April 18, 2014

Curvy Colette Plus Size Blog Tour: Interview with Sarai Mitnick

I hope you’re all enjoying the Curvy Colette Plus Size Blog Tour – wasn’t Mary’s Mabel fantastic yesterday? She was rocking the polka dots!
We thought you might be interested to learn more about Colette’s foray into knits and plus sizes, so Sarai and Alyson kindly agreed to chat with us about their process and inspiration. Below is our interview with Sarai, and our chat with Alyson is over at IdleFancy today, so check it out!

Sarai Mitnick, Owner of Colette Patterns
Sarai Mitnick, Colette Mastermind!
Jenny: What inspired you to partner with Alyson on knitwear patterns?

Sarai: More and more, I found myself wearing knits. Though most of my wardrobe is still made with wovens, I noticed that the things I get the most wear out of are knits. They are just so comfortable. Alyson and I share a similar philosophy, that comfort and style don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
I wanted to create some knits patterns, but since my experience is primarily in wovens, I’d put it off. That’s when Alyson approached me about the idea of doing a book or patterns together. She has years of experience in creating knitwear, both for her own line and at large apparel companies. She was really excited to bring that knowledge to the world of home sewing. It was perfect! Alyson is so enthusiastic about sewing with knits, and that enthusiasm is contagious.

What challenges did designing for knits present for Colette Patterns? How was this process different for you?

We typically develop our patterns in house, but Alyson was able to take the lead on these. It was interesting to see how they’re designed and fit. Knits are so much simpler in a way, because they’re easier to fit and there are no darts to fiddle with. In other ways, they can be challenging, because so much depends on the fabric the sewist uses.
I learned a lot about how various fabrics affect the way the final garment comes out. It’s really interesting to see the differences between two garments made with the same pattern but different knit fabric.
I also learned a lot by editing the book Alyson created with us. Translating the knits knowledge from the apparel industry into simple steps we can do at home was incredibly fun and informative. I feel confident doing just about anything with knits now.
We love these comfy wardrobe classics! Are there plans to design more knit patterns for Colette?

I’m really excited by knits right now, so the answer is definitely yes! Of course, we’ll have to respond to demand and see what customers want, but we plan to release at least one more this year. After that, we’ll see where it goes.

We’re so thrilled that there is a wider size range for these patterns. Is this a change that will be coming to future Colette patterns, as well?

We now have everything we need to make future knit patterns in this new range of sizes, and we’re working on creating new woven blocks so that all our future patterns can be made in the same range.

Thanks so much for talking with us, Sarai! I can’t wait to see future plus size designs from Colette. 
So, Cashmerette readers, what do you think of the new Colette knit designs? And what other sorts of styles would you like to see in the future? As a knit-a-holic I know that I’ll be making them, that’s for sure! My Mabel will be coming up next week, but in the meantime check out all these other ladies:
The Curvy Sewing Collective presents…. Curvy Colette: A Plus Size Blog Tour!

Wednesday 16 April:  Jenny at Cashmerette
Thursday 17 April:      Mary at Idle Fancy
Saturday 19 April:       Laurence at QuirkyPrettyCute
Monday 21 April:       Tanya at Mrs Hughes
Tuesday 22 April:       T at UandMii
Saturday 26 April:       Sophie-Lee at Two Random Words
Wednesday 30 April:  Mary at Young, Broke and Fabulous 

5 thoughts on “Curvy Colette Plus Size Blog Tour: Interview with Sarai Mitnick

  1. Nessa says:

    Great news to hear they’re going to do the full size range on woven patterns too! Woo hoo! I’ve just bought the Moneta – it’s my first ever Colette purchase.

    1. Jenny says:

      That’s great news! It’s super that Sarai took the risk of going to plus sizes and it seems to really be paying off. I hope other indie pattern companies are taking note!

  2. tanyamaile says:

    I can’t wait to see more! I love Colette patterns and it sure is nice not having to grade the moneta/Mabel up.

  3. Madalynne says:

    I think it’s a great step that Sarai made a step into plus size and I’m happy to hear she has more coming. Thanks for the interview!

  4. Bravo curvy colette !

Let me know what you think!