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Spring Palette Inspiration from Christine Haynes

Hi! I’m Christine Haynes. I run my little eponymous company in Los Angeles where I teach sewing at Sew LA and The Urban Craft Center, write for various magazines about sewing, and sew clothing and accessories from my studio. You might know me from my book, Chic & Simple Sewing, which is sewing book for beginning seamstresses. Like many of us who turned our love of sewing into our business, I rarely make time to sew for myself, so I was really excited when Sarai asked me to participate in the Colette Spring Palette Challenge, as it’s a perfect push to get me thinking about making a few new things for myself!

When I think of my spring color palette, I first think of the mood I’m after. For my wardrobe, I try to achieve an easy elegance, with quirky feminine vintage-inspired touches. I am looking for that perfect mix of messy and sexy, like you were polished about 3 hours ago, but now you’ve loosened up a bit and got kind of wrinkled, in a good way. The first time I went to Paris in 2009, I was so overwhelmed at the Parisian woman’s ability to achieve this look with ease. But on my most recent trip, something had changed. I was no longer intimated by them, and I suddenly understood that the only ladies on the street looking perfectly polished were tourists. This helped inform my mood for my spring wardrobe.

Jumping from the mood, I thought about the kind of garments I’m after. For me, it’s usually dresses. It’s what I’m comfortable in, and what flatters my body most. So that will not be changing anytime soon.

From there, I think fabric and texture. This spring I am likely to stick to my usual cottons, but I’d also like to consider some linen, and perhaps some lace or eyelet. I love showing a tiny bit of lace at a hem for a little peek-a-boo!

And last but not least, prints. I’m not a big print person and tend to stick to classics like stripes, polka dots, and other small graphic prints that are timeless. Perhaps I might go wild and choose some plaid!

From those ideas and thoughts comes my inspiration board. These images are things I’ve been gathering for ages. Like many other designers I know, I have folders full of images that inspire me, and to be honest, I don’t even really try to remember or mark where they come from, because rarely do I share them with others. So I’m sorry to say that I cannot site all of these, since I’m totally going from memory! And from my inspiration board come my colors below…

My challenge: Name: Christine
Colors: Black, Dark Gray, Light Gray, Olive Green, Light Blue/Green, and Mustard
Garments to make: 2… maybe 3

Top left: the Sartorialist blog; top middle: the image is from the film “Leap Year”; top middle right: Orla Kiely; top right: the Sartorialist blog.
Middle left: the image is from the film “Breathless”; middle left: the Sartorialist blog; middle right: an image of Catherine Deneuve and her sister Françoise Dorléac (No idea where I found it.)
Bottom left: Orla Kiely; bottom middle left: a still from a Chivas TV commercial; bottom middle right: the Sartorialist blog; and bottom right: a still from the “Sex and the City” film from Vogue.

Visit Christine at
Read more about the Spring Palette Challenge
Post your palette in the forum

Sarai Mitnick


Sarai started Colette back in 2009. She believes the primary role of a business should be to help people. She loves good books, sewing with wool, her charming cats, working in her garden, and eating salsa.



January 28, 2011 #

Beautiful palette, I love everything about it!

There are actually tons of stunning palettes on the Colette Forum. Seeing everyone’s unique take on spring is incredibly inspiring. So far, I love the Spring Challenge. Its been a blast!


January 28, 2011 #

Thanks Ashley! I’m glad you like my palette! I agree that there are some stunning ones on the forum! Very inspiring!

Mel Conomikes

January 28, 2011 #

This is my favorite palette so far! I’ll have to check out the Urban Craft Center the next time I’m visiting family in L.A. (I grew up there and have lived in Melbourne for 15 years). Love the hats!


January 31, 2011 #

great palette and inspirations! (:


February 2, 2011 #

thanks Mel! yes, next time you’re in town, stop by!
thanks laura!