October 29, 2020
If you’ve so much as glimpsed at the runways recently you’ll know that vintage inspired fashion is well and truly alive! As all things vintage continues to be the main print focus, 70’s-inspired patchworks are making an eye-catching comeback.
Luckily for us the studio (and for you too!) patchworks are super fun to create – and not as complicated as they look. Incorporate an exciting mix of vintage patterns with regimented geometric shapes to fast-track your way to a fresh design. Read on for senior designer Lyndsay’s top ten do’s and don’ts for designing an on-point patchwork.
There are so many ways to lay the ‘grid’ of your design – for example a classic square, quilted hexagon or diamond patchwork. Look to vintage reference books, quilt patterns and 70’s fashion for inventive compositions and unique placements.
This is the fun part! Have a blast combining checks, geos, dots, ditsies, and bolder florals.
With so many different patterns, a carefully considered colour palette is what will keep your design focused and fresh. A ‘vintage-inspired’ look still has to consider current colour trends. Spending some time curating your palette will keep your design cohesive and current.
Think about traditional patch-working and the stitching that combines all the swatches together. Consider adding a stitch, a seam or mimic the zig-zag edge of fabric cut with pinking shears.
Adding a texture will instantly give you that authentic vintage feel. Not sure how to add a texture to your design? We’ve got you covered – read how to do this in our blog post How To Fake Sun-Faded Fabric.
This one is key – whilst these designs can successfully carry multiple patterns, leaving white space or solid colour blocks gives the design room to breathe and helps the patterns shine!
A good general rule is to keep the shapes you choose for the patchwork grid regimented. This is what will ground your design and allow the different patterns to sit next to each other. Feel free to vary the scale of the prints you use within the grid though – the juxtaposition of different scales will help to add focal points for the eye.
Whilst these prints are vintage-inspired in both content and colour, adding an unexpected pop of a bright hue can really catch your eye and make the design pop! This is especially good for swimwear.
This is a good rule for all designs, but is especially important with patchworks! As these designs consist of many different patterns together, your photoshop file can often get very big and very messy during the design process. Make sure you reduce the size of your file once you’re happy with the work – it’s super important to keep it clear and easy for your customer to use.
Think about your placement! Pay attention to where your print will sit on the body when it’s on a garment and being worn. Is your print for a teeny-weeny bikini or a long flowing maxi dress? Have you created ‘targets’ with your patchwork shapes?