Creating patterns for fabric

The magic of patterns. I've been a bit obsessed with creating my own patterns using drawings after I picked up this book at the Design Museum called Designing Patterns by Lotta Kühlhorn. It's as much delicious inspiration as stories about her iconic patterns and tutorials on how to make your own.

She sets out a few basics that will help when you, like me, go crazy and potato stamp everything in sight. Stamps, blocks and potatoes at the ready? Here are the basics for creating patterns for fabric. 

Simple forms to create patterns

This is the simplest way to make a pattern with one basic shape repeated in a pretty grid-like manor. This is called a SIDE REPEAT.

If you want to switch it up a bit, try introducing a second shape to fit in the blank spaces in between.

Instead of stamping in straight lines, try staggering the basic shapes height wise. This is called a DROP REPEAT. You can also stagger the shapes sideways to create a similar but different effect.

When printing fabric, don't forget to have a portion of the design running off the side of the material. Even when printing a pattern on a small piece of fabric, this will give the impression that it was cut from a much larger piece. (And whatever you do, do not drop your paintbrush while you're printing like I did!)

Have you ever tried to print your own fabric? What did you make with it?