Monday, April 14, 2014

Amuse-bouches: New Colette knit patterns

I was all set to finish my trenchcoat this weekend, but then I got the mail on Saturday. My new Colette patterns and Colette Guide to Sewing Knits book had arrived, and they aren't even officially released until tomorrow! I think that I was more excited to receive this bundle early than when my husband received his pre-ordered Madden 2013 game before its official release date earlier this year.

The two knit patterns and book were part of a bundle that Colette made available for pre-order at a discount last week. Colette didn't release any line drawings or other details about the pattern and only released a teaser first chapter of the book. I've seen some comments online that seem irritated with this strategy, but I figured that the new patterns pretty much had to be designs that would work for most women to use this pre-order strategy. These patterns are also the first to include Colette's expansion into the true plus size range.

I was excited about the book because I actually don't own a reference book for sewing knits, even though I sew them all the time. I liked the fact that the book covered serger and coverstitch use, too--two areas where I'm entirely self-taught (by internet and machine manual), and I thought that I would probably learn some nice, new techniques for my machines from the book.

I don't want to be one of Those People who posts spoilers on the internet for things, but if you're dying of a curiosity, I will share a few details about the new patterns:
  • The knit patterns are sized from XS-3XL, going from a 33" bust to a 54" bust, so it's pretty inclusive and goes pretty far into the plus size range. I'm posting the size chart so that you can see where you fall into this range:
Size chart Colette knit patterns
  • The two new patterns are a skirt (Mabel) and a dress (Moneta).
  • Both the skirt and dress include three different views, although two of the dress views are very similar.
  • Both the skirt and dress are fairly classic designs that should look good on a variety of shapes and sizes.
  • The dress pattern is slightly reminiscent (to me) of another indie knit dress pattern that's currently very popular in the sewing blogosphere.
  • The skirt is about as classic as you can get. Two of the views skew a little more youthful, but the third view is one of those that I think looks good on just about every woman.
  • The pattern envelope says that the skirt can be made in an hour. I'd suspect that this is true for an experienced sewist making the easiest view.
  • I'm not sure if this was a packaging error, but my pattern had duplicate pattern tissue for the piece that included two of the views.
Since I received my patterns a few days early, I got the idea into my head that "Wouldn't it be cool if I managed to finish one of these before the patterns are even officially released?" Because clearly, sewing new patterns is a race and a competition, right?

For another project, I had already pre-washed (and cut into) a length of black ponte knit that I thought would be perfect for the Mabel skirt.  I cut the pattern tissue and fabric on Sunday, then before work this morning, I constructed the body of the skirt. Here's a sneak peak that doesn't really give too much away:
Mabel skirt in progress
Tomorrow, I'll switch my Evolve to coverstitch mode and then finish the waistband and the hem. And then I'll win a prize or something by having my skirt done on the day that the pattern is actually released.

On a side note, after seeing a few mentions elsewhere online that others had received their patterns early, the cynic in me had to wonder if this was deliberate viral marketing, and not just super efficient shipping by our USPS. Granted, I work in an industry where leaving a prototype iPhone in a bar has set the bar for viral marketing. In any case, I suspect that most people who are big enough Colette fans to have pre-ordered the patterns will be happy with them; they're classic designs but true to the Colette aesthetic and should be flattering on most figures.


  1. Thanks for alerting me to the size range of Colette - I had no idea they went that plus.. I must check out.

    1. They *just* added plus sizes with this release. I guess it's something that they've had in the works for a while and are also contemplating adding them for some of their older patterns.

  2. I was really disappointed when I tried to order the bundle. It was the day of the sale, but it ended at 8am. I was minutes late.

    1. I know that I've seen some criticism for the book/bundle being aimed at beginners, but I actually didn't own a knit reference book, so I figured it would be a good addition to the library. I actually used Wonder Tape for the first time because of one of the Coletterie tips for hemming knits--OMG, how had I never discovered this before??? (Yes, I finished my Mabel and am wearing her today.)

    2. Just saw the Moneta.... not sure about that one at all. I really wished they showed it on a really plus sized body, like someone at the high/ higher end of their range. All those gathers at the waist could be seriously unflattering.

      Also, how tight is that skirt? The pics of the gorgeous model show a very tight skit with serious drag lines. Just wondering what fit you have with your version.

    3. Here figure isn't all that different from mine. She has a smaller waist, but I have smaller thighs. I did the pencil version of the Mabel, and while it's fitted, it's not as tight as the mini version that they're showing. It's really only "snug" up at my high hip, but I never "tuck" anyway, so that doesn't bug me. I actually like how my butt looks in it--Joan, but not too tight.

      I think that the key with the Moneta will be to get the waist in the right place for a person's figure (possibly dropping it or raising it) for maximum flattery.

      If I don't destroy my Mabel at work (with wrinkles or spills), I'll have my husband take a few photos tonight and do a write-up. I've *almost* bought the Lady Skater a few times, so I'm really curious to try the Moneta right away, too. Will obviously post pics, good or bad.

    4. Bathtub Fabric Queen, do you not think the model wearing both knits in the Colette Pattern shoot is not at the top range of Plus? I think she's at least a 1X but might be a 2X....I'm usually a size 18 in Colette patterns and I think I would consider myself a plus. I think that for the Moneta -- which I love -- I will probably make the skirt less gathered, more of a circle type skirt. I don't like gathers anyway, even when I was thinner. They just feel too bulky. I find that in most patterns with gathers -- like Sewaholic Cambie -- you can cut the pattern by a third and it still works....

    5. I'm a 2XL and I just made the Moneta - it's up my blog now! The skirt is actually not that gathered so it looks pretty good. I've made the Mabel too, and it'll be going up next week

    6. It looks beautiful on you, Jenny! I'm going to make it this weekend and cannot wait!!!!!

  3. I was wondering if you've seen this

    It looks like you sew kids' clothes from PDFs and this looks pretty interesting.

    1. I'd been seeing the name "Pattern Parcel" around, but wasn't sure what it was. Thanks for the link--I'll check it out!

  4. And if you're on, they have a 20% off sale through Sunday.

    And on t he PDF note, how have you found the Burdas? Easy to assemble? Piece breaks and spacing make sense? I was just thinking about your comments on the Oliver & S. I don't expect the same ease of use, but I was hoping they'd be good or fairly easy or at least straightforward to assemble and use.