Made By Mrs M

Pattern Design

Patternmash - Prairie Lands

Pattern DesignKate Marsden

September's Patternmash theme was Prairie Lands, and in true I have way too much to do fashion, I managed to find time to submit some designs!

So we're talking feminine but functional, Little House on the Prairie, wood cabins, florals, fields,,,

I decided it'd be a good opportunity to play with my hand drawn patterns and here's what I came up with:

I'm pretty happy with how the first image has turned out - I might need to continue to play with this technique.

You can see the rest of the projects in my Patternmash portfolio here and the other Prairie Lands submissions here.

Fabric Printing Fun...

Books, Craft, Pattern Design, Review, Sewing, TextilesKate Marsden

Another book I bought at Blogtacular to share with you today (yes the book stall was tempting and this is another I had signed). You may know Zeena Shah from the telly (she's worked with Kirstie Allsopp a few times). If you'd like to know a little more about Zeena you can read my interview with her over on the Just A Card blog.

Now onto the book....

The book is filled with Zeena's signature style and teaches a wide range of different printing techniques - everything from fruit and veg, elastic bands, painting and screen printing is featured (even screen printing using embroidery hoops which may look familiar from my blog - she didn't use old tights though!).

It's a really good introduction for beginners as it takes you though the basics of pattern design, mark making and printing - it would be a good workbook to go through from start to finish, trying out each of the printing methods.

One of my favourite projects has to be this lampshade, but there are so many others I love - I just need some of that illusive time and I can have a play!

How to Print Fabric by Zeena Shah is published by David and Charles.

New Croydon and Sheffield Patterns!

Architecture, London, Pattern Design, Products, Sheffield, TextilesKate Marsden

I mentioned before that I was working on new fabric designs alongside my recent Croydon and Sheffield prints and here's a little sneak peek...

My Croydon design - featuring Fairfield Halls, Number One Croydon, Lunar House, the Flyover and the rather smart new bridge at East Croydon Station.

And my new Sheffield design featuring Park Hill (surprise surprise!), the Arts Tower and the Hole in the Road.

Both designs will be available as fabric by the metre and fat quarter and as travelcard wallets, cushions and lampshades from Monday 31 October. You can pre-order fabric before the 31st with 10% off and free postage. Just follow the links below.

Hope you like them!

Croydon - Fabric By the Metre

Croydon - Fabric By the Fat Quarter

Sheffield Steel City - Fabric By the Metre

Sheffield Steel City - Fabric By the Fat Quarter

10% DISCOUNT ALREADY APPLIED - USE THE CODE PREORDER FOR YOUR FREE SHIPPING.

In the news... and a giveaway

Giveaways, Pattern Design, Products, Sewing, TextilesKate Marsden

I have two features to share with you this week! The first is this month's Quilt Now magazine (issue 28)...

A lovely piece about me on page 6 plus a chance to win some of my fabric!

Grab a copy of the magazine to enter - the closing date for the giveaway is 27 October 2016.

And also this week... There's a lovely feature in the Croydon Advertiser about my Fairfield Halls prints. You can read the feature here and more about the prints in Wednesday's post.

You can see more of places I've been featured over on my news page.

A Sheffield date for the diary...

Architecture, Craft, Events, Pattern Design, Sheffield, ShoppingKate Marsden

I'm really excited to finally be bringing my designs to Sheffield in November when I take part in Crafty Fox and Folksy's Weekend of the Maker event. You can see me on Sunday 27th.

Park Hill has always featured in my work (you can see some pictures I took when I visited last year here), in fact my first ever fabric design featured the flats,  and I'm working on an updated one especially for the event! Here's a little sneak peek of work in progress...

I will of course be bringing all of my usual products along with me too! Hoping to see lots of familiar faces (most of whom I'll be meeting in real life for the first time). Watch this space for a full reveal of the new Sheffield design nearer the event.

Playing with Hand Drawn Patterns

Drawing, Inspiration, Pattern DesignKate Marsden

I recently came across a video on Instagram, and it was one of those inspiring moments which made me itch to get my pens out (during the summer holidays though so I didn't have much time and had to wait!).

The video in question was by designer Jessica Amorós (you can follow her on Instagram here and see the video itself here). I'd played around with this magical method of making hand drawn patterns before but a long time ago - maybe at college, I really don't remember (but you may recall I've previously mentioned that we only had one computer in the department at college, so it would have been completely by hand!) - and decided to have a go again. My first attempt was actually for this month's Patternmash brief but as I don't think it fits, I thought I'd share here so you can see how I did it.

Here's the finished pattern (or at least as finished as it'll get now I've decided not to go further with it)...

I started using Jessica's method as seen in her video - with a sheet of A4 paper and a pigment marker (yes it was my first time trying these out too!). I drew a few fields, a pond, a road in the centre of the paper then measured, cut it in half, stuck the pieces back together and filled in the gaps (you really need to watch the video to appreciate this - it's actually very simple). You then cut the paper in half horizontally, stick back together and continue until it's full. Here's what I ended up with at this stage:

I scanned it, popped it into Photoshop and cleaned it up...

Before creating the repeat (also in Photoshop). Here I discovered that my edges weren't quite perfect, or rather they were pretty bad - lots of nasty white strips!

So, in the interests of this being hand drawn, I printed it off and tidied it up in pen before scanning and putting back into Photoshop for a final tidy...

Then it was just time to add colour (which arguably would've been easier to do with the original before I created the repeat, but this was the first time I'd tried this out!) and it resulted in this:

I rather enjoyed this little exercise and plan to play with this technique again. Maybe on this month's Patternmash project (if I can manage to focus on the brief!!).

Patternmash - CLANdestine

Pattern DesignKate Marsden

I really need to start finding more time in the day! I had to rush last month's Patternmash project yet again as I ended up with lots of work just before the school summer holidays started (and I was going away). Anyway, excuses excuses. This time the theme was CLANdestine - ancient festivals, the weirder and more wonderful the better...

Image (c) Patternmash

Image (c) Patternmash

I decided to choose something closer to home than those in the mood board above and something from a place I've actually visited, the Up Helly Aa fire festival which is held in Shetland every January. Now I visited Shetland in the summer so it's a very very loose connection but I thought I'd probably be the only one going for that theme and went for it. Not a massive fan of fire in pattern designs though so instead I went for the viking shields, boats and motifs seen at the festival.  As I was so restricted for time, I just came up with four designs...

Probably not my best effort, hopefully I'll have the mojo back for September! You can see my other Patternmash submissions here, and the rest of the CLANdestine project submissions here.

Patternmash - Found or Pound

Pattern DesignKate Marsden

May was another Patternmash month and for some reason I really struggled with a theme which should've been perfect for me! The theme was Found or Pound - designs created using found objects or items which cost only £1. The colour pallet was fab too!

Mood board (c) Patternmash

Mood board (c) Patternmash

So I wracked my brains for days - I was keen to go for found so spent some time just looking for stuff around the house and also revisited one of my previous Patternmash projects for motif inspiration. I came up with a few designs then had a really really busy month, so didn't touch it for a couple of weeks.

When I went back to the designs at the end of the month I hated them all without exception! So started all over again... As by this point I had limited time, I only managed to submit three designs. I've used pen and ink drawings and photographs combined and in the end I'm fairly pleased with the result.

You can see this submission and all of my previous ones here.

I often struggle to get going with these projects but I still think they're a really valuable and useful thing to do. Ideas I've generated with my Patternmash projects often find their way into my fabric designs, and of course I usually design to my own brief so this is definitely good for me!

You can see everyone else's submissions for this project here.

Patternmash - East Meets West

Drawing, Pattern Design, Photography, TravelKate Marsden

March was another Patternmash month - the brief was East Meets West...

(c) Patternmash

(c) Patternmash

So an East/West fusion. Not entirely sure I was that successful in fusing the two, but I had fun with this one. I utilised my holiday photos from China and Japan and added in pen and ink and pencil drawings, oh and some nice clashy polka dots!

Fabric Reconstruction

Sketchbook, Sewing, Pattern Design, Dressmaking, TextilesKate Marsden

You may recall that I recently rediscovered my college sketchbooks (see my earlier post here). I've been going through them in more detail and thought I'd share some more of the projects with you. Today I'm sharing one of my second year projects, Fabric Reconstruction. This one didn't have a sketchbook as such - I made a box...

Which is rather nice, as 20 years later I'm able to just pull everything out properly and look at it. The brief was to "produce a garment determined by fabric, surface, structure and pattern". We had to explore pattern and texture through photographic references and paper/surface manipulation - you can see from the image above that I had a lot of fun with that! We were to "experiment with scale, media and markmaking with consideration to surface pattern and texture".

We then went on to design wraps to be worn over silk lingerie we'd designed in a previous project. Here's me modelling the final item (you can see more images of it in my earlier post here).

I'm not sure how happy I am with this now as I think I went for an easier option. From the samples in the box I love the piece just right of the centre in the image above - it was photocopied photographs stitched onto muslin - I can't recall why I didn't just go with that, but it's possible my tutor wasn't keen on it. It certainly wouldn't have been very practical and she was very keen on practicality!

I remember having lots of fun with this project though and it being the first one that really got me interested in pattern.

I'll continue to work my way through the sketchbook pile and will share more with you another time.

Patternmash - Street Beat

Pattern DesignKate Marsden
Image (c) Patternmash

Image (c) Patternmash

We had a couple of months off from Patternmash, but it was good to get back into it again in January. The January project was entitled Street Beat and we were to take inspiration from our neighbourhoods and the things we see as we walk through the street.

I have to say that my little patch of suburban London is not the most exciting in this regard, so I looked at it alongside the other areas of South London I've lived in since I moved here in the 90s. I struggled for ideas to start with - then got a little silly with abandoned mattresses and the like (they were pretty much a weekly occurrence at the end of my old street in Tooting!), but for a lack of other ideas I decided to run with it!

Here we're fairly suburban with the geese on the pond in the park, alongside windows, fences and an abstract view of lights on the high street at night.

A simplified version of the same design.

And here's where I get silly with the abandoned mattresses, and shoes, and wine glasses! Also a bit of public transport...

So it was fun, but I'm not sure it's my most successful project! You can check out all of my previous Patternmash submissions here. Patternmash is a subscription service which provides you with a regular design brief, feedback and support - you can find out more about it here.

This is not a sponsored post.

Patternmash - Splice of Life

Pattern Designmadebymrsm
Document5
Document5

I really liked October's Patternmash project as the theme allowed for plenty of experimentation and an opportunity to really stamp our personality onto our designs.

Splice of Life sought to piece together different fragments of images in interesting ways. The colour pallet was also really diverse and we were allowed to go off this a little where using photographic elements.

Here are the 6 designs I submitted. A combination of my Grandad's old photos, my 35mm pictures from this summer and some hand drawn elements (yes, that's the National Theatre again!).

KateMarsden_SpliceofLife_01
KateMarsden_SpliceofLife_01
KateMarsden_SpliceofLife_02
KateMarsden_SpliceofLife_02
KateMarsden_SpliceofLife_03
KateMarsden_SpliceofLife_03
KateMarsden_SpliceofLife_06
KateMarsden_SpliceofLife_06
KateMarsden_SpliceofLife_05
KateMarsden_SpliceofLife_05
KateMarsden_SpliceofLife_04
KateMarsden_SpliceofLife_04

You can see my full Patternmash portfolio here and see the other submissions for this brief here.

Stay in touch! Join the mailing list.

[contact-form][contact-field label='Name' type='name' required='1'/][contact-field label='Email' type='email' required='1'/][/contact-form]

Patternmash - Vuvalini

Pattern Designmadebymrsm
Document2
Document2

September's Patternmash brief was another interesting one, Vuvalini...

The name of the project comes from The Vuvalini of Many Mothers (a tribe of all female Wastelanders from the recent Mad Max film - which I'm afraid I haven't seen). The theme is about heritage and nostalgia at the same time as having to manage with what you have - so I took this as mending, remaking and altering worn fabrics and embellishing to make things beautiful where they may be falling apart.

I drew up quite a few patterns but was only really satisfied with the three which I submitted...

KateMarsden_Vuvalini_01
KateMarsden_Vuvalini_01
KateMarsden_Vuvalini_02
KateMarsden_Vuvalini_02
KateMarsden_Vuvalini_03
KateMarsden_Vuvalini_03

I worked with scanned drawings, pieces of crochet and photographs to create multi layered effects with safety pins and can openers as motifs.

I'm fairly pleased with the result and I like the effect I created with the scattered safety pins.

See the rest of the submissions for this project here, and my Patternmash designer profile here.

Stay in touch! Join the mailing list...

[contact-form][contact-field label='Name' type='name' required='1'/][contact-field label='Email' type='email' required='1'/][/contact-form]

The 100 Day Project - I made it!

Pattern Designmadebymrsm
Windows Montage
Windows Montage

I finished The 100 Day Project back in July (it's just taken me a little while to do a final roundup post!). I have about 60 patterns which I haven't shared here, so have just included my favourites. Head over to my Instagram to see them all.

Floral 4 Montage
Floral 4 Montage
Floral 2 Montage
Floral 2 Montage
Stars Montage
Stars Montage
Water Montage
Water Montage

Catch up with my earlier posts here, here and here.

Stay in touch! Join the mailing list. 

[contact-form][contact-field label='Name' type='name' required='1'/][contact-field label='Email' type='email' required='1'/][/contact-form]

Patternmash - Overview

Pattern Designmadebymrsm
Document2
Document2

I'm ashamed to say that my August Patternmash submission was even more of a rush than July's! The school summer holidays meant that I only managed to find a few short hours to work on it, which was a real shame as I loved the theme.

The theme was Overview - inspired by the first images of the earth seen by astronauts from space - looking at everything from above. Given the time I could've come up with hundreds of ideas for this theme, but as it was I managed three...

Kate_Marsden_Overview_02
Kate_Marsden_Overview_02

Kaleidoscopic images taken from my photographs of Sydney from above - rather than sticking with plain greys I chose to add the types of colours more typically associated with the countryside.

Kate_Marsden_Overview_01
Kate_Marsden_Overview_01
Kate_Marsden_Overview_03
Kate_Marsden_Overview_03

For a rush job, I'm reasonably pleased with the results but I'd love to spend some more time on this at a later date (if I get a chance!).

Check out the rest of the designs submitted for this theme on the Patternmash website.

Patternmash - Stately Garden

Pattern Designmadebymrsm
Patternmash Stately Garden
Patternmash Stately Garden

I'm really enjoying working on the Patternmash briefs each month and July's was no exception. Another challenging one with a theme which isn't really my style!

The theme was Stately Garden - so the English stately home - formal gardens, manor houses, topiary etc etc. I had limited time for this one and came up with four designs (or rather selected 4 from about 15 attempts!). They all feature altered versions of my original photographs and lots of layering and playing around with the images.

Kate_Marsden_Stately Garden_01
Kate_Marsden_Stately Garden_01
Kate_Marsden_Stately Garden_02
Kate_Marsden_Stately Garden_02
Kate_Marsden_Stately Garden_04
Kate_Marsden_Stately Garden_04
Kate_Marsden_Stately Garden_03
Kate_Marsden_Stately Garden_03

See all of the submissions for the Stately Garden project here and view my designer profile on Patternmash here.

The August theme really appeals to me (but once again I'm short on time!). Watch this space to see what I come up with.

Stay in touch - join the mailing list!

[contact-form][contact-field label='Name' type='name' required='1'/][contact-field label='Email' type='email' required='1'/][/contact-form]

Patternmash - Poolside

Pattern Designmadebymrsm
Document3
Document3

June's Patternmash project was all about pools...

I love swimming (although I rarely get a chance to go nowadays) so this brief really appealed to me, and made me desperately want to get into a pool as there were a few warm days while I was working on it! I looked back to my holiday photographs again and picked out three images with great swimming pool water effects to use as the background and then added some bold sketches of swimmers. (Mood board image above (c) Patternmash).

Kate_Marsden_Poolside_01
Kate_Marsden_Poolside_01
Kate_Marsden_Poolside_02
Kate_Marsden_Poolside_02
Kate_Marsden_Poolside_06
Kate_Marsden_Poolside_06
Kate_Marsden_Poolside_05
Kate_Marsden_Poolside_05
Kate_Marsden-Poolside_03
Kate_Marsden-Poolside_03
Kate_Marsden_Poolside_04
Kate_Marsden_Poolside_04

You can see the rest of the submissions for this brief on the Patternmash website, and my designer profile here.

Stay in touch! Join the mailing list. 

[contact-form][contact-field label='Name' type='name' required='1'/][contact-field label='Email' type='email' required='1'/][/contact-form]

Design Process - Ancient Mariner

Pattern Designmadebymrsm
Kate_Marsden_AncientMariner5
Kate_Marsden_AncientMariner5

I've had lots of lovely feedback on my recent designs for the May Patternmash project, Ancient Mariner. As I went about this in a slightly different way to my usual designs I thought I'd share the process with you...

As I mentioned in my previous post, this subject took me out of my comfort zone a little and I struggled to get started with it. Patternmash provide fantastic mood boards and there's a group Pinterest page for inspiration but I was still struggling. In the end I trawled (pardon the pun) through our old holiday snaps and found the following images from Cornwall, Hastings and Dungeness.

Ancient Mariner Inspiration Montage
Ancient Mariner Inspiration Montage

And then I got sketching.

piccal1
piccal1

I scanned my sketches, split the different motifs into separate files and then played with them in photoshop - either just removing the background (as in the first image above and the image below) or removing all of the white areas to create line drawings. I also played with the opacity of the different layers.

Kate_Marsden_AncientMariner1
Kate_Marsden_AncientMariner1

I still felt that it needed a little something extra though so went back to the Pinterest board for some more ideas. I've long fancied having a tattoo (Mr M hates them though and he's probably right that I'd be spending the next few years saving up for it's removal) so I decided to rework some of my drawings taking inspiration from sailor's tattoos...

img250 - Version 2
img250 - Version 2
img251
img251
img252
img252

These involved more drawing but also lots of scanning and then redrawing onto the scanned images to create the different motifs. Then back to photoshop, cutting out all or part of the backgrounds again before making the patterns. As I worked on this I kept thinking of The Sea, The Sea (one of my all time favourite books by Iris Murdoch) which also ended up influencing the look a little.

Kate_Marsden_AncientMariner4
Kate_Marsden_AncientMariner4
Kate_Marsden_AncientMariner9
Kate_Marsden_AncientMariner9

I usually shy away from typography so I was feeling brave here! Also in my decision to use such a restricted colour pallet (Patternmash provide a set pallet but there were plenty of colours available). Finally I made a last minute decision to add an albatross pattern (see my other post here) which was less successful, taking my total number of patterns to the maximum of 10. I think I should've edited them more heavily but it all turned into a bit of a rush in the end.

Hannah at Patternmash provides feedback on the designs submitted and interestingly the one she preferred (the one at the very top of this post) was one I was really happy with at the time but discounted later! Perhaps it's best not to over think these things too much. I did enjoy the process I used here - partly because it took me back to college where I used to photocopy and manipulate (and then re-photocopy) almost everything. This was back in the days when we had one computer for the whole department though (yes, I am that old).

Pop back soon to see how I got on with the June brief - Poolside, which I'm currently in the process of finalising.

100 Days of Patterns continues...

Pattern Designmadebymrsm
Day 33 copy
Day 33 copy

Time for another roundup of the patterns I've been making for #the100dayproject. I continued to go through my Grandad's old photographs and played with those for a few days, then found myself inspired by ceramic tiles again. Enjoy!

Pattern Montage 9
Pattern Montage 9
Pattern Montage 10
Pattern Montage 10
Pattern Montage 8
Pattern Montage 8
Pattern Montage 7
Pattern Montage 7

You can catch up with my previous pattern posts for #the100dayproject here and here.

Stay in touch! Join the mailing list...

Patternmash - Ancient Mariner

Pattern Designmadebymrsm
Document2
Document2

This month's Patternmash project took me right out of my comfort zone. The theme was Ancient Mariner - here's the mood board..

Now, I do like this look, but it's not the sort of thing I usually design (which was the whole point of joining Patternmash in the first place of course!). I spent quite a lot of time on it before coming up with a full set of 10 designs.

Ancient Mariner 9 Montage
Ancient Mariner 9 Montage
Kate_Marsden_AncientMariner3
Kate_Marsden_AncientMariner3
Kate_Marsden_AncientMariner1
Kate_Marsden_AncientMariner1
Kate_Marsden_AncientMariner4
Kate_Marsden_AncientMariner4
Kate_Marsden_AncientMariner9
Kate_Marsden_AncientMariner9

I had great fun sketching the motifs (which made me want to get that tattoo even more!). You can see the other submissions for May's brief (and find out more about Patternmash) here.

Stay in touch! Join the mailing list to receive my monthly newsletter.