Start your sewing adventure with us.    Join Seamwork

Articles on this site were all published prior to 2017 and this site is no longer updated. Please visit our current Articles, Patterns, and Classes for the most up-to-date content and products.

The Colette Sewing Handbook: Behind the scenes at our photo shoot

I love photo shoots. They’re kind of like planning a big party. Lots of work and care, plenty of moving parts, people to coordinate, and tons of excitement and energy on the big day. I think the video above pretty much sums it up.

I’m really a lucky lady, first of all because I was able to art direct the photo shoots for my book and collaborate with the talented people I love working with. I could choose a diverse group of models (in fact, I was encouraged to), coordinate everything the way I wanted, and give the book the same look my patterns have. Not only that, but I had tons of friends helping out.

The prop styling was done by my awesome friend Chelsea Fuss, and the photography for the book is by another talented lady friend, Lisa Warninger. Plus lots of other people who came just to help out.

Here’s me with the dopiest possible look on my face while Lisa directs me:

Props are a big part of any photo shoot, and this is a small sampling of the tables and tables of props we’d assembled. Chelsea sourced the yellow wallpaper and applied it to the wall.

Hair and makeup was by the wonderful Kassandra of The Ginger Suite Salon. She is always amazing.

I hope you enjoyed these little peeks! Believe it or not, this was actually only day one of shooting, though it was the most intense. The second day and third days were of just sewing props without models, and then I had an entire week of shooting step-by-step photos in Ohio with the publisher. Oh yes, there were a lot of photos taken.

I’m hoping to share a little more soon about the writing process, if you all are interested in how things came together. What do you think?

Some other posts you may be interested in:

Sarai Mitnick


Sarai started Colette back in 2009. She believes the primary role of a business should be to help people. She loves good books, sewing with wool, her charming cats, working in her garden, and eating salsa.



October 19, 2011 #

So exciting to see what’s going on behind the scenes. Thanks for sharing. What is this gorgeous dress you are wearing? This isn’t a version of one of your patterns by any chance? I just love it.


October 19, 2011 #

My orange dress is vintage, but you could easily do something similar with the scattered white beading!


October 19, 2011 #

Oh yes, we’d love to hear about the writing process! The photo shoot looks like a joy. They’re exhausting, though, aren’t they?


October 19, 2011 #

it’s inspiring to see the actual garments from your book alive…!


October 19, 2011 #

Sarai, I very much enjoyed the video: I love your choice of models, the clothes look even more beautiful on people moving about in them and I CAN’T wait to get your book!

You are an endless source of fantastic inspiration!

Vicki Kate

October 19, 2011 #

I find the whole process fascinating, so I’d love to hear about the writing process too!


October 19, 2011 #

I loved the video – the wallpaper bit at the beginning made me chuckle!

Would be great to hear about the writing process as well – not often you get such an insight in to how a book is put together!


October 19, 2011 #

Oh man, I can’t wait for this book! Thanks for the behind the scenes. I echo the others and would love to hear about the writing process!


October 19, 2011 #

Fun video! Thanks for sharing. I would love to hear more about the book writing too. I can’t wait for it to arrive!


October 19, 2011 #

Amazing! Thank you for this (and yes more behind-the-scenes please)! I love seeing how the dresses look on real live moving people (they look even more gorgeous in movement)! I cannot wait for this book, I have a countdown going on in my head!


October 19, 2011 #

Love seeing the clothes in action! Can’t wait for the book!


October 19, 2011 #

I love all the behind the scenes sneak peeks for sure, so more posts on the writing process would be fantastic! My favorite part in this video is of the model leaning over to get just the collar of her dress ironed a bit, haha.


October 19, 2011 #

Totally fun, great video! You are rocking the marketing on this book, by the by. Just love this site and love your work. Can’t wait for the book :)


October 19, 2011 #

Love the behind the scenes stuff and would definitely be interested in the writing process. You probably don’t even have to ask at this point, we’ll take anything you got! ;) Thanks for brightening my day with your creativity!


October 19, 2011 #

As a fellow writer, I would love to hear more about your writing process for the book! (BTW–I pre-ordered the book a while ago and am so excited that it will finally arrive in a few weeks!)


October 19, 2011 #

Looks like you’re all having fun! It is great to see moving images of the designs, it makes me want to sew them all!


October 19, 2011 #

Oh that was lovely to see!! You all look like you had a lot of fun doing that shoot.


October 19, 2011 #

Very awesome! Photoshoots are so much fun! I’m really, really looking forward to your book…


October 19, 2011 #

This seriously made my day. :) Was having a rough one, but watching this video has made it just a bit brighter. I’m already starting a countdown for your book release!

Seriously can’t wait – would love more on the writing process in the meantime!

Congratulations, again. :)


October 19, 2011 #

It’s so nice that it brightened your day! I hope it gets better from here on out. :)


October 20, 2011 #

Watching this video made me smile! :) I just adore behind-the-scenes things like this; it’s always fun to see how shoots come together. As usual, the decor and models are spot-on! :) I love how your aesthetic sense flows seamlessly through *everything* you do, Sarai–so inspiring!