This is a special topic & a favourite one. The potential of your sewing crafts is determined to a large extent by how well you coordinate your colors, patterns & prints. There are several techniques that assure your combination is always attractive. You can, of course, go completely by your own instincts, as many seasoned crafters do. That is what makes them unique.
A great tip for beginners, and really for everyone, is to use ready-made designer combinations. The ready-made combinations are created by the designer who has created the fabric. The designer creates an entire line with suggestions of how you can use various fabrics from that line in combination. Newbies can use this to make sure their first few projects turn out looking good. You can continue to use this method till the time you are more confident about your own choices, having learnt what works together the best.
Seasoned crafters can also use this method whenever they are short of time or find a novel combination in offing. A good instance to use ready-made designer fabric combinations is when sewing for particular project or event.
If you want harmony between different crafts in a particular set using pre-designed combination is a great idea.
Another way to coordinate fabric is, of course, to use your own innovativeness. You can be ready to strike out on your own after a bit of learning curve that involves knowing what works & also what customers like best.
Ultimately, using your own ideas to coordinate fabric is highly recommended as that is what will set you apart.
It is of a great value to have a niche for your crafts. A niche craft is anything unique, which could be the way you coordinate your fabrics.
Do your best at all times to develop an identity for yourself & for your unique style. When trying to create your own eye-catching combos, it's great to have actual fabric on hand to mix & match & see what works.
Here are a few steps on achieving this:
- Try to come up with themes for project. For example, if you are making cushion covers, work with different themes like “stripes & squares,” “bold prints,” “solids,” etc.
- Try to come up with complementary products that can also be created in the same fabric combination. Taking the above example, a very close counterpart will be pillow covers. This usually allows you to use of fabric more efficiently & has a positive impact on sales.
- Go with a precise idea of what you are wanting to create to your fabric store. See if you can discover some new attractive themes there as well.
- Small swatches of all the fabrics you shortlist & mix & match them at home.
- Let the combinations you decide on seep in for a couple of days. Do not start stitching right away. If you still like the combinations after a few days, you are good to go.
When it comes to coordinating fabrics, it pays to have a stash in your sewing studio. There is liable to be a particular kind of fabric that you use often, usually something you use as a base for your projects. It makes sense to have plenty of this fabric in your shop. The next step would be to choose a pattern or print that will make your project “pop.” You can choose this from your existing collection or from new swatches
We highly recommend learning more about garment design & even color. There are certain formulas that are known to create great results. Read up more on the internet or buy a couple of books from the local bookstore or an online one.
Eventually you will start to get the right combination simply by instinct. And that will lead you to creating unique crafts with your signature mark on them. Remember, if you expect future orders on the craft you are sewing, make sure that the fabric you choose is going to be available in the future as well. If a particular combination does well, you will quite likely want to make more of it. A successful product also allows you to purchase the fabric in bulk which further lowers your cost of production & increases profits. But that's a discussion for another post.
Try to keep things simple. Don't overdo your fabric combinations. Beginners can sometimes get overzealous. Neutral colors, with a dash of color or a great print works well for a lot of people. If that works for the craft you are making, you can start off your projects like that.
As a final note, and for perhaps the most unique results, experiment! Break away from the common rules. Make some different kinds of fabrics. Follow your instincts in a more daring way. You can try making your own prints yourself by doing some simple stamping & hand printing. If you find that printing your unique fabric is something that works for you, you can further invest in more advanced printing apparatuses that will allow you to do much more!
All the best & do send us your questions & comments.