Pattern of the Month: Mabel


Last month I made the move from Los Angeles to Portland. After living in Southern California my whole life this has been a huge change. I could speak volumes on the distinction between the two cities, both of which have their virtues, but today I want to talk about this move in the context of my wardrobe.

In L.A. the weather is mild to sweltering, and I could get away with wearing sundresses every day of the year. I would simply add a cardigan and tights for “cold weather” (read 65 degrees Fahrenheit). Portland is very wet and chilly in comparison to the eternal sunshine of Southern California.

To distract myself from the stresses of moving to another state, I would lay in bed at night and plan my Portland wardrobe. This wardrobe consisted of layered button-ups, sweaters, tights, booties, and Mabel skirts. Fast forward one month later and Mabel has become an absolute staple in my wardrobe.

I love a garment that looks put together but is comfortable and easy to wear. On a rainy day, I can style Mabel with leggings and boots, and if the weather is bright and sunny I can wear Mabel with a breezy blouse and flats.

This is why I am excited that the Pattern of the Month for May is Mabel!

Here is why I love Mabel:

  • Mabel is a simple fitted knit skirt that transitions seamlessly from season to season.
  • This style of skirt can easily take you from work to play.
  • It is perfect for traveling.
  • It can easily be sewn up in an afternoon.
  • The simplicity of the garment creates the perfect opportunity to play with prints and color.

I am dreaming up a few versions for summer to be worn with button ups and tshirts alike. I have rounded up some inspiration for spring and summer Mabel skirts.


  1. A color blocked skirt from J.Crew.
  2. A casual drawstring skirt perfect for the relaxed weekends, from Banana Republic.

  3. A midi-length striped skirt with subtle side gathers, by Caslon.

  4. A pink skirt with shaped hem from Topshop.

  5. A floral skirt from Ann Taylor is the perfect way to were florals to an office setting.

  6. This faux wrap skirt from Anthropologie is an edgy take on a classic style.

  7. Try making a coordinating set like this one from Asos.

Through the end of May, you can get Mabel for 20% off when you use code MABELMONTH at checkout.

We are also hard at work on another pattern hack and ideas that will teach how to modify you Mabel skirt.

Have you made a life change that has drastically affected the way you think about your wardrobe?

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The Color Issue + Sydney and Adelaide


The May issue of Seamwork is up and ready for you to read!

In this issue:

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nashville copy

bts copy

Some favorite quotes from this issue:

“The creative process is a series of highs and lows, and that’s just the nature of the beast.” -Emily Adams, Professional Help

“Developing a personal color palette allows you to sew clothes that always make you feel beautiful. Color then becomes an integral element in your design process that allows you to create garments that are a true reflection of your style and unique features.” -Elizabeth Farr, Design a Personal Color Palette

“Peasant blouses are prime examples of a commitment to creating beautiful clothing despite little resources. These blouses often used no more than a yard of fabric, but hours upon hours were poured into the needlework.” – Behind the Seams: The Peasant Blouse

And here are the two new quick-to-sew patterns in this issue:

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Adelaide is a simple shift dress with a snap front closure, that is ideal for spring and summer. Sewn up in chambray or linen, this dress is the perfect throw on garment for the warm days ahead.


Sydney is a wrap-style layering piece, that perfectly tops off a sleeveless frock. Use a light weight woven like lawn or rayon to make a breezy topper for your summer sun dresses.

You can visit Seamworkmag.com to read the issue, download it from the current issue page, or subscribe to get the patterns.

Due to popular request, we have added a more detailed image of the Adelaide.
Thank you for your feedback!



Win a Seamwork Subscription


Every month we look forward to seeing all the beautiful and unique creations made with Seamwork patterns. You all blow us away with your amazing creations! It is inspiring to see people carve time out of their busy and demanding schedules to support our magazine.

That is what is so great about the patterns featured in Seamwork, they are creative useful projects when you are on a time budget. With the spirit of creating and sharing in mind we are hosting a Seamwork magazine raffle.

Here is how it works: all you have to do is post a picture of yourself in your favorite Seamwork garment onto Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #seamworkgiveaway. You can also participate on Facebook by tagging us in your picture. In the caption be sure to specify the pattern you made and any special touches you may have added.

All submissions are due by Wednesday May 20th. On Friday May 22 we will randomly pick one winners, and feature a round up of your Seamwork makes.


Here are the rules:

  • If submitting your photo via Instagram tag us (colettepatterns) and use the hashtag #seamworkgiveaway
  • If submitting your entry on twitter tag us, and use the hashtag #seamworkgiveaway
  • You can also participate on Facebook by tagging Colette Patterns in your picture. Make sure to mention the giveaway in the caption.
  • You must be wearing at least one finished Seamwork garment of your creation. If your Seamwork make is a Florence Bra, or Geneva Panty, you can still participate by simple taking a photograph of your garment laying flat.
  • One submission per person is allowed. Submitting multiple images will not increase your odds.
  • All submissions must be in by 5pm PST on May 20th.
  • The winner must redeem their prize by commenting on the announcement blog post within 48 hours or the prize will be forfeited and a new winner drawn

The prize:

Can’t wait to see all your me made Seamwork garments!!!


Free Pattern Hack: The Peony with a Shoulder Yoke

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The Peony Dress is one of those styles I never seem to tire of. I adore the figure flattering simplicity of a fitted bodice and a flared skirt. If you look through my closet you will find a fair amount of my wardrobe consists of this style silhouette. For this exact reason I am constantly looking for ways to keep this design fresh.

Today’s post comes from Haley, the newest addition to the Colette team! Haley is an experienced sewing teacher and seamstress and will be contributing a great deal here and over at Seamwork. Please welcome her! -Sarai

Enter the shoulder yoke. This thoughtful detail combines both form and function instantly upgrading the dress. While the yoke is a pretty point of interest on the garment, the gathers offer the benefit of bust shaping. I absolutely love how the waist gathers are echoed in the gathers of the bodice.


This detail is created by lowering the neck line, drawing in a yoke, then rotating the dart uptake towards the shoulder to create gathers. In this version, a yoke was added just to the front of the garment, but this element could easily be mirrored on the back of the garment. This detail offers endless opportunity for variation.

Try using contrasting fabric to highlight the yoke detail, or cutting the yoke out of a sheer fabric like organza or lace, to make a cocktail dress. You could even add piping to the yoke and waist seam to really add definition.


The fabric is Robert Kaufman’s Brussels Washer Linen in Mist (available from Hawthorne Threads in the US or Dragonfly Fabrics in the UK). This linen rayon blend is the perfect fabric for spring and summer sewing. It was a dream to sew with, and unlike many linens, it pressed like a dream. It comes in a variety of colors, including yarn dyed.

Remember, through the end of April, you can get Peony for 20% off when you use code PEONYMONTH at checkout. Download this free pattern hack to get started on your own today.



Pattern of the month: Peony


Our Pattern of the Month for April is Peony!

Peony is one of our all-time best selling patterns. It has a sweet, classic shape with a bateau neckline and removable cummerbund belt.

Through the end of April, you can get Peony for 20% off when you use code PEONYMONTH at checkout.

We’ll also be sharing a pattern hack next week to transform Peony into a very different style, using some of the methods Devon has recently covered in Seamwork.

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