I finally completed the drawings for the main shapes of the pattern. It was easier for me to draw each piece separately because my scanner is only A4 size and it also allows me to focus on the detail of each section without becoming overwhelmed. I scanned in each piece at 300dpi to achieve good quality for the print.
Using Photoshop I then collaged the pieces together on one document. The dress pattern said I needed a length of fabric that was 45″ x 5m. I converted 5m into inches which was 196.85″. This is a screenshot of how I created my document. CMYK is better for printing, whereas RGB is better for web graphics. I kept my doc as 300dpi and 8bit to make sure my program didn’t run super slow as I would be working with a huge document.
I split the 45″ x 5m rectangle into 8 halves. Each section is 22.5″ x 49.213″ so I created a separate document with those measurements and the same options.
This is the first composition I created. I wasn’t happy with it because I felt there was too much negative space and I wanted to stick to the initial composition I created because I felt it was more balanced.
This is the second composition I tried and I decided to stick with this one. I was so much happier with how it looked because the negative space felt a lot more natural. I did notice that it wasn’t perfect – there were still some weird gaps which I will fill later after the pattern has been coloured.
Using the same colour palette I picked out, I coloured each different element. I set the sketch layer to ‘multiply’ then created coloured layers underneath it. This is the finished pattern with colour.
I then c+p’d the pattern into the larger document. The reason I created a smaller section first is because the pattern is mostly a repeat with some elements that are different. To create the pattern on the larger document would have slowed Photoshop down quite a bit, so it was easier to create the main pattern on the smaller document first.
This is the finished pattern, after I’d c+p’d the main design multiple times and then added some more flowers, leaves, etc into the weird gaps to make the design feel more natural.
Here are some detail shots of the design to show how I built up the pattern randomly and naturally. The pattern does repeat but it’s not as noticeable because of the way I’ve placed everything.
The finished pattern.
After a lot of trail and error, the pattern finally turned out how I wanted it to and I’m so thrilled with how it has turned out. I never usually create patterns like this so it was definitely a learning curve for me.