A story about designing fabric…

Floral Dress by A Beautiful MessLast year, Emma and I spent several months developing a fabric collection. We started out with pages full of sketches, dove deep into the design process and came up with around 20 designs in two color stories. We intended to pitch the collection for commercial use, but then life happened. We started a new, bigger dress collection (yay!) and got a book deal (double yay!) and six months later realized that our beloved fabric designs (and samples) were collecting dust. Since we no longer have the time (or desire) to bring these babies to the mass market we decided to just put them up in a Spoonflower shop for fun. We still love these prints and we wanted to share them with you. Our collection is a mix of floral, geometric and novelty prints. We have tons of sample fabrics in our studio, so we will be using them for DIY projects here on the blog in the coming season.

The dress above was sewn as a sample piece for our pitch. It's made from a pattern from our first dress collection. The pattern was developed by Mallory and it's still one of my favorites to this day! 

Screen Shot 2012-08-16 at 12.12.06 PMRed Velvet Fabric CollectionRed Velvet Fabric CollectionHere's a look at the two color stories! Which one is your favorite?

Geometric Clutch by A Beautiful MessHere's a little clutch that we created with one of the geometric prints. 

A few words about Spoonflower: Spoonflower is an awesome fabric company that allows you to create fabrics with your own designs! Each design can be ordered in a huge variety of fabrics from quilting cotton, to canvas, to silk! You can even order a design as wallpaper or wall decals. As with most independent companies, Spoonflower is not cheap. Everything is printed to order. We used them to create our own full-color custom fabrics for past dress collections and our scarf collection. The prices in our Spoonflower shop are not marked up, but we do receive 10% of each sale as the designer. You can order small quantities, which is great for accenting craft projects. You can also see the size of the print (and reduce it to your taste) when ordering. We reduced some of our prints when ordering them, like the sewing machines because smaller prints are sometimes easier to craft with. If you plan to order a large quantity of anything we always recommend ordering a sample swatch first! Here's a link to the fabric options and prices + the spoonflower FAQ page.

We will share some DIY projects with our fabric designs in the coming weeks. I'm really looking forward to crafting with the wallpaper samples we ordered. We had a lot of fun working on these + I am glad that we finally get to release them, even if it's mostly just for fun! XO. elsie + emma

  • the dress fabric is gorgeous but overall I prefer the blue/orange collection. they’re all lovely and I love spoonflower, been meaning to design some of my own fabric for a while. 🙂

  • SO beautiful, Elsie and Emma! Sad they won’t be available commercially, but excited for the chance to get on Spoonflower! Question- I’ve checked the FAQs and everywhere on the Spoonflower site and can’t seem to find out how to order the wallpaper/decals???

  • Oh my gosh – I am in love with these fabrics!!! Very impressive. My mind is now reeling 🙂

  • I love your bag!!!! it is really fantastic:)
    Miss Piggy of Insane Bazar

  • These are gorgeous – you guys are so clever, you never cease to amaze and inspire me :o)

  • Thanks so much for still getting these beautifully designed fabrics out there for us!
    LOVE them.
    Thank you Thank You

    Stop by and say hi.

  • These are so pretty! I love both color stories, but I am partial to the first one—i LOVE turquoise with orange. I had never heard of Spoonflower, so thanks for letting me know about it 🙂 Way cool.

  • I adore the blue, orange, and mustard color scheme. I think pyramid scheme in mustard and photo love are my two favorites.

  • I love all of the prints! Super pretty! I also, love the dress you made out of the purple material!

  • i am always amazed by how talented you guys are, and that is so great that you are always coming up with new ideas!
    i loved the fact that you were working with patterns and was wondering if you guys have some tips to share about the technics and methods of developing a pattern like this? that would be so cool and fun 🙂

  • hello,

    I’m very sorry, because recently I told you in a comment I had linked you, but obviously, scatterbrained as ever, I had forgotten to save it properly and the link didn’t appear. (Anyway, now it’s really there. don’t know if that bothered you, but I wouldn’t like it, if people told me such things^^)
    Just to let you know, I didn’t intend to trick you or anything like that.

    anyways, have a nice week-end,

  • oh my gosh, i’m sorry, i’ve left my giveaway comment on the wrong post! most embarrassing! (your fabrics are ♥LUSCIOUS♥ though!!!)

  • Wow, awesome designs! What program did you use to design the fabric and how? I’ve been wanting to try Spoonflower, but have no idea how to get started!


  • This is fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing! I had never heard of Spooflower up until this point. I studied some textile surface design at FIT and really wanted to see some of my designs brought to life on fabric and just felt overwhelmed with the research in finding a company that would do it for me. But now I know!

    Your designs are great! I especially love the sewing machines! So cute!

  • Such a great idea. I could see a lot of happy things being created with cityscape or pyramid scheme. Great names too (which makes me think ‘why don’t fabrics have cool names like lipsticks? Wouldn’t that make sewing even better?’).

    x Elena @ Randomly Happy


  • Ooh, I didn’t know Spoonflower also offers wallpaper and decal options, I’ll have to check it out right away.

  • Love that clutch and continue to be so inspired by your many talents and endeavors! Thanks for setting an amazing example of what’s possible when you follow your passions 🙂

  • That clutch is gorgeous! Any chance of a DIY on it? Threadbare is my favourite fabric from your collection. Such a great idea,


  • Really like love love the camcorders and blossoms print! Stunning!

  • Cool style, I love a lot of them, but this metropolis paper lantern is my favourite: http://www.blueq.com/shop/item/114-productId.125846521_114-catId.117440758.html

  • such beautiful fabrics! I really wish I had as much creativity as you ladies! The florals are my favorite


  • I’m a little short coin purse 🙂 I am a waitress and carry it in my apron!!! So cute!

  • Oh, I love the blue on blue flowers! Great job, girls.

  • So cute! I’m loving the blues and oranges this summer. I wore a blue and orange outfit the other day, in fact. http://nikis-notebook.blogspot.com/2012/08/what-i-wore-and-new-shoes.html


  • I LOVE the purple and green color story! So earthy! Very soothing to the Virgo in me. 🙂

  • these are amazing!! i love the orange flowers! (but all of them are amazing!)

  • Really like the first color story! And that clutch looks so cute, can’t wait for a DIY!


  • I love that clutch! You should totally make those to sell so that I can buy one! Yes!

  • Beautiful fabrics! Spoonflower is one of my favorite fabric go-to’s and the designs you created are just lovely. I love your floral print and geometric triangle one — they would look great as a skirt! 🙂



  • I love your patterns. It is one of my dreams to go into home decor using my own patterns. But I agree Spoonflower is not cheap,and I am beginning to wonder if finding local help would be better.

  • I am in love with the first color story. The photographer, cityscape and vintage floral in mustard are absolutely perfect! I’m now much of a seamstress, but I am considering purchasing some of your fabric to frame and hang in my living room!


  • I love them all! I’ve been looking for some fabric to make throw pillows for my living room, and the colors in your fabrics are perfect! Now I just need to decide which prints I like best! I might even make a dress with the vintage floral. It’s so pretty!

  • Please make a dress out of “the photographer” pattern. I would buy it in a heartbeat, since I can’t sew 🙂

  • Ooooh that clutch is so perfect. In all seriousness, where can I buy one?

  • your fabric designs are sensational!!! Spoonflower is great but kind of cost prohibited! I bet a designer fabric company will want to hire you!!

  • I LOVE this!! Your prints are awesome, and I love Spoonflower. They have some cool-nerdy prints that I’ve been eyeing for a while. Again, these designs are way cool. If I make something out of any of the fabrics, I’ll send you girls a photo.

  • Can I please buy that clutch!? I don’t trust my sewing skills to make it 😉

  • Hi, I read your blog a lot and wondered if you can help me. Can you tell me who you go with for your advertising. I dont get a lot of hits but they are building up. Want an alternative to adsense. Thanks for your help

  • So cool you designed fabrics, didn’t even know that! Looks great!


  • That’s awesome! My phone background is one of those geometric patterns, and I had no idea it was your design. It was just in a gallery on a background iPhone app. Weird!

  • OH MY GOODNESS. I love the idea of making my own patterns to make wallpaper with for my new apartment. Thanks so much for this.


  • So cute! I really like the Photo Love print a lot. It seems you ladies are pretty good at just about everything!

  • Oh my gosh I LOVE the vintage floral in mustard! So very 70s kitchen curtains. 🙂



  • I love the vintage floral in mustard fabric — so beautiful! I can’t wait to see what DIY projects you come up with in the coming weeks!

  • I like the first color story better. It’s fresher and less girly–and that’s just more me! 🙂

  • The turquoise colour story is just gorgeous! Really love both versions of the vintage floral print too.
    And I don’t find Spoonflower to be all that expensive – considering that it’s made to order! The cheapest option is around what I’d pay for similarly lovely fabric here (though I have a feeling that Canadian fabric prices are higher, like with so many things! :P)

  • Orange is my love so really anything with that color has my heart skipping beats-then you added turquoise and life just kept getting better!! Love the bag-super hip and casual at the same time.


  • I love the fabric with beautiful prints. And these just adorable.


  • Omg, they are AWESOME!!!! I love them so much, can’t wait to get some dough so I can order soon!!! Well done, ladies!

  • OMG I love them all! I love the quirky sewing ones! Both color stories are so great.

  • How wonderful. I’ve always wanted to design my own line of fabrics.


  • Beautiful designs girls!
    And that dress made with the floral pattern is so cute!


  • LOVE the dress pattern, and the clutch is SOOOOO CUTE!
    Let’s follow each other!

    -Daisy Nguyen from PS BANANAS fashion blog:

  • These are some beautiful prints! I don’t even know of I could pick just one to love. I love them all!


  • Love the print with blue flowers! Check out my blog: http://thechicstreetblog.blogspot.com/

  • Beautiful! Thanks for sharing!
    Merrily Merrily,


  • Beautiful! I can’t decide which one I like best!


  • Yay!!!!! I love Spponflower and I love your designs! I especially adore the city print and the pyramids! Gorgeous and wonderful and fun!!!!!

  • I’ve never heard of Spoonflower before this. Making your own custom fabric or wallpaper is awesome. – I love the purple, green, and cream color story, with the flower pattern being my favorite.

    – tianna 🙂

  • You should do it, they are so fun! Name That Dress and win $50 with CopperEtiquette

  • you should definitely make more of those clutches to sell- i would buy one for sure!

  • I really like the orange, aqua and yellow geometric print. So pretty. Spoonflower is expensive, but awesome!!

  • Orange and turquoise were our wedding colors! Love the combo!


  • Oh i love this! I was on that website the other day eyeing some fabric for new couch pillows, so glad you guys posted this gives me more options and ideas for possible bedroom pillows too!

  • I love it! Geometric print is amazing, I really want this clutch 🙂
    Love from Poland!

  • Omg these are beautiful! You ladies are super talented. Would love to make scatter pillows with some of these- mixing b&w geometrics & florals is one of my fave pattern combinations.

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