Exploring Techniques: 8 Ideas For Colour Blocking Sewing Projects

8 ideas for colour blocking sewing projects

Some months back I kickstarted an occasional inspirational series on my blog in which I started to explore some of the many different details that can be used in sewing. The first post was all about tucking. If you fancy a read it’s here

Well, in today’s post I’m looking into colour blocking with 8 ideas to inspire your makes. Until I started to browse through Pinterest for images I never realised how many variations there could be, my mind was whirring with ideas! Anyway without further ado, let’s explore colour blocking!


Colour blocking can be great for using up leftover pieces of fabric, for tricking the eye when clever placement is used, or for just making a really bold statement and an injection of colour. You can also go subtle with soft neutrals if that’s your style.

Adapting your patterns

If the sewing pattern that you plan on using, already has lots of seam lines and panels, then it’s fairly easy to just play around with colour on the various sections. I’ve noticed some sewing patterns deliberately designed with colour blocking in mind which is fab if you’re not confident at creating your own designs…

If you want to do your own creative thing and your chosen garment design is plain… Just front and back pattern pieces for instance; well it’s not as tricky as you think to make your own colour blocked masterpiece.

First of all, you could sketch out the basic back and front pieces and experiment by drawing lines where you might like your shapes to be or you could also make a muslin in plain fabric and draw lines directly onto it until you get a pleasing effect.

You’ll need to transfer the lines onto your pattern pieces and then you’ll need to make individual pattern pieces of each section. Seam allowances will also have to be added for each new seam that you created and it’s best to mark out notch matching points in one or two places along the seams for accurate joining together of the pieces. Why not give it a try?

Now for some inspiration to spark off your creativity:

8 ideas for colour blocking sewing projects

1: This one is great as a recycling project… Why not use pieces of denim from various pairs of jeans and piece them together. This is a Victoria Beckham dress:8 ideas for colour blocking sewing projects

2: How about creating a very bold and graphic monochrome look? This one is by Ted Baker

8 ideas for colour blocking sewing projects

3: What about mixing not just colours, but print as well?… This bold Versace coat is not for the faint-hearted!

8 ideas for colour blocking sewing projects

4: You can give the illusion of two garments by really simple blocking..like the one on the left by Roksanda Ilincic or something a little more complex, like the one on the right by Bottega Veneta which I personally think looks a bit like an asymmetric hem sweater over a yellow skirt:

8 ideas for colour blocking sewing projects

5: Colour blocking with strategically placed colours in panels as you can see in the photo (pic source unknown)…can be used to great effect for figure flattery.

8 ideas for colour blocking sewing projects

6: Try combining different types of fabric for textural interest like on the BurdaStyle sweater here. You would need to be fairly mindful of how the varying fabric weights play together with a project like this, though I can see sheer fabric around the neckline combined with the furry fabric. How fun!

8 ideas for colour blocking sewing projects

7: Strictly speaking, my example picture is a layered effect… but by using tonal shades of just one colour you can create a lovely Ombre effect as this dress by Fendi shows beautifully. Isn’t it gorgeous in the sheer fabrics? If you could find various toned fabrics of one colour you could seam them together for a similar look.

8 ideas for colour blocking sewing projects

 8: Finally…How about extending a tunic hemline to create a dress with a deep hem of contrasting colour for a very simple colour blocked effect that could give an old garment new life.

8 ideas for colour blocking sewing projects

As always, I really enjoy researching these types of post and I love how they get me thinking of so many possibilities. Of course, I end up wanting to make ALL THE THINGS …!

I hope you feel inspired too 🙂

PS: If you want to learn a bit about colour theory, I found this post which might be pretty useful

Oh, and PPS…I made a colour blocked tank during the Summer and you can read all about my process here.

Right, I’ll love you and leave you for now. I’ll be back next week with my September Burda project. Until then…bye!


8 ideas for colour blocking sewing projects


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  1. September 13, 2018 / 11:31 am

    Fabulous post Diane, I am now totally inspired! There are several makes here that I would love to replicate.

    • diane
      September 13, 2018 / 3:24 pm

      Thanks, Sue, that’s fabulous! I’m glad I’ve inspired you.

  2. September 15, 2018 / 9:40 am

    Very inspiring, Diane. I love this post.

    • diane
      September 15, 2018 / 11:38 am

      Thanks so much Wis!

  3. September 18, 2018 / 1:33 pm

    Very inspiring! Color blocking has always intimidated me, for fear I’d put together a strange looking garment….. but the pieces you’ve chosen to present here look to me to be very ‘doable’. Particularly the Victoria Beckham dress. Thank you for taking the time to pull this together!! 🙂

    • diane
      September 18, 2018 / 2:35 pm

      That’s music to my ears Lisa, thank you! I’m glad you feel inspired and less intimidated. xx

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