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The Speedy Cooper Sewalong & Contest


Speedy Cooper Sew Along

We are thrilled to hear that you all love Walden! To celebrate the launch, we are hosting sew alongs for the new patterns. Up first: Cooper!

This bag is really quick to sew, and we are eager to see all of your fabric choices. So we decided to make this a fast sew along, with just 4 weeks to make your bag and get it posted to the Colette Patterns Flickr group for entry into the contest.

It Starts Now!

If you plan on participating, you have until Nov. 25th to:

  • Buy your pattern (15% off until Nov. 15th at Gifts for Crafters with code WALDEN).
  • Pick your fabric (and pre-treat if it might bleed). We’ll be posting some resources for you in the next day or two.
  • Cut pattern pieces.
  • Cut fabric and transfer markings.
  • Review instructions.

The Companion Book


And don’t forget to pick up your copy of The Cooper Companion for even more step-by-step guidance.

Just like when we sewed Anise together, the Cooper Companion will act as a sort of textbook as we go through the process. You absolutely don’t need to buy it to participate in the sewalong. But it really is an excellent reference that you can hold onto forever, and it has some good ideas about customizations that might get your creativity going.

And at only $9 for a 130 page book with lots of extra tutorials and over 400 photos, I think it’s a pretty good deal too.

The Contest!


We have 5 different categories you can enter, each with a grand prize worth at least $100.

How To Enter

  • Make your own version of Cooper: Use any fabric, any color combination, add any details, style it however you like. You can make as many versions as you like to enter!
  • Upload your photos: Take photos and upload them to our Flickr group.
  • Tag your photos: Tag each photo “cooper”. Then decide which category (or categories) you want to enter, and tag your photos with the tag for that category (listed below). Each bag you make can be entered in multiple categories!

Category 1: Favorite Messenger

Cooper version 1 is a messenger that slings comfortably across one shoulder. Experiment with self-made straps, webbing colors, and fabric for a chance to win best messenger!


How to enter this category: Tag your photos “coopermessenger” to enter.

Grand Prize: $100 to The Village Haberdashery.

Category 2: Favorite Backpack

Cooper version 2 is great for everything from hiking, biking, and carrying books to school. How will you use your backpack?


How to enter this category: Tag your photos “cooperbackpack” to enter.

Grand Prize: $100 to Grey’s Fabric.

Category 3: Favorite Satchel/Pannier

Commuting to office by bike? Attach Cooper version 3 to your rear bike rack with lobster clips, then carry it into the office with the handle straps.


How to enter this category: Tag your photos “coopersatchel” to enter.

Grand Prize: $100 to Harts Fabric.

Category 4: Favorite Customization

We added a ton of customization options to the Cooper Companion ebook. From making a removable strap for the version 3 satchel, to adding feet or a key ring, or waxing your own canvas, you can customize this bag so it works for you.


How to enter this category: Tag your photos “coopercustom” to enter.

Grand Prize: $100 to our holiday pop-up shop, Gifts for Crafters.

UPDATE: You will have a choice of this gift certificate, a gift certificate to the Colette Patterns shop, or a combination of the two. Your choice!

Category 5: Favorite Fabric Combination

One of my favorite things about this pattern is how well it showcases fabrics. Play with your main and contrast fabric combinations to make it pop!


How to enter this category: Tag your photos “coopercombo” to enter.

Grand Prize: $200 credited to your Spoonflower account.



Hardware Kits: We know that sourcing the proper hardware can be difficult. So we put together these kits for you, and they’re available now at Gifts for Crafters! The hardware all  comes in a matching aged bronze finish. Choose from a kit with enough hardware to make the messenger or backpack, or a separate kit for the satchel.

Note: Our fabric kits were limited editions. At this time, we are not planning on releasing more.

We’ll be posting some more resources in the next couple days on specialty fabrics and other hardware options, since we’ve done a lot of this research for you.

A Few Final Details

This contest is open to everyone, worldwide. All of the prizes can be used by or shipped to anyone, anywhere. In some cases, you may be responsible for shipping charges or local import fees for your country.

You can alter the pattern in any way, and use any version. This is all about creative interpretation!

You can enter as many times as you wish, in as many categories as you wish.

You must have a Flickr account to enter, and be able to upload photos there and post them to our group. Joining Flickr is free and easy. If you don’t have a Flickr account yet, we HIGHLY recommend signing up early and uploading 5-10 photos there to start. Flickr sometimes has spam prevention that prevents brand new accounts with no photos to posting to groups right away, so better safe than sorry.

Finalists in each category will be chosen on a subjective basis by the Colette Patterns team and then voted on by the readers.

The contest closes midnight PST on December 13th, 2013. Please post your photos to the Flickr group with the appropriate tag(s) by that time!

YOU will be the judges. Vote for your favorites on December 17th.

Get your button

Let everyone know you’re sewing along with us!

125 pixels:

<a href="/cooper"><img src="//" width="125" height="125" alt="Cooper Bag Sewalong" title="Join the Cooper Bag Sewalong!" /></a>

180 pixels:

<a href="/cooper"><img src="//" width="180" height="180" alt="Cooper Bag Sewalong" title="Join the Cooper Bag Sewalong!" /></a>

250 pixels:

<a href="/cooper"><img src="//" width="250" height="250" alt="Cooper Bag Sewalong" title="Join the Cooper Bag Sewalong!" /></a>

Coming Soon: The Albion Sew Along

We don’t want to clog up the blog with back-to-back sewalongs, especially around the holiday season. So the Albion sewalong will take place after the holidays, in January. We’ll also have an Albion Companion book for you at that time. So hold on to your Albions if you want to sew that one with us!

The Cooper Sewalong

  1. The Speedy Cooper Sewalong & Contest (20 Comments)
  2. Bag making supplies and resources (46 Comments)
  3. How To Install Magnetic Snaps (5 Comments)
  4. Cooper versions 1 & 2: Assembling the body
  5. Cooper version 3: Assembling the front
  6. How To Create Adjustable Straps
  7. Cooper Version 2: Backpack Straps (5 Comments)
  8. How To Install Jiffy Rivets (2 Comments)
  9. Cooper Version 3: Attaching Satchel Handles
  10. Video: How to square the bottom of your bag (4 Comments)
  11. Finishing the body and flap
  12. Cooper Version 1: Messenger Strap
  13. Lining your Cooper bag (5 Comments)
  14. The Cooper Sewing Contest: Vote For Your Favorites! (30 Comments)
  15. Cooper Sewing Contest: The Winners! (3 Comments)



Would have loved to join but I’ll be busy sewing a princess gown for my daughter’s Christmas (if I ever get to finish my Lady Grey that is!!!).

But I think I’ll join the Albion sew along in January :-))

Holy cow! What an incredible sew-along!


What is the fabric used in the Cooper in the picture? It looks beautiful.

It is two colors of waxed canvas. I’ll be posting some resources on fabric (including these ones) soon, probably tomorrow.

I’m not seeing the 15% come off at both shops. The pattern is normally priced at $16, correct?

Oops, forgot to say that it’s with coupon code WALDEN. I edited the post. The discount is only at Gifts for Crafters.

We were going to have the discount at both shops, but ran into a technical problem we couldn’t fix in time, so it’s only Gifts for Crafters this time.

Awesome, thanks! I have *just* the right fabric in mind for this and I had been needing a new backpack for school anyway. ^_^


Where do you find the waxed canvas? I’d love to make a pannier, but it has to survive the Seattle weather. I’ve looked for waxed canvas before and haven’t been able to find a non-wholesale supplier.



You can also “make” waxed canvas by coating the canvas in beeswax. There are a ton of how tos online.


We also include a tutorial on waxing your own canvas in the Cooper Companion Book!


If in doubt… ebay. I’ve fouind a nice little supplier of waxed canvas. I’ve rarely been disappointed by an ebay fabric purchase (I have a rule of only buying if there is a nice detailed description of the fabric). (british)

Excellent! I will add this to the resources post for tomorrow! Thanks Siobhan!


I’m looking forward to this sewalong. Will you be publishing resources for us in the UK as well?


Hi, I would love to take part of this contest, but I wonder if at Gift of Crafters I can only buy the paper pattern or also the PDF version, which I prefer because I would avoid the shipping rates and not to have to wait for the shipping times of the paper pattern… Thank you


I forgot to say, I live in Italy


Will you be offering more kits to make up the bag? I didn’t move fast enough & yowza, you’re sold out already!

I would like to sew it, but buying the fabric in Europe. I would love to hear where one can get these fabrics (specially the waxed canvas) in Europe. I have bought a couple of time from the US, but it is to complicated. I had to go to customs each time, and waste a whole morning plus pay a lot of money. Thank you for any tip.

What a great pattern (I think I’d start with the messenger) and what fab prizes. But the days are getting longer here and the garden calls and this will probably now be a project for next autumn. Look forward to seeing all the photos of various Coopers though.

I was debating about participating in this, but then I found the perfect canvas fabric for a messenger bag (maybe scaled down to be more purse-like). I also realized that my dad had been hunting for a satchel but nothing was exactly right, so depending on how well my messenger bag goes I might end up making him the satchel as a Christmas present!