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Entries in Apparel Sewing (81)

Sewaholic's Pendrell blouse


I looked in my closet the other day and realized I was bored with everything inside. Don't you hate that! I need a wardrobe boost in the worst possible way. Looking for inspiration in the patterns, I picked up Sewaholic's Pendrell blouse. This one doesn't have ANY closures, similar to my other favorite blouse pattern, Colette's Sorbetto (I have expressed much love here and here). Which really just means it comes together quickly. Perfect!

Sewaholic's Pendrell blouse

I have been dying to sew with some Liberty of London. Gina has brought in some stunners and I picked up two different cuts. I know they're revered and now I know why--beautiful drape, striking designs, and a pleasure to sew with. Worth every penny for that wardrobe boost. With such a fine fabric, be sure to pick up some Microtex Sharp machine needles to get the best stitch quality.

Liberty selection

I love the 40's details on the sleeve; the tucks provide a slightly exaggerated shape. And they are set in the princess seam not an armscye, another easy installation. Because of the seams there are no darts! Take your time on the gentle curve of the princess seam to prevent stretch or distortion. If you're nervous, do a staystitch along both pieces first.

sleeve detail

Easy shaping and fairly flattering, I've dressed it up with a skirt or gone casual with jeans. It's a great staple I could see making more than one of. I'm excited to try Sewaholic's other patterns (especially they're new jacket pattern!)

Pendrell Blouse


Colette's Beignet Skirt


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! 

Beignet with blouse

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.


full lining-beignet

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!

waist detail-beignet

This skirt would be a stunner in a lovely light wool or in a chic black cotton!

Sarai and her Colette Sewing Handbook



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.


Colette (the cat) was named after the French writer, Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette. I love Colette's novels, and there's something about her femininity, eye for beauty, and love for life that I wanted to be part of the company. So I guess I'd say the company was ultimately named after the writer. 

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.

Taffy & Meringue

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!