Entries in Apparel Sewing (80)
I was trying to decide what to wear to Colette Pattern's Book Launch party last week. I had every intention of making a beautiful navy Peony dress or remaking the Crepe wrap in our fun denim/hemp blend, but the week simply got a way from me. Which is kinda how I feel about November in general. Anyone agree?
I wanted something fun and pretty so I turned to my Beignet skirt. Which is exactly how I feel about it--fun and pretty. The high-waisted style is flattering, as I have just learned over time that while I love those beautiful Japanese styles, I look like I'm wearing a sack. I need waist definition!
Here is a pattern with smart details inside and out--side seam pockets, faced waist and button placket with a full lining. For this I chose a Denyse Schmidt voile. LOVE.
I used a topstitch in a contrast color for a (mock) flat felled look typically found in denim wear and went ahead and stitched buttonholes in the same. Went a little nautical with anchor buttons!
This skirt would be a stunner in a lovely light wool or in a chic black cotton!
Sarai was one of the first people I met when I moved to Portland. We had a mutual friend in common (Ms Gertie) and I figured she would know all the things I needed to know about my new town, mainly the best places to buy fabric. I was right! Last summer she was heavy in the pattern testing stage of her book, The Colette Sewing Handbook, and being without work gave me plenty of time to help by working my way through the garments. The flawless design was already there. As a tester, I confirmed the pieces worked and fit together paying special attention to the written instructions and diagrams to help ensure they were as clear and helpful as possible. I mostly worked from fabric I had or muslin, thinking that I would go back and remake my favorites in proper fabric. I'm so grateful I had the opportunity to help Sarai on such a massive endeavor, even in such a small way, because she is truly a kind and generous person. And what a resource she created! 5 NEW patterns (a skirt, a blouse, and 3 dresses), each designed to enhance the 5 fundamentals covered such as fit, fabric, and finishing. As we celebrate the release of her publication, I thought we'd get to know the woman behind the patterns a little better.
How did you decide on the name "Colette" for your pattern company?
The short answer is that the company is named after my kitty, Colette. She's a very elegant little lady.
What's your favorite part of the design process?
I've always liked the earliest stages, doing research and coming up with lots of ideas. It's fun to just free your mind to come up with new ideas before whittling them down to the ones that will actually work.
But I also like the final stages, and doing things like photography and styling, coming up with the final presentation. It feels good, like you're putting the final polish on something you've put a lot of work into.
What do you love about your life in Portland? About having your studio in the SE?
Portland is an amazing place to live, and there's almost too much good stuff to name! I love how green and beautiful it is. I love how nice everyone is here, and how much creative talent there is. Having a small business like mine can be a little isolating because you're not always surrounded with people, and that goes double for writing a book! So it's great to have so many people to reach out to and collaborate with. I think all the rain and darkness inspires us to be more creative with all our indoor time.
I've lived in SE since moving to Portland, and I love it here! So I was thrilled when I found a studio space nearby, and now I can walk to work every day. I love my little studio, but I must say that the walk is the absolute best thing. I love having the time twice a day to be outside and take in the world around me. Plus there are some fantastic bars and restaurants between home and work, and there's nothing better than walking five minutes to a fantastic bar to meet a friend after a long day.
Thanks for chatting, Sarai!
Bolt and Modern Domestic are proud to be sponsoring a party to celebrate the release of The Colette Sewing Handbook! On Thursday, November 17th, the party will take place at Ford Food & Drink starting at 8:00pm. Come enjoy giveaways, beverages, crafty fun, and show off your best Colette sewing. I *hopefully* will be wearing my new Peony dress. Don't hold me to that though!
Halloween is just around the corner and we all know what that means...costumes! There are loads of great ideas and free patterns in countless blogs to help inspire you.
Tulle can create such an ethereal effect. This notoriously shifty fabric can be used for a simple and fun tutu, great for enhancing costumes like storybook characters or favorite animals and bugs. Or use some of our felt and shiny ribbon with tulle or netting and transform your little one into the cutest pumpkin!
Boning comes in handy for a number of costume ideas--think crazy vampire collars or Rocky Horror-style bodice shaping. Even this bat costume uses some with felt to create the wing shape!
Check out the various weights of interfacing including one of the heaviest, Timtex. The structure would help shape a hat, collar, bodice, or other design detail that stuck away from the body. And it's fusible!
Need a little shine for wings, dresses, and capes? In addition to these more subtle colors, we also have rayon lining fabric in a variety of shades.
One of my favs--glitter rick-rack! Embellish any character with this flashy trim that's perfect for Halloween night. You can also add it to the tulle tutu for extra sparkle.
A superhero cape (courtesy of Ellen Luckett Baker, author of 1,2,3 Sew) would be fun for a night of trick or treating and for playing year 'round. Along with the fabric, don't forget the velcro. This easy closure is sold by the yard so you can get exactly how much you need.
Felt is a Halloween staple; it's easy to use, doesn't fray, and we have it by the yard. Pirates, monkeys, and bees--oh my!
And don't forget a Trick or Treat bag! I have a tutorial over on the MD blog that would be easy to customize with applique, fabric markers, or just two awesome fabrics!