Monday, October 11, 2010

Spoonflower

I'm a Project Runway junkie. Even though I roll my eyes at the drama, hate most of the clothes, and disagree with most of the judging, I can't help watching it. It's fun.

The past couple of seasons they've included a challenge where the contestants get to design their own fabric, and this is presented as a rare, precious opportunity. "Most designers can only dream of creating their own fabric," they say.

To which I can only reply (out loud to the TV, like ya do), have these people not heard of Spoonflower?

Spoonflower allows basically anyone with a computer to design and print their own fabric. I signed up for a free account awhile ago (a year? two years?) and just lurked, voting in the weekly contests, admiring the creativity on display. And then, a couple of weeks ago, I took the plunge myself.

I wanted a knitting-themed fabric I could use for project bags, but couldn't find the sort of thing I had in mind. So I sketched out some knitting-related items in the shapes of X's and O's (which took about ten minutes), took pictures of the sketches since I don't have a scanner and uploaded them (another ten minutes), cleaned them up and colored them in Photo Studio (maybe half an hour), uploaded my design to Spoonflower, and ordered a swatch. A week later it was in my hot little hand.

Knitting Fabric

This is what I uploaded, and the fabric (which I can't take a good picture of right now because it's dark) looks exactly as I expected. The design is crisp and the colors are true. And anytime I want, I can buy enough to make a project bag or two or ten, and so can you.

I call it "Lovecraftian". Hee hee.

Here are a handful of my favorite designs on Spoonflower from other designers:

1. Mustache Gallery, by avelis
2. Atomic Fish, by brightonbelle
3. Des Oiseaux, by surlybirdstudio
4. Flame Test, by spellstone
5. Thistle, by cindy_lindgren

So, if you, like me, watch Project Runway thinking "I could make something better than that," here's one challenge where you can actually prove it to yourself.

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