Designing your own Pattern

I had a huge clear out of my fabric cupboard recently (again). I am struggling a little to find the time to pop my precious fabric online but I don’t much mind seeing it filled to the brim every time I walk into my studio – just remind me not to buy any more (I just can’t help myself). I often think that if I had had the opportunity as a teenager I would have gone on to study textile and pattern design. I occasionally take out the fabric from my cupboard to imagine what sort of designs I would come up with – I think my signature style would have to be geometric with orange tones, don’t you think?

Fabric Cupboard 2015


These days you don’t need to go to university to design – I mean that in a ‘there-are-other-ways’ type of a way. This Make it in Design course looks fab. I’ve been receiving their emails. It’s an online course you can take, drawing on your innate sketching talent. One of my fav upholsterers Jess and Jules took the course and now designs her own upholstery fabric and wallpaper- how cool is that.

There are a few competitions around too if you are looking to break out into the surface pattern world. A few years back I entered a competition to design a new moquette fabric for the London Underground – It was a pretty lame attempt, but I loved doing it – and I love a moquette too. A company called Wallace and Sewell ended up winning that competition back in 2009.

I just found out that Joules are running a competition too to design your pattern onto Wellies. The winner receives a £5k holiday and sees their design go into production – ooh exciting, I might have to enter that one aswell.


About Vicky Grubb

Once a kitchen table Upholsterer, now a fully fledged tutor, author and hoarder of vintage fabrics. My Upholstery studio is based in Bournemouth, Dorset, where I live with my husband and two tinkers.

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