I'd thought of designing my own fabric for a while, but it wasn't until I came across this post on Creature Comforts about illustrating in Photoshop using a technique described in Heather Ross Prints that I decided it was actually something I could do. Thanks to Ez and Heather for the inspiration.
I ordered Heather’s book...and then waited...and waited for a kernel of an idea to emerge. Eventually, thankfully, one did. I created a conversational print for our sunroom pillows (starring stick figures of our family, naturally) that I thought would make the girls smile.
It took a few weeks of painstakingly slow work to bring the design to life. Technically all you need to do to create fabric is upload a JPEG to the Spoonflower website. But I wanted to create it the "right" way so I could control the color selection. Using Ross' technique (mixed with some clunky and time-consuming strategies of my own creation), I sketched the outlines by hand in ink, scanned the individual drawings and assembled them into a JPEG in Photoshop, did a lot of pixel-by-pixel clean-up, then filled in the colors using spot channels.
Here's an example of one of the hand-drawn sketches:
When the fabric swatch arrived, Cricket was so excited to see our family on it that she made me drape the swatch over a pillow so she could snuggle it. I'd call the project a success.
More design ideas are brewing, and I'd like to build a small collection. At some point I'll piece together the time to make it happen and will update you when I do.
Have you designed your own fabric? Any tips?