Hello bag makers, have we got something fun for you! Today’s tip for you is how to pick fabrics for your next project. It’s a question that comes up when we launch new patterns and our testers share their creations! So let’s hop right into and get a little art lesson before you pick fabrics for your next sewing project!
Let’s talk about the colour wheel first! Something we all learned about back in school is the colour wheel. Why is this important? It will help you in know which colours look best together! Here’s a little refresher of the colour wheel combinations.
Primary colours – Red, Yellow, Blue
Secondary colours – Orange, Purple, Green
Tertiary Colours – Colours that are made when you mix a Secondary Colour with a Primary Colour (red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-violet, and red-violet)
So now that we have that refresher, how do we apply that to picking colours together! The easiest way is to focus on where the colours are on the wheel and seeing how they make each other look. The best combination (in my opinion because I like POPS of colour) is complimentary colours. These are the colours that are directly across from each other on the colour wheel. For example, in our image, it is purple and yellow. When you pair these two together, they really make each other stand out and shine. Now, this is a basic colour wheel so you can imagine all sorts of combinations. Complimentary is the easiest way to start pairing your colours and having a little fun with your fabrics! For other colour combinations, check out the Colour Wheel on Canva if you want to dig in deeper.
Ok so what if the colour wheel makes no sense to you or you are more visual? I always say pick 1 fabric as your feature and pull from there! For my example, I chose a Tula Pink All-Stars print. Her fabrics have so many different colours in it so it can be overwhelming to know where to start! For the first one you can see that by picking the green and orange, the leaves are what pop the most along with the accents in the print and not the animal itself. It would give you a much more subtle creation.
For the second example, you can see that the combination really makes the raccoon and its eyes pop! It would give you a much higher intensity in your creation. This would be the combo I would go with but I like things to really stand out and shine!
To see this in action, here is the Layla Essentials Purse I did for the Coin Pouch Hack. You can see that I focused on pink and yellow. It made the raccoon a little less intense BUT made the eyes pop. There are a lot of different prints going on but you will notice that they are all in the same tone of colour. This gives you the opportunity to use multiple fabrics/prints as long as they have the same colours. It does also help that Tula Pink uses a lot of the same colours repeatedly in her collections!
Here is an excellent example from Abbe of complementary colours. You can see that on the inside of her Layla she uses a vibrant blue with that red-orange and it just pops. It has an intense contrast but it works and looks amazing!
These tips are just a starting point! If you want to create your own colour palette or want to learn more about the colour wheel, I have a couple of resources for you:
- Colour Palette Generator– Lets you upload and image and it pulls colours from it to suggest which ones go great with it! Perfect for those hard to match prints with loads of different colours!
- Colour Wheel – Allows you to pick a specific colour and then you can pick whether you want complimentary, monochromatic or other combos and gives you suggestions!
Our number 1 tip when it comes to picking fabrics is to have fun and don’t be afraid to go a little wild!
Now that you have these tips, which one is going to help you the most? Let us know in the comments below!