I made a t-shirt with my own fabric!
I’ve always wanted to design my own fabrics, especially when I couldn’t find the design I was looking for. I wish I could make something that I like, just for me! That’s when the critical voice in me says to myself, I’m not an artist, I can’t draw, there’s no way I can create something nice enough to wear. But I told myself I can’t knit all my life, and it turned out, I can!
Over the Christmas break, I did a couple of online courses, and spent a lot of time wrestling with Illustrator and the lack of processing power of my 4 years old MacBook Pro. I’ve been practising and creating whenever I have the time. I took the approach of my pottery teachers: don’t try to create your masterpiece when you’re just starting, just make things, make lots of things. Get good at the techniques and in the process of making a lot of different things, you will find what you like to make and eventually find your own style.
I’m still in the process of exploring what I like to make and my own style, I think. In the past 2 months, I’ve been trying to turn ideas that I had in my head all these years into reality. I failed a lot of the times, but some turned out good enough. A few weeks ago, I ordered a bunch of test prints, it’s an amazing feeling to see my own hard work printed on fabrics!
Enough rambling… I had a good feeling about this green version of the Sleepy Puppies pattern based on my dogs, Teddy and Sunny’s quirky sleeping postures, so I ordered it on an organic cotton jersey from Spoonflower. And here it is, my first memade garment using my own fabric design! I’m so excited about it.
Many sewists will know straight away that this is the Tessuti Mandy Boat Tee. It’s a free pattern available in size XXS – XXXL, and if you haven’t made a Mandy Boat Tee, you’re missing out! From cutting out to finish, it took me just 2 hours, probably because I didn’t bother to set up my twin needles. I did add the Pink Coat Club “Contains dog hair” label to it, though. Such an easy and quick sew, and very easy to wear. In these photos, I was wearing it with the Closet Core Ginger Jeans. The green colour will go well with my knitted garments for the cooler days so it’ll be on high rotation for sure.
I made the Sleepy Puppies in 3 colourways, pink, olive, and capers. I also coloured the same motifs to make the Dogs and Plants pattern with a navy blue background. After seeing the test print, I added a bit more blue to the background colour, as I don’t like the slight purple tinge on the print. I would spend hours or even days tweaking the position of each motif on the pattern tile, and playing with colours is the most enjoyable part of the process.
I have made some of my designs available for sale on Spoonflower as fabric and wallpaper. Check out my shop and let me know what you think.
I’ve ordered test prints from both Spoonflower and Next State. I’ll most likely only print my own fabrics from Next State, because they print at 300dpi and they’re an Australian business. I’ll still use Spoonflower if I need to print on fabrics that are not available through Next State, they’re good, but Next State is better 😊.
I’m sending some revised designs off to the printer soon and can’t wait to make more garments with my own fabrics. I would love to connect with other sewists who also design their own fabrics. Get in touch!