In Progress - Fabric designs to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee

Contrast fabric

Worked on some QE11 themed fabric designs today. Here's where I'm up to and how I got there. Thought I'd share a bit of my design process.

Queen Elizabeth portrait fabric design

I had made a few dolly mini dresses using this rather nice Warhol inspired fabric last week.

Warhol inspired black and white contrasty faces fabricDoll dress with Twiggy face.

 

So I felt inspired by it, and decided to design some of my own fabric using the Queen's face in a similar style.

I started off by creating the black and white contrast images using Photoshop and Illustrator combined. I started in Photoshop and then jumped into Illustrator to create nice smooth graphics which can be easily resized.

Next step - I decided to match all face sizes in a similar way to the inspiration fabric. But I have kept more head and shoulders - as of course a Queen needs her crown! I love the sashes and jewellery as well.

Contrasty images of Queen Eizabeth 11 with rough borders

Next stage I tried another style - hiding the hard edges of the borders and making the shapes around the portraits smoother.

Contrasty portraits of QE11 with smoothed edges.

Also you may have spotted that I filpped some of the portraits upside down, so that the fabric works in two directions. This makes it more flexible when you're laying out patterns.

I decided to try some neater borders and started with ovals.

QE11 portait repeat pattern with oval borders.

I was quite pleased with this and felt a bit closer to something exciting. Having felt a kind of slump in the middle of today. That messy moment when everything seems to be taking ages and you can't see any good results for all the time you've put in! But a break helps so much and you come back with fresh eyes and ideas.

I tried filling in the diamond shapes but I realised my repeat only has 3 columns so far and I would need 4 columns to make colours, or black and white repeat correctly. Tesselation can get a bit technical - I tend to rely on trial and error and the powers of automation in Illustrator!

Here is the same pattern with a black background.

QE11 tesselating pattern with black background.

As a mini dress

So next I did a few trials by digitally cutting out the fabric in the shape of a mini dress. It's amazing how different it looks when you 'zoom in'. Here's a few. Interestingly the messy first designs actually work nicely when you crop in close on them. They look intriguing somehow. An interesting mixture of hard and soft edges.

Dress shapes filled with random border design

 

Dress shapes filled with soft border design

Dress shapes cutting out pattern with colours.
Dress shapes cutting out pattern with ovals.
The pattern of the filled dress shapes makes quite a cool design in itself (for a human size print).

Official purple

The Platinum Jubilee has an official Pantone colour of 3515 C which is a warm purple. So I can do some purple versions - or perhaps black and white with purple accents.
Official Purple Pantone colour 3515 C for the QE11 Platinum Jubilee
By a very weird coincidence, the Jubilee Pantone colour is almost exactly the same as the ShimmyShim logo colour. Sheesh, how Royal am I?
ShimmyShim logo next to Jubilee Pantone colour.
Hope you found that interesting! Which design do you prefer? Any suggestions on where I should go with it?

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