Print. Make. Wear.

With a surge in digital technology expanding fashion into being consumer-driven, in opposition to the usual case of fashion where we get what we're given, we're able to take control of what we wear with an increased pizazz. It also means that we can get creative and learn something that we may not have realised we wanted to learn.

 

The People's Print

 

The People's Print was founded by the director of The Slow Textiles Group, Dr Emma Neuberg, and the senior lecturer for Printed Textiles at Chelsea, Melanie Bowles. They aim to engage the consumer/wearer in the design process, with their big picture being to counter the negative effects of fast fashion and monocultures. Being dressmakers, we understand the struggle to find exactly what we want from clothing shops (or even interior design shops), but then we also understand the struggle in trying to work out what garment that lovely fabric we found should be made up in. All dressmakers are designers, but there isn't necessarily the materials available that you envisaged using in order to fulfill your design.

 

Print. Make. Wear.

 

There are many small businesses now, and indeed home crafters that will print their own fabric using traditional methods i.e. screenprinting, block printing, potato printing... though because of the expanse of digital printing studios, it is becoming ever more popular to create your own small run of fabric in possibly a quicker time frame using design software. The People's Print book publication 'Print. Make. Wear' is a veritable delight for learning how to use Adobe software in order to create patterns for all sorts of base fabrics that will allow you to make those bespoke garments and homewares you wish for.

 

Melanie-Bowles-BookLaunch-photo-by-Cristina-Schek-372-1024x683

 

Graphic designer Jane Bates presents the book in an easy-to-follow and accessible-for-all-abilities way. Jane is also the packaging designer of our Ray Stitch cross-stitch kits so we already believe in how talented she is, but check out the internal book photos to see for yourself how clear the instructions are and how inspirational the photography is.

 

Print. Make. Wear

Print. Make. Wear

Print. Make. Wear

 

The book offers in-depth tutorials on using basic Photoshop tools, so as you move ahead experimenting with the types of possible patterns you can create, you'll also be taking in the computer skills that are helpful for other things in your creative life e.g. business cards, websites - the book is valuable as a source of inspiration and, invaluable as a reference for professional-level Adobe learning. What is most intriguing, is the fact that you are almost expected to use your innate hand-crafting knowledge as a basis to make up the majority of the digitised prints. For example, you will explore shibori dyeing, collage-making, acrylic painting and photography - so along with the computer skills, you may pick up some new craft skills as well. The balance of digital and traditional is gratifying; the fact that you're not quite stepping out of one way of creating into another way of creating allows you more freedom: you can pull on your strengths whilst still learning and experimenting.

 

The People's Print

 

The most lovely aspect of this book, I find, is how you take images of traditional needlepoint and cross-stitch to utilise its existing pattern whilst playing with vector graphics. It makes such a bold pattern that feels like avant garde high-end fashion, and yet is steeped in familiar traditional crafts (which, in itself is avant garde and high-end anyway so you're making a mega piece of clothing). Not only do you learn how to produce these extraordinary patterns, but also how to lay them out. If you so wished to have a sleeve in a different fabric to the main body, you could do so by drawing the pattern to spec and be more mindful of fabric waste. Or, even learn how to rotate the pattern so that it is printed the way you would want to cut it so that you don't have to worry about correct grain lines!

 

printmakewear-internals

 

We can't deny that creating our own clothing is satisfying - from the joy in making, to showing off your skills, to being more confident due to the better fit. So, designing your own fabric has got to be the most luxurious aspect of dressmaking. The People's Print definitely give you the ability to do so in a sophisticated manner - not only for home-makers but for creative enterprises too. The book explains how to actual digitally print your fabric (otherwise, what's the point) and at the back of the book, there are a list of resources such as independent pattern designers (check the Colette Laurel below in a graphic needlepoint print from the book) and of course digital print bureaus worldwide. Don't fret if you don't have your own Adobe software as it's very easy to get hold off - if you happen to be a student, you get it at such a good rate, though I pay only £22 per month and have access to all Adobe software.

 

Colette Laurel People's Print

 

Get the book in-store from us for £19.95 or give us a call and we can do mail order for you. To whet your appetite for the kind of artsy and graphic prints you could create, take inspiration from our Japanese fabric collection and medium-weight cottons or check out our 'pattern and print' board on Pinterest for the things that make us crazy excited.

 

Words by Steph.