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Articles on this site were all published prior to 2017 and this site is no longer updated.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 Magazine, Patterns, and Classroom for the most up-to-date content and products.

More news: Knits patterns now up to size 3X!

plus-announcement

Last week, I mentioned I had one more announcement about the upcoming knits patterns.

I am happy to say that we will have a bigger selection of sizes available for this line, from size XS to 3X (a 53″ bust).

Working on expanding our size range was a ton of fun and a real learning experience. I’ll probably dive into the process and what we did a little more in the coming weeks, because it was super interesting.

For now, I thought of a few obvious questions you all might have, so I wanted to preemptively answer them.

Why did you choose this size range?

At first, it was hard to know exactly what range we should try to cover, since there are certainly women over a 3X, just as there are women too small for an XS. We decided that, in addition to looking at some sizing data, we should take a survey. It included not just our own customers, but was also promoted by a plus size blogger we know (sent to her fans), so we’d get a good range of responses.

We had very few responses from anyone over a size 26. Literally, we had about 3 responses out of over 1,000. So we made the decision based largely on that combined data.

Are these the same patterns just graded up?

We drafted these patterns to get a better fit at all sizes. After a lot of research, we drafted a better fitting pattern for larger sizes, and brought in a second fit model in the 2X range.

So we really did redraft the patterns for different sizes in order to get a great looking garment for any size.

I thought you said this was too hard to do?

Nope.

We talked before about some of the interesting challenges in drafting for plus sizes. But unfortunately, at that time we weren’t ready to discuss that it was something we were already working on, since it was early stages. Because of that, a lot of people were upset, thinking we were making excuses.

Which is totally understandable. We were excited about working on these issues and talking through the technical challenges, but didn’t realize that from the outside, it looked totally different. It looked like “here’s why this is not worth doing” instead of “here’s why this is hard to get right, isn’t it interesting?” I feel very bad about that, but hopefully it’s a little more clear now.

We were working on it, we just couldn’t say so yet.

Will we be able to see the new patterns on a real plus size lady?

Yes! We shot the two upcoming patterns on two models to show a range of sizes and bodies.

Will your other patterns be expanded?

I hope so.

We now have some great blocks for knits patterns, we have dress forms in different sizes, and we have fit models in different sizes. We’re working on some new blocks for wovens right now, which would let us do future patterns in more sizes too.

As for our back catalog, I could see redrafting some of our “greatest hits” in the future, but I’m not sure yet.

I hope this answers some of your questions. I can’t wait to show you these patterns on April 15!

Sarai Mitnick

Founder

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.

Comments

sojoysews

March 11, 2014 #

As a woman who really likes Colette’s style aesthetic but is slightly above your current size range, I say thank you.

Anna

March 11, 2014 #

How exciting! I participated in the survey and glad to hear of its outcome

Annette

March 11, 2014 #

I think this is great! While I am not plus sized, many of my friends are and they are embarrassed that they can’t find many patterns they like and I don’t know how to grade patterns for them. They end up being quilters or craft sewing. Hopefully, I can get them into garment sewing.

Hillary

March 11, 2014 #

Oh, Colleterie,

There is a DEARTH of decent patterns for plus size men. My husband loved the Negroni, and after a lot of research and many muslins, I was able to create a silk Hawaiian for him last summer. Alas, nothing I tried made me happy for a long sleeve version. I hope you are considering adding some larger sizes to the men’s, too.

Kat

March 11, 2014 #

Well, that’s just plain awesome. It’s so fabulous that you’re going through this effort to be more inclusive. You’re going to make many lovely ladies very happy :)

paige @ LPD

March 11, 2014 #

This is why I shop indie patterns, you listen to your customers. I’m proud to support a company working on being inclusive for everyone.

Adri H.

March 11, 2014 #

So exciting! I’m in the petite category, but as a knitwear designer I go up to size 54″ bust often enough to know what a challenge it is – and knits are more flexible! Best of luck expanding the wovens collection. I’m so happy to hear you’re doing it!

Katrin

March 11, 2014 #

Awesome! Can’t wait to see the patterns and I am really keeping my fingers crossed for a plus size Macaron pattern… Thanks!

heather

March 11, 2014 #

Wonderful, WONDERFUL news! I’m always right on the edge, and while I’m figuring out the alterations, not at all confident in my abilities. So, huzzah! to all of this (and all of this PLUS knits? So on board.) Cannot wait!

Kathy Sews

March 11, 2014 #

I am so curious what you’ve got cooking up. I sew knits about 75% of the time (and I sew a lot!) I’m excited to see some fresh design elements and something more from another indie designer besides hyper-simplified basic plain, shapes. You always pay such nice attention to a few special details on patterns, I hope to see that carried over into your knits!!

And great job working to expand the sizing! If you’re not the rock star of the indie sewing community already, introducing knits AND real plus sizes in your designs will take you over the edge. Congrats… and many good returns for all your hard work, guys!

Megmbg

March 11, 2014 #

It’s my birthday today, and this is the best present I could have gotten! I was one of those who was disappointed in my perception of the plus size post, but I love you came your patterns and I took the survey in the hopes that something like this was in the pipeline. Can’t wait for the new book and patterns! Thanks for taking us plus size ladies into consideration.

Christine

March 11, 2014 #

This is wonderful news! Really excited about the upcoming patterns and so pleased by the way you listen to your customers.

Lynn b

March 11, 2014 #

Love this news! Can’t wait.

Sally

March 11, 2014 #

This is great news! Some of my family are plus sized and I hate having to tell them that the pattern they have asked me to make for them doesn’t go up to their size. I can’t wait to see the new patterns!

Laura J.

March 11, 2014 #

You get more awesome EVERY DAY!

Jenny

March 11, 2014 #

Thanks Sarai! I’m right at the top of your range, and am glad to have both more knit patterns and also more sizes.

I’m obsessed with wrap dresses (I even have a whole section on my blog about them) so if you get the chance to do any interesting variations, I’d be particularly interested!

http://cashmerette.blogspot.com/p/wrap-dress-central.html

gabriel ratchet

March 11, 2014 #

certainly will make the arrival of april 15th a lot more pleasantly exciting than usual….

i’m sitting on a pile of alabama chanin knit in some fabulous colors that i got at sewing workshop….. waiting.

Melania

March 11, 2014 #

can’t wait for your new patterns. I am BIG into knits, so I am really excited that Colette has expanded into that. thank you so much.

Stephanie

March 11, 2014 #

As a parent, I can vouch for the “can’t talk about it now” dilemma. It sounds so damn phony and it is so damn true. I can’t talk about what I don’t have figured out yet. And nobody cares about process. Even if you could (literally or metaphysically), it would sound like you were compensating for something.

Hey, and continuing the happy conga line: Good on you and yours! You do get more awesome every day! I’ll go be awesome in your honor!

gabriel ratchet

March 11, 2014 #

i stole that last sentence, stephanie…. and wrote it on an index card, and stuck it on the magnetic mood board in the studio…. thanks.

gabriel ratchet

March 11, 2014 #

hadn’t read the previous plus/fitting/post/”discussion” before. geez. talk about biting the hand that might actually be (and in fact, was) holding a treat.

Sherry Lesikar

March 11, 2014 #

YIPPEEEEEE!!!!!!

Thank you for making your line more inclusive.
I am the upper end of your current pattern range but the thought you having patterns that would fit friends of mine and allow them the joy of sewing clothes exactly as they want to dress is just pure joy.

:-)

Michelle Rose

March 11, 2014 #

Yay! I’m another one at the top of the regular Colette size range (RTW/Colette size 18), but I am so, so happy to hear that you’re doing another block/expanded sizes! I can’t wait to see the new designs!

Jeri Sullivan

March 11, 2014 #

So glad to hear you are expanding your line. I am in the plus sized category so this will allow for much quicker sewing. I do own 7 of your current patterns but gave up a a few because of fit issues. I look forward to new patterns (both knit and woven) in a larger size range!

Bettina

March 11, 2014 #

I am seriously pleased! Not only that you offer the larger sizes, but that you and your team put serious time and effort into making these not just an add-on but a carefully designed part of your line. Looking forward to the expansion into the already existing patterns,
Hugs to the whole team from a curvy fan all the way from Germany xx (P.S. waving both arms wildly to volunteer for pattern testing:))

Fiona M

March 11, 2014 #

Fantastic, thanks! I’m another that’s at the far end of your regular size range. (I have to do a bit of tweaking). The new patterns sound fab and I can’t wait to see them.

Marianne Fröding

March 11, 2014 #

Yippee!

Kelly

March 11, 2014 #

I too am at the top of your size range so am super excited to see more plus sizes. Can’t wait to see the new patterns.

Carol

March 11, 2014 #

Now if someone would come up with good looking patterns for ladies over 70/80 years old!

Becca

March 11, 2014 #

Wow! This is very exciting to me. I fit in the upper end of your current sizes, but my mom is always looking for something flattering and not neon green polyester. I’m excited to hopefully make some gifts for her!

Linds

March 11, 2014 #

I love your patterns and am plus size and am SO excited you’ve added plus sizes! I can’t wait to see the new knits and what happens in the future.

Rhonda

March 11, 2014 #

Super excited to hear this! As someone who wears an 18/20, I will definitely be glad to see something a smidge larger than what you’ve had, previously. While I am a competent sewist, I am not quite so advanced as to feel comfortable with upsizing patterns for myself, yet.

Karen in VA

March 11, 2014 #

Many, many thanks from a plus size woman who loves your patterns. Can’t wait to see the new ones!!!

cyngehin@gmail.com

March 11, 2014 #

Excited about the knit patterns, all sizes. You’ve turned me from baby-boomer to indie boomer with your patterns and blog. Thanks!

Kathleen

March 11, 2014 #

Hooray and hooray again! I learned how to grade patterns to fit me just so I could wear yours but I’m terrible at it and look forward to being able to make your clothes without fuss in the future!

Pamela

March 11, 2014 #

Oh Goody!

Sally

March 11, 2014 #

I wish you could see me doing the Happy Dance! I am beyond thrilled that you are expanding your line to include others. I happen to have severe kidney issues that cause my weight to fluctuate 10-20 pounds a day. While some look at me and think obesity is the problem, they have not a clue what life is like trying to guess what you will be able to wear each day. I love beautiful fabrics and stylish clothing and I certainly look forward to being able to use your patterns. Thank you for hearing us!

Laurence

March 12, 2014 #

This is such great news. I knew you were up to something! You usually never post about anything that is not related to a current project!

I am really looking to your book and new patterns. It will be a welcome break in the world of upgrading.

My husband sighed a little when I told him the news. He runs out of excuses to not purchase any new patterns now…

cathy

March 12, 2014 #

Hooray! I love Colette Patterns because of how you listen and react to your audience!

Lynda Alford

March 12, 2014 #

My body has changed lately as I had surgery and couldn’t work out etc. etc. I am thinking of getting a dressmaker’s form that is adjustable so that when I loose this extra weight (??) and go back to being a size 10 I can still use it. I have tried to research various websites to helping me choose one but need some recommendations. Help!

thanks,

Lynda

Stephanie

March 12, 2014 #

I AM SO EXCITED!!! I can’t wait to see the line! :D

Cathi

March 12, 2014 #

YAY!!!!!

Cindy Byrd

March 12, 2014 #

This is awesome news! Thank you very much from a plus-size gal

gigi clark

March 12, 2014 #

I am soooo excited to hear that the patterns will be going plus size. I always have to adjust patterns and usually don’t mind doing so but I LOVE that I will not have to adjust. Thank you so much!!

krystina

March 13, 2014 #

How exciting! I remember your last post about plus size pattern grading and I walked away thinking exactly what you posted here, that it was difficult to do so you weren’t going to do it. I’m SO glad I didn’t stop reading this blog and SO glad you are including a wider range of sizes. I’m so glad that more size ranges will be able to enjoy your patterns because they are absolutely LOVELY.

Heidi

March 14, 2014 #

Oh good, sigh of relief. I something that will fit my bust and hips :) now I had better learn to do a narrow shoulder adjustment, as I expect my other measurements will really fit! Thank you :)

Jenn

March 15, 2014 #

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am so very happy to hear about the size range change! I love your patterns, and I have done the grading up as necessary, but in all honesty, it makes me less likely to sew new things because of all the time and effort it takes. This is such good news!

Rebecca

March 16, 2014 #

Why, exactly, could you not tell people that you were actually in the process of working on expanding your size range? The secrecy makes zero sense. You could have done a really exciting, happy post about how you were WORKING on it, and that these were the challenges you were having as you designed your patterns to fit more customers. Instead, we got a misleading title that made people think that you were providing a tutorial about grading patterns and instead you spend a thousand words explaining why plus-size people were too difficult to fit to be part of your core consumer base.

I’m still very hurt over that post and I don’t know how I feel about this response. Yes, it’s really wonderful that you’ve decided to serve a larger consumer base (as I said then, you will profit), but it’s still so absolutely clear that larger people are afterthoughts for you, and that you don’t really understand the issues behind why it was so horrible to have a company say (intentionally or not) that we weren’t worth serving.

Tiffany

March 17, 2014 #

I love you guys for your tips and style aesthetic. Thank you for including those of us “not in the norm”. :-)

Can’t wait for the patterns to hit!

peggy

March 18, 2014 #

I’m so excited about the new plus size offerings. I love your website and patterns so much. You all are like the comforting friend I visit daily!