I know, I know; I’m slightly late to the Colette party, but better late than never. This darling book was published back in November of 2011, but it only popped up on my radar around Christmas and I finally got my own copy last month. I had already been itching to start sewing my own clothes again, and I couldn’t have asked for better inspiration than The Colette Sewing Handbook.
For me, sewing… reclaims fashion as an opportunity for creativity, joy, and self-expression. – Sarai Mitnick
This may be the first book of its kind that I actually read from cover to cover. Usually, I skip around to the various projects, but Sarai took the time to detail her Five Fundamentals and as I read them I realized that there are several things about sewing clothes that I never considered or, at least, took for granted.
- A Thoughtful Plan
- A Precise Pattern
- A Fantastic Fit
- A Beautiful Fabric
- A Fine Finish
For years, I’ve been struggling to find trendy fashion or even just quality wardrobe staples that fit me well. I’m on the curvy side, so my options are generally limited. I was about to give up entirely until last summer when I managed to lose 40 pounds. Now, I’m still curvy, but I’m more interested in clothes that fit well and make me look and feel good as opposed to clothes that disguise my body.
The Colette Sewing Handbook is intended as a resource for any adventurous, beginning sewer who wants to branch out…
A couple of months ago, I straightened the legs of a pair of cargo pants with a boot cut flare. I love them and wear them all the time. If a little bit of sewing could give me trendy pants that I get complimented on, what would my wardrobe look like if I really put in some effort?
Sarai encourages readers to focus on quality over quantity when it comes to building a wardrobe, especially when planning to sew items instead of purchasing them. This is where having a thoughtful plan comes in. Chapter two ended up being my favorite part of the book because it taught me how to think about the clothes I like to wear to understand why they make me happy. If you take the time to identify your style before you shop/sew, you’ll never again stand in front of your closet and say to yourself, “I have NOTHING to wear!”
…as well as intermediate sewers who’d like to brush up their skills with a new, more thoughtful approach. – Sarai Mitnick
Before this book, I simply bought mass-produced clothing willy-nilly without much thought than this is cute or this is on sale. Now that I’ve taken the time to ponder my wardrobe, my favorite pieces, my sources of inspiration, and my lifestyle and work environment, I can say with confidence that I prefer feminine, flowing dresses with a retro flair as opposed to tailored or fitted styles that bind. Armed with that realization, I’m already planning several sewing projects to finish in time for summer. More on that later.
Needless to say (but I’ll say it anyway), I highly recommend this book – so much so, that I’m giving away a copy. Just use the widget below to enter. Good luck!