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This post is part of a mini-Series, check Part 2, where I’m showing you a step-by-step photo tutorial for creating a color block pattern from my Basic Leggings PDF pattern!
Let’s start with a fact: I love colorblocking!
I’ve sewn a lot of projects using it because I feel like it can add a lot to easy and plain projects, without proportionally increasing difficulty level: you can create 100 different pieces from a simple pattern, just using
Let’s step back: do you all know what color blocking is, right?
It’s when you put together different colors in the same garment; the fun is that you can put together similar or complimentary color/patterns, or contrasting or tertiary colors, for a more vibrant look: you’re the designer!
Let’s talk about why you should love colorblocking
(and why I do)!
– color blocking is frugal: you don’t need to buy fancy fabrics to recreate an interesting look (plus, you can put together all those small scraps and leftovers from bigger projects);
– color blocking is practical: you can use a basic pattern you already know that fits you (like The Sheer Plaid Top, for sale at $ 2.90 on Craftsy, or Basic Leggings PDF pattern I’m releasing this weekend, on Sunday March, 9th) translating it to never ending different styles… No one will know they’re made using the same pattern!
– color blocking is refashion-friendly! When you are going to refashion a not-that-huge garment, you’ll discover soon that’s hard to end with a mono-color new garment… you often “need” to colorblock (see my T-shirts to PJ refashion guest posted this week on TitiCrafty)
Are you interested learning more about Color Theory? There’s an interesting FREE class on Craftsy about it – it’s about quilting, but explain a lot of interesting things about putting together colors: it’s perfect if you’re serious about colorblocking – PLUS, as I said, it’s FREE
Some (Good) Tip:
1. Opposite attracts
Try putting on your sewing table all the different fabrics you have, so you can use them for color block: you’ll be amazed to see that sometimes fabrics you wouldn’t even think putting together, are perfectly matching and mixing!
2. Tried and True
Really important: true your color blocking at side/crossing seams, nothing worst than a badly matching side seam… better make it extreme, if it’s a design choice!
3. Two different ways
- cut your pattern in more pattern pieces (remember: add seam allowances where needed)
- sew together fabric scraps to have a big enough piece of fabric from which you’ll cut your pattern.
Use the first one is better if you’re going to make weird shaped color blocks (i.e. curved pieces, like weaves), use the second one for creating simple patterns, like stripes or checkered!
4. Breaking Rules is Fun 😛
You can basically put together anything, better if all the fabrics have similar weight and stretch (but, as any rule I know, you can break it, with design purpose in mind!)
5. Create your own Reconstructed “Print”
It’s a nice way to recreate funky geometric designs, when you can’t find gorgeous prints. It’s versatile too: you can do bold color mix but also romantic flower & pink colorblocking; in fact, you can try mixing two different prints (why not stripes and dots? I’d like to try this, just because they’ve always told me they don’t go together!!)
6. Meant for Each Other
Some pattern is designed with colorblocking in mind (also if you can easily sew it in monochrome), with many pattern pieces: think to princess seams! I’ve made two refashions from T-shirt and trousers, some time ago, featuring colorblocking: a FREE pattern for a woman (Mod dress) and a black & white ruffled Minidress.
How-to create a colorblocked garment:
a Step By Step
Before you start working with the 1:1 version of your pattern, think small! The funniest part of creating a colorblocked garment is design: and I really mean drawing (either by hand or with a drawing program on your pc) lines on your sketches and fill those new spaces with color/patterns, to visualize which colorblock is more appealing to you.
Take the pattern piece miniature and let your imagination fly!
My best suggestion is: take some shoots to your fabrics, then let’s go scrapbooking with a drawing program like GIMP: Too Much Fun! (Interested in a step-by-step tutorial? I could do this for you!)
You’ll notice that different lines (horizontal, vertical, diagonal or even curved) can completely transform your pattern look!
I’ve made this exercise, lately, with my Sheer Plaid Top PDF Pattern, creating a Wool version (inspired from some of my Serger Pepper’s Testers Crew lovely versions) with a wider collar, opened in one side (you’ll see it soon!), colorblocked by using my fabric on both sides (right and wrong) splitting it in different pattern pieces!
I’ve started trying to figure out which was my favorite version, between:
All on straight grain, right side of the fabric, collar on bias (this detail never changes…):
Colorblocked, Horizontal line just above the armpit:
WIDENING EFFECT… DON’T NEED IT AT ALL!
Colorblocked, Vertical central line:
Colorblocked, Diagonal line:
… LOVE IT!!!
When you decide which is your favorite colorblocking idea:
- Cut your 1:1 pattern, adding seam allowances, notches (useful to put together fabric pieces) and grainlines where they’re missing.
- Cut Fabric
- Sew together and…
you’re ready to enjoy your new colorblocked garment!