ask me: how to mix patterns

May 22, 2017   /   byLiesl Gibson  / Categories :  Feeds

Hello friends! I’m back with this month’s installment of “Ask Me.”

During our last installment we talked about picking prints and patterns for your sewing projects. Here’s a related question that quite a few of you have asked.

How do you mix print and patterns?

I love this question because it’s so much fun to mix prints! And until I took the photo to illustrate this post I didn’t realize how much pattern I actually own and wear in my own wardrobe, despite consistently telling you that I wear almost only solids.

In general, there are three basic principles to follow when you’re mixing patterns.

three rules of pattern mixing

The Three Rules of Pattern Mixing

Rule 1: look for a unifying color between the prints.

Rule 2: mix different scales or sizes of prints.

Rule 3: mix types of prints: stripes with dots, stripes with geometrics, and geometrics with florals (or botanics), stripes with botanics or florals, etc.

If you stick with these three basic principles you’ll have no trouble mixing and matching prints in your wardrobe and in your sewing.

Here are some examples to help you out and to give you some ideas. These first examples have a really tight color palette of navy or black and white, and they’re quite safe with mostly a stripe and a polka dot, floral, or geometric.

how to mix patterns

how to mix patterns

how to mix patterns

Here are a few examples that incorporate more color.

how to mix patterns

how to mix patterns

how to mix patterns

And here are a few that are starting to be more playful and take more risks.

how to mix patterns

how to mix patterns

And then there are those times when you just break the rules. You need to be a little brave or have some experience (or just get lucky!) to do this well.

how to mix patterns

I hope that helps!

If you have a question you’d like to ask for a future Ask Me column, send it to askme@oliverands.com. You can see all our previous Ask Me columns here.

This is a syndicated post. Please visit the original author at Oliver + S

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I don’t know about you, but I tend to amass patterns in batches and I’m quickly reaching the stage where I can’t remember every detail of every pattern I own…. I’m happy to report that the Sewing Pattern Buddy app is the end to my woes!  Megan has designed the app with so many opportunities to organize and categorize patterns according to your personal favorite method and I’ve been so impressed by how intuitive and easy it is to navigate. 🙂  This app is free for up to 25 patterns and is just $6.99 NZD (approx $4.99 USD) for unlimited storage!
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