Saturday, October 23, 2010

Matching Prints

This post was inspired by Mondo Guerra, Project Runway Season 8 designer. So, in the semi-finale judges continue to praise his skills and his feeling for mixing prints, and so do I. I really love what he comes up with - his clothes are so memorable.

How does he do it?

Is it really so difficult to mix patterns?

Well, no, not that difficult if you follow few rules of thumb. (Yes, there are some rules for mixing prints).

Follow these time-tested combinations Claire Schaeffer shares in her great 'Fabric Sewing Guide'

- foulard and paisley
- foulard and plaid
- plaid and paisley
- stripes and dots
- two jacquard patterns in the same color
- one jacquard pattern in different colors
- plaids and stripes in the same colors with similar scales
- two plaids in different scales
- plaids and checks
- a positive and negative print
- two geometrics with the same colors

In this book, Claire Schaeffer also notes that the scale of the print is related to the size of the garment. Generally, you would want to have a larger print on larger garment. A polka dot top and large flower print skirt would work well, for example.

The next thing to consider is that the larger or dominant print draws the eye. Bold prints add inches, so use it with caution, and use this property to your advantage.

PRACTICE SUGGESTION: Start collecting images of garments with prints from fashion magazines and paste each onto a page in an inspiration sketch book. Analyze the garment, make notes. You will see that after a while you will feel very confident in matching prints, whether for your sewing or just for everyday clothes selection.


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