Designing Your Own Clothing with Sprout

Today we are featuring Taiwanese Spoonflower designer and Sprout customer, Canigrin Chen. She shares her experience on Sprout as well as making the Laurel Dress by Colette Patterns.

Hello! My name is Canigrin Chen and I’m an illustrator living in Taiwan. I love creating repeat patterns, and always wanted to make my own fabric. So when I found Spoonflower, I totally fell in love with the idea that you can print your own fabric even just a very small order.

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I love that you can even choose the material from cotton, knit to silk. The variety of fabric allow you to make home decor stuff and even sports wear, which gives endless possibility for making my own product.

 
It’s a thrill to me as a creator and a maker that I can easily make my own products. I use Spoonflower to print my own fabric and sew it into apron, mittens, and even throw pillows. But after a few craft projects, I soon hoped that I can even sew my own dress with my design!

 

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I bought some books about making simple dresses, but the biggest challenge is tracing the patterns, I guess it’s the hardest part to cross. I did use a big frozen paper to trace and copy the pattern onto my fabric, as all of you may have tried. But it just frustrating when the dress doesn’t fit after all the hard work, just because of paper slips sometimes. The time I spent on tracing was way more than what I spent on the making of the dress.

 

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Then Spoonflower announced a new service called Sproutpatterns, which allow you to make your own dress with pattern printed on fabric of your choice. Boom!  What a brilliant idea! Why didn’t I thought of it? It made making my own clothing as simple as playing with a paper doll. Simply cutting the fabric pieces and put them together, and you’re done!

 

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Creating Sprout Patterns project is just a few clicks. The 3D model made it a lot easier to imagine your dream dress! The best thing is it’s almost the same price as you order plain fabric (without seeing pattern printed on it) on Spoonflower, plus a copy of free PDF pattern than you can make more dresses and different sizes. But the experience of Sprout is so good that I was too spoiled to trace that pattern again.

 

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I chose the Laurel dress this time (first time I made the Moneta dress), as it’ll be a great gift for my mom. She’s a banker and I hope she’ll wear my handmade dress to work so I chose poly crepe fabric with the cuff variation. One thing about Sprout Patterns is that it seems like they have just a few patterns, but there are many variations hiding in each dress.

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A dress with cuffs or long sleeves makes it totally different, plus the fabrics you choose. The possibilities are endless! I think my choice of poly crepe fabric suits well for my navy camo surface design. The colors are vibrant and the touch is soft. I love how it’s lightweight, so suitable for summer time and I have the ability to layer so you can wear it every season.

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You can choose any design on Spoonflower to create your unique dress. Sprout even allows you to use different designs on different parts of the dress. For the Laurel dress I was making, the cuff is where I made changes. Some patterns give more flexibility and freedom to be your own fashion designer. Mix and match until you like it.

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The Laurel dress took me about 3 days to make. The invisible zipper was the biggest challenge, and I modified the design by making my own bias tape.  Both took more time than I expected to make, but I am satisfied with the outcome.

 

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Even though I’m in Asia, I used this service because it’s unique. Here we have some merchandisers who offer customized fabric printing service, but the minimum order has to be 20 yards of a single design. It’s not affordable nor does any of this service provide fabrics like cotton or other fabrics that are suitable for wearing. I just love creating surface design so thanks Sprout Patterns for making it easier for me to have my own dress!

 


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Canigrin is a dreamer, a maker and a creator living in Taipei, Taiwan. She shares her bright and colorful working process on Instagram and Facebook.

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