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Hey there! My name is Megan and I'm the sewing, pattern making girl behind Dolly Henry. This is my blog, where I share my own creative adventures and hope to meet fellow fabric enthusiasts. I also design and sell sewing patterns through my online boutique, alongside a beautiful collection of clothing and dolls. Thank you for stopping by!

NEWSLETTER

Diary of a (One Day) Fabric Designer


For a couple of years now I have wanted to design some fabric. I think anybody who has seen Spoonflower probably harbours that desire. I remember the thought first occurring to me when I was still designing and making little girl's clothing full time. When I first began, I could count on two hands the amount of other people online also making kids clothing. Over time, as people became more comfortable with the internet and Etsy became a bit more of a thing, I would have needed an extra limb or two to count the people I knew of that were also entering the children's clothing arena. I never had an issue with this until I started to struggle to keep up with my own new designs. I'd put together new designs I had literally spent sleepless nights on, only to see mediocre copies produced soon after by other businesses. It was quite disheartening. Especially when after a bit of sleuthing the copycats could find the same fabric. I was never too worried about it on a business level as logic told me that customers who purchased my pieces weren't exactly going to want an almost-the-same piece from someone else. It's a pity this thought didn't occur to the other makers. It was then that the idea to create my own fabric design first bloomed. Unfortunately, I had no idea where to start and was so flat-strap that I had no time to water that bloom.

Fast forward to now. I was drawing new ideas in my sketchbook and I decided to take this little deer sketch and digitise her. Once I excitedly managed to achieve that, I went straight to Spoonflower. I am very impulsive when creating. I have a drawing - I have it on the computer - let's fabric it!!!

And it came, my sample fat quarter. And I loved it. Wanted to dance with it. Stare at it. Never cut into it. Now I am not kidding myself, I know it isn't the best design EVER. But I had a mother and child pride with this humble deer print and I could see it working for me, in my sewing. I had it just the right size to make garments from. I popped it onto Instagram and it turns out quite a few of you loved it too - we are a little deer mad here! So I made a pre-order list...and unbeknownst to everyone, I put an order in for three yards. And waited. And waited. And waited. And waited.


Three whole yards! Enough for me and enough to sell a small amount! This was going to be fun!

Finally my package arrived, and once I impatiently tore it open. I blinked. These deer were BIG. Why , they were practically jurassic park deer compared to my first order. How did..what did...WHY are they so big? Yes the impulsiveness bit me on the behind and someone didn't check her print size when she was ordering. I was a bit disappointed....and thanked myself I hadn't actually started taking orders from my pre-order list for petite deer.

I showed a couple of people. My top secret fabric staring people. Who....to my surprise...looked at them and said "hey I think they would be just about right for patchwork...!" I blinked and looked at the Big Deer again, who shrunk just a little in my sight after I stopped panicking. Perhaps these wise women were correct....after all, they would make excellent quilt blocks and patchwork pieces!


I cut one out and turned her into a pin cushion. She was cute, she was sweet. This was okay...my mistake turned out to be rather marvellous. Don't get me wrong, I will go back for the petite minis but for now, I have some great sized deer for quilts and little softies. And I know my design looks just as great big as she did small!

Deer on cushions. Deer on Quilts. Deer as Pockets. Deer as Pin cushions. Deer as appliques. (Sew a Needle Pulling Thread!) These deer could take over the world if they wanted to.

I popped some up on Etsy today. Digital fabric in small batches is a little bit different to normal quilty fabrics, not to mention it comes all the way over the ocean which equates to a lonnnng time coming and rather hefty postage. This is artisan fabric, it's designed and drawn and created by me. And I am proud of it, my baby deer fabric.



I've called her Dolly, and one panel will measure 12.5" by 21" - it's about the same size as a fat 1/8th. Each panel has three deer motifs that can be used as creatively as you can imagine! In fact, I can't wait to see what you will do with them! They are available in a limited quantity in my Etsy store here.

Have you ever designed your own fabric?

Megan x


4 comments

  1. Beautiful fabric design Megan! And I was thrilled to be able buy a piece from your Etsy shop! 💕

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love the deer pin cushion! A happy accident I'd say :-)

    ReplyDelete

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