Sewing our own clothes enables us to pick up ideas from the high street, adapt the designs to create our own look. I particularly get ideas from street style. E.g. taking note of what people are wearing on the tube, bus or out shopping.
Where do you get your sewing inspiration from? How do you choose what colour fabric to buy? Most of the big high street retailers start designing their core ranges one to two years in advance with help from colour, print and style prediction companies. WGSN is a popular trend forecasting company that predicts fashion trends years in advance. I sign up to their WGSN Start newsletter, which gives me snip bits of information for free. I’ve created a video to match some of my vintage fabrics with WGSN’s colour trend predictions for Autumn Winter 23/24.
How do you store your ideas? In a notebook or on Pinterest? I use the Stash Hub app and add my ideas into the projects section. Then when I have more time I can add pattern ideas from my own stash or search for new ones. Adding fabric to my project too. Then in no time it becomes a reality and I’m wearing my creation.
Vintage fabric colour ideas for Autumn Winter 23/24 – video with fabric suggestions
The below fabrics are not an exact Pantone match to the colour predictions but they are close enough to get the look. Have fun creating your own inspiration board and see if it inspires more colour and print into your me made wardrobe. I’ve enjoyed a bit of pop psychology adding a few suggested meanings to the colours.
Emerald green is the colour of money, jewels and has a regenerative energy. It has roots in ancient Egypt and the Emerald precious stone represents love and loyalty. This vintage fabric certainly has a luxury energy to it. A soft twill with a heavy drape, small paisleys dotted about the fabric like jewels.
Alternatively, Olive Green is the colour of nature. A soft relaxing colour that has a healing energy to it. The flowers on this vintage fabric are shades of light and dark olive green, symbolising nature. With a highlight of turquoise blue to strengthen the calming energy of the print.
Blue is a popular colour for business logos as it can represent a professional and friendly tone evoking feelings of trust. It is also a colour of nature with the varying shades of the blue sea and sky, which of course can be cold and dangerous as well as being soothing and calming. Cyan blue is a soft calming shade which can symbol freedom, inspiration, and imagination.
A deeper hue of Cyan blue, Galactic blue can symbolise peace, fertility and life.
Traditionally used for uniforms worn by officers in the British Royal Navy, which gave the colour it’s name. It is unsurprising to read that it is a colour of authority, stability and reliability. However, I think the vintage fabrics below are more fun than this description suggests. With bright florals, a ditsy floral and a more subtle jacquard. Perhaps these represent trustworthiness with a cheeky side.
Red is to be worn when you feel or want to feel strong, passionate and confident. It evokes a physical response and can mean urgency or alert danger, such as a red light. These intense red vintage fabrics will certainly elicit a response. Fabrics to be worn when you want to be seen and stand out from the crowd.
A deeper, richer hue of red, also known as burgundy. The colour wine is sophisticated, to be taken more seriously than intense red or candy pink. Perhaps a colour to be worn when the strength of red is required but in a more subtle way.
I’ve taken the name ‘Candy Pink’ with a pinch of salt here as you can see there are several shades of pink in this collection of vintage fabrics. A softer shade of red, it is a passionate colour representing love and youth. Today it is seen as a more feminine colour but during Victorian times it was masculine . Men wore it to display their wealth and fertility. It is tender, soft and represents optimism.
A popular colour for vintage fabrics, particularly those from the 1970s. The 1970s brought about the Winter of Discontent with strikes, power cuts and 3 day weeks. It is unsurprising that this earthy colour was popular during the Seventies as it represents resilience. It is interesting to learn that this colour has come back into trend now during a time of wars, strikes and the cost of living crisis. In the video, I wonder why all the other colours have been given extra names such as ‘Intense Red’ but brown is just brown. Perhaps the forecasters wanted the colour to bring us back to earth and connect with home and family. Brown is a colour of safety and security. I also associate it with nature and especially in the floral designs in these vintage fabrics.
White is made up of all the colours of the spectrum and yet it is seen to be impartial, independent and neutral. Representing simplicity, purity and cleanliness. However, washed white has a slightly more grey tinge to it. Still a neutral colour, some describe it as cautious and conservative, even boring. I think these vintage fabrics are anything but boring so I like to think of the colour as timeless, classic and modest.
I’ve had a bit of fun with these colour descriptions, I haven’t undertaken any in depth research other than a few Google searches. I am fascinated by the psychology of colour and I found the Colour Psychology an interesting introduction to the subject. I’ve used some of their descriptions in the above text along with this Adobe article.