The Colette Sewing Handbook Q&A + Giveaway

Sarai Mitnick Headshot

Today I’m excited to share this inspiring interview with a woman who left her corporate job to carve out a niche for herself in the creative marketplace.  Please welcome Sarai Mitnick to Craft Buds!

Sarai runs a successful sewing pattern business working out of her beautiful studio in Portland. Just take a gander at the lovely sewing studio photos she shared below! She also blogs at The Coletterie and recently authored The Colette Sewing Handbook (F+W Media).

Sarai Mitnick Studio - Fabric Scraps
Sarai, can you tell me a bit about your transition from a corporate job to owning your own creative business?

The biggest challenge was uncertainty. I had a pretty great job in the corporate tech world, and it can feel like you’re a little crazy for wanting to leave a stable, prestigious, well-paying career for something that’s basically a huge question mark.

But when it came right down to it, I knew I wasn’t happy. I felt bored and tired, and a worst of all, like I was wasting my time and creative abilities. It’s not a good feeling to be stuck in a pointless meeting and realizing that your life is passing by. I liked my job in theory, but in practice working for a big company was really not what I was suited to.

I’m pretty careful about money, so I spent some time saving up so I could fund the business myself. That really helped. But there were other things I would miss, like proper health insurance and tons of other perks. My employer gave us free meals, for goodness sake! But we made a go of it and I must say, it was the best decision I’ve ever made. I love being in charge, I love the creative flexibility, and I love the people I get to work with. It’s hard work, but the freedom is such an amazing gift. I am very grateful that it’s worked out.

Sarai Mitnick Sewing Studio
What’s your process for writing a new pattern?

We start with some basic ideas about an overall look, combined with requirements about what kinds of patterns we need in the overall collection. I factor in things like skill level, separates vs. dresses, and season.

Once we have several sketches and ideas, Caitlin and I discuss them and narrow it down to the few we’ll finally release. We then draft the pattern digitally, and make up many samples and muslins. The number really depends on the type of garments, with pants taking the most test runs. I think Caitlin sewed over 10 muslins to get the fit exactly right for our new pants pattern! I’d say that more typically, there are 3 or 4 muslins. Often times, little design changes have to be made as well as fitting changes, since things do look different when made up much of the time.

At this point, there is the grading and instructions to do, which is another very long process, and finally the photo shoot. It’s fun, but it takes a long, long time.

Sarai Mitnick - studio sofa
I’m excited about your new book, The Colette Sewing Handbook. So, how did it come to be?

I had a vague idea that I wanted to write a sewing book when the publisher approached me. My original concept was quite different and more specific, but my wonderful editor encouraged me to think a little more broadly and write more of a teaching manual of sorts.

My concept was to build on the sewing fundamentals that are so often overlooked. I think experienced sewists will tell you that things like understanding fabric and getting a nice fit are the keys to making the sorts of garments you daydream about. But no one seems to emphasize this when we’re starting out! So many of us just learn as we go, which is fantastic, but sometimes it takes us a long time to realize that we should pay attention to things like fabric quality. I know it was this way for me.

So my book focuses on five things: planning your sewing, using patterns, understanding fabric, getting a good fit, and finishing techniques. I suppose I wished that someone had come along years ago and said, “hey, slow down, enjoy the process more, and pay attention to this stuff and you’ll make some really cool things.”

I did enjoy the book writing process, because I truly love BIG projects. I’m a planner. And I like figuring out the best ways to communicate ideas, be it an anecdote or a tutorial. So writing a book was a lot of fun for me. It was a ton of work though. Like a lot of things worth doing, it wasn’t easy, but it was still an amazing experience that I wouldn’t trade.

Sarai Mitnick Sewing Desk
Do you have any tips for someone who is looking to launch a creative business?

Don’t be afraid to do something different! There are a lot of mediocre products out there that try to appeal to the masses. Instead, look for the niche of people that you can really do amazing things for.

My other advice is just to be kind. If you are generous, helpful, and thoughtful towards others, it’ll make you a happier person and it will come back to you in spades. I guess it sounds like a cliche, but the more you think about how you can help other people, the more help will come your way when you need it.

Sarai Mitnick Studio Thread
What’s next for you, Sarai?

Some time off! We’ve got new patterns in the works for the Spring, of course, but I’m planning to make next year a little easier. I do have some ideas up my sleeve for some crafty stuff that’s not purely sewing pattern related, but it’s just an idea at this stage. In the meantime, I’m taking a little trip to Argentina and slowing down to think!

Sarai Mitnick Bookshelf

This is the first stop on Sarai’s blog tour for this book. Check out the full list of participants, so you can follow along!

Nov. 1: The ColetterieIntro and giveaway
Nov 2: Craft Buds – Interview and giveaway
Nov. 3: Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing – Lace insertion tutorial for the Licorice dress
Nov. 4: Sewaholic – Book excerpt
Nov. 7: COLOURlovers – Sarai’s favorite prints and patterns
Nov. 8: Flossie Teacakes – Interview with Sarai and book review
Nov. 8: A Fashionable Stitch – Book excerpt and review
Nov. 9: Pink Chalk Studio – Book review
Nov. 10: Craft Gossip – Interview with Sarai and giveaway
Nov. 11: Bolt Fabric – Book review
Nov. 14: True Up – Fabric Fives with Sarai
Nov. 15: Frolic! – On styling the book’s photos
Nov. 16: Whipstitch – Book review
Nov. 16: Honeykennedy – Styling ideas
Nov. 17: A Dress a Day – Interview with Sarai
Nov. 18: Not Martha – Book review
(break for Thanksgiving week)
Nov. 28: Casey’s Elegant Musings – Project Planning, book excerpt and Casey’s thoughts
Nov. 29: MADE – Giveaway
Nov. 30: Sew Weekly – Book review
Nov. 30: Oh! Fransson - Elizabeth’s version of the Taffy pattern
Dec. 1: Sew Mama Sew – Guest post from Sarai on grainlines

Free Webinar: Sarai is also hosting a free webinar on November 10, and she’ll teach you how fabric is made, how to speak the language of textiles, how to choose appropriate fabrics for your sewing projects, and more. Register today, because seating is limited. There’s also a book discount for all webinar attendees.

Giveaway!

Giveaway now closed. Congrats Margie! F+W Media is generously giving one reader the chance to win a copy of The Colette Sewing Handbook by Sarai Mitnick! To enter to win, leave a comment on this post telling us one thing you’ve learned from this interview. (U.S. entries only.)

We’ll announce one winner on Wednesday, November 9.

The Colette Sewing Handbook


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  264 comments for “The Colette Sewing Handbook Q&A + Giveaway

  1. deirdre_lyon
    November 2, 2011 at 7:58 am

    I think the most valuable thing for me in this interview is Sarai’s advice to slow down and enjoy the process. So much emphasis in the beginning is on the product – “look what you can make!” – that it can be easy to forget that it’s something to enjoy, and you learn that way.

  2. November 2, 2011 at 8:01 am

    Love that she left what might have been considered “best” to follow her creativity and passion! Good stuff! :)

  3. November 2, 2011 at 8:25 am

    The main thing I learned is that Sarai is very sweet. You can almost “feel” her sweetness. Oh and I learned that I NEED this book (vs. want).

  4. Cynthia myers
    November 2, 2011 at 8:37 am

    I learned to not compromise on the quality of your fabrics!

  5. November 2, 2011 at 8:51 am

    I feel very inspired by this story of creative success!And I learned about the awesome webinar on Nov 10!
    Thanks :)

  6. mo
    November 2, 2011 at 8:54 am

    I’ve learned a little more about the pattern making process.

  7. November 2, 2011 at 8:56 am

    I love her advice to not be afraid to try something different! I can tend to avoid “change” and need to learn that different can be OKAY sometimes! :)

  8. Janice Westbrook
    November 2, 2011 at 9:03 am

    The thing i leaned was to slow down and enjoy the process. life is way to fast this should be enjoyable

  9. November 2, 2011 at 9:06 am

    One thing I truly believe is to listen to your gut feeling. Whenever you feel like you are not at the right place in your life, you don’t have to be afraid to grab the chance and make the move!

  10. Heather dela Cruz
    November 2, 2011 at 9:12 am

    I learned about choosing high quality fabrics!

  11. November 2, 2011 at 9:39 am

    I didn’t realize how many muslins may be needed to test a pattern.

  12. Margaret Erdos
    November 2, 2011 at 9:39 am

    I appreciate the fact that Sarai was specific enough in her replies to explain that taking a step out of your comfort zone means that you will have to give up things you may have taken for granted and that it requires careful planning and hard work to accomplish what you really want out of life. It requires that you find a niche, and that you are open to suggestions or tweaks in how you achieve your goals. Most of you have to be a giving person in order to be a success.

  13. Shannon
    November 2, 2011 at 9:44 am

    I really appreciated the note to slow down and enjoy the process. We sew not just to get custom-made, beautiful clothes, but also because it’s fun. And the devil is in the details, so it’s good to have the license to take as much time as you need to really get it right, and to learn.

    I was excited to get my hands on this book before reading this interview, and now that I’ve read it and gotten to know Sarai, her philosophy, and her journey a little better, I want it even more. You go, girl!

  14. shannon
    November 2, 2011 at 9:50 am

    i learned about the webinar on 11/10. super idea!

  15. November 2, 2011 at 9:52 am

    I didn’t know that Sarai’s original concept for the book was quite different.

  16. November 2, 2011 at 10:04 am

    I learned that Sarai and I have a lot in common (both business owners). It’s nice to know that there are others who have the opportunity to do a job they absolutely love.

  17. brigette
    November 2, 2011 at 10:04 am

    I was touched by her comments about being bored at her corporate job, that she was wasting her time and creative ability. This is how I often feel at my job. I am an elementary school teacher. I am passionate about sewing and I actually teach lots of young girls to sew. They are hungry to learn and I love teaching them. I would love to have a job where i could use more of my creative energies.

  18. Kristin Christensen
    November 2, 2011 at 10:12 am

    I love her advice about doing something different and creative. I’m trying to design my own line of children’s clothing and this is an issue I wrestle with. :)

  19. November 2, 2011 at 10:13 am

    I didn’t know much about Sarai, so I learned quite a bit! I think it’s really cool the way she transitioned from a less creative corporate job to her current endeavor (and appreciate the mention of good common sense planning along the way!!)

  20. November 2, 2011 at 10:15 am

    I appreciate what Sarai said about the process of creating a pattern. It sounds very involved, so I can see how each pattern would take a long time from start to finish. Very interesting interview. Thank you!

  21. Susan Walls
    November 2, 2011 at 10:18 am

    I learned that it IS possible for me to learn to sew and to enjoy the process.

  22. Alicia F.
    November 2, 2011 at 10:19 am

    The importance of muslins!! I’ve been coming around more and more to the idea lately. If the Colette Sewists can make ten, then surely I can make one!

  23. November 2, 2011 at 10:20 am

    Pay attention to fabric quality!

  24. sharon
    November 2, 2011 at 10:22 am

    I learned that she’s right here in Portland!!!!!

  25. November 2, 2011 at 10:22 am

    I love this quote, ” I suppose I wished that someone had come along years ago and said, “hey, slow down, enjoy the process more, and pay attention to this stuff and you’ll make some really cool things.”.. It’s so true! I am often in the habit of rushing through one project to get to the next. It really is vital to enjoy the craft for the craft.

  26. November 2, 2011 at 10:25 am

    What a great interview! It’s great to hear about the big leap Sarai made. And she just went for it! I need to try that…

  27. Koren
    November 2, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Do niche a product well for success.

  28. Evie
    November 2, 2011 at 10:28 am

    I’m really encouraged by being reminded that they make a lot of muslins and a ton of samples before they get it right. I get really discouraged by having ideas that I can’t churn into real life. Thanks! Would love to win a copy ;)

  29. November 2, 2011 at 10:30 am

    I like that she saved up money to fund the business herself (as opposed to dropping everything suddenly and taking out tons of loans, I imagine)– I think that’s a great way to go and I am inspired to start setting money aside myself soon…

  30. November 2, 2011 at 10:31 am

    Obviously it’s harder to make pants patterns than others…10 muslins were made to get the fit right! Man, these guys are hard workers!!!!!

    Please enter me to win Sarai’s new book! Thank you, Leslie

  31. Michelle
    November 2, 2011 at 10:33 am

    It was really interesting to know how many muslins they have to make for a single pattern. It makes sense, due to how perfectly their patterns fit straight out of the envelope, but still it’s impressive.

  32. Jeannette in St. Louis
    November 2, 2011 at 10:38 am

    I learned there’s more to fabric than just a pretty print, and that I should tune in to the Nov 10th Webinar!

  33. November 2, 2011 at 10:40 am

    What a great interview! I enjoyed getting to know Sarai a little better. Thanks! :)

  34. Christianne
    November 2, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Focusing on the niche instead of the masses. I had been thinking this myself, and her experience validates my theory–she has actually done it.

  35. November 2, 2011 at 10:40 am

    I learned that you have to take risks to do what you really want to do in life. I’m so glad Sarai took a risk with her business!

  36. November 2, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Sarai is really an inspiration for those of us who would love to have more creative freedom in our lives than corporate jobs allow. But I also appreciate the careful planning and saving that she mentioned, which is so important for that big of a switch.

  37. mjb
    November 2, 2011 at 10:44 am

    I think it’s great to remember that there’s still plenty to learn.

  38. November 2, 2011 at 10:45 am

    I learned, or was reminded, that everyone starts somewhere and encounters plenty of mishaps along the way. It is always good to be reminded of that from time to time to keep the encouragement level up.

  39. Shannon M.
    November 2, 2011 at 10:45 am

    I learned how much work goes into the design of a well-fitting pattern! Super-excited about the webinar on Nov 10. :)

  40. sherry
    November 2, 2011 at 10:46 am

    I learnt that you always get the best results when you follow your heart ♥

  41. Mixolidia
    November 2, 2011 at 10:47 am

    I’m a sewing beginner, I’m glad she pointed out to slow down & enjoy the process, to really focus on fabric & fit.

    This is a great interview. I love the part about her transition out of corporate America & why. We often spend so much time worrying about making money we forget to be happy. And that we can do both, be happy & successful, if we follow our passion.

  42. Samina
    November 2, 2011 at 10:51 am

    I’m thrilled to learn about the webinar. I just signed up for it.

  43. Denae
    November 2, 2011 at 10:51 am

    I agree with Sarai’s opinion that something made really well for a small niche market is better than a mediocre product for the masses. She is amazing at what she does.

  44. rachel
    November 2, 2011 at 10:52 am

    Fantastic to find out about the Craft Buds website, I had no idea before! So I learned your site exists, and have it in reader now.

    best,
    rachel

  45. shelly
    November 2, 2011 at 10:55 am

    I really admire Sarai and the business model she has built for Collete. She has provided a great resource and community for her fellow sewers, and is proud of who she is, who her business is and she really knows her customer and treats them with respect. Her advice to look for the niche people is something I really believe in and stand by. I didn’t know she started out with a totally different book, but I am so thrilled about the final product!

  46. Jessica
    November 2, 2011 at 10:55 am

    Reading this interview fills me with hope that I can find a creative niche and make a go of it outside the corporate world. And makes me want the book even more!

  47. Christa
    November 2, 2011 at 10:56 am

    I learned to really go for it with your creative dreams and passions!

  48. Patricia Austin
    November 2, 2011 at 10:57 am

    I think one of the most valuable things I learned was to slow down and enjoy the process. This is invaluable especially essential as I continue to embrace the slow clothes movement. It’s not accumulating more stuff but enjoying what you have. Enjoying the how and the why.

  49. November 2, 2011 at 11:00 am

    I thought Sarai’s advice on finding your niche market and providing a great product was really inspiring. Colette patterns fit that description perfectly, and as a hopeful business owner, very good advice.

  50. Cameron
    November 2, 2011 at 11:03 am

    I learned to “slow down and enjoy the process” – if someone who gets as much work done as Sarai advises slowing down it must work. I also learned, again, that this book is a real humdinger.

  51. November 2, 2011 at 11:04 am

    I learned that if you really want to do something in life, you must take risks. And above all, be nice and kind to others.

  52. November 2, 2011 at 11:09 am

    I really liked that Sarai mentioned prioritizing kindness– that’s evident in the way that she runs her business and the care that she puts into the patterns and the blog, but it’s nice to hear her state it as a rule to live by. :)

  53. Sara C.
    November 2, 2011 at 11:14 am

    Not learned necessarily, but reinforced: be kind and generous. That will get you through most situations. Especially the bad or awkward ones, and usually you’ll be the one on top. You’ll always be better off. :)

  54. Nicole
    November 2, 2011 at 11:15 am

    I learned that its okay to not do something conventional. I am contemplating a life change and am giving myself permission to follow my dream.

  55. November 2, 2011 at 11:18 am

    That the original concept for the book was different.

  56. Veronica
    November 2, 2011 at 11:23 am

    I loved reading about Sarai’s transition from the corporate world to owning her own small creative business. Very inspiring for a girl like me who wants to stretch her creative wings careerwise, but has reservations.

  57. Nyasha
    November 2, 2011 at 11:26 am

    I learned that leaving a secure job can be scary but to do you heart’s desire is its own reward. I also learned I NEED this book.

  58. Chelsea
    November 2, 2011 at 11:34 am

    I thing that really hit me as I was reading this interview was that I need to slow down and enjoy the process. I am waaay too focused on the finishing a project, I find that I miss a lot of little things. Perhaps if I slow down, and yes, ENJOY the PROCESS, I would miss less and be a lot happier with my finished project!

  59. November 2, 2011 at 11:35 am

    One thing that I learned from this interview is the focus on do what you love – not what you think the masses will accept. I am starting to focus on crafts that I love and from that my passion and overall joyfulness comes through naturally. Reading this interview reinforced that concept which was a great motivator for me.

  60. paisleyapron
    November 2, 2011 at 11:37 am

    I’m glad that I’m not the only one who struggles to get those pants muslins just right. I’ve never had to make 10 though!

  61. November 2, 2011 at 11:39 am

    I’d also echo the focus on fit — probably because that’s what I struggle with the most!!!

  62. November 2, 2011 at 11:39 am

    NEED THIS BOOK!

    I can’t believe 10 muslins were done for one pair of pants. I wish I had that kind of patience.

  63. November 2, 2011 at 11:40 am

    I am so glad Sarai went with a broader vision for her book as a teaching manual. I know that is what has really drawn me to it. I’ve been sewing in a learn-as-I-go manner, and having a resource (esp. for sewing clothing) that really lays out some of the basics is indespensible!

  64. Musetica
    November 2, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Always trust your gut felling! i think that’s what i learned and it’s true over and over again. I love this article and Sarai seems like such a lovely and sweet person. Can’t wait to browse her book! Thank you!

  65. Sara
    November 2, 2011 at 11:44 am

    I learned that it is possible to break out of the mold and really do something to change your life.
    And of course, slowing down and enjoying all of your sewing projects, that’s huge for me. Very inspiring interview. Thank you!

  66. Anna
    November 2, 2011 at 11:44 am

    I learned that Sarai is going to Argentina–I’m sure she will come back inspired. Travel always gives me new ideas for my home and creative life.

  67. Tara
    November 2, 2011 at 11:45 am

    I love Sarai’s advice about not being afraid to do something different. I’m making a lot of changes in my life and one of them is starting a creative business. It’s nice to hear from someone who has gotten that route about their experiences.

  68. Serena
    November 2, 2011 at 11:48 am

    I didn’t know that Sarai had worked in a corporate job, or that she’s going to take a trip to Argentina. Sounds fun!

  69. MaryBeth
    November 2, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    Oooo, I’d love to win this book.

  70. Julie
    November 2, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    I loved reading this post. I have been following the Colette Sewing blog for a quite a while and I really enjoyed learning about Sarai’s background and how the business came to be. It is very inspiring! Thank you for sharing.

  71. November 2, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    I can’t participate in the give-away being from Belgium but I still wanted to let you know that I love the interview :o) … especially how you make and test a pattern … just one thing keeps me puzzled, how do you get to all the different sizes? Maybe it’ll come in a next interview huh? :oD

  72. Megan
    November 2, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    I love her advice to future creative business people: be kind & help others. It’s true & what we should do, but to hear it given as business advice puts it in new perspective. Thank you!

  73. Angela
    November 2, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    I learned that Sarai and Caitlin go from sketches to digital drafting when developing new patterns. I have always wondered about the progression and process. Great interview!

  74. Anna
    November 2, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    I’m inspired by Sarai’s courage to listen to herself and take a leap from a safe place to start something new.

  75. November 2, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    I learned that creative businesses can work – I’d love to look at this book to improve my skills :)

  76. Rachel
    November 2, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    The thing I take away from this interview is to slow down and enjoy the process. I’m definitely one to get wrapped up in the “I’ve got to get this done” moment and end up making something I’m less than thrilled with instead of slowing down and try to learn a new concept or skill.

  77. November 2, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    I love Sarai’s advice on starting a small business – cater to a niche and do it well.

  78. November 2, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    I love hearing about the courageous move from her “safe” corporate job to do something she loves…makes me want to dream bigger.

  79. November 2, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    I found how many muslins it can take to perfect a pattern to be the most interesting.

  80. Stacy
    November 2, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Love small creative businesses! Sounds like Sarai certainly deserves an Argentine break!

  81. Janet Riacg
    November 2, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    I like her advice for starting your own business of being kind and and thinking about how you can be helpful to people. Also about tiring something different.

  82. Lynn
    November 2, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    I love Sarai’s advice to be kind! The world would run much smoother, now wouldn’t it?

  83. Kristen
    November 2, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    I learned that the book also talks about fabric which I didn’t know before. I can’t wait to read it and see what kind of little details I can use to make better projects.

  84. Leelalee
    November 2, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    To not be afraid to do something different!

  85. Melissa
    November 2, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    It was really interesting to hear about how the patterns are created!

  86. Amy
    November 2, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    This quote really hit home – “hey, slow down, enjoy the process more, and pay attention to this stuff and you’ll make some really cool things.” I have been feeling a little down lately because I feel like my projects are just not getting completed fast enough, it’s good to know that everyone needs to be told to slow down once in awhile!

  87. Tiffany
    November 2, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    I learned about how hard it is to create a pattern from scratch for sale to the public.

  88. Sue
    November 2, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    I learned how much she enjoys here work. It makes me a bit nervouse to realize it took an expert 10 muslins for a pair of pants. Where does that leave me?

  89. November 2, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    “slow down, enjoy the process more”… I am not sure if I have really “learned” that yet. But it’s good hear that reminder from a successful entrepreneur

  90. Angie
    November 2, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    The most interesting thing of her was how the way of a new pattern is going on and for me that I don´t make a compromiss in fabrics.

  91. Sally
    November 2, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    For me the most important thing Sarai said in this interview is the note about kindness, especially when it comes to sewing, when you’re a beginner you need all the kindness you can get to not feel demoralized when projects fail!

  92. Tiffany W
    November 2, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    I admire people who have the courage to step out of the comfort zone and dive into things like allow them to following their desires. We are not all brave like that. I like how Sarai and her team consider the skill level of Colette Patterns the are creating. As a beginner, it is wonderful to have patterns I can work on now that have style and also have a line of patterns waiting for me as I go. I am really excited about the book. I don’t sew a lot for myself because I struggle with “what type of fabric to get the right fit”

  93. November 2, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    I didn’t know Sarai was doing a webinar! I just signed up, and even though I’ll be at work and not able to attend, I’m excited to see the recording!

  94. Mary
    November 2, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    I am a beginning sewist, and I definitely need to slow down, as Sarai said.

  95. Linda Oldham Burns
    November 2, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    The best thing in the interview was slow down and enjoy the process. I have a tendency to want to finish the item very quickly. I see that others feel the same way that I do. Thanks for the great giveaway.

  96. November 2, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    I had no idea Sarai was in the corporate tech world before leaving to start Colette! I too have a completely un-sewing related job and have day-dreamed about quitting and starting a sewing business. It’s cool to know that someone else has done it so successfully!

  97. Kathy
    November 2, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    I didn’t realize Sarai was in the corporate techie world before all of her sewing business adventures. That’s pretty interesting!

  98. maya
    November 2, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    I had no idea how much work went into making the patterns! But then, that is probably why I love her patterns so much, well thought out and very “user friendly.”
    Thank you for this interview!

  99. Michelle
    November 2, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    I love her advice to SLOW DOWN! Sometimes I need to remember to slow down because I just whip through stuff at times!

  100. Margie
    November 2, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Slow down and go to Argentina!

  101. Paloma
    November 2, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    I’m also new to your site, so that was neat to learn, but also learned that Sarai was previously in the corporate tech world. I think it is always so interesting to learn more about people’s journeys!

  102. Emilie
    November 2, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    I’ve learned that it CAN be good to be generous and nice to others (not that I don’t do this, but I don’t always reap the benefits of it). Thanks for the giveaway and great interview!

  103. November 2, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    I’ve learned that it’s worthwhile to follow your creative pursuits(even if it is a huge risk in terms of employment), not only to make yourself happy, but to have an outlet to express yourself.

  104. Erin
    November 2, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    I didn’t know that Sarai worked on the corporate world. Very interesting that she had the guts to make such a huge change!

  105. November 2, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Being kind to others! Surprisingly this can be such a rarity among creative folk. I’ve encountered a weird mostly unintentional kind of creative competition among fellow crafters I encounter in real life, and I’ve recently decided to make an effort to confront it and be encouraging instead, especially at craft fairs, where you need your neighbors to watch your booth when you have to pee! <3

  106. Liz
    November 2, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    I love hearing about small-business owners who made the leap from well-paying jobs into the unknown. So inspiring! I also wish I had read this interview a few years ago…no one told me you couldn’t do it all with quilting cotton and there’s a whole world of textiles out there.

  107. Tina
    November 2, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Fabric is key! I’m very excited for her Nov. 10th webinar for that very reason.

  108. Kim
    November 2, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    I learned it actually paid off to leave a corporate job and be on your own. A lot of will and determination will pay off. I hope to follow :)

  109. November 2, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    I loved her tip about slowing down. I think it’s fitting in lots of aspects in life.

  110. November 2, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    I learned that listening to your heart pays off!!

  111. November 2, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    A couple things spoke to me…#1…. make a muslin, once you perfect it, then go on to the real deal and cut down on the frustration of errors on the finished project…. #2.. sometimes you need to take a chance and try out your dreams, but you still need to prepare for that day!

  112. November 2, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Wow! 10 muslins for the pants!

  113. November 2, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    I’m a little bit obsessed with the idea of taking a pattern making class, and Sarai really illuminated the whole process!

  114. Katie
    November 2, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    I am so glad to learn that the book will go into detail on understanding fabric! I’m still relatively new to sewing, so I could really use help with this!

  115. November 2, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    I learned that i’m not the only one who feels like life is passing her by! lol.

  116. Teresa
    November 2, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    That Sarai originally had a very different concept for her book. Very interesting! She is so creative and I am so looking forward to here book.

  117. Cathy from Los Angeles
    November 2, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    I learned that creating beautiful things requires love, vision, and lots of work. All of this, plus enjoying the journey makes for a beautiful life.

  118. November 2, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    I am a beginner so the most important thing I am taking away from this is slowing down enjoying the process. Sometimes as a beginner I am in a hurry for results and disappointed when things are moving slowly. Reading Sarai’s comments make me feel better about this!

  119. Jen B
    November 2, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    You can plan before you start a project? I am always relying on trial an error :) The book looks great and probably exactly what I need.

  120. November 2, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    It’s encouraging to read interviews of such amazingly creative people, like Sarai, and to be able to see the steps she took towards doing what she loves. Taking that leap of faith and leaving the corporate world seems like a huge risk, but in the end, if your energy isn’t being directed towards your passion, I think it’s hard to be as much of yourself as you could be. Thanks for the food for thought!

  121. November 2, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    I learned that I should slow down and enjoy the process.

  122. November 2, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    Taking risks can be scary yet in the end rewarding. Would love to win the book and letter press!

  123. Kris
    November 2, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    I’ve learned that even professionals need to tweak fit on pant drafts. 10 muslins?! Wow!

  124. Lisa S.
    November 2, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    It is so true that one of the most valuable lessons in sewing is to be able to slow down. Although I’ve been sewing for 20 plus years, it’s just been within the past few years that I’ve learned to really take my time on projects and enjoy the process. Sarai is such an inspiration!

  125. Rachel C.
    November 2, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    It pays to stop and listen to heart is telling you. The reason you’re not happy is what you are doing. Have the courage and do something different.

    Just think of all the people Sarai has affected since she made the career jump. Thanks for having the courage to follow through.

  126. Crystal
    November 2, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    I have learned more about her inspiration and process in writing this book.

  127. Kelly
    November 2, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    Not an actual lesson, but I was reminded that in business, as well as all of life, being kind is vital.

  128. Suzzles
    November 2, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Sarai, your comments on kindness are so uplifting. Not only have you encouraged this seamstress to make muslins, but you have affirmed that our sewing and our happiness are all connected through our positive attitude. Your new book looks marvelous.

  129. jessie
    November 2, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    being a longtime reader of sarai’s blog, a lot of what she said has been touched on over the years on the coletterie. that being said, however, it was nice to hear that the pants took so darn long! i have always convinced myself that professionals can creat patterns in no time….i’m not alone in the tiem consuming nature of it, afterall!

  130. November 2, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    I did not know that Sarai originally had a different idea for her book. I’d like to hear about it…maybe that can be her second book! I really appreciate all the hard work she puts into her patterns…it really shows. ~Ruth

  131. November 2, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    I thought that someone would need to make many more muslins to design a pattern!

  132. Alison
    November 2, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    I learned that you never know what’s going to come next! Sarai had a successful corporate job…and now she designs (lovely!) patterns. She had an idea for a book….but that’s not the book that got written. Things may seem to be heading in one direction, but there’s always twists and turns we can never imagine — and often lead to wonderful surprises!

  133. November 2, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    I love the idea that kindness is a crucial element to running a successful small business. It seems as though any time money comes into our view, kindness is often one of the first things to get pushed out of the way; I really appreciate Sarai’s words on the importance of kindness toward others and towards one’s self.

  134. hubblefromthesun
    November 2, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    I learned that comfort does not equal happiness and you shouldn’t settle for less.

  135. Johanna
    November 2, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    I learnt more about how they choose the designs of the patterns. It would be fascinating to see the original concept next to the final version! Also love how kindness is part of her business strategy! Can’t wait to get this book!!

  136. Karen
    November 2, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    I’m very much looking forward to this book. Getting back into sewing after many years is looking more and more exciting. I have been looking at Collette patterns for quite a while and have been impressed. Now I have an even greater connection to the patterns, the book and whatever creative wonder I come up with…. now that I’ve read that she is a kind and generous person as well. It’s a philosophy to live by. I’m happy to help support her creative passion. It takes courage to step out of the secure world she had. I applaud her!

  137. Connie
    November 2, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    I think the point that she makes about a niche market is a good one. It is better to try to do your best for a small market than to try to please everyone.

  138. November 2, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    I’ve heard so much about Colette patterns, I’m so glad she’s doing a book about fit, and I read somewhere that there’s even an element on putting a wardrobe together. Have fun in ARgentina!

  139. Jennifer
    November 2, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    “Be kind”, those are powerful words that I believe in 100%. Who knew that I was buying patterns from an Artist who understands the value of ‘being kind’. I am even more of a fan than I was before.

  140. Elisa
    November 2, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    Take risks in your life-sometimes it pays off big time

  141. November 2, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    I am a huge fan of Colette Patterns. And the one thing I learned from this interview? I had no idea that Sarai left a corporate tech job! I also liked that she emphasizes slowing down and enjoying the process. So true.

    Thanks!
    Norine

  142. Caitlin
    November 2, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    To think more carefully about fabric quality instead of always being nervous to use good quality (often expensive) farbic in case I make a mistake. Sounds like this book will definitely help me improve my sewing confidence and dare to try new things.

  143. Michelle M.
    November 2, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    I didn’t realize pants were so much harder to fit than dresses! And Sarai is so right; I’m self-taught, and I WISH someone had emphasized fit, fabric quality, and finishing early on.

  144. Sarah G.
    November 2, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    I learned that really listening to your heart and following your dreams and passion can really pay off! I’m working on that myself!

    Sarah

  145. Sandy S
    November 2, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    With desire, passion and commitment – good things will follow. Yes a lot of hard work but very satisfying. Thanks for the interview and giveaway.

  146. Sally Weber
    November 2, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    I learned that Sarai is thinking of venturing into other crafty areas. I love Collette patterns so I can’t wait to see what other great ideas she has!

  147. Lauren
    November 2, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    Don’t let fear get in the way of what you know is right for you!

  148. November 2, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    i liked the encouragement to do something different. Hubby is trying to get me to start designing knit patterns. SHould be interesting :)

  149. Ginger
    November 2, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    I did not know that she used to work in corporate tech world. Congratulations for following her dreams.

  150. Jeanette
    November 2, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    It was great to read about all the work that goes into a pattern company! I’m glad Sarai took the leap and started Collette, I’m looking forward to reading and learning more from the book.

  151. Amy
    November 2, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    What a wonderful interview! I learned just how much creativity goes into running one’s own business. I’m glad Sarai has a plan for taking next year a bit easier. And, thanks for the chance to win a copy of the Colette Patterns new book.

  152. Alana
    November 2, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    I love Sarai’s ambition to start her own business and to create a fulfilling job!

  153. November 2, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    I love hearing about everyday people who step outside of their comfort zone to pursue a dream. Sarai’s story is really inspiring.

  154. Gina Pisut
    November 2, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    I love the starting point of not being “afraid to do something different!” I too get frustrated with mediocre products that try to appeal to the masses. That is in part why I look forward to every post and product by Sari and coletterie.com/Collette Patterns. Things are put together and presented so well and there is a genuineness to what she is doing.

  155. November 2, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    I’m a big fan of her patterns and aesthetic. I’ve been fascinated by pattern software for a while, and I think it’s interesting that she uses it, too. Fabulous interview!

  156. Sonya Burton
    November 2, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    What stuck with me the most is the emphasis on slowing down and enjoying the process. Awesome!! Thanks so much!!!

  157. Lilly
    November 2, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    Forget the mediocre and go for the niche – that was so great to hear!

  158. Abigail Buzbee
    November 2, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    Dream big, and work hard!

  159. Julie Robertson
    November 2, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    I love Sarai’s advice about the importance of fabric choices. I’ve always just picked what I wanted, and that would explain why some pieces just did not seem to hang right. I really should read this book.

  160. November 2, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    learnt that one should not be fearless to step out and try out the dream business.

  161. Aurora
    November 2, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    I learned that I’m not the only one who thinks businesses need karma! I love Colette’s work, and she seems like a wonderful person to support.

  162. MelodyJ
    November 2, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    I love that Sarai gave the advice about being kind. It will come back to you.

    melodyj(at)gmail(dot)com

  163. Heather M
    November 3, 2011 at 12:05 am

    What a lovely a book by a lovely person. It makes so much sense to mock up a muslin and now I know I may need to make more than one!

  164. Layell
    November 3, 2011 at 12:12 am

    I learned you should find something that uniquely fills a niche instead of trying to appeal to the masses.

  165. Stephanie
    November 3, 2011 at 12:13 am

    I learned that Sarai had a different original concept for the book! It was “more specific” than the current book? What was it?? THIS HAS ONLY GIVEN ME MORE QUESTIONS

    Thanks for the fun interview!!

  166. Amanda
    November 3, 2011 at 12:22 am

    I love Colette patterns so much more, knowing that the business is run with so much thoughtfulness and kindness behind it.

  167. Stephanie
    November 3, 2011 at 12:35 am

    Excellent interview! I work the corporate 9-5 right now and aspire to venture out on my own one day, so I gain an even greater appreciation for Sarai and Colette Patterns. So excited to read the book too, even if I have to buy it :)

  168. Christy M.
    November 3, 2011 at 12:40 am

    I want this book so bad! From this interview, I would say, I learnt that process of clothes pattern is quite extensive and takes a lot of work!

  169. November 3, 2011 at 1:06 am

    I didn’t know Sarai was a techy! Thank you.

  170. Dulce R
    November 3, 2011 at 1:38 am

    This interview reminded me of why I wanted to start sewing in the first place. I enjoy the process and I should stop trying to finish all my projects just to get them done. :]

    Dulce
    ruelasjacobo90@gmail.com

  171. Amanda Williams
    November 3, 2011 at 1:52 am

    I enjoyed reading about the process of making a pattern, its so much more involved than I had considered. From deciding on the design, to crafting the muslin, to grading and executing the pattern on computer software. I found it fascinating and now I understand why it takes time before new patterns are released.

  172. Penny
    November 3, 2011 at 2:22 am

    I learnt that there is a great book to give to beginner sewists to inspire them! I wish I had a book like this to learn from when I first started sewing – I had to learn to read patterns, fitting, fabrics, etc on my own by trial and error. Now I can gift this book to friends who are interested in sewing so that I can share my passion with others!

  173. Rebecca
    November 3, 2011 at 2:25 am

    I just am so in love with Colette’s Sewing Patterns and Sari! The more I learn about her and the company, the more I love:)I bet Catlin has some amazing pants after making ten muslins of the pattern.
    I am so excited about the new book!

  174. pauchehal
    November 3, 2011 at 4:11 am

    I loved her honesty about how hard it was to leave all her work benefits, like health insurance and free lunches!

  175. rose
    November 3, 2011 at 4:15 am

    I need to remember to take time to enjoy the process. ambrerose at(aol) dot(com)

  176. November 3, 2011 at 6:21 am

    I love that Sarai advised us to “Be Kind.” We need more of that attitude in today’s world.

  177. Michelle McM
    November 3, 2011 at 6:21 am

    I am new to sewing and I NEED to add the book to my growing library.

  178. Jean
    November 3, 2011 at 7:01 am

    From this interview and from following Sarai’s blog and using her patterns, I have learned the importance of careful planning when sewing. I’d love to have a copy of this book. Her patterns have been consistently excellent!

  179. Feminizzle
    November 3, 2011 at 7:21 am

    I had no idea that Sarai had such a completely different job before starting a business! I knew she had a different career before, but I hought it was related to design. More importantly, I learned that if I really take my time and save up, it could some day be possible for me, too, to eventually start my dream business!

  180. lisa
    November 3, 2011 at 7:29 am

    not to compromise on the quality of your fabrics!

  181. Tania
    November 3, 2011 at 7:32 am

    What amazing giveaway!! What knowledge, I learned a lot and I want try the patterns.

  182. Michelle Bannon
    November 3, 2011 at 7:35 am

    I loved reading about Sarai’s philosophy, particularly about giving back and how if you her positive and generous that will come back to you “in spades” as she says. It is so encouraging to hear from other female entrepreneurs who are proving that things can be done differently! I congratulate you on all your success and I’m a big fan. And I would love to have a copy of the book!

  183. Heather
    November 3, 2011 at 8:32 am

    I learned about using and choosing the Best quality fabrics you can afford! I have been following Sarai’s blog for just a little while…Love it!

  184. red carousel lion
    November 3, 2011 at 8:49 am

    The interview gave me pause to think…”am I happy in the corporate world and do I have the strength to leave it?” Time to do some soul searching!

  185. Emily
    November 3, 2011 at 9:14 am

    I love how she tells you not to be afraid to try a new business. It is fear of the unknown that kills most ideas before you even try.

  186. Tara
    November 3, 2011 at 9:16 am

    I learned that I might do better starting off with a book like this, which explains the basics, rather than just fumbling my way through the process of learning to sew.

  187. Cath
    November 3, 2011 at 9:34 am

    Other people are miserable in their jobs and it isn’t insane to walk away from a job that doesn’t make you happy, to work that will make you happy. Inspiring!

  188. November 3, 2011 at 10:08 am

    I’ve learned that if i want to have a successful creative business, I need to cater to a niche of people or else my products will become mediocre. It also pays off to be nice to people because it’s emotionally rewarding and it will help you in the end.

    I’ve also learned that the importance of sewing projects rely on the planning, pattern use, understanding the fabrics and having a good understanding of finishing techniques. This is great, because I love to sew and i would love for my projects for my friends and for myself to be as beautifully made as possible.

  189. November 3, 2011 at 10:27 am

    A great job is useless if it doesn’t make you happy. Trace an alternative path and go for it! Here is my take.

  190. clarissa
    November 3, 2011 at 10:43 am

    wow. what a great interview!
    i’m a beginning sewer. it’s something i’ve wanted to do for years, and am just getting up the courage to do it now. i’m learning as i go.
    one thing i learned from this interview is that I DON’T know anything about fabric quality. what’s the difference between quilting cotton and fabric cotton? i need to read this book?
    thanks for the giveaway!
    xo
    -c

  191. November 3, 2011 at 11:07 am

    Great interview! I learned I ought to go for it and try to start my own business :)

  192. November 3, 2011 at 11:11 am

    I had no idea that Sarai used to be in the tech industry and quit it all to start Colette patterns. How inspiring! Thanks for the great interview!

  193. Amy
    November 3, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    I’ve learned from the Q&A with Sarai that my nagging desire to start my own creative business and move away from my often unfilling career is something that could be more than a pipe dream. It is inspiring to know that Sarai dealt with uncertainty as an obstacle and that staying grounded and confident in her vision got her through with success!

  194. Krysta
    November 3, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    I learned to not be afraid to make multiple muslins! I tend to be the kind who wants it to go right right away, and that rarely happens!

  195. November 3, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    I learned just how much work it takes to make commercial pattern!

  196. Beth T.
    November 3, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    As a beginning sewist, I learned that this is the book for me! Seriously, it was interesting to learn that the book is so much about the process and the choices that make a project work out.

  197. Helen
    November 3, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    The best thing I learned here was that kindness can be considered an important business practice. Wonderful. I think that Sarai can be seen as proof that it works.

  198. Allie
    November 3, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    I learned that they usually sew 3-4 muslins per pattern. Which makes me think, that I should probably stop ruining expensive fabric, and make some damn muslins! ;)

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  199. November 3, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    I really appreciate the fact that Sarai is looking out for the beginners and giving us a resource to help us learn while we take our first steps into sewing.

  200. November 3, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    i like her tip to “just be nice”

  201. Patty
    November 3, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    Make a muslin and use good quality fabric!

  202. Patti
    November 3, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    I liked discovering that Sarai shares my values to be “generous, helpful, and thoughtful towards others.” It’s not always easy, but it truly does bring you peace.

  203. Mo
    November 3, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    I learned that fit is crucial to a great looking garment.

  204. Sara C
    November 3, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    Sarai is smart to have saved up and planned ahead for the jump from corporate to independent creative enterprises. The best part of the process is learning to move past the fears and “don’t be afraid to do something different”. I have personally wanted to sew every Colette pattern since the website first started and I had seen the designs in Portland but… I psyched myself out since it had been years since I had sewn a garment. I used to sew in 4H and won awards but that was nearly 20 years ago. I have been waiting in the wings for courage and finally made a Simplicity Sew Easy pattern for Halloween. This book should be perfect for getting started again as a beginner (again!) level seamstress. Whether I win the contest or not, I will surely purchase the book and finally make a muslin Parfait.

  205. Melissa
    November 3, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    I really appreciate the advice to slow down and enjoy the process, and pay attention to finishing and fabric. I am an ambitious beginner and I often bite off more than I can chew with mediocre results! So it is important for me to enjoy learning a good way to finish a seam satisfyingly or to choose a fabric that will really work and not pill or be lame in some other way. :)

  206. brunette
    November 3, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    I love the advice about taking time to slow down and enjoy the process – that was something I really needed to hear!

  207. November 3, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    That it takes some serious guts to quit your job and strike out on your own! Congrats!

  208. Knubbsy
    November 3, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    I learned that it is okay to make multiple muslins for the perfect fit

  209. Laura B
    November 3, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    I learned what goes into drafting a commercial pattern – Yikes. I’m all for leaving it to you! It’s clearly too much for me to do.

  210. Marie P
    November 3, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    What a great article! I loved the perspective when she mentioned that in her old job, her creative abilities were being wasted. It made me think of time passing where she couldn’t use her creativity. Loved it!! Thanks for the giveaway!

  211. Amanda
    November 3, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    make a muslin. Then make another. Get it right with the cheap fabric!

  212. hh
    November 3, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    I never knew that pants took the most test runs in the pattern-drafting process, although it makes sense! I’m really looking forward to this book.

  213. November 3, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    I actually can’t imagine Sarai in a corporate tech job. I mean, I can imagine her being super capable at it, but I can’t imagine her wanting to stay there. I’m so glad she followed her calling. :)

  214. November 3, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    I learned that this book is exactly what I need… Understanding fabrics and using patterns is what I need to learn right now in order to be able to make dresses for my little girl!!!

  215. Jessica
    November 3, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    Thanks for the enlightening interview! I find Sarai’s encouragement to “slow down and enjoy the process” very encouraging. With two children at home and an ever-growing list of sewing projects, I can easily get overwhelmed and start to loathe the process because I know my sewing time is very limited. Thanks for the giveaway…I would love a copy of this book!

  216. November 3, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    I learned that I want to be her. ;) I hope to one day (soon-ish) really embrace my craftiness and figure out how to do it for a living. So inspiring!

    Ameryn
    ohsonifty.blogspot.com

  217. Amy
    November 3, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    Thanks for the article! Congrats to Sarai for knowing when to take time off and slow down, and for making the effort to be kind. I’m just figuring out that things like fit aren’t automatic, and things like fabric quality make all the difference in the world. I’m glad I’m not alone in learning these slowly, and I can’t wait to see the book! Thanks for sharing, and for the advice to do something you love instead of remain stable. I love it!

  218. Emily
    November 3, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    I learned about using quality fabrics.

  219. Treesah
    November 3, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    The best advice: just DO it. I spend too much time sitting on my good intentions. Sarai is an inspiration to trust in ourselves and do what we love!

  220. kim-the-girl
    November 3, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    I really appreciate the tip to be kind. Its an important thing to remember at any time of life, not only when starting a business.

  221. November 4, 2011 at 2:31 am

    Actually the advice about being a kind person really resonated with me right now. I have been bummed out as a result of having to deal with an unkind and unpleasant person, and that reminder of how kindness is best just made me happy to remember that’s the kind of person I want to be!

  222. Yvonne
    November 4, 2011 at 5:06 am

    I am unemployed at the moment and really beating myself up about it. Sarari’s tip to be kind along with her ‘not being afraid to do something different’ is going to be something for me to take forward both in my sewing and my job hunting, thankyou xx

  223. martha
    November 4, 2011 at 6:38 am

    Really enjoyed this interview. I recently saw this book in a bookstore and was thinking about my daughter. I’ve taught her how to sew and she was a fast learner, but there are many things explained in this book you just don’t find. It’s a valuable manual that I’d love to gift my daughter. The author is a genuinely nice person, and her philosophy of kindness, generosity, and integrity are refreshing and lovely to see.

  224. Mil
    November 4, 2011 at 6:54 am

    I like her advice to do something for a niche. I’ve had a sewing idea for Swim parents, but have felt its too specialized. Might just take the leap now!

  225. Erin L
    November 4, 2011 at 9:47 am

    I like the idea of making sure to slow down and enjoy it all!

  226. November 4, 2011 at 10:02 am

    I learned that there is a lot of work that goes into a quality sewing pattern and that they are worth every penny.

  227. November 4, 2011 at 10:29 am

    Even though I’ve been sewing for about 15 years (since I was 10) I feel that the advice Sarai gives to consider fit and fabric quality is appropriate for me. Now that I’m at a stage in my life where I have figured out my personal style a little more, I think this book would provide a lot of helpful information.

  228. Brenda
    November 4, 2011 at 10:41 am

    I learned to slow down and enjoy the process.

  229. Lisa P
    November 4, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Great advice from Sarai! So happy to learn of the webinar coming up. Thanks for the giveaway.

  230. bunny
    November 4, 2011 at 11:53 am

    it’s hard, yet rewarding, to start doing what you love full time!

  231. November 4, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    I think the best thing I learned from this interview was to try to cater to a niche market rather than the mass market. As someone hoping to start a business in the craft world, this is a great piece of advice that not many people give you.

  232. Pamela H.
    November 4, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    I am impressed by Sarai’s attitude toward bringing one’s personal attitude within the business. I also have a small business (22 years) and we have always gone with our instinct rather that the popular trends. As a result, we’ve built a reliable and supportive clientele and we enjoy what we do immensely. Thank you Sarai – you are a kindred spirit!

  233. Arielle Hamilton
    November 4, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    It was interesting to catch a glimpse into the process of patternmaking and learn more about what it entails – I have so much respect for this art form!

  234. November 4, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    I loved this interview! Some of the things I learned are to pay more attention to fabric quality, and to enjoy the process, which is really hard for me to do. I can’t wait to read the book!

  235. Melanie
    November 4, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    Don’t skimp on fabric quality!!!

  236. Olivia
    November 4, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    It was great to learn a little about the pattern making process. I adore all the patterns that I have purchased from Colette and I have always wondered what goes into the production of the final pattern.

  237. Patricia
    November 4, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    Wow, great interview. I loved learning about how the Colette patterns are planned.

  238. November 4, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    I didn’t know it took that many muslins for those pants! I kind of had this assumption that designers just kind of drew up the pattern and there it was, maybe a few little tweaks… Makes me feel better about how long things take me! :) Also, it’s making me want the book more and more – the Coletterie blog is so informative, I can only imagine that the book would be a wonderful resource.

  239. Sonia Ramos
    November 4, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    I just love the slow down and enjoy the project approach. It’s all about the fabric!

  240. Laura
    November 4, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    Love the idea of just slowing down. Wooh, don’t we need to do that with everything. PS, the trip to Argentina sounds awesome!

  241. November 5, 2011 at 3:05 am

    I like what she said about kindness. I strive for that on my blog and in everything I do!

  242. Lee
    November 5, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Use the best fabric and that is what I learned. thanks!

  243. Haley G.
    November 5, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    I learned that her advice for someone looking to start a business is to not to be afraid to do something different and to me kind.
    hgrossman at cableone dot net

  244. Melanee
    November 5, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    I think that I liked knowing how Sarai really laid the groundwork 1st before jumping into her passion.

  245. Emma SL
    November 5, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    I’ve learned what a crazy number of muslins it took to get those perfect pants! I’m hoping that 3 or 4 will be sufficient for me!!

  246. Kathy Davis
    November 5, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Sarai said that she wrote her book to build on the sewing fundamentals that are so often overlooked. I still need those fundamentals.

  247. emily
    November 5, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    Thanks for the interview! I like that even though she obviously really works hard, she is taking the time to go to Argentina and have a little less on her plate this upcoming year. And I didn’t know about the corporate gig she had before.

  248. November 5, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    I was surprised to learn that they draft the patterns digitally! It is always interesting to learn how other people work through the creative process.

  249. November 5, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    I really appreciated learning about Sarai making the switch from big corporate to running her own business. I find myself think way to much about sewing when I am at work, but definitely don’t have the guts to do what Sarai did!

  250. Amanda
    November 6, 2011 at 11:48 am

    I’m thankful that Sarai pointed out how she realized her life was passing her by while sitting in another pointless meeting. I’ve been working in Corporate America for 3 years now, and have had that same feeling creep up over and over. It’s difficult leaving a cushy job, as she says, because of all the benefits and security. But I agree with her, so long as you’re responsible and plan the change, you can always afford to do what makes you happy. Because in the long run, that’s what matters the most. ;)

    Thank you for the lovely interview!

  251. Melissa
    November 6, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    I’m fascinated with the idea that fabrics make the final garment… I’ve just been working with what I can afford… but I have a ton of failures. Maybe that’s why.

  252. Ann
    November 6, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    Great interview. Sounds like a very useful book.

  253. November 6, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    I learned that the concept behind this book is sewing fundamentals such as fabric and fit. Hurrah! I have many books that discuss sewing skills but do not delve into these essential topics.

  254. November 7, 2011 at 12:01 am

    I learned I really need this book! My clothing sewing has been disappointing thus far, probably because I don’t know the right way to select fabric for what I’m trying to do (make business clothes that are machine washable). I also love that she was able to successfully make the career switch, as I may want to do that someday.

  255. Deb Cameron
    November 8, 2011 at 5:26 am

    That there may be some crafty patterns next year from Colette’s Patterns…that will be interesting to see. I also learned about all the places the blog tour is happening, thanks for that info. I love Sarai and the Coletterie, this book is on my must have list. Beautiful patterns!

  256. Sarah
    November 8, 2011 at 9:16 am

    I learned that it really does take a lot of tries to draft a pattern! Now I don’t feel nearly so bad about my self-drafted skirts taking so many tries to get right. :)

  257. lorraine
    November 8, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    i learned that its ok to do something a bit out of the ordinary and to find people that appreciate that :)

  258. Maria
    November 8, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    I learnt you should follow your passion, be kind to everyone and don’t be afraid to do something different! What a great interview. Thanks a bunch.

  259. Kate R
    November 9, 2011 at 2:55 am

    What an interesting person – this book looks great and I loved reading how Sarai got into doing what she does. A great reminder that sometimes, it’s worth taking risks!

  260. November 9, 2011 at 6:03 am

    Great interview. And I can’t wait till tomorrow!
    I loved reading the part about the process of writing a pattern. So much goes into it. Never realized that.
    I’m an international reader, but will be in the States in 2 weeks and have an address where I stay (at a dear friend’s!)
    Thank you for the great post and the chance to win (o:

  261. November 9, 2011 at 6:18 am

    This looks like such a lovely book.
    I’ve learned a bit more about the pattern making process.

  262. Michelle
    November 9, 2011 at 11:26 am

    I learned that creating a pattern is all about luck and creativity. It’s about a lot of hard work and perseverance.

  263. November 9, 2011 at 11:38 am

    I didn’t know that they had to make that many muslins, I should have known that, but I never really thought about it.

  264. November 9, 2011 at 11:45 am

    I learned that I probably need to spend more time in the planning stages of projects before I hit the sewing. Thanks so much for hosting this giveaway!

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