Even though Yvonne had barely sewn a stitch for nearly 20 years, that didn’t stop her from buying fabric. Sound familiar anyone? Now that a lifestyle change has her focused on using her sewing skills toward a wardrobe update, one big question is “which fabrics do I tackle first”. Take a look at how we narrowed down to her first 30 – yes thirty! – pieces to add to her closet.
First we took a look at Yvonne’s original color information – a 4-season analysis circa 1980-something. You can see the overly-bright original and our more nuanced update HERE.
Now as we searched through her extensive fabric collection she knew what to look for:
- Rich, moderately warm colors like teals and dusty aquas, brick-y reds and corals, warm sage greens, chocolate browns, caramel and camel for example.
- Colors and prints with a visual “weight” to balance her dark-ish eyes and hair – creating a vertical flow between the garments and her personal coloring.
- Some light/dark contrast – either within a print or among solids in an outfit – for visual interest, but never more contrast than we see in her personal coloring.
Here are the 30-ish pieces we chose to work on first — easily a year’s worth of sewing projects with a BIG wardrobe payoff – the Everything-Goes-With-Everything effect!
- Top right corner – just a few of the cartons of fabric we had to evaluate.
- Top left – that vibrant lime green is a favorite color, but extremely overpowering. It is much more wearable mixed with browns in the print by the table leg.
- Center-left (about 9 o’clock, if you will) the three prints in brown/teal mixes could be interesting as a print-mix garment or work solo with the solids.
- Dot print at 8 o’clock is discussed below.
- Circular motif in the bottom left corner is the area rug – Yvonne’s love of patterns carries through in her decor as well.
- The whole group of prints from 1-6 o’clock are candidates for over-tinting with camel dye to soften up the bright white areas and warm the reds and pinks toward brick and coral – much more compatible with her coloring.
- Nine solid color jerseys are included so those great prints have a base against which to be showcased – teal blues, warm reds, sage greens, camels and browns plus a deep aubergine you can barely see in the top left corner on a chair.
Here are some additonal prints that are absolutely mountain-top, but were in the other room when we snapped the pic above:
Both the feathers and the floral repeat colors we see in Yvonne – her auburn hair and eyes that can read as dusty blue or sage green. They also repeat the somewhat angular lines in her facial features and hairstyle. Just the right visual weight for balance, and enough contrast to add interest without overwhelming. And they go with dozens of solids in her wardrobe plan.
These are second-tier choices, but only by a smidge. The lighter one one the left would be paired with a darker/stronger over-layer garment to keep it from reading too pale. The the right-hand one has so many of her optimal accent colors that it’s a great way to increase the flattery of black garments she already owns.
She also owned some gorgeous heavier weights that make fabulous coordinates with her A+ prints:
And this caramel and cream wool is an amazing mix with the floral and the feather print. Hopefully Yvonne will share pics of projects and outfits as she completes them.
Meanwhile, how can you apply these same guidelines to prioritizing your own fabric stash and sewing projects? Will you share pictures as well?
Or maybe we should meet up at one of this year’s sewing expos and do a similar consultation for you – using swatches of your fabric collection, of course! What do you think?