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This week at Colette Patterns: nerding out

This week I have been seriously nerding out.

There are many aspects of my personality that are hopelessly nerdy. My obsession with public radio. My love for Battlestar Galactica. My constant reading about brain science.

But there is perhaps nothing so nerdy about me as my love for data. I can fool around with numbers and spreadsheets forever. I love playing with data, I love visualizing data, and (most of all) I love pulling real honest-to-goodness insights out of data.

Doing all this stuff used to be my job, and it’s one of the few things I sort of miss about Google. That, and the free food.

But this week, I spent lots of time knee-deep in data after getting over 7000 responses to the survey I posted. Thank you all! You gave me a lot to chew on. Hearing from all of you has given me so much more confidence to make decisions and move forward right now.

PS: Don’t you love Marilyn in glasses?

Of course, I also worked on my awesome new dress. I’m hoping to wear it this weekend. Kenn’s mom is visiting us and we’re planning to go to this amazing vegan restaurant and take a nice hike down by the river. Hope you all have a great weekend!

Here are some wonderful links Casey pulled together for us:

  • Tips for various ways to apply rick rack (in a handy .pdf) from the Sewing and Craft Alliance.
  • Got a favorite tee shirt you would love in other colors? Make a copy of it!
  • A very thorough guide for selecting sewing machine needles.
  • I love this idea for a budget friendly (under $60!) craft table with storage.
  • Another tee shirt idea–take an old, long sleeved shirt and make it into a cute bow-sleeved version!
  • I love these cute, vintage inspired apron tutorials.
  • A lovely tutorial for making a custom sewing machine cozy (helps keep your machine dust-free!).
  • I love this idea for taking curbside trash, some paint and making a pretty and functional place to store fabric.
  • So many possibilities for using these pretty, pocketed coat hanger covers. (Note: it’s a video.)
  • Have too many buttons and need some storage to organize things? This is a cute and inexpensive solution!
  • A clever idea for converting a vintage suitcase into a clever sewing tool and notions storage container.
  • Hang some of your favorite patterns that sport eye-catching illustrations as artwork.
  • If you like sewing up aprons (which are great for using small lengths of fabric), check out these free vintage patterns.

Research and link gathering by Casey. Thanks Casey!

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.


Rochelle New

June 15, 2012 #

I LOVE Battlestar Galactica! …who doesn’t? And yes, Marilyn in glasses is my favorite Marilyn :)


June 15, 2012 #

A car we often see by our house has a Roslin/Adama ’08 bumper sticker. It gives me no end of joy.


June 15, 2012 #

I love the fabric you’ve chosen for your dress. And spookily I spend my working week crunching data, so sewing is the contrast to my nerdy side. Have a fab weekend. :-)


June 15, 2012 #

Long live nerds with blogs!

Thanks for the link to the t-shirt copying site. I recently splurged and bought a plain v-neck t-shirt from Ann Taylor (the outlet store, but still) and it fits in such an amazing way that I would love to have more. If they weren’t so expensive for what they are, that would be so much easier to justify. This will be my cheat to fill my t-shirt drawer.

Now if I could just get me a pair of those Marilyn glasses.

Miss Crayola Creepy

June 15, 2012 #

I checked out that restaurant’s menu and it sounds amazing!!!! Are you guys vegan? I saw Youth of Today play last week at the Glasshouse in Pomona and it inspired me to try being vegan again…


June 15, 2012 #

Kenn and I are both long-time vegetarians. I eat limited amounts of dairy and eggs. Basically I try to eat a plant-based diet. Portland is vegan mecca, we have so many options here!


June 28, 2012 #

Very late response on this but wow, Youth of Today and the Pomona Glasshouse together in one comment! I was never really into the straight-edge scene but the music was pretty good (Youth of Today, Minor Threat, Dag Nasty…).

I lived in Pomona for a couple years but moved away before the Glasshouse opened. I’d been back for number of shows after that until we moved to SF in ’04. Good times.

Miss Crayola Creepy

June 28, 2012 #

Kenn, my husband is a huge fan of hardcore music and you just named some of his favorite bands! Now that he has seen Youth of Today the one band that he is dying to see is Minor Threat.

That was our first time in Pomona and I just LOVED the downtown area. The Glasshouse was cool and I hope to go back to see more bands. There is a hardcore festival in LA in a few months and I want to go to that because American Nightmare will be playing and I missed out on their New Years Eve show, so I have to make it to this one! Is it weird that when I am sewing I listen to hardcore music?? Haha.


June 15, 2012 #

OH MY GOD YES! Portobello is the most tastiest ever.


June 15, 2012 #

I know, and they are almost across the street from our office! I can’t wait to dig into their sweety peps!


June 15, 2012 #

Thanks so much for the link love!


June 16, 2012 #

I nerd out all the time! Especially with the finer details of sewing techniques – which limits the number of people I can talk to :)


June 16, 2012 #

I love data too – I like working with facts and figures I like the android of the same name too! Sarai, reading about the things you like makes me love your patterns even more!


June 16, 2012 #

I heart battlestar galactica (and playing with numbers) too! Yay for us sewing enthusiast nerds :)

Alice Elliot

June 16, 2012 #

The nerds of the world are where it’s AT!!!

jessica alvarado

June 16, 2012 #

Oh my goodness! i simply adore your hazel pattern and I’m going to buy it when i’m done with this post.

Could you possibly make a super cute summer dress pattern with a halter top? I am having such trouble finding a pattern that has shape and doesn’t make me look like a harlot. and i love how easy to follow your patterns are.


June 17, 2012 #

This dress is really beautiful and amazing! I also love your blog which is so inspiring and interesting but I don’t dare to write because of my english not really perfect… I am currently realizing the Hazel dress and I have a problem because the part of the bust is too short for me (I am rather tall and thin and I have a small breast) so I don’t know if I could extend the bust (and so the other parts) but I think it will change the initial shape??? I also have to reduce the darts of the bust. Can you tell me what is the best way to extend the bust and at which place can I extend these parts while respecting the shape of the dress??? Thanks a lot for your work!


June 18, 2012 #

Nerds unite! There’s so many different types of nerds but we can still relate just by being nerds.

Sad to say I haven’t touched my sewing machine in a long time. Hopefully that’ll change soon.


June 18, 2012 #

Hi, Sarai!
I would love to please hear your recommendations for books on brain science!


June 19, 2012 #

Did you make it to Portabello? GD I love that place! The pizza… oh man! They even had a gluten free option for me which made me squeal in delight. Yum!

And thank you, thank you for the link to the button storage. I have one of those funky little shelf things just sitting in the closet waiting for a purpose. I finally found it.