How To Mix And Match Colours For Clothing Upcycling – Eco Fashion Sewing

How To Mix And Match Colours For Clothing Upcycling

Knowing how to mix and match colours for clothing (including upcycling) is critical design skill. It is one of the essentials that fashion designers apply to create aesthetically pleasing garments.

Therefore, it is a 'brake or make project' kind of thing for anyone who wants to recreate with existing clothing as well.

How to mix and match colours for clothing_2

Why How To Mix And Match Colours For Clothing Is Important And What Can You Do

Designers are spoiled to work with fabric from the roll which often is further colour coordinated as it's typically developed as a ‘collection’, stream-lined in terms of colour.

But, in refashioning is very different. When it comes to reworking existing clothes, we have a bigger challenge. Combining too many different items of clothing could become an overwhelming task quickly.

So, don't be too hard on yourself if you can’t figure it out on your own. It’s what many sewists like you who want to create from existing clothes experience as well.

The good thing is that you don’t need to be a fashion designer to make pleasing combinations!

This episode spells out what can make the task easier and most of all - fun :)

Mariana at Perth Artists Event - how to refashion clothes

Here I wear one of my favourite makes for winter made with one of the fashion formulas for mixing different clothing items that I share in this article and podcast episode below.

Obviously It’s Not Only About 'Colourful'

To give you heads up, don’t click away if you don’t like colourful.

(The photo above is just one of the examples)

The design skill of mixing colours in clothing is still applicable to you, too.

Keep in mind, my style is not 'colourful' and artistic. In my opinion, I have a standard, 'mainstream' kind of style. Many of the sewists I know don't wear too colourful as well.

In this podcast episode I share insights on how to mix and match colours for clothing that I found work great for upcycling. They are spot-on even for when you're the not-keen-on-wearing-too-colourful type.


Hopefully, at least one fashion formula will stick to your taste and inspire you to play :) I suggest, listen to the episode and then, take out some of your clothing you no longer wear (or clothing stash for recycling) and give it a go.

Coming first-hand, nothing can compare with the awesome feeling of wearing a stylish and elegant refashion you made it yourself!

If you've managed to scroll down to here, you're only one step away from creating amazing upcycle garment yourself. Shortcut the inner fear that 'you are not a designer' and start making.

Have fun!

Listen to episode #16: 

How To Mix And Match Colours For Clothing Upcycling (proven formulas for building colour combinations you'll love)

Or listen on the podcast page HERE.

Highlights Inside This Episode:

[2:00] Why it’s important to know how to combine and work with colours for aesthetically pleasing results

[5:40] Short overview of what's included in this episode (+ a teaser you’ll love ;)

[6:30] The easy way of using the colour wheel to build up your colour coordinated combinations. Plus, some traditional fashion formulas on how to mix and match colours for clothing.

Top 3 Fashion Formulas For Mixing And Matching Colours When Reworking Existing Clothing

[9:50] Formula #1: Mix the same or neighbouring colours. My trick here is to also use different textures.

 [14:10] Next up, develop your design skills for combining colours with Formula #2: Mix and match colours from the same colour temperature. What are the two colour temperatures and what type of mood they imply in clothing.

[16:50] Great small but mighty tip how to recognise good colour combinations. Powerful things are often very simple, right? This proves it, for sure!

[17:30] Lastly, my secret Formula #3: Create a contrast. Check out how to use it so you create smoother, more relaxed designs; or bolder, classy type of styles from colour standpoint.

[21:50] A side note tip on how you can start easy by adding colour in your projects (so you look beautiful wearing colours that suit you)

[23:10] Check out how to mix and match colours for clothing so to make more subtle and less bold contrasts.

Bonus Formula To Jumpstart Your Colour Skills, Even If Colour Is ‘Not Your Thing’

[26:00] At the end, a Bonus Formula: Use colour as an accent. Very easy to apply, proven for even when you don’t like wearing colours. Without adding the ‘too colourful’ effect, accents can make the colour of the main garment pop. It’s one of my favourite ways to brighten up any design.

[28:00] Recap of the episode

[32:00] Learn more about how to secure your seat in the upcoming FREE Masterclass on Clothes Upcycling

What's next

[32:50] What’s up on the podcast next time

Rate, Review & Subscribe On Apple Podcasts

If you love the conversation, please consider writing a review and rating the show. Podcasts are great way to get the word out to others who want to make change by buying second hand and/or refashioning.

Your actions will help reaching out more people and helping them learn the ins and outs of refashioning. The ultimate goal: the more we are, the more valuable textiles saved from being wasted!

Go to the show page here and click “Listen on Apple Podcasts”. In iTunes then select the “Ratings and Reviews” tab à click 5 stars to rate and select “Write a Review”. Make sure to let me know what you loved most about the episode!

If you haven’t done so yet, subscribe to the podcast. It will secure you never miss out, including the free downloads which I’m adding to some of the episodes. Subscribe here.

Other Podcasts Mentioned In This Episode:

Links & Projects Mentioned In This Episode:

Icy Blue Cardigan Refashion and additional video showing how to make the detachable collar

More details on the beige sweater winter refashion “One New From Two Old” (from the photo above) in this video

T-shirt refashion with lace

Old leather jacket refashion

Check the upside-down top with a more subtle contrast in this video here

More upside-down designs in my upcycled collection here

A Summer Dress Refashion (teal dress with white lacey trims)

Check the beige-brown button up shirt here: Refashion Of Shirt & Skirt Set

Also, how the shirt was upsized

Paganoonoo’s Ashley Blouse (light blue and pink button-up shirt)

Find Paganoonoo upcycle sewing patterns here

Your Host

The host of The Art Of Refashioning and ep. 3 The Myths About Creativity

As a fashion graduate and sewing professional with several years bridal and alteration experience, Mariana Kirova is passionate about quality one-off upcycles.

She loves sharing her findings, observations and upcycling ideas with like-minded aspiring creatives.

It's time not only to start recycling those castoffs and add unique clothing pieces to your wardrobe. To enjoy it, you need to immerse into the making process. Once you feel the deep satisfaction of creating one-offs of your own, you'll never look back to retail!

At the end, the more people who sew start upcycling clothing already in circulation, the less valuable textiles will end up in landfill, right?

Mariana Kirova

Mariana is passionate about garment upcycling and helping others making their own upcycled clothing. Graduated with Award in garment construction from WAIFT, Perth WA, Mariana is not a main stream eco fashion designer. She makes unique eco-friendly garments from unwanted clothes and materials and believes that small fashion professionals and DIY sewers can embrace sustainability in garment creation, thus changing the fashion world for good.