Book Review: Colette Sewing Handbook

Over the holidays I was very fortunate and extremely excited to have received my copy of the Colette Sewing Handbook which I had pre-ordered back in October, from Amazon.

I had high expectations of this book because I’m an avid follower and fan of Sarai Mitnick and her Colette line of patterns. The book did not disappoint; it’s everything I had hoped for, and more. First let me just say this, that if you think you are too advanced a sewer to need this book, you are WRONG. EVERYONE needs this book!!!

I am not technically a beginner; as aforementioned in an earlier post, my history with sewing is long, but my experience is limited, as I haven’t really done a whole lot of projects, especially lately. So while there are several techniques explained in the book that I am already familiar with, it is incredibly helpful to have them laid out step by step with pictures, for easy reference when needed (YAY!).

Also, and possibly much more importantly, Sarai has a number of very helpful ways of making the boring parts of sewing much easier and more pleasant. I have already tried out a few new ways of marking my patterns, and have wholeheartedly embraced the idea of using large washers for pattern weights instead of that time consuming, insufferable way of pinning pattern pieces to fabric…. UGH! I’ll NEVER go back to doing that again LOL.

I have been completely inspired by this book. I’ve never thought about actually PLANNING my wardrobe before, and I have totally been inspired to do so now, and have already began conjuring preliminary ideas for my spring mood board and wardrobe plan.

I’ve also never made a muslin before, so I decided to make a muslin for the meringue skirt, simultaneously using it to try the new pattern weights, and marking techniques which I promptly fell in love with. I’m totally sold on the muslin idea now – before this, I thought I didn’t have to do one so I never did…. it’s incredible how fast one can make a muslin without worrying about finishings, linings, facings, closures, etc…. and how much one can learn about fitting and potential pitfalls by doing so. It’s well worth the extra time put in and makes you excited and more confident about making the garment from your actual fabric.

I plan on making every garment from this book, some more than once. I am all set to do the meringue in my actual fabric – a gorgeous royal blue silk noile – and I also have fabric purchased for the next garment in the book – the cover dress, Pastille. Stay tuned, and I’ll keep posting with my progress!

About symondezyn

graphic designer, illustrator, and artist of many skills... always striving towards new challenges and goals, and always with more projects than time to do them in!! View all posts by symondezyn

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