Weekend Reading: Tall women, secret diets, and ugly clothes


Seamwork is out in the world now, so yay for that!

The response has been absolutely fantastic, and I am so happy for each person that has subscribed, downloaded, or just read online. I also really want to thank our contributors to the magazine. Don’t forget that you can submit your writing too.

I still feel like I have so many ideas for the future and that it will remain this tremendous work in progress. I’m really excited for that, because it means learning and trying new things. And that’s what gets me out of bed in the morning.

Sometimes when patterns or projects are released, it seems all “rah rah hooray,” but there are always glitches, issues, or stressful moments to work through. This one was no exception. As many of you noticed, almost as soon as I posted about it on the blog and hit send on an email to tens of thousands of people, the server went down.

These things do tend to happen, especially when you send a flood of traffic all at once, but this one had us freaking out a bit as we weren’t sure how long things would be down. Luckily Kenn was able to upgrade the server quickly and get everything running again.

I’m so grateful to have this fantastic little team of people: Kristen, for all her work in creating the patterns and writing some of the how-tos, Kenn for tirelessly building this site and answering so many of your emails, and Meg for keeping the shop running and shipping all of your regular orders while we were so focused on this. They are amazing people who I’m sure I don’t thank enough. Also thanks to Stu and Edgar at Sputnik Creative, the friends who helped us make Seamwork so lovely to use.

With that, here is some reading and listening for your weekend. Have a relaxing one.

Weekend Reading:

Weekend Listening:

  • Kristen and I are both enjoying the Start Up podcast, from Alex Blumberg (formerly of NPR’s Planet Money). Though it frequently makes me roll my eyes at start up culture.

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

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.


Seamwork is here! Get these 3 patterns for just $6 when you subscribe


It’s time for all of us here at CPHQ to let out a collective deep breath as we release one of our biggest projects ever into the world: Seamwork magazine.


Those of you who signed up to our preview mailing list have heard a lot about the design process and thinking around Seamwork. Today, I’ll stick to telling you what you’ll get from Seamwork and why you should subscribe.

Get these 3 patterns for $6

The concept behind Seamwork is different, but it’s simple.

Seamwork is an online sewing pattern magazine, specializing in projects that can be made in 3 hours or less. But more than that, each project is designed to help you explore something new, introducing you to sewing topics you might not be familiar with in a quick but hands-on way.


Oslo, the cozy cardigan

Our first pattern is Oslo, a long and cozy cardigan with a relaxed shape and slightly dropped shoulder. I made my first Oslo cardigan in just 1 1/2 hours!

The greatest thing about this pattern is how different it looks depending on your fabric choice. You can use almost any knit, from French terry to cotton jersey, but I like it most of all in a lush sweater knit.




If you’re not familiar with sewing sweater knits, read our article all about the ins and outs of choosing and stitching all kinds of sweater knit fabric. You’ll learn how to keep them from unraveling, how to maintain their texture, and a handy helper fabric you can use.


Madrid, the workhorse tote

Who doesn’t need a good tote bag? Madrid is a lovely and simple 2-hour tote with subtle details like a tab closure and piping. It looks great in a mix of fabrics, especially when you incorporate leather or faux leather.



Read our article all about making bags, including ideas for incorporating beautiful hardware and sewing with leather and vinyl. Bags are a fantastic way to get creative without worrying about fit.


Valencia, the classic clutch

Finally, we have a bonus pattern for subscribers with this issue: The Valencia clutch. This gorgeous and simple evening bag features a turn lock closure and chain strap that can be tucked inside.



Learn how to install a turn lock in this issue, or try your hand at customizing your bags with leather paint.

Download the issue for free

You can read all of the articles in Seamwork issue 01 online, or you can download the whole issue as a PDF for free.


Here are the stories you’ll find in this issue:

  1. Elizabeth Dye talks draping
  2. The Beautiful World of Pendleton Wool
  3. Embroidered Snow Flurry
  4. The Ultimate Guide to Sparkle
  5. 3 Ways to Paint a Bag
  6. Making Beautiful Bags
  7. How to Install a Turn Lock
  8. How to Sew with Sweater Knits
  9. Behind the Seams


Reader Deals

In addition to the patterns and stories we offer, be sure to check out our Reader Deals section.

There, you’ll find discounts and deals at a selection of independent fabric shops, including shops in the UK and Australia! These are some of our absolute favorite indie shops that we’ve worked with for years, and they’re offering discounts up to 25% off.

Gift subscriptions are available (but you don’t have to wait)

If you’d like a Seamwork subscription for the holidays, we have gift subscriptions available for 6 months, 12 months, and 24 months.

BUT, even if you ask for a subscription for the holidays, you don’t have to wait to get your patterns! If you subscribe today for $6 and someone gives you a subscription, you can simply apply that to your future issues. Think of it as a gift certificate, really.

So, want to learn about sweater knits while you make a cardigan? Care to try your hand at making a leather tote? Want to try using turn locks?

Visit Seamwork and subscribe to get your patterns >

PS: Congrats to Elizabeth T, Tara P, AM, Alanya L, and Carol C who won 1-year subscriptions! We’ve emailed you privately with details.


Black Friday Sale: 30% off all patterns!


It’s time for our big annual black friday sale!

As long-time customers and readers know, this is our biggest sale of the year, with 30% off ALL patterns – today only! Ends at midnight PST, and discount will be applied automatically at checkout.

PS: If you’ve noticed the radio silence this week, it’s because (along with the US holiday) we’re preparing for the launch of Seamwork on Monday!

Shop the black friday sale >


Denver folks! Join me and Alyson at Fancy Tiger on Thursday!

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If you are in Denver, come hang out with us this Thursday at Fancy Tiger!

Alyson and I are in town and would love to hang out with you. This is an informal meet & greet where we’ll be chatting, hanging out, signing books if you want. And you can get 10% off Colette patterns (15% if you wear a Colette garment)!

We can’t wait to see you!

Get more details and RSVP on the FB event page >

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