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Dec 5, 2012

Color Blocking (and other shirt-related research)



Readers, I was so deeply touched by your response to yesterday's patchwork post, but let's keep our hands to ourselves.

Joking aside, what is it about patchwork that so many find so distressing?  Could it be misty water-colored memories of early Nineties atrocities -- unisex, no less -- like these? 







Once you start looking for this kind of WTF wackiness, you see it everywhere.

But I have not given up on my original shirt idea.  As some of you pointed out yesterday, patchwork, while akin to color blocking, is not quite the same thing.  My shirt would be more of an exercise in color blocking, since I'm working with two versions (red and black) of the same subtly polka-dotted fabric.  I think the key is keep it simple and avoid references to Old Glory (up top) and anything that conjures up Brenda and Dylan.



These are kind of cool, no?







I love the vintage Seventies Arrow shirt below, but that's quite a bit more color than I'll have access to.

 

Here are some ideas I came up with, numbered for your convenience. I hope you don't hate them, or if you do, that you'll be kind:

Version 1

Version 2

Version 3

Version 4

Version 5

Version 6

In other news, my fabric is washed and pre-shrunk.



As you can see, even with just half a yard of the black, I can do quite a bit.



I hope to start cutting today at the very least, and of course, I still haven't ruled out the idea of the solid red version with contrast inner collar and inner cuffs. 

Given that 95% of your abhor patchwork shirts, how about color blocked shirts instead?   Are you "feeling" any of my sketches?

Or shouldn't I ask?

Have a great day, everybody!

76 comments:

  1. I rarely comment on blogs (I'm shy) but I've been an avid reader for some time and had to weigh in on this. I love how color blocked shirts look on men and I really like 1, 3 & 5 (2's okay but I'm not feeling 4 or 6 at all). My vote goes in for 5 and don't listen to the naysayers!

    PS Love your blog.

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  2. i love versions 1 and 5.. but, i guess with your choice of fabric, any of the versions could work :)

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  3. My favorite is 6. I like 1, 3, & 5.

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  4. I don't think color blocking is much snazzier, but perhaps #5 with the following modification - red collar and black cuffs. It has a certain cowboy charm.

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  5. I think you're on the right track, your sketches have a much nicer design quality than yesterday's examples. Don't forget the undercollar and placket and cuff facings can also repeat the accent colour.

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  6. I like version 5 because it seems more balanced than the other versions and it highlights the wearers (that would be you) face - and I think that is a really good look.

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  7. I like 3 and 5. There's something about the contrast color on one side of the front covering the chest and shoulder that I find appealing.

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  8. i definitely like colorblocking more than the patchwork. my vote is for 3, 5, or 6.

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  9. I think that versions 2 and 4 don't have quite enough color blocking, and I'm sorry, version 5 is just too country for my taste: may as well have mother of pearl snaps and fringe on it. My votes are 1 or 6: they look the most modern and least gimmicky to me. Good luck!

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    1. Agreed. #5 is definitely giving off the Western shirt vibe.

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  11. I like versions 3 & 5. I think the colorblocking/patchwork idea can definitely work, but you need to be careful or else you'll look like you ran out of fabric.

    At any rate, I can't wait to see what you end up doing. If anyone can pull this off, it would be you.

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  12. I like version 1. To me it looks intentional, and not scrapped together, and most resembles the examples posted above that I DO like!

    5 has the potential to look like a western shirt with a contrast yoke, and I'm not sure I'm feeling that.

    I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes for you!

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  13. version one.

    with such a vivid fabric pattern, the "kiss rule" would be most appropriate.

    think minimalism.

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  14. I like 'cool' shot #2, because of the contrasting placket, and love the Arrow shirt.

    With your own designs, I'd be avoiding #5 because of the cowboy look to it. I do own a cowboy-style shirt, but it's not as versatile as some of your other ideas, imo. If I had to pick, I'd be on Team #1.

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  15. I really like patchwork and color blocking in principal but the balance of values and proportion becomes so important, it's quite easy to go horribly wrong. I think these sketches are going in the right direction though. I particularly like #1. Just as an aside, I noticed the different facial hair/glasses on your models influenced my first impression of the overall look of these.

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  16. I really like the idea of the contrast inner collar and inner cuffs, would be very elegant. Otherwise, # 1 is best. P.S. Love your blog, you are an inspiration to me!

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  17. Team 3 or 5 :)
    But honestly all of them would probably work

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  18. I like the first sketch; my favourites in both days have been symmetrical left to right which I think is important; I like the tan/ice blue one and the red/charcoal/white one from today too.

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  19. Weighing in for 1 and 5! Both are really nice designs that I could imagine you wearing, and personally I much prefer the symmetrical colour blocking to asymmetrical versions. But either way, all of your ideas are far better than those pictures yesterday :-)

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  20. I like version 1 & 5. I think anything asymmetrical looks like you ran out of fabric and had to substitute another color!

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  21. Heh! I made a bunch of design sketches for a patriotic T-shirt just like the one your lead-in model is wearing, along with two yards of star-studded navy-blue jersey fabric. Maybe I should consider a different project...

    Anyway, I like the idea of colorblocking, if not patchwork. I'll vote for #2, followed by #5.

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  22. Version 1 - if you have to. Otherwise, I still say stick with one colour.

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  23. I'm not a fan of patchwork, but am a fan of colourblocking. My votes are for 3 and 5.

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  24. I really like versions 2 and 5. Believe it or not, my father has/has a shirt very similar to the first pic. It was by Wrangler so it was overpriced. He really loved color blocked shirts.

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  25. I feel like Version 1 or 3 have the sophistication required to wear your shirt as often as the fabric investment begs of you. Version 5 has a western or rockabilly vibe which I'm drawn to, but is less your style..

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  26. I've been reading your blog for a bit now and am really enjoying it! Thanks for sharing. Now......as for my vote... I would have to say 1 and 5 first and then 2. I like the pocket contrast detail on the pic you posted of the asian model with black glasses too.... I am sure whatever you do will be lovely! I just started taking sewing lessons and after 2 pairs of pajama pants as a first easy project I am now embarking on a shirt using a colette pattern. I have already been thinking of ways to modify the pattern but decided to stick with the basics considering I have never made a shirt before. Wish me luck!

    P.S. I'll sign up for an account so I can have a pic and a screen name as soon as I figure out how to....

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  27. 1, 2, 5: i'm just too traditional. i love the fabric and i do love the photos from the japanese fashionistos...

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  28. I like #1 but none of the rest. One black sleeve, one red just looks "off" to me. This will be an interesting finished project to see.

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  29. I think version 5 is the best, far and away!

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  30. Peter ALL these shirts look far better than those in the previous post.
    I like Drawing No 6 but it need a little bit of red on the left shoulder - like a fake yoke - to visually balance the whole thing.

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  31. I am liking no 2, and perhaps with a black yoke at the back? And black peeking out the inside of the collar. Have fun.

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  32. Barb aka WoodencanoeDecember 5, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    Version 1 or 5 works for me. As others noted in yesterdays post, the rest are too hodge-podge and disorientating.

    Love the fabric. Black on the bottom half!

    Thanks for the opportunity to weigh in on your ideas.

    Enjoy sewing your really expensive fabric. Soon you won't be satisfied with the goods gleaned from dumpster diving!

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  33. Does a single colour-blocked sleeve mean anything in the world of fetish these days? Red or black? Right arm or left? Might attract some unwanted attention, if you know what I mean..

    Sadly colour blocking is all too Garth Brooks for me. With such beautiful fabric I'd be making separate shirts perhaps with subtle, secret pops of colour inside the collar or cuff, but nothing more. That's my two cents' worth from little old me in Melbourne.

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  34. I was reading Tom of Holland's blog (http://tomofholland.com/). Tom knits and sews and is a big advocate of mending and repairing, be it clothes, shoes, whatever. He also use visible mends, making the mends an art form in and of themselves. After looking at the examples of visible mending on his blog, I started wondering if these shirts weren't some sort of offshoot of that idea.

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  35. Oh, and my vote is for versions 2 and 6. They look reasonably "balanced" to my eye. Number 5 may be straying into "cowboy shirt" territory IMHO.

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  36. I like 2 and 6 best, I think the assymetry appeals.

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  37. #1 for sure. All of your "what not to do" examples were awesomely awful!

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  38. I think Version 3 is the best options I like the way it only use the black as an added bonus so to speak. I think the extra black sleeve in 6 is too much and it starts to loose some of it's pop.

    I also like 5 (it was initially my fav) but the 'too coyboy'comments made me rethink that in that it probably does looses the blocking point a bit.

    Honestly I'm still not 100% sold on the idea but I do really like the Green and cream shirt the glasses guy is wearing, and your sketches really bring the idea alive a bit.

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  39. Version one has a good vibe.

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  40. First, your illustrations, as well as your concepts, are great. They are all viable designs I could see different guys actually wearing (unlike some of yesterday's offerings - YIPES!).

    In my world, color blocking = modern, and patchwork = hokey. That said, I vote for #1, or a plain shirt with inner cuffs and collar offering contrasting color.

    #5 is too country & western; I don't see that as territory your fashion sense visits.

    #3 and #6 look very "this season". They are doable, but that fabric investment deserves multi-season wear.

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  41. As it has been said several times, if anyone can do this right, it would be you, Peter! I like your sketch number 3. You will probably do such a nice job, I will try to copy it, even though I poo-pooed your idea yesterday!

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  42. I'm not feeling any of them, but don't take my word for it!

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  43. 1 or 5, but when I see any of these, instead of thinking "wow, love it", I think "too bad he couldn't find enough of either fabric in his stash to make that shirt work."

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  44. Number 5 looks great in my opinion!!

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  45. wow, love your illustrations! I vote for more of these..

    I guess I like #1 best (it has a dip-dye vibe to me) followed by #5 (C&W vibe). I'm absurdly drawn to the one black arm because of the complete randomness of it, but my style tends more towards absurd than I think yours does.

    Also, some of these examples remind me of the super-crazy (too crazy even for me to wear) wardrobe John Waters sometimes sports.
    http://artstar.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/1329923327-5af5c.jpeg
    http://www.flavorwire.com/134883/in-praise-of-demented-fashion-icons-john-waters-best-blazers

    Ame

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  46. My eyes like #1 and #3....I can't wait to see which option you end up with.

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  47. For sure, #1. #5 is just a little too yippie ki-yay for me, although if you are going for that look, it's OK. The others, nope.

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  48. I like #3 and #6. My eye was drawn to them straight away. Excited to see.

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  49. Chiming in with the rest of your groupies! I like the Green and Gold shirt and, thus, version 3 and 6 of your sketches. I always think the two biggest tricks of colourblocking is finding fabrics of compatible weights/drapes and finding colours that play nicely.
    You've got both of those covered, so this should work well.
    And you could always do the under collar or the inside of the collar band in a different colour from the rest of the collar.

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  50. I didn't reply to the first patchwork post because it was a busy day, in that I was too busy abhorring (being abhorred?) to be able to type.

    Jokes aside, not a great fan of the patchwork, but also lukewarm on the colour blocking. Still, I think your version 6, or the second one of the "kinda cool" would be good on the right guy in the right occasion, and I am sure you can be that! :)

    Stef

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  51. Version 2 gets my vote.

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  52. I too love version 1. Am even thinking of "borrowing" the idea for a shirt of mine own! :)

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  53. i love this idea as i am about to make something similar for my partner! i love version 1, 5 and 6. Simple yet effective! good luck! cant wait to see the finished product!

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  54. Version #1 is my favourite by a long shot.

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  55. Funny you should mention color blocking because didn't we just live through that trend in women's fashion? And like patchwork it's also hard to do well, we've seen far too many sewing blogs that featured tragic color blocked dresses. I'm glad you sketched out your ideas (I do that too) and I think #1, #2 and #5 get my votes. Also another possibility, more conservative, would be to make the shirt all black with the red inner collar stand and also make the placket in two sided, one side black and red so the red sides touch each other (top red on the underlay and bottom red on the overlay) to have just a bit of red peaking out when the shirt is worn.

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    1. I LUV when you talk plackets, Phyllis!

      Oh, and last time for 2012; SABLE!!!

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  56. The is my first comment here, I just had to weigh in. I love 3, and I'm fond of 6. I really don't like 5 - it would go perfectly with a string tie and a stetson.

    I like 3 the best - I think it hits the mark of the concept, throwing the viewer off balance with something unexpected without being too jarring. The two contrast sleeves on 6 has more balance, but with that it feels "safe".

    What are your plans for the back? A solid red, mimicking the contrast of the front, or maybe mirroring the color blocking (moving the black from the right to the left)?

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  57. I like 3 the best followed by 6.

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  58. I like 1 the best, with a grudging admiration for 5 (because like it or not, I do like cowboy fashion... sigh.)

    Androgynous Fashion has some nice color-blocked shirts, and while I don't think I'd personally wear them, I can at least admire the look on the people it suits.

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  59. I like 1, 4, or 6. Really cool fabric.

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  60. I like the odd numbers the best. The fabric looks great; I'm excited to see your final product!

    On a separate note, who is the man in the glasses? He has some fabulous shirts!

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  61. Great topic. As Phyllis said - some patchwork and colour blocking produce tragic results. This is either design-wise, or how it looks on the body of the wearer (and our proportions are all so different). There is the pop of colours to consider. Your drawings are terrific - where did you learn to do this? More self-teaching? Inspired by this topic I have pulled out a Simplicity pattern (think Carnaby Street), an A-line shirtdress with long sleeved option from 1967. I had tried to make it then in grey paisley cotton (with red in the pattern), and with white pique collars/cuffs. Due to a very assymetric front placket (not on purpose), I let this almost beauty go. However, I should have turned it into a design feature - classical fashion skewed. Am considering making this again. Cathie, in Quebec.

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  62. I really like #5 - it reminds me of this Lola Gentry pattern (the view with the pocket flaps integrated into the yoke). http://www.westernpatterns.com/westpat1_067.htm

    I think it would look fabulous on you. (That pattern is really great, btw - I make it for my brother in law all the time).

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  63. I'm just seeing red shirt with black placket, inside collar and cuffs. If you go with the black placket you can choose red or black buttons.

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