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 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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· Sewing Pattern Buddy app ·

Happy Monday, everyone! 🙂  I was approached by Megan of Kwirky Kiwi about trying out her app for organizing sewing patterns and I loved it so much that I wanted to share this with all of you!
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!
Despite being a Millenial, I’m very decidedly *not* tech savvy, but I’m here to tell you- if you already have a smart phone, you’re tech-y enough to figure out how to utilize this resource too. 😉
The app has a wide range of customization already built in with different filters for Pattern Company/Number, Garment Type, Era/Year,  Personal Rating scale, Tags, Previous Makes, Pattern Completeness, and Pattern Type.  There is also space on each pattern listing for measurements, fabric requirements, personal notes, skill level, place/time acquired, purchase cost, printed/unprinted, condition, relevant website URL, location in your stash, and number of copies!
The categories come empty, all the better for using your own organization method.  I really love that I’m able to add specific design elements to the “tag” section.  Frequently I’ll be looking for a pattern that incorporates princess seams/long sleeves/collar/etc and having an easy filter to find them is so helpful!
After backing up the photos and info, the app is fully navigable without internet or data- which is huge for me since I’m on a no-data plan!  The images are clear and zoom-able, so if I need to see details from the envelope back I still have access to that information. The app takes up less space on my phone than any other app I’ve downloaded- I really haven’t found a negative to this app. 😉
This app really is all could ask for as a pattern database and I’m excited to keep adding to the database!  This probably settles me firmly in “nerd” category, but I’m not ashamed.  I love organization so much that the thought of spending this evening adding more patterns to my personal catalog adds a little spring to my step today, haha! 😉
· Disclaimer- I did receive the expanded app as a gift from Megan without the requirement for posting, and all opinions are my own! ·
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