Color Blocking the Cielo Top


Have you ever tried color blocking? Color blocking is an easy way to add a personal touch to your sewing. It has been a popular fashion trend the past several years, often combining vivid colors such as red and hot pink. My tastes tend toward the softer and more subtle, but that is why we sew our own clothes!


This month's Sew Some Fun sewing prompt was to try some color blocking so I chose the Cielo Top. I used this fun yellow dot double gauze from my stash and used the "wrong side" of the fabric for my color blocking. This top is a perfect choice for color blocking with its simple shape and fun accents. The contrasting sleeve cuffs and shoulder pieces give a simple way to play with the the contrast. I further added to the contrast by finishing the neckline with the binding turned to the right side rather than the wrong side as the pattern directs.

The easiest way to try color blocking is to do what I have done and pick a pattern with a simple shape and different pattern pieces that allow you to combine different fabrics, color or as I did here, the "wrong side" of the fabric. Here is a child's dress that does this so effectively. (Carousel dress pattern from Oliver + S, sewn by Probably Actually.)

Another way to color block is what I am going to call the patchwork method. Sew different pieces together to form the fabric and then cut out the pattern. The patchwork method was used create these Roller Skate dresses by Nest Full of Eggs.

The final way to add color blocking to a pattern is to cut up the pattern into pieces and add a seam allowance to the pieces and then sew them together. Here is a tutorial from Shelly on how to do this and another one from The Inspired Wren using knit fabrics. Usually it is best to use fabrics with a similar weight and construction method when color blocking. Of course, in sewing there are always exceptions and I have seen woven and knit fabrics combined in the same garment very effectively, but in general, that is something you want to avoid.


Back to my Cielo top for a minute. I cut the size 8 in the shoulders and then graded out to a 10 in the bust. The top was a little big for me through the shoulders and so necessity being the mother of invention, I added a box pleat to the center front. It would have been best to do this before I added the neck binding, but I hadn't and this fabric wasn't going to like me ripping out the binding. So I stitched the pleat afterwards and then hand stitched the sides of the pleat down for about an inch and a half. I could have top stitched the pleat in place but wanted the color blocking to be the star of the show and not have any top stitching showing.

I love how my top turned out! It will be perfect with jeans and shorts once the weather gets warmer. I hope you give color blocking a try. You can find additional color blocking inspiration and patterns ideas on my Color Blocking Pinterest Board. Happy Sewing!

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