Happy holidays!


Happy holidays to all of you. I’ll be taking a week off from the blog to finish up the next issue of Seamwork and set some plans in motion for 2015.

I have some really fun things planned for the blog next year, so I will see you here in January. Cheers!

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Last minute digital pattern sale + A0 formats and new French translations!


We’ve just finished updating our full line of digital pattens so that all now contain a wide format “copy shop” version, suitable for printing on any wide format printer. Most of our patterns have included these for a while but we’ve gone back and updated all our older designs as well. And for all of you who live in those oh-so-rational metric system using countries, these wide format versions now print on A0 paper, making it much easier for those in other parts of the world to find an appropriate wide format printer.

If you’ve bought any of our patterns before and want the updated versions, you can sign into your account at colettepatterns.com at any time and download it again.

Second, we have new French translations! In addition to Dahlia, which we released last month, Crepe, Peony, Moneta, Mabel, and Myrtle are now all available in both French and English (and yes, we’re pursuing other languages for the future too).

To celebrate, we thought we’d offer a quick sale before Christmas for those of you who need last minute gifts.

From now until midnight PST on Christmas eve, enjoy 30% off all digital patterns with code LASTMINUTE2014 at checkout.

Happy holidays, folks!


Weekend Reading: mammoths, going braless, and female friendship


Just a few links for you this week, but I highly recommend the first one, especially if you’re having a bad day, are feeling self-doubt, or are getting pressured by your family this time of year for whatever reason.

Weekend Reading:

Weekend Listening:

  • I really like the show All in the Mind from Australia’s RN. It’s all about the brain and behavior. I recently listened to the show on willpower, and it seems timely for the coming new year.

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


Free pattern roundup: Quick gifts for your fellow sewists


As part of our partnership this month, the folks over at Craftsy asked me to round up some free patterns for you guys.

These patterns are from their marketplace, where people can submit their own projects and patterns. Some of them cost money (and the designer gets all of the sale, which is really cool), but many of them are free.

I discovered quite a few that would make excellent last-minute gifts for other sewing ladies in your life, or you could just make them for yourself. I particularly like the organizers, since I’m always looking for ways to get my supplies under control.

If these colorful fabrics aren’t quite your style, just try imagining them in your own palette of choice. I can see a whole suite of organizers and accessories in denim, another hard-wearing twill, ticking, or canvas.


This post is brought to you in partnership with Craftsy, our sponsor this month.


Top 9 sewing books for beginners (according to you)


A long time ago, I asked for your recommendations on books for true beginners.

I thought it was high time I rounded up the top choices. I’m going to start with the standouts, the books that by far got the most mentions from you all. Then I’ll list some of the other books people feel are a good fit for the beginner.

If you’re brand new to sewing, check these out at your local library and see which you find most helpful. Everyone has different learning styles, so you may find some of these books appeal to you in a different way than others.

I left out recommendations for my book because, well, it seemed like a biased sample. I’m hoping there are some in here that are new to you, or to a beginner friend.

Most Prized

“It has a variety of projects and answers a lot of REALLY basic questions about using sewing machines (I used her explanations to figure out how to thread my 1971 Kenmore), hand stitches, zipper installation, and more. I think it’s a great resource if you really don’t know where to begin, and 3 years after starting to sew I still look at it from time to time for a clear explanation how to do something.” – [Kristina](ornamentalconfectionery.blogspot.com)

  • Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing: Perhaps the most popular choice, this book is a true timeless reference for many of us. Danielle reminds us that newer versions actually have less information, so you should look for an older one (hers is from 1993).

“It is easily my most used sewing reference guide. The simple explanatory prose and clear illustrations are so helpful when I’m stuck! It is also quite well-indexed, so if you’re reading through your pattern and you get stuck on a certain step, you can easily look up “sleeves” or whatever, and it will give you lots of options.” – [Thimbledore](thimbledore.tumblr.com)

“I think it is a brilliant book because its simple to understand which helps beginners, but it is so comprehensive in what it covers, it is great for more advanced people. I think it is a book that I will keep referring to forever because it is so good. It is a book that will last, so probably a great choice for a beginner.” -emma

Other Well-Loved Books

“The series is aimed at beginners and provides modern seeing advice–by that I mean they refer to up to date inventions like the serger and other tools ” -JP

“Again great step-by-step instructions for different methods – specific to sewing clothes, as well as good explanations of why you might choose a specific technique or method or what garments commonly use them.” -Brandy

“I found the Vogue Sewing really useful when I was starting out sewing, it has such clear descriptions in it for pretty much every technique I’ve ever used and probably ever will. It’s always at hand when I’m working on anything.” -Hazel

“I like how it tells you what you learn making something, then build upon that with something else.” -zebazga

“I would buy Claire Shaeffer’s book because she is a true master. The book is a bible, there is a wealth of information in this book that every sewist, beginner to advanced, should know.”

“My all-time favorite beginner book is Sewing Basics by Patricia Moyes. I was lucky enough to take her classes at San Francisco’s Sewing Workshop, and her book reflects her super-clear, very accessible teaching style. I still use it!” -Lianne

For all the recommendations, check out the comments on the original post.

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