My mom was a home-ec teacher so I started sewing—or really playing—with one of her older Singer sewing machines when I was about six or seven. She stored a big box of fabric remnants in the closet for me to use in my sewing creations. When I wanted to make something really adventurous, I remember going to my neighbor to get fabric remnants from their daughter's fancy and often sparkly prom dresses.
Fast forward a few years—don't ask me to specify—and I still love to sew. One of my sources of inspiration are the "little sewing epiphanies" via Sarai Mitnick at Colette Patterns. Her book Colette Sewing Handbook is an amazing guide for sewers of almost any skill level to create your own unique wardrobe:
"Five simple fundamentals can help you perfect any sewing project: a thoughtful plan, a precise pattern, a fantastic fit, a beautiful fabric, and a fine finish. With these five core ideas,The Colette Sewing Handbook shows you how to start sewing the wardrobe of your dreams."
I'm a fan of the classic lines of Colette patterns. My favorite patterns by Sarai are the double-breasted Anise jacket and the simple slim Clover pants—so amazing because they both go with practically anything. (See images above.) Sarai even ranks the sewing level needed for her patterns. The jacket is best for intermediate level sewers and the pants are beginner and above skill level.
Even though Sarai's sewing handbook says on the cover it is for the new seamstress, I think the detailed information she gives about how to finish a garment places it on the must-have list for sewers of ANY skill level.
Monica Lee interviews Sarai Mitnick
I love a good behind-the-scenes story about artists and finding out how creatives get their start in the biz. That's probably why I'm a huge fan of Monica Lee's video interviews at SmartCreativeWomen.com. Recently she interviewed Sarai Mitnick from Colette Patterns on how and why she started her own pattern company.