First published over @ Handmaker’s Factory
Also, check out another example of how awkward I look in candid shots.
You’re welcome for that laugh
In the world of independent sewing pattern proprietors, Colette Patterns distinguishes itself through the quality and professionalism of its products. This is not to say that other indie pattern sellers fall short, but that Colette Patterns excels. They manage to maintain a pleasing, uniform style and aesthetic throughout its range of products, tutorials and website that trickles all the way down to designer, Sarai Mitnick.
Sarai @ Brooklyn General Store
I couldn’t have stated the above with such certainty had I not had the chance to meet and interact with her, and her husband, in person. During their west coast tour, Sarai taught a class on sewing with silk at Mood that I attended. This was my first Mood sewing course, so I was uncertain of what to expect. You go into the experience knowing that there will be no practical demonstrations during the class due to a lack of space. I know that despite that, many sewing bloggers rave about their experiences. I’m happy to say, Mood and Sarai did not disappoint!
Selection of silk @Mood.
She began class with a bit of information about silk and its various types and constructions. For budding textile experts, which I feel all sewists are at heart, the info was useful and much more interesting than I expected it to be. Starch recommendations and silk pre-treating techniques were discussed. Then came a very thorough explanation of silk types and the best way to handle them complete with large, expertly executed samples of stitch finishes and types (Hong Kong, French, serged, overlocked and on and on) which were passed around for close inspection. This may have become overwhelming if not for a handy, and thoughtfully put together, handout that each attendee took home.
Here is where that professional distinction shows itself. The time that this handout took had to be considerable. It was neatly put together with nine swatches that were sewn onto cardstock. When you lift the swatch you reveal type written details of how to handle each fabric. This is an invaluable resource for new and intermediate seamstresses alike. Along with the detailed answers to questions that she was asked, I walked away with enough information to handle sewing silk with confidence!
I was unable to stay and chat with Kenn and Sarai that evening, so I felt fortunate to make it to a party held in their honor at Brooklyn General Store. The store itself is beautiful and was further decorated with Colette Pattern samples for the occasion.
There was a nice discount for sewists who donned their Colette Pattern makes (I wore my Sencha and bought some really pretty, coral colored linen/cotton I wanted to make a Laurel with, but the pattern had sold out!!) and the relaxed atmosphere was a great setting to talk with Sarai and Kenn and the beautifully dressed party guests. I am continually stunned by how easy it is to converse with people in the sewing community. Sarai is so approachable and friendly! It was a really great evening. I reconnected with some sewing friends and left feeling great about investing my time and money with this indie company!