Wild orchids – Spoonflower challenge

west australian wildflower pattern design collection by Janice Chan

west australian wildflower pattern design collection by Janice Chan

I’m very excited about entering my first Spoonflower design challenge co-hosted by Peppermint magazine. The theme is hand-drawn florals, exactly what I have been doing a bit lately. I consider myself a beginner, my inner critical voice really disapproves my showing the world such amateur works, but I’m keen to put it out there and get some feedback, which is the best way to learn.

The hero of this pattern is the blue lady orchid, which is native to Western Australia. Below is a photo I took during the wildflower season in the Perth Hills a year or two ago.

blue lady wildflower orchid

The motifs in this pattern are all hand-drawn directly in Adobe Illustrator. I ended up using only about half of what I drew, but I think I have more than enough varied shapes for the design I had in mind. I was a bit too ambitious when putting this pattern together. My poor old MacBook Pro struggled to cope with such a large repeat. It was an absolute nightmare, but I (we?) persisted.

The design challenge brief called for ‘trendy earth tones’, so I ended up making 3 colour variations in earthy, neutral shades. I’m not sure if they are trendy enough, though! I’ve ordered test prints for all three colourways in various scales, look forward to seeing them in real life.

I find it easier to visualise the result by draping the coloured patterns over garment line arts. Below is a quick mock up to show what the patterns look like on the Peppermint Ruffle Sleeve Top and Peppermint Wrap Top.

wild orchid designs draped on garment line arts

I loved the darker shade when it’s just a flat square on my screen, but after I draped them on the line arts, I clearly preferred the lighter colour in a larger scale. And that’s the colour I submitted to the design challenge.

I hope you enjoyed reading about the process of creating this pattern. Voting for the design challenge is now open, if you like what I’ve made, please include my design in your votes 🙂

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