Saturday, 12 May 2012

The Colette Sewing Handbook- Book Review

I thought that I would write a review on the latest of my books- The Colette Sewing Handbook

I have been waiting ages for my copy of the book for ages, the book had sold out and I was awaiting the second printing.

Before I crack on reviewing the book, I would like to tell you a little story of what you need to do if you have received the book without the patterns included. This was a publishing problem beyond the control of Colette Patterns, at all. 
I had waited for the book for 3 months and when I saw that the book had been sent, I was giddy gum drops! I think that sometimes, I must be psychic, I went on the website and saw a recent review that a customer had received the book without patterns included- I knew that this was going to happen to me, I just knew! When the book arrived... GAH!... no patterns! has an ‘online chat’ customer services that you can talk to a human online 24/7. I made contact with the team and having said that the book had arrived with no patterns, they told me that because the book had gone out of stock again, my only choice was to send the book back for a refund. Thanks, but no thanks me ducks... I had waited for ages for this book and there was not a notion that I would be sending the book back.

So, I thought... Colette Patterns seem lovely people. I will contact them. I did just that and contacted them through their ‘Contact’ page on their website. I waited just a few short hours (remembering that the company are in Portland, USA) and Kenn, from the company sent an email back explaining that they were aware of the problem and pretty gutted that it had happened. I was told to send off my address and he would forward it on to the publisher who would send out the patterns ASAP.

I remember days of ‘Allow 28 days for delivery’, so I expected that (with a heavy heart). Oh no, within FOUR days of sending the email, the patterns arrived! So, my sewing friends, if you have had the same problem... please do get in contact and the missing patterns will be replaced! Happy days!

Now, the book....


The book is a hardback, spiral-bound book. Excellent idea, it lays flat and stays open on your table. Strong, good quality paper also is present stopping the rip-ability of the pages as you finger through, finding your right page. Very thoughtful and useful indexing at the back.


Based around the ‘5 Fundamentals’ of sewing clothes to create a ‘remarkable sewing experience’:

  • A thoughtful plan
  • A precise pattern
  • A fantastic fit
  • A beautiful fabric
  • A fine finish

I, for one, can happily blast my way through a sewing project like a child who has just learnt how to ride a bike: ‘I’m doing it, I’m doing it!’... not realising that I am going too fast and will soon end up derrière over mammary glands in the ‘underwhelmed bush of sewing disasters’!

This book has shown me that although one day I would love to be sewing as a job, if I don’t get the basics right now and make beautiful, well-made and thoughtful clothes NOW, then how the hell am I going to be making sewing my livelihood THEN!?

I really like this book; Sarai has written down to perfection and encapsulated the whole ethos of modern dressmaking and why we do it. I love the drape and the fabric explanations- the photos taken of the different types of fabric could only be surpassed with actual pieces of fabric on the page, not a photo. On that point, the photography is wonderful and inspiring. I have often walked past an oyster plate at car boots.... why not make a sewing use out of them and just eat the oysters (yum).
I have a few dresses to make for weddings this summer, but I am looking forward to working my way through them.
In all honesty, the projects in the book are more accessible to me to make NOW than the Burda Sewing Handbook projects (of which I am making them all this year, watch this space). I just really like this little book, it’s a sewing-affirming bundle of joy made with love for making with love.

I say: AYE

I have reviewed the book on AmazonUK as, of course, 'Bundana' (Should be up on the site from 14/05/2012)

I purchased the book for £12.49 from Amazon

In other news:

  • I am awaiting my second article for Abakhan to be on the website, happy days
  • I am hemming my 'Crepe de Caffy' today and taking pictures for tomorrows blog entry
  • I have moved the sewing room downstairs and it looks lovely... pics below
  • Second muslin of the 'Bombshell Dress' is back on track and 2 hard-working weeks to get BOTH dresses done for my bestest buddies weddings! 



New room:

More art on the wall coming soon! I know its needed! But two big windows and perfect amount of space rather than rattling around in the attic. Q rocks, he spent a Saturday morning dismantling a double bed and carrying it upstairs for me. Spoiled, I know!


  1. I love this book. I was lucky enough to get it from a local Waterstones and it is what got me started in sewing :)

    Loving your sewing area. x

    1. What a great start!! Thanks about the sewing area, its so much better with light!

  2. I love your sewing space. I was pretty meh about the book though. There was nothing there that really excited me and from all the reviews online by non-curvy chicks that've struggled with fitting problems on Collette patterns, I decided I'd rather spend my time on patterns (Knipmode, Burda, La Mia Boutique) that I know will fit.


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