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Colors Uncomplicated

Details of a perfectly sewn and fitted garment can often be lost due to the wrong color choice which is what first catches the eye. A person’s skin tone should dictate the hue, value and intensity of fabrics and trims chosen for a specific project. However, by changing hair color and/or make-up or placing an appropriately-colored scarf or similar accessory close to the face, it’s often possible to choose colors not normally worn. Professional color advisors can assist in determining what “season” you are…spring, summer, autumn or winter…and provide a sampling of the colors that will work to your best advantage. Below is an abbreviated explanation of each complexion’s “season” as well as appropriate colors.

  • Spring—creamy white or peach skin with golden undertones. Strawberry blonde or strawberry red hair and green or blue eyes. Choose warmer colors such as apricot, peach, paler greens or golden yellows and avoid anything dark and dull.
  • Summer—paler skin with blue and pink undertones. Natural blondes or brunettes with pale eyes. Choose pastels and soft neutrals such as lavender, plum and paler blues. Shy away from black.
  • Autumn—skin with golden undertones. Redheads and brunettes with golden brown eyes. Choose brown, camel, burnt orange, gold and some grays. Avoid navy.
  • Winter—pale white, yellowish olive or darker skin. Brunettes with deep-colored eyes. Choose sharp, clear colors such as black, white, red or navy. Avoid pastels in favor of lighter colors with icy tones.

Some basic terms regarding colors are as follows:

  • Hue—actual color name such as red or blue
  • Value—lightness or darkness of a color
  • Intensity—sometimes referred to as chroma, this is the degree of brightness of the color
  • Shade—a hue mixed with black
  • Tint—a hue mixed with white
  • Tone—a hue blended with gray

Quilting fat quarters or fat eighths are an almost failsafe method of matching colors. These smaller cuts of fabrics are carefully selected and arranged in rolls or packets giving a quick overview of specific color combinations that can serve as an excellent resource for sew-ers in need of a little inspiration.

New colors appear each season on the runways and, with a little ingenuity, can often be adapted to your personal color palette.

September, 2011

This season’s must-have color is Mustard accompanied by Teal, Bordeaux, Yves Klein Blue (a bright combination of Electric and Sapphire blue), Bright Rose and several shades of Gray.

by Marcella Joswick
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