The next way you can use inspiration is to find a dress style you like from a fashion plate and use that style, but in a different color scheme! Sometimes the original color is ghastly, sometimes it just doesn't blow your skirt up, or sometimes you have the perfect fabric, but the color isn't the color in the fashion plate. Well....just use your fabric, or one that suits your coloring and make the dress in the style of the plate!
Here is a plate from La Mode Illustree, 1886. I sooo didn't like this color combination, but I loved the dress itself. The bows down the front and left side of the open over skirt were so lovely! I just had to make it. But in a different color scheme!
Aaaahhhh...this color combination to my way of thinking was much nicer to my eyeballs! I took the basic design of the original image and just adjusted the color!
Natural Form Era (this one would be late 1870s). This plate is from my friend Beth...
I had this lovely green plaid fabric and wanted to make something from the NFE era with it. After hours of pouring through my fashion plate collection, I decided on the plate above. Instead of using shades of blue, the dress became shades of green!
A long time ago, I belonged to the Belle Alley forum. One of the ladies on that forum had purchased a Peterson's magazine and challenged the seamstresses to choose a dress from the fashion plates she posted on the Alley and make that dress. I fell in love with this one, but at the time didn't have any black fabric. But what I did have was a lovely golden fabric and antique lace!
This is the Peterson's NFE dress that evolved from the black Peterson's dress from the fashion plate! I do think that sometime in the future however, I will be making that Peterson's dress in black...just like the fashion plate!
So, if you find an inspiration plate, but the color is just not what you are loving, make it anyway! Just use the colors that make your creative heart sing!