archive for 'fabric'
been shopping again
i was sold this as original 30s and although i know virtually nothing about the era i’m inclined to believe it, what do you reckon? any experts out there?
whatever it turns out to be i can’t get enough of this print, it’s got all my best colours, it has a wonderful drape (rayon) and a subtle sheen. condition is as new. can you imagine how nervous i’m going to be cutting into it?
i’ve been hanging out more than is good for me on the vintage sewing blogs lately. i’ve always recognised the rather obvious appeal of fifties fashions, but the less showy delights of the thirties/forties are a whole new world for me, and there’s nothing i like more than immersing myself in New Stuff. so that’s how i came to be browsing etsy for 40s fabric and that’s how this little beauty came into my life.
from vintage pickle on etsy, i totally recommend this seller.
such wonderful colours, red white and blue seems to be everywhere atm (not least in vintage sewing land, susannah’s got it too). i have a favourite dress from last summer in those colours that sets off my newest tattoo a treat
i won’t be flashing it with this though, something demure and somewhat sensible i reckon, a classic forties pattern. it’s a not-particularly-drapey cotton, so i’m not sure it will work with the gathered yoke dresses i’ve recently come to love. i have my eye on a princess seam dress that looks like the perfect balance of quirky period detail with a utility vibe that plays down the girliness of the print (i fear there’s danger of straying into this kind of territory if i get carried away with the puffs and the ruffles!).
i have to hold my breath a bit though, as i don’t know if the seller will ship to me and it looks like i have competition, it’s a cute pattern. also i can’t find any yardage info for the pattern and looking at similar styles it may take more than i have. i have cunning plans though, and if i can’t squeeze it all in i’ll use contrast collar/cuffs/whatever. i read recently (i don’t remember exactly where) that it was common for wartime patterns to include a mix of fabrics, so they could be assembled from what small lengths of fabric were available, often recycled from old garments.
so fingers crossed i get the pattern, and watch this space …
- textile design development course notes from the south west institute of tafe.
- that link via true up (kim from dioramarama’s other home) which is turning out to be a fantastic source of info and inspiration. she also has an amazon shop piled high with indispensible books for fabriholics – imagine how happy you could make the fabriholic in your life who has a birthday coming up
- design sponge: how to make a repeat pattern: the cut-and-stick way. i used a great online tutorial for the photoshop offset filter to get started with my spoonflower fabrics but i can’t find it anywhere now – it used a photo of a flower and involved duplicating layers and erasing to the underneath one – don’t suppose anyone knows the one i mean?
- making plaids in photoshop from the plaid queen herself michelle of cicada studio
hopefully will come up with more links to drop here anon.
the whole spoonflower process is concentrating my mind wonderfully on colour profiles, colour spaces, colour modes… there’s an ongoing discussion on the spoonflower flickr group that is (slowly) enlightening me about all this stuff.
my only encounter with colour profiles to date has been the issue where i found my images appear much less saturated on flickr than they do in photoshop. in an attempt to address this i tweaked a few ps settings according to some random dude’s suggestions, without really understanding what i was doing, and ended up in sRGB. i don’t think this is the main cause of my colour shifts with spoonflower, but i don’t think it can have helped.
it does appear to have been the right thing to do for my saturation problem at least, according to this very helpful page: “Using Adobe RGB for web images leads to washed-out looking colors in applications that are not color aware (i.e. most web browsers)”.
but it looks as though i’m going to have to get a proper handle on the whole thing so i can flip between settings depending on what i’m working on. as part of my attempt to do that i’ll drop any helpful links i can find here:
- dry creek photo: colour management
- peggy jones on colour management, on colour settings, a gazillion other helpful digital imaging handouts
- computer-darkroom: soft proofing explains how to use the proofing view in photoshop (lol, the what? unconscious incompetence anyone ) and how to create a corrective layer group (where it refers to sets those are groups in cs2, who knows in cs3…). this depends on having a colour profile specific to your printer, when you install a device it has its own profile. i guess we need to ask whether spoonflower will supply us with ps profiles for their printer and in the meantime go through those we have and choose whichever looks nearest to the results we’re receiving.
- techexchange.com: colour management for digital textile printing i haven’t read this all the way through yet so not sure how relevant it is.
update: stephen at spoonflower says they are hoping to be able to make an icc profile available for download at some point in the future. yay
the fabric is nice – a standard quilting cotton from what i can see. i won’t prewash as they’re destined for a quilt and i want it to do the first wash puckering thing. the quality of the print is good, with just the faintest banding in areas of solid colour.
the colours are quite different to what i envisaged. now i don’t think this is a problem at spoonflower’s end at all, but i think it will probably be an issue that will arise again and again for them. simply because colour ?management ?profiling (see i don’t even know what it’s called!) is an arcane art to (i would hazard a guess) most of us eager-but-green users. translating screen into print is not straightforward, and i imagine there are more than a few numpties who are trying to design on laptops too
so for the record here’s how my (laptop *hangs head*) screen image translated into print:
- the image reproduced at 60% of the screen size. having read scanning101 (recommended to anyone who wants to get a firm grasp of image size/resolution etc.) i was at least expecting that. i was also expecting some colour variation but had no way to predict which way it would go.
- overall the prints came out much yellower than on screen, and more washed out. i had some strong reds that came out orange, as did my browns, pinks came out peach, oranges came out yellow. so the palette is reduced to yellows and oranges without the variation it had on screen.
- to match the printed fabric on-screen i had to crank the yellow right up, the red right down and lighten strongly
see now i’m totally lost if anyone has any pointers i’d really love to hear them…
all that said, i always try to nail the things i’d do differently next time when i post them here – i know it can come across as criticism, but really it’s me writing down everything i’ve noted during the process, it doesn’t mean i’m not happy with the outcome. i’m truly delighted with the fabrics, i think they’re cute as can be.
i wanted to make a co-ordinating range, i wanted to try various different scales, i wanted to experiment with directional and non-directional prints. i really love the large scale print, it’s absolutely something i couldn’t have bought off the shelf and i had fun designing it.
so a definite thumbs up for spoonflower, stay tuned to see how the fabrics end up – i’m itching to play with them sooner rather than later.