Starting to Sew for Spring 2011! Choosing my Color Palette.

After a few weeks of unexpected delays in getting started I got up this morning happy to begin a new big project.  Per my New Year’s resolution this year I am trying to follow the Harper’s Bazaar Best Basic Wardrobe List by either sewing or collecting the correct number of garments in each wardrobe category.  As we are in the midst of winter cold and overcast skies I am lifting my spirits by sewing ahead for Spring.  (I’ve never been this on the ball before, so that feeling of virtue is enough to lift my spirits too!)  Additionally, this year I am working hard to confront a continuing issue in my home-sewing and garment shopping.  

 The Problem

Though countless magazines and advice books have counseled me to do so, in the past I have been inconsistent in selecting my colors when I shopped for clothes or selected fabric.  The problem is not that I wear colors that are ugly on me.  I am classified as a Clear Winter, if you are familiar with the “Color Me Beautiful” system of describing color palettes by season and then matching those to one’s skin, eye and hair tone.   Since I have cool undertones I don’t try to wear earthy colors or pale pastels. 

The problem is that I don’t want to narrow down a color range.  The rule books seem to be saying, “Limit yourself to just a few colors for the rest of your life!”  I’m artsy enough to love color and I don’t want to limit myself.  Sometimes I shop for something specific, but often my mantra is “if I like it I buy it.”  But buying up every color I look good in means lots of lovely fabric in which I sew one garment, and that garment often has no other item of clothing that matches it.  My individual garments flatter me but my overall wardrobe lacks cohesion

The Solution

I am loathe to admit how long it has taken me to cotton on to this one, but I don’t have to give up any of the colors I love.  I just have to limit them per season.  That means I choose a range of complimentary colors for each season.  If I miss out on say deep burgundy in spring, I can make sure I add that to my range in the fall. 

This makes total sense.  I wish I could tell you where I read it so I could give that person credit.  I have been too busy at the fabric store scrounging the clearance rack and gushing over the new arrivals to come up with anything that sensible.

My Color Palette for Spring 2011

My base colors: navy, khaki, dark gray and denim. 

My accents: medium clear pink – rose, medium clear blue – royal, white, red, and turquoise.

My first attempt to collage in Photoshop! I forgot white as one of my accent colors but consider the background as a stand-in. Now let’s see if I can hold fast to this palette for one season.

I am going to work REALLY HARD to stick with this.  We’ll see if it kills me. 

I plan to do both bottoms and tops out of my base colors.  The accent colors are primarily restricted to tops as I don’t like to draw too much attention to my bottom half by wearing bright colors there.   

The knit tee patterns I want to use for spring and my new and improved sewing basket.

To make it easy on myself I thought I would begin with Tees.  The list recommends eight t-shirts.  I have a basket of thrifted tops that I want to refashion into women’s polos and tees.  Refashioning is much harder than one might imagine.  I know all of these tops won’t work out but if a few do they will pay me back as most of the original shirts were gleaned from the 99 cent rack.  I am waiting to see which of these works out and in what colors before I begin purchasing fabric.  And my goal is to LIMIT myself to purchasing only the fabric that will complete this category, no more and no less. 

My collection of thrifted tees and polos to refashion for spring.

If limiting my colors doesn’t kill me, leaving the store without impulse buying fabric probably will.

Next Post: Saturday, January 22, 2011: Refashioning: Making a Fitted Tee from an Oversized Women’s T-shirt


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