I’ve been making a ‘jolie laide’ winter coat, from some old mustard yellow wool I have had stashed for years.  Rather than test the new pattern in the expensive organic wool, I’m working through the details in the mustard.

Making the coat has made me so happy…it’s as if staring at the yellow shade seeps into my emotional state, bringing a lighter sensibility to the day.

yellow is not even a preferred color for me. but working with it is a lovely experience.


sometimes I’ll admire another designer’s collection, or a painting, and typically, one thing hold true-  they use a monochromatic theme…i.e. a low range of colors.

I’ve never been able to stay away from colors, and prefer if we have some of each point on the spectrum available.  but that’s not actually what I consider beautiful or, for that matter, what sells.

most people buy gray.  gray is my best selling “color”.  I keep red, cream, orange, black, and purple in stock right now, but gray always outsells everything, including black.


I’m probably going to sell this coat as one-of-a-kind.  It’s got awesome pockets, a beautiful silk lining, and high neck.  fits a 36-38 bust measurement…stop by if you want to try it on :)

Kevin, in his new role as merchandiser, rearranged my store.  it hurts my eyes, but it’s easier to track inventory, and customers do appear to find it preferable to navigate.


after a day of sewing gray, I feel blah.  after a day of sewing yellow, I feel energized.  I don’t even like red, but I’d rather sew red than black.

an aside note:  for those fabric remnants you don’t know how to identify?  a burn test works. I’m not an expert, so what I do is compare a fabric whose content I know to the unknown piece.  In this photo, I compared the burn signature of the gray organic wool jersey (100% wool) which I use frequently to the unknown yellow fabric.  My suspicion, after ironing the yellow, was the it was a totally natural fiber (anything with synthetic has a distinctive, unpleasant smell when ironed.)

the yellow fabric produced the same smell as the wool touched to a flame, and also beaded in the same way, so I’m confident it’s all wool.


Posted by:Brook DeLorme

3 replies on “on color

  1. The yellow is really vibrant. The piece you made with the yellow wool looks really good. Would think it would show dirt quickly though

  2. 2 things:

    Like you, I prefer the clean quality of gradients and groupings, but things do look more dynamic with the way Kevin sorted them (by size or type?).

    I wonder if the difference of working with yellow v. black also has to do with the strain on the eyes– it is hard to focus on black- no depth. That said I think I believe in “chromotherapy.” Did I ever tell you about biking through the chakras? I also remember hearing something about Yves Klein’s choice of blue and always kind of wanted to paint one wall of a creative space that color.

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