As a beginner in pattern design, I am humbly sharing my process. I am not an expert by all means but I have been creating patterns for almost three years. As I grow and learn, my process becomes more streamlined and refined. In this post I will share all of the initial steps I take when I start a pattern collection.
Tell a Story
I often weave where I am in my journey as an artist and a coach for artists when I think of the overall story of my collection. For my first collection, “Blooming and Becoming“, my focus was on the growth and beauty of small beginnings of my dream of becoming a surface pattern designer. I took inspiration from what I loved; flowers, nostalgic memories, vintage handiwork and sewing.
Even though I have only made one pattern in my new collection, I have a theme in mind and a story to tell. The story weaves my love of painting with my love of the unique intricacies of fabric.
Alongside painting, I have been sewing more this past year as I get more comfortable with creating my own patterns for ready to wear items. All three of the following pieces were made with patterns but with some tweaking on the first and third. The second one is from the pattern The Chive Dress from Caramiya.
Have the End Goal in Mind
The more I create, the more I have wearable fabric in mind. Sewing clothing is my first artistic love and as Bonnie Christine says, “create what you want to see in the world”. I often find myself going to thrift stores to search out rare and unique fabric. Thrift stores are where the treasures are found. So my goal is to create fabric I want to sew with and wear.
As I bring my love of paint into this collection, a large part of my inspiration has been texture. I have been playing with paint strokes, woven fabrics, watercolor florals, pencil strokes, stitch marks and oil pastels on paper. I love combining my love of fabric with artistic mediums.
In addition to messing with paint, I am taking past watercolor practice sheets and using different effects for backgrounds.
Part of the beginning process consists of gathering many motifs (often from past unused watercolor images) and using them in new ways.
As I am going through Bonnie Christine’s Immersion course for the third time, I am picking up new tricks, skills and methods of creating. I am not pushing myself so hard as to create an art print on fabric but making smaller, meaningful marks with art mediums that will translate well to wearable fabric.
My current favorite texture is made from crochet cotton. I rolled it in paint and transferred it to paper. Layering multiple patterns of this crochet cotton creates an effect similar to tweed. This is not the final pattern but an effect I am still twee’d’ing (tweaking).
I have become loose with my lines and often practice using one continuous line for a complete flower. I like the aesthetic it takes on. Doodling has also been more prominent. I have discovered the movement of the pencil in a certain way on the sketch paper creates a unique flow.
There are so many ways to use photos you take. You can pull ideas, textures, create color palettes and learn new drawing techniques. I love drawing over a photo and creating new lines and highlighting features. Slowly, I am learning that I do not have to create an original intricate watercolor image for my patterns.
I hope you have gathered some encouragement and inspiration from the “beginnings” of my next pattern collection. If you have liked this post, share the love with a comment or a pin. Thank you!