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 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 this dusty mauve wool jersey to make a cardigan to go along with it. This jersey is something else- very, very high end, IMHO. It's hard to tell from the photos online, but when I got this in the mail, I knew that I had hit the jackpot! The description says that it is made in Italy. 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.
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!