Building a fabric empire

A little while ago I had a brilliant idea: why don’t I create a fabric line, with beautiful designs exactly how I want them and then make a range of gorgeous soft furnishings and baby clothes using said stunning line. It sounded really straightforward in my brain, when the idea started germinating, and I picked up the phone to tell my Mum the exciting news:

“I’m going to design my own fabric and then make it into beautiful things and it will be really gorgeous and high end and be like, oh, like Liberty print fabric, you know, that sort of thing…”

And – because she’s my Mum and therefore legally obliged to be positive whenever I suggest another hare-brained scheme, which is frequently – she said what a wonderful idea it was and how there was a definite market for some lovely fabrics and she managed to only chuckle slightly, and very definitely under her breath, when I made the Liberty reference.

Liberty fabric
Could I ever make fabric as beautiful as this classic Liberty print? (Short answer: it’s unlikely…)

Because she was so encouraging, it wasn’t until a little bit later in the day that I started to think about some of the potential pitfalls of the idea: I can’t draw, I’m not a designer, I don’t actually know much about fabric, I certainly don’t know anything about how you get fabric printed, though I have a sewing machine and can follow an extremely basic pattern (just) I wouldn’t have a clue how to start designing my own patterns, oh and even if I did, I’m not sure that my sewing proficiency is quite up to scratch to actually make and sell anything I had designed. Is that it? Oh no, finally, even if I did manage to design and print some fabric and make it into something beautiful I don’t know how I would go about trying to sell this highly desirable object.

But, hey, these are minor details, right? I’ve got plenty of ideas in my head and I can already pictue some gorgeous end results.

So, this is my blog to chart my progress. I guess I’ve got a bit to learn, but that’s all part of the fun. Drop by again and see how I’m getting on.

Of course, if I only blogged about every time I did something to further this fabric plan, then these pages might look pretty sparse, so I’ll be updating you on various other projects as well. Knitting, cooking, sewing and generally anything else that inspires me along the way.

Please post a comment and let me know what you think – I’d love to hear any suggestions (especially if they’ll take me a step closer to my world fabric domination dreams…)

Update Sept 2014:

I have actually managed to design a few fabrics, using the wonderful Spoonflower… Take a look at my teapots and the selection of vintage image fabrics I’ve managed so far. After a little lull in fabric designing world domination dreams (which went on for, oooh, about 18 months) I am now back up and running with the planning, so I hope to have a few more things to share soon!

9 thoughts on “Building a fabric empire

  1. I love your dream!!!
    I dream of a fabric haberdashery/workshop…upcycled furniture, old chandeliers and a glass of wine to add to the atmosphere!
    Dream, dream, dream!

    …hope you’re having a lovely honeymoon, loved flicking through your blog.

  2. Hello. I just found your blog via The Graphics Fairy’s website. Your photography is beautiful, but what really caught my attention is your plan to build a fabric empire with no experience! I just started a furniture refinishing business with no experience on how to actually sell my products. Trial and error for sure. Best of luck and I look forward to exploring your blog.

    1. Thanks so much Patricia! Nothing like lack of experience to hold us back, ha ha. How is your furniture business going? I have to admit, my fabric plans have been a little slow to get properly started, but the dream is still there!

  3. So 4 years later, I just landed in this post from your about page:) I have not started even browsing for good but I am really excited and I hope you’re still keeping up with the dream. I have daydreamed about it many times too, but first I need to make my dream no 1 happen and become a full time photographer. But I’d love to read about your progress with fabrics:)

    1. Ah Kat, I feel I’m going to let you down now by saying I’m not really focusing on the fabric anymore (hem, hem, for which read “not at all”)… I’m a bit fickle when it comes to great plans, and the current one is all about gardening and garden design – though, actually, I’ve seen this one through for a few years now, so it’s going well!

    2. PS, I’ve just been browsing your blog and I just *love* your photographs. I might have to sign you up for a portrait session soon! So pleased to have found you, I’ll be following along from now…

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