Red: Hue of the month-

Red: Hue of the month-

          Color: Red        Stencil: Seashore Stencil

It might just start with a single, red thread…........

Consider all the textures, sizes and types of fibers red comes in… my red collection includes raffia, linen thread, topstitching thread, woven cord and woven electrical wire.

Making fabric: Adding some accent red fabrics to a collection of Summer Whites is a great start and can inspire a beautiful garment. 

Red Bike Fabric-

Apron or shirt?…My Red Bike Fabric panel, printed on a linen canvas as an apron, has been turned into a fabulous shirt by designer Mollie Swindle.

Her winning design includes a great fabric combo and impeccable details: hand-stitched areas, her signature stitched label….and even tire tracks printed down the front! Thanks for sharing your inspiring piece with us Mollie!

Red as Accent- If red is present, even in small amounts…it wants center stage. On the color wheel, red is opposite the greens…so no matter what your favorite version of green may be, a hue in the red family is a dynamic accent color. A color wheel might be a good addition to your  design/sewing kit.

The red & blue-green vintage table cloth I used for a favorite summer shirt above makes use of this dynamic color combo. I loved accents on the front with bound buttonholes and a vintage collection of buttons. I combined the tablecloth with some solid color linen (placed on the bias) for the shirt back. This shirt design was made from the Cacicedo Coat pattern combined with my Shirts 2.0 Design Experience. Yes, you need both the pattern and Shirts 2.0 to make the shirt.

More Creative Ways to use more RED:

 One or a whole set of red buttons is always a winner! A big red one was the perfect button on a tunic made from fabrics, a recycled top and an apron. A collar lining-Want just a peek? I love folding back the neck edge on this grey printed shirt to reveal a pop of red!!  

 Red loops as trim- Loops can just be decorative...not meant to button or tie anything. It is a unique way to highlight interesting textured cording and trims of any color. 

Any bright color zipper can create a memorable eye-catching closure. Above is a collection of fabrics for an Urban Vest …..and that red zipper, hand-stitched on the finished garment is just the perfect finish! 

Printed Edges- Starting with 1 color, our design experience can expand in different directions. Here, on summer linens, some printing explorations with the Seashore Stencil. See how masking tape along some stripes above keeps the clean lines as you print on selected areas of your fabric. When you print parts of stencils…new designs appear! Another way to maximize your designs is to notice the overall shape of a stencil: Taking advantage of the curved seaweed shape in the Seashore Stencil, it was printed as a mirror image below to create a symmetrical design along a neck edge.

The WAY you print will add more energy to a project too. I especially love the combo below of paint dry-rubbed to create a patina on the collar piece adjacent to the crisp, stenciled edges on a second linen piece. For more ideas for designing with stencils, see my Stenciling on Fabric Video. 

So many ways to keep exploring our creativity!!! Good thing summer is full of long days and lazy afternoons. Enjoy your hammock time dreaming about that color you can't live without!! 

Last fall, Rosalind Wyatt joined us from the UK, for a memorable Design Outside the Lines Retreat in Taos, NM. 

Her perfectly hand-stitched note, a treasured gift, catches my eye with that single red thread. Thanks for sharing your creativity with us Ros, Diane


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As I was scrolling through your blog, I came upon the picture of the shirt made from the vintage tablecloth. I suddenly remembered standing in my aunt’s kitchen. I’m five years old. It’s summer, and a linen tablecloth with colorful vegetables and fruits is on the table of the kitchenette set. I’m excited—they’re just about to bring in the hand-cranked ice cream machine and serve the homemade vanilla ice cream! I’ve had sounds or smells trigger memories before, but this is a first for a tablecloth. I really like how you’ve used it in the shirt, especially with the bias back.


Red is my favorite. One single red accent is a great shot in the arm.Red
is fiery.

Patricia Jones

I absolutely love your things….your retreat is on my Bucket List….lol..thank you for doing what you do and for your inspiration to others…..

Vernita Francis

Curious as to what paint was used for the red stenciling. Thanks for the bright morning start!

Virlene Arnold

I am a student of Mollie Swindle. That bicycle garment is the bomb!

Ernestine Berry Smith

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