In which I feel some disappointment that my design skills aren’t quite as faultless as I thought…
You know the saying: the work of a budding fabric designer is never done.
Buoyed by the success of my teapot fabric, I went straight back to Spoonflower to experiment with some different designs.
With the teapots, I loved the simplicity of the repeat combined with the more ornate vintage illustration. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, I thought to myself. So, I dug out some more of my favourite vintage images and tried them out with a similar layout.
Satisfied with my efforts, I ordered swatches of the 15 new designs I’d tried, all printed out on one giant piece of fabric.
The Spoonflower parcel arrived through through the post last week. I could hardly contain my excitement as I ripped into the (ever beautiful) packaging. And this is how it looks:
Firstly, please excuse the lack of ironing before photographing it.
But, I was a bit disappointed with this batch. I’d been really pleased with them looking at them on the computer screen, but once I saw them printed out onto the actual fabric, so many of them didn’t seem to work.
The scales are off in quite a few designs: the images too large or not enough white space between them.
Some of the colours didn’t work as well as I hoped.
Some of the images didn’t look great in fabric form.
And some of them I just couldn’t imagine ever having anything to sew with a fabric with those designs.
Overall, I was just not feeling enough love for this batch to bother heading for the iron…
Now, don’t examine that photo too closely, please, as I will show you some close-ups of the ones that worked a bit better, or which only need minor alterations to look more appealing.
My favourite, over all, is this octopus fabric:
I did it in two different options, blue on white and reversed with white on blue:
I think these would be amazingly cute as a little pair of baby boy trousers. Or perhaps a sun hat. Or, gender stereotyping aside, a nice summer skirt for a girl…
The octopus image was from the NYPL digital archive from a plate in an 1809 French book about zoology: octopus image.
Next up, these glorious bright red fish managed to cheer me up from my slight doldrums:
They’re seriously jolly, aren’t they? The fish is a smelt, apparently, and I got the image from the brilliant website Old Book Illustrations: smelt.
Continuing the nautical theme, you might recognise the lobster in this fabric:
He’s the same one I used to make my lobster necklace. I adore him (he’s from the Graphics Fairy: lobster image here). But, I don’t think this layout has done him many favours. I think I’ll try again, with alternate rows facing in different directions. And maybe a little more white space around him.
Like this little crab (also from Old Book Illustrations):
He looked awful in yellow, as you can see on the left of the picture, but the simple black image is quite appealing to me. But what could anyone possibly make with a fabric covered in crabs? Any ideas?
This is, apparently, a squash bug, which I also found from Old Book Illustrations. I tried him in turquoise as well, but I’m not sure how well that worked.
So a definite mixed bag. If I was marking myself, I think it’d be a C+. Plenty of room for improvement. Back to the drawing board with these.