Sewing Basics in Soft Summer and Soft Autumn Colours

I wear dresses a lot at work, but in lockdown, all I want to wear is flowy tops, cardigans and jeggings! To that end, I’ve ordered a bunch of pretty lightweight florals and sweater knits, and today I’m showing you two outfits.

I recently posted about how I’m shifting from cool soft summer colours to warm soft autumn colours now that my hair is red. These two outfits happen to demonstrate the changing colours well, and how I can still wear either colour scheme.

Up first, a cool colour scheme. Hot pink and this dark teal have always been two of my power colours, that make me feel absolutely awesome. They bring out the best in my skin and eyes, and make me happy. I find the pink a bit of a challenge with red hair – I love red and pinks together in prints, but I feel like my skin can’t decide if it wants to suit my hair or my top, and maybe therefore suits neither?

The top is a Hey June Santa Fe, which I’ve sewn endless times as a tank but less often in this raglan version. Turns out I like the fit better now that the old size I had printed in 2016 is snugger! (Speaking of which, have you read my Sewcialists article on sewing for a body that is gaining weight?) The fabric is a double brushed poly, and I didn’t bother to hem it.

Now here’s something more radical for me – have you EVER seen me sew yellow????? No, you certainly have not. And maybe this ochre barely counts, but it is still a big step for me! The top is another Ashton tank, with fabric from Blackbird Fabrics (as is the rayon sweater knit). Blackbird are the undeniable queens of warm toned fabrics!

The cardigan is a hack of the Cashmerette Concord tee, just like the teal cardigan was. I’ve got a whole post on how to hack that pattern into a cardigan if you are interested.

For this Aston, I brought in the shoulders like I did for my recent version, and added 5″ to the length so I can wear it with jeans, not just extremely high pants! Even with red hair, it takes a lot of bronzer for me to feel happy in this colour.

My poses are so predictable, aren’t they?

I don’t really know what it is about colour theory and colour palettes that I love so much. I find them deeply satisfying though, and I love the extra lens that helps me understand how different fabrics will look on me. Maybe it’s a bit like the Kibbe body typing system, which helps explain why different shapes and styles will be harmonious with your bone structure and lines. Both systems put the power in my hands to create clothes that will have the effect I want, instead of buying pretty fabric and a pretty pattern and hoping they work on me!

How do you figure out which clothes will make you feel your best?

Side note: Jalie has been teasing their new patterns all week and I think they go up for sale in the next few days – I can’t wait! I love Jalie! As a tester, I’ve seen what is coming down the pipe and there are a few I really want to buy.

11 thoughts on “Sewing Basics in Soft Summer and Soft Autumn Colours

    1. Let’s just say I once tried on a sweater in the colour at a clothing swap, and my mom told me firmly to put it back! ;P


  1. Your comments lead me to believe you’re a soft summer. You’re letting the red hair color throw you off. You say, “Hot pink and this dark teal have always been two of my power colours, that make me feel absolutely awesome. They bring out the best in my skin and eyes, and make me happy.” And then you say of the ochre, “Even with red hair, it takes a lot of bronzer for me to feel happy in this colour.” You’re trying to compensate with makeup to make the yellow work.

    I’m in the same color range as you and dyed my hair red for years (common for summers, who think they look “blah” otherwise.) You’ve chosen a great shade of red for your complexion and I like both color combos on you, but think the teal/pick is so becoming. I’m loving your series and seeing color theory in action!


    1. I think you are quite right – I’m a soft summer at heart! But it’s fun to pretend otherwise sometimes… and cool toned print fabrics are so hard to find! SO for a while, i’m going to fake it and wear warmer tones!


  2. The teal with hot pink and your red hair is a fantastic combo though I wouldn’t have predicted that! But I’m amazed by how gingery the other outfit is. I have never seen you in that colour!


    1. It’s funny with the warmer colours – they are probably closer to Anne’s palette than what I usually pass on to her. SO eventually she will get some great hand-me-downs? And I’ll enjoy wearing them in the mean time.


  3. Thanks for posting this comparison! It’s really great to see similar outfits in different palettes to see the effect. I think that in these “borderline” situations, the eye of the beholder also has something to do with how it’s perceived. I’ve always had a strong autumnal coloring and naturally gravitate toward appreciating those colors in clothing — 40 years of dressing like that will do that to you! So I find that I appreciate fabric differently when I see it on the bolt vs. when I see it on a person. While I love the hot pink print, I don’t like it as much as the autumnal print — even though objectively I think they both look great on you! Thanks for posting a link to this in the ASDP webinar so I could rediscover this post.


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