i'm working on the black dress.  i have to look at some colorful prints before i lose my mind completely.

some peeps have asked me to do a little how-to on pattern matching.  (some peeps have offered to have me checked for colorblind-ness.  ruggy insists i am afflicted. i'm going with peeps the former.)

the easiest way to make an interracial marriage, if you will, between fabrics, is to pick a common thread.  in all of these pairings, there's a color in each separate fabric that connects.

chocolate brown in this dress...

deep magenta in this skirt (with complementary-toned lime green un-ironed RTW and tequila)...

burnt goldenrod in top and waistband...

when pairing three together, i'll pick my common color between two, then pick up a third between any two of the fabrics. in this two hour dress, orange lives in the main fabric and trim, then the purple in the trim connects the lace.

go for four!  red in trim + red in print + ivory in lace + ivory in print + purple in trim + purple in main = this maxi dress.  (see the first trim poking out underneath?  you'll see it in the original post.  although the purple shade was closer to the main fabric, the blue was throwing it off.  somehow the lavender in the "beaded" trim was happier-- an analogous pairing.)

blue lace + blue flowers + blue sky = happy oona.

and sometimes i'll just pull a print i love, and slowly run it down my stack of stash until i hit a fabric it wants to live with.  complementary and analogous colors work wonders there.  here's a great link with color wheels to get you spinning!

and please, do tell if you take the leap so that i might live vicariously.  i'll be living primarily in black till sunday.  i've heard tell, black goes with everything.  

i need a how-to on making it go with ME.


  1. I love how you pair colors, textures and prints Oona! It's very inspiring & colorful to see! I also think that you hand trims really well and its something that I've not really ventured into. I love that! Whatever you're doing with black, I think you might have to add a little splash of color somewhere. Don't you think?
    xoxo, Sunni

  2. I love the patterns in the first picture. I wouldn't have known how to put different patterns together like that- it makes your work so unique. (I still love that lace and orange maxi dress- UGH SO CUTE)

  3. Oh!! I think I was with you when you bought the first two fabrics, and I ADORE what you are making. Brilliant. Please touch my hand so some brilliance will rub off. I love your sense of style and flair - true blue fashionista.

  4. Yay! What a happy post. I agree -- sometimes you just have to start pulling fabric piles and shuffling them until a harmonious combination results. And I've found that even a questionable fabric can work, in small bits, if you remember to repeat that fabric at least once somewhere on the garment (as in prairie points, strips of fabric or piping inserted into a seam; bias binding; pockets; collar stands; fabric ties instead of buttons; etc.). Happy Tuesday!

  5. I love your blog. The colors and patterns you put together are so amazing. I steer more towards darker colors and you are encouraging me to branch out in the world of color. Especially this fall, all the beautiful jewel toned colors are great.

  6. You're totally the queen of print matching! Also, I may try to steal that lilac lace dress. When I next get to New York...

  7. Thank you!! Maybe now I'll finally be brave enough to venture into the world of pattern mixing, since you so kindly provided a guide!

  8. Not only do you mix patterns, but you also mix all sorts of fabrics! Love that purple lace dress. You do it so well!

  9. Yea, I do the run it alongside it's fabric friends until it finds a mate method too. :D

  10. Hmphsh. I've made at least TWO garments in the past month in patterned fabrics (polkadots count!). Isn't that enough? Now you want me to mix prints? Yeesh! ;)

    Good luck with the black. Hey, you can always give it to me after! ;)

  11. This was great! I am super impatient with colour matching because I haven't really had a system or guideline to frame my search.
    All the best with the black. If you like what you make you should wear it on a trip over to Melbourne, we are the capital of black.

  12. There's nuthin wrong with all black as long as you style it a la mid-century Calabrian widow, I find. But, (see EmilyKate's comment), I am from Melbourne.x

  13. Colors, i need colors in my wardrobe! I've always enjoyed your blog and love your style, so thank you for sharing your thought process with us :)

  14. @ EVERYONE: thank you, i hope you're mixing away!!

    @ sunni: well, i added a splash to the inside... eek. you'll see.

    @ lexi: i googled calabrian widow because that's too awesome, and came up with dating sights for seniors. please, i must know how this lifeform dresses...


i thankya truly for taking the time to comment, i love a good conversation-- and hope you know my thanks are always implied, if not always written!