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When selecting the most flattering colors to sew your own clothes, avoid the mistakes that most people make when choosing their best fashion colors that flatter your garment and add pop to your design. Before any details are noticed, the first thing anyone notices about your garment is the color.

Some colors are:

* cheering
* compelling
* vivacious
* frivolous
* active
* fun

Other colors are:

* restful
* serene
* relaxed
* subtle
* dignified

Some colors lift our spirits, others subdue them; they can be soft and fresh or brassy and bold. It is not merely by chance that you may reach into the closet for your brightest dress on a rainy day, or slip into a pastel gown to relax after a hectic day.

Color is one of the most powerful influential elements to consider that have an effect on the figure size. It can affect mood and emotions. Sometimes it can draw attention or seem to retreat into the background. Color can appear to advance and look larger. It can recede and look smaller and farther away.

If you have an understanding of the basic color concepts, you will find out what color can do for you, and how to apply it when selecting your fabric. Too often, we make a choice merely by whim, personal preference, or simple prejudice in color selection and not enough of what looks best on us. Always take your personal coloring into consideration.

Before you buy any fabric:

* Hold up different color swatches to your face and take a long thoughtful look into the mirror

  • Ask yourself or a friend: how does the swatch relate to the color of your hair, eyes, and complexion?
  • Is it flattering?

* Look at your current wardrobe to decide which colors coordinate best
* Put bright colors on or near your best features, because the draw attention
* Study the current fashion trends making note of prominent colors, color combinations, and fabrics. This will make you feel and look up to date.

Allow yourself to experiment with color. Don’t restrict yourself to any one group of colors. Learn to enjoy and use many. Don’t be afraid of new colors or let yourself be boxed into a one-color wardrobe.

Your goal is to combine style, fabrics and flattering colors that accentuate the lines of your sewing pattern and enhance your assets.

To help you remember what effect you can expect from colors, they can be divided into different categories:

*Bright reds, yellows, and oranges – the intense colors of flames, fire, and sunlight – are warm or advancing colors. They usually look and seem warmer, brighter and larger. These colors always make a figure appear larger.

  • *Use bright colors as accents rather than in large areas or as an entire garment if you want to look slimmer.
  • *White, bright, and light colors reflect light and appear nearer and larger.

*Cool colors – blues, greens, violets – colors of water, trees, grass, and mountain shadows are cool or receding colors. They look calmer, cooler, and have a slimming effect.
*Dark colors recede, reducing apparent figure size; light colors advance, creating the opposite impression.

  • *Black, dull, and dark colors absorb light and appear farther away or smaller.   They also outline the body and can emphasize body contour.

*Colors also vary in brightness and lightness or darkness.

*Tints of colors are made by adding white to the pure color. The more white a color has added to it, the lighter it will be.
*Shades of colors are made by adding black to the pure color. The more black added, the darker the shade will be.

If you wish to make a figure or part of it look smaller, use black, dull or receding colors. On the other hand, if you wish to enlarge or draw attention to a figure or part of it, use white, bright, light, or warm colors.

For example, a woman with narrow shoulders, a small bust, and large hips could help balance her proportions by wearing a dark – or dull-colored skirt or pants with a bright – or light-colored blouse or jacket. A woman with a generally heavy figure but a beautiful face could make her figure look more slender by wearing darker and grayed colors. She could draw attention to her beautiful face by wearing a white or brightly colored scarf, collar, or necklace.

Generally, concentrate on bright, light, and warm colors on areas to be emphasized. Use dark, dull, and cool colors on areas to be hidden.

The color of the skin is more important than the color of the hair or eyes in choosing colors that are becoming. People change hair color and even use colored contacts to brighten the color of their eyes. Skin tones, too, can be changed by sun tan, different shades and types of make-up, or age. Skin constantly reflects the colors of the clothes worn near it.

Remember though, colors look different in different kinds of light. If you are helping to select a garment to be worn in daylight or bright sunlight, be sure to check it in bright daylight. That is, look at the person with the color held close to the face to see how it affects the complexion. Use the kind of light in which the garment will usually be worn.

Look closely at the skin. Does it look too white, too pink, too yellow, or too ash grey? Then try another color or another shade or tint of the color you had. Does it make the skin look attractive? If so, that could be a good color for the individual.

Practice this with all your own clothing. Observe your friends in the colors they wear. Notice people on the streets as you do your shopping. Become aware of the effect colors have on the overall appearance of the person wearing them, especially on the skin, hair, and eyes. What part of the figure do the colors draw your attention to? Does the color enhance or detract from the overall appearance of the wearer?

Once you acquire the basics and you become more conscious of the use of color, you will probably become more aware of the effect it has on your appearance. Then you can help yourself and your clients, if you decide to have any, make wise color choices.

If you’re in doubt of what colors are the best for you, consider the services of a color consultant. Shop around to determine whether this is the color consultant for you, ask for the names of some previous clients; then be sure to talk with them. Find out how long ago they consulted with this person about their colors, if they followed the system, and how satisfied they were with the results.