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.
1. DO: EXPERIMENT WITH PATCH SHAPES
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.
2. DO: MIX AND MATCH YOUR PATTERNS
This is the fun part! Have a blast combining checks, geos, dots, ditsies, and bolder florals.
3. DO: STICK TO A COLOUR PALETTE
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.
B-SIDES, LPD Design
4. DO: EXPLORE HAND-DONE FINISHES
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.
5. DO: ADD A FABRIC TEXTURE
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.
6. DON’T: CROWD THE PATTERN
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!
7. DON’T: FORGET TO CONSIDER SCALE
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.
Sea VIA @blancamiro, Shop Vestige, LPD Design
8. DON’T: BE SCARED TO ADD AN ACCENT COLOUR
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.
9. DON’T: MAKE YOUR FILE TOO COMPLICATED
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.
10. DON’T: FORGET THE END PRODUCT
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?
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