If the Riviera Were a Dress

Hey y’all, how’s your summer going? Mine’s all kinds of hot. I’ve just gotten back from an extended trip to my old hometown of Cincinnati, and as I was flying over those blue mountains of Kentucky, I was shocked at the stark contrast between the deep forested greens and the sort of sandy-colored, yellow-lit landscapes of Texas. The midwest was almost as hot as Texas but at least my eyes felt better.

Several years ago my husband and I spent an anniversary walking the Camino de Santiago, an ancient religious pilgrimage trail that extends from Barcelona to the coast of Spain. While hiking through small villages whose dusty natural landscapes resembled the hilly outskirts of Austin, I kept noticing the widespread use of a very cool blues painted into architecture and everyday items from doorknobs to dinner plates. They range from the more lavender-toned blues to the very deep cobalt blues that are more a southern Spanish Moroccan influence.

Blue Door - Spain

These blues were very welcome to the eyes in the middle of those extreme heated and white-lit Spanish afternoons. I finally understood that whole traditional Mediterranean blue and yellow palette. It’s about relief!

I wondered why Texans don’t use more blue in their buildings. The light here is very white and direct and like Spain, reflects off the white limestone landscaping. New Mexico’s architecture uses healing colors so well, and its celebratory pueblo colors are very reminiscent of some of those tiny Spanish villages.

{Credit: Taos, New Mexico}

Even the gardens here tend toward the hot in summer–what few native flowers are in bloom right now are very hot reds and yellows. Interesting…

So I’ve been taking a bit of time off of sewing but also rethinking all my project ideas. I got sidetracked by seeing the new Sewaholic dress pattern on Tasia’s site.

Isn’t it lovely? I really wanted to sew a maxi this summer, but couldn’t find a pattern I liked, and I like this one, just released today. It’s not an empire-waisted maxi (yay!) and I love the neckline. Since I don’t have 5 yards of anything to make this I have to (poor me) buy some new fabric and after a bit of searching I found this appropriately named “Riviera blue” linen/rayon fabric at marcytilton.com.

Now if the Riviera (or northern Spain, or Provence) were a dress, this would be it. I need to set aside all my coral fabrics for the time being to cool my eyes off.


  1. Amy says:

    I love the blue. My husband gravitates towards any kind of blue, and I’ve found that I’m starting to as well now. Great choice. Does this mean you’re joining the Sew-Along? Yes? Great!

    • Amy says:

      Thanks Amy. I don’t normally wear blue and I wonder why since I’m suited to cool tones. I hope I can do the sew-along… I was only able to order the pattern today!

      • Amy says:

        My guess is that Tasia will turn the orders around pretty quickly. At least as quickly as the Canada post will allow.

        I think I’m more suited to warm, earthy tones, but I really have gained such an appreciation for blue. And, the maxi will be wonderful. I wanted to make a maxi this summer, and I thought about this one, but I had to settle on another pattern due to fabric limitations. I thought three yards would be enough. Silly me!

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