How to Mix and Match Print Fabrics for Sewing : Part 2

Welcome back to our series on mixing and matching print fabrics!

If you missed Part 1, you can go back and get caught up.

In Part 1, we discussed choosing a "base" fabric.  We examined it closely and studied the scale, the colors and the "vibe" that the fabric gives off and also talked about choosing an appropriate print for  your particular project.

Choosing Fabrics for a Softer Look

This is quite a bold print, so let's look at ways to soften it.  If I were wanting to tone this fabric down with other fabrics, I would probably choose to match some of the lighter colors.  To start with, I usually will look at a geometric print of some sort. Keep in mind that dots and stripes don't have to just be polka dots or circus tent stripes, they can be a variation as you will see in some of the examples.

I do have to add a disclaimer... for children's clothing, which is my main area of sewing, I LOVE polka dots.  I just think they have a playful feel in general and they pair great with almost anything.  Michael Miller's "Ta Dots"fabrics are among my favorites.  There is a very wide range of color combinations to choose from and you are almost guaranteed to find something to match your print.  The scale also is a good size to complement a lot of different fabrics.

Here is a simple pairing with a couple of different polka dot fabrics. Notice that the scale of these dots is considerably smaller than the scale of the base fabric. In one, the dots are placed further apart which brings in more of the pink color.  The other is a slightly lighter color with the dots placed closer together which gives the fabric a lighter presence.  Either of these fabrics would be a great choice, especially for a little girl who loves pink. (Or a mom who loves pink, too)

Here are some examples of what could be done if you chose to go with the aqua color to tone it down. You can see that some of the dots are not traditional polka dots, there is a chevron and even a more hand drawn type of print in the lower left corner.  If you look at the detail in the aqua flowers, the same type of idea is echoed in that print.  Echoing something in your base fabric is also a good way to bring cohesiveness to your fabric pairings.  

Another way of toning this fabric down might be to choose to pair with the brown that is in it.  This would bring out the earthiness of this print. Again non-traditional dots work wonderfully as well as traditional with the brown being the dots instead of the background. The oval fabric at the bottom also kind of mimics the shape of the petals of the brown flower.  

So, there you have seen some ways to soften the look of this fabric.  Next time we will look at some bolder fabrics that will make a bit more of a statement when used with this base fabric.

Until next time, Happy Sewing! 

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