Since I began sewing I’ve always wanted to design my own fabrics. I like what can be found in fabric stores (I could spend hours just wandering around a good one), but still can’t find designs to match the ideas in my head. SO… that brought me to Spoonflower. It’s a print-on-demand service for fabrics, wallpaper and giftwrap, which allows users to upload their own designs. For a designer like me, this is a Godsend! Now I can design prints for my clothing and accessories.
These patterns are © Guerrilla Threads.
At Spoonflower users can sell their designs by the yard, as well as enable them for use on Sprout Patterns— Spoonflower’s sister site for cut-and-sew projects (the design and pattern is printed directly on the fabric, so you just cut it out and sew it together) and the Roostery (home decor products). Between those three services, there are a lot of opportunities to sell and make money off your designs. So I dove right in and started making my first pattern.
I’m a fan of 8-bit and retro video games, so I used it for inspiration. The isometric grid is used in everything from Earthbound to Clash of Clans because it creates the illusion of infinite and continuous visual space that looks dimensional, but never converges to any vanishing points (like real visual perspective). So, by design it could be perfect for a repeating pattern… and I don’t see many designs currently on Spoonflower using it. Anyway, I started with some goals:
- Modern, Pop aesthetic
- Gamer inspired
- Seamless repeat
- Pure vector artwork to make multiple sizes of repeat
- Easy to swap colors
How I made the vector artwork in Adobe Illustrator could be a whole tutorial unto itself… but the basic process was to:
- Create the grid
- Turn it into a live paint group to color between the lines
- Manually create the repeat by moving the shapes and changing colors to the forms make sense (no broken planes).
- Mask/Clip and Export to Photoshop
- Duplicate and rasterize the pattern, then use the offset filter to check and fine-tune the repeat so it’s SUPER SEAMLESS.
I’m really excited to start this artistic journey into surface design. It had been a while since I’ve created a repeating pattern this involved (I’ve made them plenty of times for web design), but I learned a lot of new little things. Next time I’ll tackle this more efficiently, and save myself some of the tedious work, and multiple files.