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What We Made, Vol. 1

We thought it would be fun to showcase some of our makes around the office each month. We also share these pretty regularly on Instagram (follow us here), but why not round things up and show a little more detail about the fabric and what we learned in the process?

Sarai’s Floral Laurel



Who: Sarai
Role: Founder, boss lady/cat herder
Pattern: Laurel (with sleeveless modification)
Fabric: Floral rose print cotton from Mood

What was your original inspiration for this project? How did it come to be?

I was really inspired by Dolce and Gabbana floral dresses like this one. I love all things rose, I love dark florals, and I love huge prints like this. When I came across the fabric on the Mood website, I knew it had to be a sheath dress for summer.

How do you plan to wear it?

It’s very loud, so I’ll keep it as simple as possible. I think it would look best with some strappy black heels, but I don’t really wear shoes during the day that I can’t walk a mile in. I think it would also look pretty good with a black blazer over it when it cools off.

What did you learn?

  • Buy more fabric than you think you need when sewing a huge print. I bought extra fabric, knowing that the placement of the print would be important. But if I were to do it again, I’d want to cut the back on the fold to eliminate the back seam, which would have required more fabric.
  • Shorter is better. I like short skirts on my shifts. I like my legs, and I think it balances the looseness of the waist. It would have thrown off the print here, so this is fine as is, but it just made me realize how much I like a loose fitting mini in the summer.
  • More florals! I love big, luscious florals. Love them. I should wear more of them, I don’t care if I look like a Laura Ashley sofa.

Kris’s Ikat Aster


Who: Kris
Role: Pattern Czar
Pattern: Aster
Fabric: A cotton ikat purchased locally at Bolt in Portland.

What was your original inspiration for this project? How did it come to be?

I was looking to add a new button up to my wardrobe. I was leaning toward making my Aster in a classic chambray, but when I got to the store I spotted the ikat and fell in love with it.

How do you plan to wear it?

So far this summer I’ve frequently worn my Aster tucked into a pair of high waisted black shorts. I think it will also look great over a short pencil skirt, or with jeans and a cardigan this winter.

What did you learn?

  • I focused a lot on project planning! It was nice to have everything ready to go before I started cutting and sewing.
  • I chose a slightly heavier fabric than I’d usually pick for this shirt and I’m happy with the results! It’s easy to wear and care for.
  • I also worked on not rushing during this project. I had originally imposed an arbitrary deadline for myself and started racing the clock, but then reminded myself it wasn’t worth it! I finished my project a few days later and it was a much more enjoyable sewing experience.

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 30, 2015 #

Love the Laurel and the Astor! I’ve considered making the laurel sleeveless and wonder if this modification has been discussed on the blog in the past. I hate the gaping sleeve hole I get when I just choose to leave sleeves off. Thanks for all the inspiration. Beautiful, as always.


July 30, 2015 #

Thanks for sharing your makes! I love both of these! Especially the floral Laurel!! My bedroom is filled with large floral patterns but there aren’t any in my closet. I should change that!


July 30, 2015 #



July 30, 2015 #

Holy Moly! Bravo on matching up the bias tape with the overall print. Truly masterful and inspiring! Also, love the Ikat.


July 31, 2015 #

I really love that fabric for the Laurel. So beautifully eyecatching! It’s awesome to see what you’ve been making and thanks for sharing your tips – I love sewing but have never really tried making clothes but it’s something I’m aspiring to


July 31, 2015 #

This is a wonderful feature. I really enjoy seeing what you ladies are creating and wearing for your everyday lives.

Jill Collins

July 31, 2015 #

Absolutely beautiful! It’s time for me to put down the knitting needles and pull out the sewing machine!


July 31, 2015 #

I hope you do a sewalong with the Laurel pattern.

mrs. eccentric

July 31, 2015 #

ooh, two wonderful pieces! I love that both pieces are classic ‘Colette’ while also being so very different in style personality, level of formality, place in the closet. Sarai’s stunning floral piece is much more flexible than looks at first glance – of course you can wear it with a lace shawl and strappy heels to a wedding or cocktails, but you could also pair it with a jean jacket or poncho and boots in fall.

Kris, that burgundy with the tangerine touches makes your eyes really sparkle! People look for those type of colors in special occasion wear, sure, but i’m so happy to see that in something you can wear everyday. Speaking of which, pairing this blouse with a pair of slouchy silk trousers in burgundy, mules and an armful of bangles or stunning gold hoops would be a really pretty dinner look.

Looking forward to more sharing from Colette HQ!!


August 1, 2015 #

Thanks for this post. It made me think that I should plan my sewing more carefully and to start asking myself those questions, before and after making a new pattern.
Before: What will I wear it with? Will I use it regularly or only on special occasions?
After: What did I learn? What should I change next time? will there be a next time?

And the results are lovely…


August 4, 2015 #

Both really pretty…. I fell in love with D&G’s rose collection, first time I would have actually have loved to buy something readymade and/or D&G for a long time…. In fact I ordered some viscose jersey online covered with enormous roses just because of it…


August 4, 2015 #

Gorgeous! I love that Aster, it looks so comfortable and easy. I’m not convinced the shape would work on my busty short-waisted hourglass, but you look gorgeous. Fab colour for you!


August 5, 2015 #

Love the Laurel dress!!! Looks very comfortable on!