Sewing Classes and Lessons

Monday, February 20, 2017

Mauve Musings



I've always found the color "mauve" to be a little mysterious.  Is it pink?  Is it purple?  Is it brown?  Is it gray?  Whenever I read about color analysis, mauve is one of the recommended colors for me (a summer), so I thought I should find out a little more about it.   The first thing that I found out, is that I've been mispronouncing it my entire life.  It is not "mahv", but "mov" with a long o, as in stove or clove.  I'm already feeling a little more sophisticated!   According to Wikipedia, mauve was named after a pale purple flower called the mallow flower.  It's use didn't become popular until 1859 when a chemist trying to make a cure for malaria noticed a residue that ended up becoming a mauve dye.  The 1890's are referred to as the "mauve decade" because of it's popularity!

I ordered several different fabrics from Fabric Mart Fabrics to experiment with that all had mauve in the names.  You can see that they range in colors from kind of a pinkish brown to a dusty purple. There really is spectrum, but they all are a little "dusty" in nature.



I started with the cotton jersey, which has subtle silver metallic accents on it.  It's a lightweight and firm cotton jersey, so I thought that it would work well with something that required ruching or gathering, such as this Lisette pattern which is Butterick 6411.


Here you can see the silver accents a little better. I really love the ruched overlay in this design, and it's quite cleverly constructed- much easier than it looks. I'd like to try it again in a solid knit.



However, the dress is a little thin to wear by itself for winter, so I used a gorgeous dusty mauve wool jersey to make a cardigan to go along with it.  I knew that I didn't want just any old boring cardigan pattern for such a special fabric, so I hunted through my stash and found this one:  Simplicity 2148.  This is an out of print pattern, but I really love the details on it- the flared cuffs, the angled hem, and the ruffle detail around the neckline.



The little ruffle trim is made by cutting a large circle out of the fabric, and then cutting a 1-inch wide spiral out of the circle.  Then you run two rows of gathering stitches and pull it until you get a nice ruffle.  I also ironed on some sequins before I gathered it.  I've been watching Zelda (TV series about Zelda Fitzgerald), and have been inspired by the 20's fashions to use a little glitz here and there.  I know that I'm going to get a lot of use out of this cardigan. 


The honeycomb knit, also is a wool knit, but a little heavier than the jersey, and I thought it would be nice in a more fitted dress.   I used McCalls 7469, which is a Nicole Miller design with a boatneck. I liked everything about the pattern- the pockets, the interesting seams, the 3/4 sleeves, except I've never been a big fan of boatnecks.  So, I altered it to be a scoopneck, by lowering the front neckline about 2-1/2 inches using a french curve.   I also made this scarf from one of Fabric Mart's silk chiffons, and it is one of my favorites. 


After it was finished, I thought it was looking a little plain, so I used 7 iron-on gem cluster sets around the neckline as well.  This was surprisingly easy- just peel, stick and iron for about 5 seconds on the wrong side of the fabric. 



Even though the cardigan and dress are different shades of mauve, I think that this dress also works with the cardigan pretty well.  Here are the details a little closer up.


My last fabric was the faille which was a cotton poly blend.  I haven't worked with a faille before, and wasn't sure what to expect.  It turned out to be very stiff and rather shiny.  I washed it a couple of times and the end result was very similar to a washed silk dupioni.  It was less stiff, but still pretty firm, and had a rougher texture to it than before.  This was kind of a wild card in my mind, so I decided to go out on a limb and make into Kwik Sew 3577.

This isn't really my typical style at all, so I can't say that I'm going to wear this one.  First, I think it's too big, and second, the fabric creases too easily for my taste.


My daughter says that I look like I should be giving a speech.  I say I look like I should be serving drinks on a PanAm flight.  Neither of which will ever happen, so I don't know what I'll do with this one!  It might be my styling- the scarf is vintage 1960's and belonged to my Mom- I really wanted to work it in.  Maybe I'll separate the pieces and use them individually somehow.  I'd love to hear your suggestions on this!


But there is a silver lining because I realize that I really do like the color of this fabric- I find it to be a very calming color.  It is more of a mauve taupe, and it definitely could serve as a good neutral for my coloring when looking for fabrics in the future.  This has been a good impetus for me to experiment with different colors.


At the end of every photo shoot, my photographer demands a latte.  A great way to relax and enjoy a little more mauve! 

11 comments:

  1. All these garments are so beautiful and your look gorgeous wearing them. I love all the details you added to these garments, beautifully done.

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    1. Thanks, Lori! I had fun adding the embellishments to these.

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  2. Ann, Such beautiful garments you've made! I haven't worn mauve in years but the color is making a comeback and you look lovely in all of your garments. I love how you finished the honeycomb knit with the iron on appliqués around the neck - just what the garment needed :)

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  3. Love, love your first outfit. The colour looks great on you, it really goes with your gorgeous hair. I'm obsessed with dusky oink at the moment, which sort of merges into the mauve. The Pan Am reference made me laugh and you may be right there.

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    1. Thanks, Mags. I like dusty pink as well! Thanks for the comment on the hair- I get more compliments on the gray than I ever did as a blonde!

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  4. I love all of these on you, even the Pan Am suit. 😉Thanks for the inspirational color study. Beautiful work.

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  5. I love everything except for that faille thing. Throw it away. You are much too lovely to waste any moments with that pattern.

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    1. Thanks, Sissy! I may just have to chalk that one up to a learning experience- won't be the first time, either!

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  6. Oh thank you for the snort laugh! If ever a long haul flight needed a guest speaker you have the suit for it. I think that poor suit pales in comparison with the garments that went before it. they are both smashing! This colour palette works beautifully for you. Great job!

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