My design process- from sketch to print

Recently I have been fascinated by fabric design, and whilst mine aren’t the most fantastic designs you will ever see, I’m pretty pleased with them. I will continue honing my technique so I can create ditzy prints with various different features and images within the design, but for now I thought I’d share my design process. My library is here on Spoonflower if you want to see what I’ve been up to so far. My next step is to make some filler fabrics to use alongside the animal prints.

I start off with an animal in mind I want to draw, and set about looking for a photograph to use as reference. I then sketch out the main shapes and shadows- usually on scrap paper or in my diary with a ballpoint pen. The pictures above show how I start on the left and keep adjusting ’til I get the image on the right. This only took 3 scraps of paper but sometimes it takes more. Each time I traceover the shapes, taking note of the scribbled corrections I have made until I get a nice simple image.

Next, I scan it in! I scan as greyscale to get the detail, then I change the levels so it is pure black and white and rub out the blobby bits in Photoshop. Sometimes I draw over the lines again too, it can take me a while tweaking it til I’m happy.

I then convert to CMYK so I can add a bit of colour! I use the fill tool to add patterns too in parts. These are free patterns froom the Internet, but I hope to produce my own soon.

Then I choose the background colour!

Then I create a copy of my drawing, flip it and position it opposite like a mirror image and upload to Spoonflower, where I can tile the images as I wish!

And here something I made with my first fabric design last night 😀 (it was a practise sewing in zips too since I’ve not sewn in a zip for years).


One Comment

  1. Posted February 21, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Fabric design looks like so much fun! Good job sewing the zips, I always find them a nightmare myself.

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