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The Colette Sewing Handbook: Inspired Styles and Classic Techniques for the New Seamstress
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The Colette Sewing Handbook: Inspired Styles and Classic Techniques for the New Seamstress

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4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  302 ratings  ·  27 reviews

A great plan, a great pattern, a great fit, a great fabric, and a great finish: These are the five fundamentals for perfecting any sewing project. Sarai Mitnick, an independent pattern designer setting the high water mark in the industry, shares her knowledge of these fundamentals and offers five beautiful projects to go with them.

Powerful instruction: A former expert in

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Hardcover, 176 pages
Published November 16th 2011 by Krause Publications (first published October 19th 2011)
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Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing by Gretchen HirschHow to Make Sewing Patterns by Donald H. McCunnThe Colette Sewing Handbook by Sarai MitnickThe Party Dress Book by Mary  AdamsThe Art of Manipulating Fabric by Colette Wolff
Sewing library
3rd out of 33 books — 23 voters
Style Statement by Carrie McCarthyLook Stunning At Any Size by Parimita ChakravortyThe Lucky Shopping Manual by Andrea LinettHarper's Bazaar Great Style by Jenny LevinEntre Nous by Debra Ollivier
Personal Style
10th out of 12 books — 5 voters


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Community Reviews

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Dixie
I checked out The Colette Sewing Handbook from the library. However, this book is a keeper that needs to be added to my reference books. I skimmed the book on a few occasions in the past, but I never fully read it until now. To be honest, the patterns were not that interesting to me, so I passed on the book. Having spent some time now with the layout, I can appreciate the thoughtfulness of the patterns combined with the techniques.

The book starts with the basics and then moves on to techniques
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Bunny
This is a wonderful book for the aspiring sewist who wants to really know how to do it all correctly. The book gives enough information and direction to take you through five lovely beautifully fitting garments. As you make each garment your skills are expanded and if you work your way through this book and patterns you will be an accomplished sewist before you know it.

I love how Mitnick gets into the planning of sewing by discussing fabric, wardrobe needs, body image, etc. The table is set bef
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Lindsey
I recommend this book for advanced-beginner sewists who are comfortable sewing basic patterns and want to start to learn how to sew flattering clothing.

This book is NOT for absolute beginners. For that, I recommend Diana Rupp's Sew Everything Workshop. This book assumes you have some ability to sew but want to learn how to sew clothing from a pattern. Likewise, this book is not for advanced sewists, since the author does not cover more advanced techniques or go into abundant detail regarding the
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Catherine Vigil
Great book! I borrowed from my local library and read as an ebook. I would purchase it to have in my library and for the projects. The descriptions and photos of the sewing methods are very clear. I took sewing lessons as a young girl, and the foundational lessons given here are how I learned. They have served me well over the years, and this is one of the few books I have seen to lay these simple but important tips out in an understandable way. Recommended!
Lise
Having started sewing again after a 40-year break, my skills were a bit rusty. I bought the Collette Sewing Handbook to re-learn basic techniques, but the book offers much more than that. Sarai Mitnick provides a terrific framework for approaching sewing as a craft. She teaches you how to approach your sewing projects in the context of your overall skill development and wardrobe planning. And beyond that - her fashion designs are timeless and elegant. I'm planning on making most of the garments ...more
Korri
Nov 27, 2012 Korri added it
Shelves: crafts, fashion
I've enjoyed browsing through the beautiful dresses, blouses, and jackets on Colette Patterns so I was excited to see this book in the library. Sarah Mitnick covers some of the tools, techniques, and materials that a seamstress will need to consider when creating clothing. The illustrations of different fabrics and of how to alter patterns and dresses for the best fit were particularly useful. I would hestitate to recommend this to brand new seamstresses if only because it is not comprehensive i ...more
Denise
Wow, the advice and instructions were really really solid, on par with a community sewing class for sure with good advice on altering patterns, but the patterns were all pretty meh.
Zaiba
Aug 09, 2014 Zaiba added it
fantastic resource, lots of great instruction on customizing patterns for specific body types
Erika
Yes! A great book geared towards anyone interested in starting to sew garments. Well written with lots of great advice and tips along with well written instructions. This will be the FIRST book I recommend to anyone who has some sewing experience but wants to learn how to confidently sew well-fitted garments from patterns.
Ursula
I have been sewing for a while, but still consider myself a beginner. This book was great, it was simple and to the point. It covers everything from fabric to accessories, start up items and even includes patterns. I would highly recommend this book to a beginner; not a lot of fluff. It is also easy reading with nice color photo illustrations. I really enjoyed reading this book.
Mary Lou
Great sewing reference. I love her methodically way of sewing. The ideas behind enjoying the process and not just the end product. Also working one taking my time, slowing down to make a better product in the end. Really like the way the projects build upon each other and that by the end of the book you have several new skills and a small dent in a new wardrobe.
Bean
As far as sewing books go, this is my favorite. It's full of good info and easy to read. In particular I like that it didn't only focus on the how-to's of sewing, but also how to pick fabrics, what tools you need, and even fabric care. If you like to sew, GET THIS BOOK. If you want to learn how to sew, and don't know where to start, GET THIS BOOK.
Gaile
An excellent resource books for seam stresses from beginners to experts. I strongly recommend this one!
heather
i'm not in love with the majority of the patterns included in this book and i'm far beyond the largest size of the actually tissue versions in the back of it, but i did pick up some good tips and techniques for garment sewing.

but, if i had it to do over, i probably wouldn't buy this book again.
Fincalian
Aug 24, 2013 Fincalian marked it as to-read
Shelves: crafts-sewing
Also need to check this one out again when I'm sewing clothes sometime. The dresses are cute, and I want to try making a dress, but I'm not sure if any of the ones from this book suit me. Even so, there are very useful tips for fitting, and basic sewing of this nature.
Erin
Loved to see her patterns. She did explain things pretty well. I just wish that she would explain things as if talking to someone who has never completed a project before. I had a hard time perfecting my darts without details on how to go about.
Sarah
The descriptions were very easy-to-understand and I really learned a lot. While the e-book version was good to get a flavor for the book, I've made the decision to purchase the hard copy so I can try the patterns for myself!
Myfav
Love the extra detail she puts into explaining how to sew and alter the patterns! So glad I bought this book. It's must read for learning how to alter patterns to fit.
Carol Holder
There is a lot of great information in this book. I probably will not make all the clothes, but will use a lot of stuff for what I do make.
Jennifer
I've been sewing for a few years now, and I found this book to be very helpful. I would highly recommend it any new sewer!
Elaine Nelson
I will have to read this again when I actually know how to sew. Totally overwhelming for someone who knows nothing about sewing.
Kate
A very useful sewing guide, with fun projects. Clear instructions and good photos. A great companion to Colette Patterns.
Sarah
I really like Colette patterns, and this book is a good deal for five of her patterns, even though they're simple.
Crystal
Not crazy about the patterns included, but a nice overview of fit problems and solutions, etc.
Antwanene
Marvellous. Very good for instruction on techniques. Bought this from amazon too.
Oceandreamer001
some really cute dresses and easy instructions.
Tracey
Tracey marked it as to-read
Dec 23, 2014
Jenny
Jenny marked it as to-read
Dec 21, 2014
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