Monday 29 July 2013

Blue and Green Should Never Be Seen...

Blue and green should never be seen, without another colour in between, or so we were told when we were young. Well, I think I'm safe, as there's lots of white in amongst the blues and greens.

When my sister and I were still at school and in our teens, I made her a sleeveless, polo neck blouse from navy blue and green, woven, houndstooth fabric, as a birthday present.

I can remember feeling so trendy buying that fabric. Our parent's generation just didn't wear those colours. 
(I've Photoshopped a graphic to get the colours I remember.)
This was the late 60s and it was all about bright colours. I so wish I had a photo of my little sis in her blouse. 

If you Google 60s fashion, you'll find two distinctive styles... 
We did not want to look like our parents!!! What generation does?

Now I happen to like blue and green together. I began to wonder where and why the saying had originated. Why couldn't blue and green be put together?

A Google search didn't shed much light. Origins suggested on a couple of forums...
  • Sailors thought it was bad luck to paint a boat green, as it couldn't be seen easily against the blue water if it capsized.
  • Blue and green are too similar to be easily distinguished in black and white film.
  • and even a reference to bruises
There were many references saying it was actually red and green should never be seen, and not blue and green. In other words, I didn't get anywhere.

I just adore the combination of the large, Michael Miller dot fabric, with the small, green polka dot fabric. As soon as I saw the two fabrics together, I knew it was a winning combination. I bought the polka dot fabric on sale some time ago, but the Michael Miller I didn't buy myself. When my son and I were looking for lining fabric for the travel shoe bag we made, we ordered the large dot fabric, not realising just how large the dots were. My son paid for the fabric and I scored it... bargain!!!

I have never heard any old sayings about pink and orange, but I must say I have always thought they clashed, yet I know others adore the combination. A couple of years ago, I noticed quite a lot of orange / pink combinations popping up... toys, clothes, fabric.

I was given the pink fabric. Because it already had orange in the mix, I thought I'd try orange piping. I knew it would work with the navy polka dot, but wasn't so sure about the pink. It's growing on me.

I loosely based the skirt measurements on the Twist and Shout Twirl Skirt from One Metre Wonders. The skirt in the book is meant to fit ages 2 -5, with only one set of measurements. There's a BIG size difference between a 2 year old and a 5 year old and I don't see how this skirt could fit all ages in the range. There is no measurement given for elastic length, which is fine if the child is with you. The book did say to adjust the skirt length if necessary. I wanted to make size 4 skirts, so used measurement charts online. 

Another problem I had with the book, was the terminology wide and tall. These were interchanged and it could be confusing to someone new to sewing.

Although the book suggests corded piping between the yoke and the skirt, I've used piping without a cord and have also added some slightly wider piping at the bottom. Instead of bias binding at the hem, I've sewn a wider band.

These two little skirts were sewn in support of Skirting the Issue and will be making their way to Anglicare, where they will be given to disadvantaged girls in Sydney.

Simple Simon and Co

I know skirts were the week one project, but I changed the order and made pillowcases first.

  • What colour combinations are your favourites?
  • Are there any colour combinations that you avoid?

... Pam


  1. This (blue and green "problems") is so ridiculously relevant to my current project, which I will be blogging about tomorrow! Your skirts are so cute!

  2. Cute skirts! I thought it was red and green but no idea why?! I love the combo of pink and orange - my two favourite colours!

  3. I like both of those skirts! I love blue and yellow together! I have he material for a yellow and grey dress, I just need to take the time to make it!

  4. I'd never heard that quote before! I remember that pink and orange were not supposed to be worn together, but nothing about green and blue.

    I love both these skirts and would have a hard time if I had to choose between them. It's a really cute pattern.

    Thanks for the review the book, too. I find it difficult to get sizing right even when the pattern includes more exact measurements. I don't think I'd want to fool around figuring it all out if I am sewing a skirt for a specific child. I just don't have enough experience in sewing clothes. As a donation where lots of kids will be included, I can see that not being a problem. I guess you can figure out what size it is after you've finished!

  5. I love both skirts! Lots of people shy away from vibrant colors. 'Not sure why. It's nice that we are not so careful with rules anymore. Something that my grandmother used to say... "You'll never regret looking your best" I think that's still good advice! ;-) -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

  6. What a cute story! I think blue and green has been and will always be my favorite combination. I'm with you on the orange and pink. I never really liked it, but its really starting to grow on me! It reminds me of starburst candies (for whatever reason).

  7. Both skirts are cute! Definitely winning fabric combinations!
    I did not know about blue and green color mix. But when I was younger I always avoided red and pink mix, I just did not feel they went well together. Now I do not hesitate when I see cute fabric with pink, red and orange mix!

  8. I remember the quote but definitely do not agree. Especially after seeing that skirt. The big dots are awesome and look fabulous with the smaller green spotty fabric. Perfection!!

  9. We were taught that- blue and brown -should not be worn together . It always amazed me since the Sky and Earth are there together in our life. At 16 i visited Holland, and a Great Aunt of mine was asked by my mother to buy a winter coat with me, i saw a 7/8 coat with brown, blue ,green and gray squares and fell in love with it. My great aunt was horrified, and would not allow it. I insisted , i will have this one or none. When we bought it we were told it was a First model by a famous stylist.
    Thank you Pam for a delightful and such interesting knowledge . mirjam

  10. The skirts are both pretty but that blue and green one is definitely my favorite! Off hand, I can't think of any color combos that I avoid. I'm sure there are some but I'm drawing a blank. I do love blues, paired with white, red, green, gray...well, pretty much any other color!;)

  11. So bright and cheerful Pam! Love the houndstooth too....very cool indeed! :)

  12. Great skirts! I think green and red are the only two things that I really try to avoid- unless I'm actually sewing for Christmas. It's funny the different things we were all taught :)

  13. I always knew the saying as "red and green should never be seen except upon an Irish Queen!" so there is another one to add to your collection Pam :)

  14. Great skirts! I love the colour combos :)

  15. I had never heard that quote before..interesting! I absolutely LOVE the blue and green skirt! :)

  16. Skirts are so cute! The best is in green/blue colour!

  17. She didn't use that quote, but my mother used to tell me that blue and green didn't go together. I never believed her, and wore them anyway. I think she's come around on that combination.

    Pink and orange, though. I'm still not convinced that that is a good idea.

  18. Love them both! I was always told not to wear brown and black together, and now thats everywhere... so I think the Blue and Green look amazing together... super cute!

  19. I love blue and green! And red and green- just need to watch the balance- and skip the candy canes...

  20. I have wondered if the blue and green negativity stemmed from The Last Supper, in which Judas is depicted wearing that combination.


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