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Zinnia Sewalong & Contest at The Stitchery!

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I wanted to drop a quick note and let you know about this fabulous sewalong and contest starting from our friends at The Stitchery in Glasgow.

To celebrate the start of series 2 of The Great British Sewing Bee, Cassandra is hosting a sewalong for the Zinnia skirt pattern, and an accompanying contest with a grand prize of a Janome sewing machine!

To get all the details, visit the post on The Stitchery’s blog!

Like what you read here? Subscribe to our blog via email so you don’t skip a stitch! And sign up for our weekly Snippets email for even more sewing tips and tricks.

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We’re headed to Palm Springs!

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Today, the whole team of us is headed down to Palm Springs!

We’re taking a mini company vacation while we shoot an upcoming project. I’m excited that I’ll be able to share what it is when we get back. It’s been a huge undertaking for all of us, and this trip is the perfect way to cap it off.

I’ll still be blogging all week, and hopefully I’ll be unveiling my new swimsuit for you all when we get back! I am so excited about how it turned out.

If you’d like to follow along on our desert field trip, you can follow my photos on Instagram. Hopefully the next post you read will be coming at you from the poolside.

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Friday Chatter: How important is comfort to you?

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If you haven’t yet read Cathy Horyn’s op-ed in the New York Times about the changing role of comfort in fashion, it is highly recommended.

In it, she talks about the increasing shift towards comfort in the way women dress, and the reactions from the world of fashion. Do we prize comfort now more than ever?

As I get older, comfort has become more and more important to me.

One mistake that people seem to often make is associating comfort in clothing with “giving up.” The dichotomy between being comfortable and looking good is a false one, especially in today’s world of knit fabrics and other advances. If comfort is important to you (and I don’t think it is for everyone, or needs to be), you can still look beautiful.

It seems to be a balancing act, and each person sets the point at which she feels best. It’s interesting that, as a culture, we seem to be shifting more in that direction. Take a look at the offerings at high end boutiques like Totokaelo, Frances May, and La Garconne, for example.

How important is comfort in your clothing? And what defines comfort for you?

[image above: Isabel Marant FW2013]

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Weekend Reading: The purpose of fashion, textile design, and the power of stress

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We’ve had quite a week around here. After an incredible snowbound weekend, my workload this week has left me feeling a bit frayed at the edges. Lucky for me, the whole team is heading out of town for a work-cation next week. Can’t wait to get some of that desert sun, and I’m even more excited to talk about the reason for the trip in a week or two.

In the meantime, enjoy some of these great reads this weekend:

[image: some carnations from the grocery store, from my instagram feed]

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The Wardrobe Architect Week 5: Your color story

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Color is an extremely powerful force in our lives.

Color affects our mood. It affects how food tastes to us. It affects how and what we buy. The color of the pills we take can even affect the efficacy of the medication within. That is what a powerful psychological effect color has over us.

Not only is color a potent communication tool, but it’s also a nuanced one. We are capable of perceiving a huge number of colors, each one arousing a slightly different feeling in us.

Perhaps you can’t articulate why a certain shade of apricot feels good to you, but a slightly yellower shade does not. Somewhere deep within your mind, a combination of biology, culture, and context makes that decision before you are even aware of it.

It creates a visceral, physical response that you experience as emotion.

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[image: pennyweight]

Color is a language

Designers and artists use color as a language to tell a visual story. Because of it’s variety and emotional impact, it’s an extremely effective tool.

You can do the same thing. By developing a palette, you create an outward expression of the moods, feelings, and reactions that you want to convey. And those feelings are unique to who you are, because no one experiences color in exactly the same way you do.

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[image: The White Pepper]

There are a lot of systems out there for finding out which colors suit you, the most well-known being the Color Me Beautiful system of seasons that advises specific palettes depending on your coloring.

If these systems are helpful for you, I think that’s great! I know some people swear by this, and I’m sure it’s very helpful.

But for my part, I think color is too subjective and emotional to leave to anyone else’s preferences. I don’t care what supposedly suits me as much as I care how I feel in and around a color. Because color has so much power over our moods, I’d rather create those moods for myself.

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[image: The Designers Co-op]

Your color story

Today, I want to focus on your feelings about color.

Undoubtedly, there are colors that you feel naturally drawn to. Some colors just make you happy, some feel exciting, others make you feel calm and peaceful.

What we’re going to do today is start collecting those colors. Don’t worry about how to incorporate them into your wardrobe yet. We’re going to get to that next week. For now, just think about what you love and what you wear.

Exercises:

  • Review the words you came up with, along with your style moodboard or inspiration. Begin pulling out the colors you associate with these words and images. To do this, you can list the color in text form (“ballet pink,” “scarlet red,” etc.) or use a color picking tool like the palette in Photoshop. Or, see the resources section below for more color tools you can try.
  • Look over your closet and the colors you wear. Add these into your collection of colors.
  • Look over your fabric stash too. What colors do you see most represented? Often these are the colors you are most drawn to (for me, it’s a lot of neutrals, pinks, and blues).

My Favorite Colors

Here is the palette I came up with, as an example. It includes colors that I love to death (shades of warm pink and oceanic blues) and colors I feel really good wearing (black, ivory, wine, camel) along with other colors I’m just drawn to. You can see these colors popping up in the images here from my core style board.

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I ended up with 20 colors, which I think is a good number for me. You can do more or fewer if you like. This is really just another chance to play and explore your own tastes.

Next week, we’re going to organize these colors and figure out how to make them wearable.

Resources

There are a lot of interesting tools out there you can use to start thinking about color.

  • Kuler is a web-based tool from Adobe that helps you create palettes. Playing around with the color wheel is fun and can help get you going.
  • COLOURLovers is another great site for creating and playing with palettes.
  • Color Collective is a gorgeous blog with tons of palette inspiration.
  • Why not take a trip to the hardware store and pick out some paint chips? Then you’ll have something physical to hold onto as well.

Discussion

What colors make you feel really good when you wear them?

For me, it’s black, tan, and shades of muted and warm pink. I love a good coral.

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