way we do shipping.

Working with an outside fulfillment warehouse has been vital to our ability to grow. I really can’t imagine how different things would be if we hadn’t made that switch years ago.

But we got to a point where it just made sense to bring it back home. We were dead set on getting our shipping prices down for you guys (and for our retailers).

So from this point on, we have a completely new and more efficient shipping system, run by the fantastic Meg.

The bottom line

We’ve reduced shipping prices across the board, for all kinds of orders. International customers will especially notice a huge drop in shipping rates, as we’re passing on all the efficiencies straight to you.

Not only are there lower rates, but we also are able to ship now with more options, including cheaper shipping methods for many orders that we weren’t able to use before. So that’s the deal!

Check it out in the shop!


Weekend Reading: Brand nostalgia, accepting criticism, and the fashion of Twin Peaks


We’re working hard on getting things set up over here.

Well, Meg and Kenn are working hard. I’m basically doing the same kind of work I always do.

Today’s an especially big day because we’re getting all of our inventory delivered, so that we can bring our shipping back in house after years of having a separate warehouse. I’ll have another very very good announcement regarding that next week. It’s going to be a huge win for everyone.

Weekend Reading:

For more links every week, you can follow me on Twitter, where I’m always posting interesting tidbits I find.

image above via colettepatterns on instagram


New pattern coming soon! Get on the preview list here.


In addition to our recent move, we’ve been busy working on our latest pattern for Fall. We recently finished up the photo shoot, where I snapped this picture.

In the last year or so, we’ve experimented with some new kinds of garments, to great success. We’ve done menswear, we’ve done knits, we’ve done cat sweaters (ok, not that one… yet).

But I feel like this pattern goes back to our roots a little bit. The versatility, the feminine shape, the fun fabric options – it’s everything I’ve always loved putting into our patterns.

Our official launch date is October 21st.

Like last time, we’re going to offer a special preview to those on our sneak peek list. You’ll get a first look at the new pattern the day before it’s public, a chance to buy it before anyone else, and an extra thank you discount.

ETA: Since someone asked on twitter, I wanted to clarify: this is a new list just for this pattern. If you signed up for a sneak peek before, you’ll need to sign up again for the new one so we know you’re still interested.

Get on the sneak peek list!


Have you ever impressed yourself?


I’ve noticed that many women, myself included, struggle with the concept of pride.

We are, by and large, uncomfortable with holding up our accomplishments. This is true in personal situations, it’s certainly observable in work environments, and I even see it on sewing blogs as we downplay our achievements and point out all the flaws.

The reason usually given for this behavior is that women are consensus builders. Holding yourself up above anyone else, or even giving a hint of the appearance of doing this, is dangerous to group dynamics. It makes it much more difficult to keep harmony if you aren’t trying to fit in.

But I’ve noticed that it goes beyond this socialized instinct. We constantly see women being punished for flaunting their achievements without self-effacement. Even more sad, it’s often other women who do the tearing down.

The reasons for this are complex, but the results impact us all.

In her new book Playing Big, Tara Mohr (who kindly sent me a copy) points out that both research and anecdotal evidence show that it is very difficult for a woman to be perceived as both competent and likable. As a result, we frequently modulate our appearance to appear less competent in order to be liked more.

This is one reason I love the concept behind Ann Friedman’s Shine Theory. It says to me that women can be the agents of change simply by the way we treat each other: as friends instead of competitors.

So today, I thought I’d take a moment for all of us to pat ourselves on the back for a job well done.

My question is this: Have you ever made something that really caused you to be impressed with yourself?

I mean, not just something you were a little proud of. I’m talking about something that made you feel more capable, confident, or creative. Something that made you feel better about yourself, not just happy with what you made?

For me, it will always be my wedding dress. Not because it required such great technical skill, but because I put my heart into every aspect of it. I chose the beautiful gold 4-ply Italian silk charmeuse, I found the perfect organza trim with tiny seed pearls, I figured out how to apply it to create a carefully scalloped hem. I took my time.



Everything about it felt like me, and that made me happy. There were no compromises and a lot of creativity.

I don’t know if it’s the dress I would make today (though it might be), but I know how I felt in it.

What have you created that made you proud of yourself?

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