Green

21 Mar

Last year when Oprah opened her school in South Africa, a fashion writer friend of mine was asked to write about the uniforms because they were green. Her editor said, “You know black people don’t look good in green.” I thought that was pretty ridiculous. Then, I ran into this passage from the 1964 edition of the Dritz Guide to Modern Sewing.

Most Negroes have the same colored hair and eyes. But, their skin tones have every color in the rainbow in them: red, blue, green and yellow. Negroes can wear vivid colors because high shades are most becoming, just as they are to brunettes. Contrasts of pure white are most dramatic with ebony skin tones, as are pale blue, pink, and lavender. All the blues are lovely on those with red-purple or purple-blue skin undertones. We found that the one color most Negroes had to avoid was green, particularly a yellowish green.

#124 May 2007 BWOF and #7829 Burda Pattern

Oh. My bad.

I’m not taking the passage above seriously at all. I actually find it kind of amusing. It also got me thinking about color. I’ve had people ask me how a color looks on them. I am useless.

The concept of not looking good in a color doesn’t make sense to me. So, I can give no feedback. There is no color I can’t wear. I don’t like myself in black, but I don’t think I look bad in it. My dad won’t wear red because of a comment made to him when he was a kid about it looking… country. In LA (I‘m going to keep saying LA until the glow wears off. Just a warning) another brown skin participant fretted that white was too much of a contrast. I reminded her the Michael Knight from Project Runway famously said, ‘black people look hot in white.” But, I think the author is partly right, I like how I look in pale blue, lavender and pink.


At any rate, this dress is really for Christina and AJ in Scotland. Christina shamed me about this UFO by asking what was going on with it in LA. AJ told me months ago she liked green and I told her I had a green dress in the works.

If you recall, I started the Panama dress back in December when I was planning my January trip to Panama. The stupid invisible zipper broke over the piping and I put it away until I could get a regular zipper and learn how to install it.

Well, last night I was catching up on the L Word (I saw one of the actresses from in it LA) and decided to put some of the Susan Khalje hand sewing workshop techniques from LA to work. And (drums please), I put in a hand picked zipper. Thank you Marji for insisting I take that class.

You know, until six months ago, I didn’t know what a handpicked zipper even was. I first read it on Tany’s blog. Last month, when working on the cocktail dress, Carolyn suggested I handpick the zipper and I went ahead and did it on my machine because I didn’t even know how to do one.

And they were all right. It *does* take less time to do it by hand. It *is* more accurate. But, it takes some getting used to the look of it if you’ve been an invisible zipper girl your entire sewing life.

There are several things I am proud of with this dress.


I took special care to match the prints and I pieced the border print to make the waist band (inspired by Summerset’s version.).

I interlined the bodice with silk organza for support and to reduce wrinkles
I made the lining from batiste to keep the dress breezy. I also added bra cups.

And, it’s green :) And it fits. I was a little worried during construction that it would be small.


The headwrap I’m practicing. I’m loaning some dresses for a fashion show this summer. I wanted to show that you could use ethnic prints without looking costumey. Well, I also have the day off and it was enough for me to put on makeup for photos so, I covered up the hair.

I think this would be great for work (minus the headwrap) with a little cropped white jacket. I wonder what I was looking at….

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4 Responses to “Green”

  1. Libby July 4, 2009 at 23:02 #

    Oh, you really outdid yourself on this one. I L-O-V-E this fabric, the shade of green, and the fitting. I’ve got to pull out my sewing machine more often.

    Love your blog! :-)

  2. Tasia July 26, 2010 at 17:23 #

    Oh wow. Your version of my UFO dress is stunning! I have to finish mine now :)
    I love the colour, too, forget what the ‘rules’ say about colours you’re supposed to wear!

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