When I'm planning to sew a group of garments, I often just start pulling fabrics out of all the drawers and bins and shelves of my collection. I'll begin with an inspiration piece or two, then other fabrics come to mind. Before you know it, I've gathered up a big stack of fabrics that might work together. Then I start pulling out pattern envelopes and start matching them up. I have sticky notes pinned to each grouping of fabrics to remind me of what I want each to be.
As I mentioned earlier this week, I want to sew a group of Sewing Workshop garments to wear at the upcoming ASG Conference next month. I started with a summery colorway, but the grouping quickly turned into neutrals. I'll be sewing black, tan, cream and taupe with a few color accents. Summer in New Mexico? No, not exactly, but these colors were what I was feeling. This is everything all laid out on the cutting table:
It looks like a mess, but there's a method in the madness.
For example, I actually started this pull session with a blue/gold/lavender/green watercolor print fabric to combine with a similar green for pants.
I then switched over to the neutrals and selected a black mesh print for a t-shirt. I laid it down on top of some other fabrics that just happened to be next to the green.
Ah, they aren't matchy match, but the green in the mesh blends with the green of the pant fabric. This is one of the benefits of pulling out fabrics--sometimes you can find combinations you never expected to work together.
For more on this process, I previously discussed it when I was preparing for the Sewing Workshop Getaway that I went to in October 2007.