Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Pantone declares spring colors

It's not even 2013 yet, winter is still settling in, even the shortest day of the year (here in the northern hemisphere, that is) has not arrived yet and some bossy thing called Pantone has declared what colors we are to wear and live in this coming spring.  There is even a "color of the year", like a Miss America chosen and crowned, that reigns over the season's palette. 

The very wonderful thing about a group of colors chosen by good colorists is the inspiration it can provide.  The limitations are the freedom.  Parameters can spur creativity where an endless abyss of options can be paralyzing.  Ten colors, only ten, but how much fun those can be.  Here they are.

Emerald, the tiara wearing winner of color of the year.  Dusk blue, grayed jade, tender shoots, lemon zest, african violet, linen, monaco blue, poppy red, and nectarine.  Not very exciting as a line of colored dots on paper but quite amazing as the palette for a pleasant room, or perhaps a wardrobe.  And just what do these colors look like in practice?  In a room, like this, from House Beautiful's December/January 2013 issue.  If you look closely you will see all of the ten colors.

Grayed jade in the barrel type side table and the lamp in the distance gives the monaco blue and poppy red.  Nice proportions of the amounts of color.

The neutral of linen calms everything and sets it off at the same time.

Emerald, the color of the year, in modest spots that make the room lovely and interesting instead of a place consumed by trend.  How pretty these are together!

In my wardrobe:
Unwittingly I followed Pantone's rulings when I recently bought the "Shimmer Me" jacket by Columbia for my winter wardrobe.  In emerald, it was the color that was to my eyes the least of the evils and was offered at the best of the discounts, things that rule my shopping much more than current fashion.  I know the Pantone police will not be patrolling the wilderness where I will be wearing this jacket but the ideas that are forming in my head about colors to wear with this emerald are invigorating.  A dusky blue top, a bit of poppy red somewhere, just a tiny bit like the painting above, perhaps with african violet grounding it all.  Yes, winter might be more than just keeping warm this way!     

Wishing you creative thoughts and happy sewing!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The look for less

I like Sawyer Brook very much.  Superb fabrics and top notch customer service.  Yes, I believe in paying for those things in the fabric world but when something lovely shows up for so much less at a different site I have to stop and wonder.  Or marvel.  At the apparent vagaries of pricing.  Today, this.

Viscose/Elastane jersey print Botanical Haze at SB.
$22.00 now on sale for $14.99


Viscose/Elastane jersey print Trendy Knit Print at Low Cost Fabrics.

The colors look different in the photos but when I read the descriptions which both mention brown and chartreuse I am almost convinced they are the exact same fabric.  If I really wanted to buy this fabric how much would I want to pay to support a favored business?  Probably not 10 plus dollars per yard, unfortunately.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Off with her sleeves!

A J. Jill blouse purchased at a huge discount over a year ago stayed unworn in my closet for too long.  Something about it didn't work for me.  Along came The Sorbetto Top from Colette Patterns transforming the blouse into something I would wear.

The tuck is the original from the blouse and the bias strips were cut from a sleeve.  The hem is original from the blouse too.  Alterations to the pattern were a small bust adjustment with the remaining dart converted to gathers at the side seam and the addition of a center back seam for shaping. 

Colette Patterns offers The Sorbetto Top as a free download, hard to resist with all the rave reviews it has in the online sewing world.  The pattern is ok and can produce a nice top.  

The good
  • It is simple and easy to sew.
  • The neckline shape and front pleat are good for this style top.
  • It's free.

The not so good
  • The darts are huge and really long.
  • The pleat size does not grade with the pattern size.
  • The side seams wing out at the bottom.
  1. So with the dart already changed by my SBA I made the pleat smaller for the size 6 I was using and reshaped the side seams to be more bell shaped than flared at the bottom and things went well in the next top I made using a cotton lawn.   
  2. Then, since I don't like wearing woven tops much, they feel restrictive to me, I eliminated the front pleat and made the Sorbetto in a cotton jersey with ribbed binding.  Not bad but it seemed a bit baggy and saggy in that fabric.
  3. Then, continuing my usual variations on a theme method, I made the now pleat-less top in a cotton lycra that has some weight and crispness and simply turned under the neckline, armscyes, and hem stitching them down with the coverstitch machine.
Number 3 works really well for me, quick to make and easy to wear.  Perfect with yoga pants and knit skirts for casual wear in warm weather.  Thanks Colette Patterns!