vignette

fen dress

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Finally Vignette fabric is in stores! You can find stockists for the line here.  If you are a shop selling the line, please get in touch to make sure your store is added to the listing.

I just recently got around to finally making up a dress out of some of the double gauze.  I chose the Fen dress pattern and used the Floret print in pink. The pattern has options for making both dress and top versions with several variations for neckline, hem and sleeves.  I chose to make a round neck dress with a shirt tail hemline and sleeves.  There are also good instructions to shorten or lengthen the pattern. I shortened mine by 3 1/2".

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I love the boxy style of this dress!  Also pockets should be compulsory on dresses.  To accessorize I made a Figure 8 scarf out of the Petal double gauze print in the red colourway.  I followed the pattern instructions exactly except I used a 3/4" seam allowance.  The length and bulkiness is perfect.

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The fabric colours are much deeper and richer in real life.  These pictures were taken on an exceptionally bright day so they appear a little bleached out here. Both the dress and scarf have been worn multiple times since and I definitely will be making second versions of both.  


vignette bags

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As well as the sewing projects I showed the other day, I managed to make up a couple of tote bags with my new fabric.  Initially, I made them so that I could use one to travel to market with.  But the day after I finished the second bag, I got an email from my airline to say that the cabin bag size had changed and these perfectly sized bags no longer fit the new specifications... Ah well, more bags for the booth display.

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This bag in particular would have looked perfect with my new boots, I can't wait to get to use them together soon though.

Bag pattern is the Caravan tote by Anna Graham.

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This bag and boot combo is also going to happen soon!

Gingham tote pattern from this book.

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I followed all of Anna's style specifications - leather ties, metal snaps and zippers..  They really are the perfect finishing touches.

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I also echoed these in the other projects I made such as the hold it all pouch I showed you in my last post.

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All I need now is some dresses to finish off the look.  As soon as I get my Vignette double gauze, I'll be on it!


vignette sewing projects

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So here we go with a look through some of the projects that I've been busy putting together to showcase my Vignette fabric line.  

When I first started thinking about what I could sew with these prints I couldn't help but feel that a dressmaking or haberdashery theme would be a perfect starting point to spark off my ideas.  Even though all of the prints are new and original, they seem to have a kind of vintage feel somehow.  I wanted to echo this with an overall look to the projects that was somehow timeless.

To kick start my sewing, I thought it would be fun to make up a few sewing notions or haberdashery items out of the prints which I could use as a starting point for my display at quilt market.  I began with making some bindings wrapped around card and also covered up some buttons and a tape measure (I completely winged this) and decorated some pinwheels - all of these projects were so much fun to put together.

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I continued to find creative end uses for the fabrics by making a fabric and leather belt - the buckle was re-purposed from an old belt of mine and I just used the old belt as a guide for how to put things together.  The clothes brush was again, re-purposed (I keep it mostly for de-threading my clothes after sewing).  

Of course it was also a no brainer to use up some of my own patterns to make items, like the hold it all pouch, above.

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As well as nesting boxes and foldover mini pouches..

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and a foldover sewing pouch

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And of course somewhere to stick all those pins.

(wagon wheel pincushion tutorial)

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My main aim for these projects was to find slightly less usual ways of working with the fabric and finishing up a few quick makes at the same time.  I'm hoping to get my sewing teeth stuck into some quilts and dresses in a few weeks time.

Tomorrow I'll be sharing a few more projects I've made with you!


first look

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Here is your first look at what I've been making from my Vignette fabric collection.  This clutch is the very first thing that I made from my fabric so it's fitting that it's what I show you to begin with.  

Pattern is the Rainbow Clutch by Anna Graham from her book

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It was the perfect pattern to use as at this point I only had one 10"ish square from each of the prints.  I had to be really careful not to make any mistakes but luckily all turned out well - I think this purse showcases the prints perfectly!  I can't wait to start using it!

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I'll be putting together a full post with more of my makes this Saturday, there's lots to see so don't miss it!


selection

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This is the third in a series of posts about the beginnings of my Vignette fabric collection.  The first two posts can be found here and here.

Today's post is a small glimpse into the process of selecting the final line up of prints for a collection and editing these to work well together. By this stage I have at least ten different prints, which I've put into repeat and I think would work collectively to suggest a theme.  I've also come up with a name - Vignette which illustrates that theme.  At it's most basic, this is a floral collection but it is also a snapshot of this subject as seen through my eyes and for this reason, the minute I think of the name, it suits what I want to say about this collection in a single word and it's a keeper.

One of the most helpful ways I've found of pulling together a collection is to start by printing out the designs and looking at them together.  At this stage I'm still working on everything on my own and I've been looking at the same images for many weeks.  So printing helps to by able to 'see' them again.  Which sounds kind of silly but for some reason it works.  By looking at everything collectively, it also helps me to see what's missing and what needs editing.  For a collection to work, I'm looking for a variety of contrasts - in colour, tone, texture, scale etc.  As well as contrasts there have to be similarites for the designs to suggest a common feeling.  So there is a bit of contradiction at play here too.   Prints also have to work for different purposes - most obviously quilts but also bindings, linings, pouches, dresses....  Within a collection there have to be prints that can be utilised for different ends but everything has to work as a whole too.

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Once a little editing had taken place, this is the point at which I submitted the designs to Cloud 9 and began working with their creative director Michelle to finalise the prints.  One thing you may not know about me is that I am rubbish at making decisions.  So working with someone else at this point is really helpful to me for clarifying where I want to take things.  For the most part, the designs stayed as they were and we just worked on colour and scale.  There were only two designs that we decided to play around with and see how we could progress them.  The first was the Petal print and above you can see the original and reworked prints

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We also looked at where we could take the ladybug print and this one really progressed from being a one colour print that was kind of a moving stripe to the two colour final honeycomb kind of layout.  There were many variations that took me from A to B here but as soon as I tried it in the latter repeat it just worked.

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One of my favourite prints in this group is the buttercups - I just don't think there are enough buttercups on fabric.  I could have done this one in so many different variations, picking just two was hard.

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Another favourite is the Floret print.  I really wanted to have a basic or blender print that came on a dark background - I am all for more high volume on fabric.

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I think I'm going to stop here for now.  I hope I can get back with a little more for you soon. 


drawing to design

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Today I'm going to show you a little of my thought process in creating the designs for the Vignette fabric collection.  When I created the original artwork I showed you in this post, I wasn't thinking about designing a print for fabric.  Instead I wanted to spend a little recreational time painting - something I greatly enjoy but never get around to doing enough of.  Some time later I returned to my original artwork and decided that they would make a great starting point for a fabric collection.

Floral prints are something I've done little of to date.  Throughout my design career I've focused more on conversational prints and always thought of flowers as something other people do.  In my design past, I've been lucky enough to work alongside other designers who would do the most amazing florals.  And when I say 'do'  I mean they would literally knock out 5-6 jaw dropping designs a day.  I always thought that I couldn't draw florals 'properly' but that didn't stop me from keeping personal sketchbooks full of drawings of them.   

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When I was at Winchester School Of Art in the early 1990's studying printed textile design - I was consistently taught that original artwork was central to the creation of design.  This emphasis has stayed with me over the years even though at the time I most likely just shrugged my shoulders and carried on collaging bits of paper together.  One of the first things I did to kick start the design process for this group was to do a few quick sketches, simplifying the shapes from the original drawings.  This got me thinking how I wanted the designs to progress and turn from drawings into design motifs. 

Poppies in progress

Once it came to beginning the digital artwork - I was able to use the information I had created when drawing such as the way that I'd constructed the bouquet with the poppies on the sketchbook page or the way that the buttercups were painted scattered in slightly varied formations.  I created new versions of these motifs from scratch in illustrator using my sketchbooks for reference.  My aim for this collection was to create a very bold but pretty, graphic look.

The picture above shows the construction of the poppy print in progress.  I liked how things were looking here but the layout looked a little too rigid and un-flower like.  So I started to play around and try different formations to try and get something with a little more flow. 

Poppy colours

In the end I tilted the bouquet a little and spread the repeats out a bit, then added in some tiny dotted florals.  Suddenly it started looking more like I wanted - a repeating motif with plenty of movement, a little texture and some negative space.  Once the design and repeat where done, I started on colour and above you can see three variations.  There were probably at least 50 variations of this design alone because I can play around with colour endlessly.  Something to note here is that the creation of these designs took place over several months.  From time to time, I'd leave things alone and go work on something else for a few weeks, then return to look at everything from a fresh perspective.

Buttercups pink square

Here's an earlier colourway of the buttercups print - I'm going to be talking a bit more about the colour selection process in my next post.

Bud orange

And lastly, designing always inevitably leads to creating far more than you need.  Which means that some designs end up set aside (for now).  This is one of my rejects from this group, again I'll be talking more about this selection process next week.

You can see all of the final Vignette collection here.


vignette

Vignette fabric

I'm so happy to announce that I have a new fabric line in the works - Vignette.  This will be my first line with Cloud 9 fabrics which means that it will be printed on 100% GOTS certified organic fabric - I'm so happy about that!  The line includes 14 prints on quilting cotton and 4 of the prints will also be available on delicious double gauze - you can take a look at the full collection here.

Working with Cloud 9 has been a dream, I'm excited that the fabrics will be able to be used not only for quilts but be perfect for dresses, scarves and bags too.  I can't wait to see what you do with it!

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I thought it might be of interest to give you a little back story on the line.  It began around 2 years ago when I was in the mood for doing a little painting.  I was working on several sketchbooks at once - since I find it hard waiting for things to dry.  I wasn't really thinking about a fabric line, so the paintings evolved very naturally.

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They are quite sketchy in nature, which is how I like to work when I working with acrylic.  Some are also done in pencil and the ones I'm showing here are those that relate most directly to the line.  

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I hope to do another post soon about how I developed the drawings into idea's for a fabric line and how that process evolved over time.  In the meantime, here's a look at inspiration and fabric altogether.

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Vignette is selling to quilt shops now and will start arriving in stores this November.