Fabric, capsule collections & palettes

photo of my Byzantine costume with a palette generated by coolors.co

photo of my Byzantine costume with a palette generated by coolors.co

Palette developed by coolors.co for my Byzantine costume

I decided a while ago to focus my fabric collection and sewing projects around ‘capsule collections‘ – where I’d pick certain colourways for each costuming era I wanted to work on, and assign fabrics to them – letting me organize my fabric collection by projects, and trying to make my various items integrate with one another better.

Well, I recently acquired a whole swath of new fabrics. My former teacher decided to sell her large home in Calgary, and move to a small apartment in Chilliwack – meaning she had to massively downsize her sewing room – and I was the lucky recipient of her generosity. (Well, me and my mum, and a bunch of my friends, and a bunch of people locally who follow Dawn’s Dress Diary on Facebook… LOL)

With all of these new fabrics, my need to organize my collection has gotten even more pressing. While there is a good selection of synthetics which I’ll use for fantasy costumes, there is also a great selection of wools, linens, and silks (along with a few great cottons) that I’ll reserve for historical costumes.

In previous capsule collection posts, I used a palette generator from ColorMonki – but when I went to go use it again this time around, I discovered it’s no longer online. I went through a dozen or so different alternatives, but none of them provided me with the features I really wanted to be able to create the easy-to-see palettes I was looking for.

Palette developed from ColorMunki for Italian Renaissance costume - teal, rich red, copper, and apple green
Palette developed from ColorMunki
for Italian Renaissance costume

The closest I found was https://coolors.co/generate, which gave me the opportunity to load up my own photos and pick colours from there. Unlike most of the others, it seemed to allow a LOT of colour swatches, and let me re-arrange the colours in a pleasing manner… BUT there was nearly no way of selecting colours to be able to alter what their AI was selecting, nor any way to reasonably create a palette without using a photo reference.

For instance… here’s my German costume – the hat is teal… but coolors.co changed it to grey – because that’s what the AI was picking up because of the shade in the photo.

Photo of me in my German costume, with a colour palette generated beside it

Photo of me in my German costume, with a colour palette

So… as I sit here beside a pile of wool and linen fabrics, writing up tags for them, I am still trying to figure out how to sort them and decide upon colour stories for each of the eras that I’d like to explore.

So – how do you sort your fabric collections? Have any tips? Share them in the comments or on my Facebook page to give me ideas! 

 

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