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This Week: Birthday cheer

First of all, look how close we are to reaching my birthday goal for Charity:water!

I can’t believe how close it is and hope that a few more of you can spare a few bucks (any amount you want) to put us over the edge. 5 bucks, 10 bucks, whatever will help move that ticker to 100%.

I also wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who donated. We even had one generous donor give $320, which is amazing. It means so much to me that so many of you were able to give so generously. You’ve truly made this a spectacular birthday.

Other than my own little pledge drive here, I celebrated my birthday with a wonderful day hike in the Columbia Gorge, complete with butterflies, wildflowers, waterfalls, and a picnic.

After that, I cleaned up and slipped into this lovely mini dress I made this week for my birthday dinner (at Andina, a local Peruvian restaurant).

I fell in love with this fabric when I saw it and bought the last 1 1/4 yards off the bolt. It’s an aqua silk jaquard and so light and breezy. With so little fabric, I had to do some fancy footwork to get a whole dress out of it. I used every last scrap, but I did it. It always feels so satisfying to use every little piece of fabric, doesn’t it?

(The pattern is the same vintage one I used for my blue Liberty dress and shirred coral dress recently.)

I hope you all had an amazing week too. Here are some awesome links for you to check out:

  • A handy guide for creating a lining pattern for a blazer.
  • Got a mystery fiber fabric? Check out this great video on using the burn test to determine fiber content.
  • Summer is perfect for easy-wear garment with shirring, and this oldie (but goodie) series outlines how to add it to a dress pattern.
  • This may be a laundry bag, but wouldn’t it make a great scraps bin to store all those odd bits of leftover fabric?
  • Looking for some vintage garment inspiration? Check out the Xtabay Vintage blog.
  • Seeing other’s sewing spaces is always intriguing: take a peek at some in the sewing spaces tour series.
  • Great tips from the Sew Weekly on ways to organize and keep your pattern stash more organized.
  • This 40s era shirred embellishment could be easily replicated in silk ribbon! (Try it on flap pockets or collars.)
  • Add a personal flair to any project with your own DIY, sew-in garment labels.
  • Stuck with a small-scale pattern that needs to be enlarged? Threads Magazine shows you how.
  • Turn an old (and not valuable/readable!) book into a stylish, DIY clutch purse.
  • After a long day of sewing, these iced lavender shortbread cookies would be the perfect treat with some iced tea!

Thanks to Casey for her help in rounding up these links.

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.



July 13, 2012 #

Beautiful hike, gorgeous dress! Happy birthday!


July 13, 2012 #

Happy birthday! That gorge looks beautiful, as is the fabric – I love the subtleness of the pattern. And thanks for all the great links


July 13, 2012 #

Looks like a really lovely birthday! Many Happy Returns! I can never quite decide about adding labels to homemade stuff – is it a bit like trying to make things seem shop-bought, when self-made is so much better?!


July 13, 2012 #

This is hands down my favourite thing you’ve ever made. The fabric is gorgeous, the colour is perfection and the shift dress with rolled collar is simple enough to let the fabric shine with just enough embellishment to add interest to the garment. Well done!


July 14, 2012 #

Thank you so very much for the mention. I love that dress. May I ask what the pattern number is?


July 15, 2012 #

Happy (belated) birthday! It looks like you had a lovely day.

That dress is absolutely stunning! The fabric, the style are perfect.


July 16, 2012 #

That fabric is so beautiful! I love the detail around the neckline. I’m going to make my own dress (a Colette pattern, of course) this summer while we have some sunshine in Portland :)

Thanks for the inspiration (and Happy Birthday)!


July 20, 2012 #

Happy belated birthday! Your Charity Water gift is such a grand idea. I may have to thieve this for the winter holidays. Oh, what we could all achieve…