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Forum > Fashion Styles and Trends > Combining prints ( Moderated by Lynnelle)

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Combining prints
How to do it the modern way
sewme47
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sewme47
Intermediate
Illinois USA
Member since 8/28/08
Posts: 727
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Date: 9/2/13 7:36 PM

My daughter has requested that I create something similar to to this Anthropology top.

Obviously, I won't be able to find the same fabrics. I pulled out some florals, stripes, dots and abstracts from my stash, but I have to admit that I do not understand how to combine prints at all... yet it's the combination of a variety of prints that makes this top so adorable.

A search of fashion blogs, runway shows, and rtw sites reveals all sorts of plaids, prints, colors and patterns! I can't figure out the "rules" of how to make it all come together and look right.

Can anyone explain how to do this??

------
A balanced diet is a cupcake in each hand.

BriarRose
BriarRose
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Date: 9/2/13 7:43 PM

See if this helps:

8 Simple rules for mixing patterns

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I've quit fighting my inner demons. We're on the same side now.

It's just fabric; we can out-think it.

a7yrstitch
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a7yrstitch  Friend of PR
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Texas USA
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In reply to BriarRose <<


Date: 9/2/13 8:36 PM

Thanks for the link, BriarRose. I have decided to start playing with sheer prints over prints instead of always over solids. This is going to be fun.

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I have no idea what Apple thought I was saying so be a Peach and credit anything bizarre to auto correct.

Mel.J
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Mel.J
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Date: 9/2/13 8:41 PM

Something that may help is to lay out a fabric combo and then stand back from them to gauge the balance. Try to fold them to get the proportions you need for the top, even if you have to lay a plain sheet over the excess so you can't see it. If you're too close it's hard to stop looking at the detail of each print.

If you narrow it down, I'm sure PR would be happy to offer you opinions. Or even post a selection of fabrics and ask what combinations people suggest.

Have fun.

------
Mel (Melbourne, Australia)

BriarRose
BriarRose
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Date: 9/2/13 8:53 PM

I don't combine a lot of patterns when sewing clothes but when designing costumes I throw all my materials across a white sheet. If they look good in a tumble they usually look even better in a project. You might try the same thing with fabrics you are considering.

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I've quit fighting my inner demons. We're on the same side now.

It's just fabric; we can out-think it.

VivianZ
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VivianZ  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Louisiana USA
Member since 12/8/04
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Date: 9/3/13 8:51 AM

Try just laying the prints in the approximate location they would be on the pattern, in the same proportion you would want. In that shirt you are duplicating, I don't think it would be as attractive if the green dot was the main piece, as it is so bright compared to the other 2 more subdued prints. It looks like an easy shirt to replicate the tone of it.

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height 5'2" bust 36, waist 31, hip 39.
I have way too many yards to count, and I will never use them up, but I will die trying!

stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
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Kansas USA
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Date: 9/14/13 7:58 PM



One of the things I remember from watching a lot of home dec shows years and years ago was that you should choose a color scheme, and then mix the *scale* of the prints. So you can see in the top, there is one large, bold pattern (the main floral), one small bold pattern (the polka dots), and one large/medium muted pattern. I also try to remember the adage "good design repeats itself," so if there's an opportunity to re-use a print--like perhaps using the same fabric for the neck/sleeve binding as for the band--then those elements will start to make more sense.

I do have to admit that I am not fully on board with the way stylists are mixing prints these days (last night's "What Not To Wear" paired a black and white print skirt with a different black-and-white print/sequined top, and it looked totally wrong to my eye), so it's possible the traditional rules are in flux ATM.

Good luck!

------
~Gem in the prairie

carry
carry
Member since 10/26/07
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Date: 9/27/13 0:26 AM

I did that for that McCalls Boho-Retro dress with the kimono sleeves a few years ago and it's still my favorite dress. WHat I did was pick the print that would take up the most visual space.Then I took a smaller scaled print in one of the colors for the next fabric. The

carry
carry
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Date: 9/27/13 0:42 AM

A few years ago I used 3 prints for that McCall's Duro dress with kimono sleeves.I chose the largest scaled print that would have the most visual impact because it was the skirt front.I used a smaller scale print in one of the colors in the first print for the second and a tiny print in one of the other colors. for the third. The designs were different-I used an Asian cherry blossom print,a smaller blurry rose print,and a little twig print.It was the colors that really created a new look together. Take a look at the Batiks in your local fabric store for inspiration they all would blend with and compliment each other. carry

carry
carry
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Date: 9/27/13 0:45 AM

sorry my computer just did something strange and disappeared a section and double posted

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