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Quilter, Upholsterer, ... Sewist?

The first two terms I've whole hearted accepted and can show evidence to the fact that I am these names. I've made many quilts, and love the process of designing, choosing fabrics, making patterns (or following), assembling, quilting, and finally binding the quilt. Upholstering is still a new process that I'm learning, but I'm enjoying the journey and learn more and more with each piece that I complete. Sewing fabric is something I love to do!

I've never self-described myself as a sewist since this implies I sew clothes. Now I've had a few attempts at sewing clothes over the years. In my teens, I'm pretty sure that I sewed a pair of cargo pants that I never wore, and a vibrant pink floral skirt for my cousins wedding. Last year I attempted to sew a dress for Alt, I wore it, but the fit was awful and I mostly covered the top with a cardigan, and never showed it to my lovely readers here! ;)

However, this may all change! I've been enamored with Colette patterns for a few months now. Sarai Mitnik is a Portland local and designs beautiful vintage inspired sewing patterns. I've followed her blog for awhile (an amazing source of sewing tips) and at Modern Domestic they use many of her patterns in their classes. Being surrounded by this talent has let myself think that perhaps I can do this too? I'll admit I'm pretty skeptical, but with the help of the talented ladies at Modern Domestic and Bolt, I think this is happening!

What motivated me to attempt this now, is in January I'm going to be a bridesmaid in the wedding of a amazing friend, Kirsten. She has opted to give the bridesmaids a color palette and choose out their own dress. Then this crazy idea popped into my head that I should sew my own dress! After a few weeks (ahem, months) I've decided to take the plunge.

Last week, I went into Bolt (our local fabric store) and picked through many of the patterns and decided that the Crepe dress designed by Colette Patterns would be a good pattern to start with. I was just going to get the pattern and muslin to first draft out the dress in muslin before buying expensive pretty fabric for the real dress. However, Hannah suggested that I buy their sale fabric and use that as my muslin practice dress instead. This way if it turns out I could actually wear it! I left feeling excited and ready to get started!

Hannah suggested that I trace the pattern onto pattern paper so that if I need a different size/alterations I won't have cut into the pattern. After I did that, I then cut all of the pieces out with a rotary cutter. This made the process of cutting out so much easier! I had never done that before but on the Colette website, she suggests this method.


Another reason, I chose Colette patterns, is the beginner friendly layout of the patterns. Within each pattern is a booklet of really detailed and easy to read directions, with well-illustrated pictures.

Also, there are links to more photos for certain directions. Finally, in the back there is a pocket for the patterns and a place for notes.

Have you heard of or used Colette Patterns before? What has been your experience?

I'll be sure to post my progress! Fingers crossed!

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Reader Comments (1)

I've sewn... I've taken costume classes in my theatre training, designed my own clothes and refashioned/tailored clothes and existing patterns .. Since I know you, I know you will do fine. you have fine attention to detail.
My only advice is make notes on the written instructions of the pattern in pencil, maybe even use sticky notes.. you may want to change the order of instructions or something,
notes notes notes - really it works. esp. if your going to make it more than once.
My other advice is to baste the seams where you would adjust the fit. then go back and and sew them after the fit is detirmined.
looks like your well on your way! congrats on growing your skills. Can't wait to watch how it goes. You're fine.

October 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterrachel

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