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Saturday, 2 May 2015

Surprise & Success Through Pride & Prejudice

Pride & Prejudice fabric by eSheep Designs
This is my first Spoonflower sale!
A little less than two months ago, I created a Word doc with some of my favourite excerpts from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

At the time, I had been re-reading the book and immersing myself in some of the modern "variations" on the story (essentially published fan fiction). A few weeks later, I also picked up the 2005 Keira Knightley and Matthew MacFadyen movie adaptation and ran it on an endless loop while I sewed my bucket bags. (When I get "into" something, I go deep.)

Anyway, this is all a preamble to saying that I'm fascinated by fabrics featuring text and script. I can't explain why; maybe it has to do with the writer in me. So when I was considering what my next foray into fabric design might involve, I thought: why not combine a couple of passions?

Check out Craftsy's latest promos...

I first picked up Pride and Prejudice in the early '80s and it quickly became my favourite story to read and reread. (In my pre-eReader days, I would take the book whenever I went on holidays, knowing that I could open it up at any page and start reading without feeling lost.) Unlike many other books that I've enjoyed, I actually remember quite a few very specific passages from it. Therefore, what better way incorporate text into a fabric design than with quotes from my — and many other people's — favourite book?

Here are a couple of screen shots of my fabric design process using Paint Shop Pro. (I have an upcoming post that describes in more detail how this works.)

Designing fabric with Paint Shop Pro
Step 1: Create individual text passages in varying sizes,  highlighting specific words and phrases...

You can actually read some of my favourite P&P passages in the above. (And here I must admit that Mr. Darcy and I share a few things in common. That line about "my good opinion..." is true for me too, dreadful to say!)

Designing fabric with Paint Shop Pro
Step 2: Create overlay with larger names and dial down the intensity of the text passages
(the background here is white, but I eventually used three different background shades)...

By March 21, I had finalized a set of designs as a tribute to P&P and uploaded them to my shop. I ordered my sampler a couple of days later, and with that, the designs were officially available for purchase by anyone.

Of course, not that I was really expecting any actual sales. However, a gal can put her ducks in order and hope, right...?

Pride & Prejudice Spoonflower fabric by eSheep Designs
My Pride & Prejudice fabric sampler from Spoonflower...

I received the above sampler on April 13. A week later, I received the following email from Spoonflower.

Spoonflower email
Notification of my first Spoonflower sale! 

Was I excited? What do you think??

When my cell phone beeped, my hubby said, "Another sale?" (referring to a pattern sale). When I replied that yes, it was a sale, but that it was my first FABRIC sale, I don't think he fully grasped the significance, although he was pleased for me.

In contrast, when I shared the news with Christine of ChrisW Designs a few days later, she gave me an enthusiastic "WOOHOOO!" all the way from Australia.

Now that was more the order of excitement that I was feeling!

P.S. Those who are fans of P&P can appreciate the irony of my "accomplishment". There is a segment in the novel where Bingley declares his awe at how "accomplished" all young ladies are... something about how they "paint tables, cover screens and net purses". That period of English civilization seems to me a terrible time to live in (regardless of how much I enjoy P&P as a story), because being a woman meant the best you could hope for was to marry well for love... and none of that was ever under your own control. But I have to laugh at how my latest achievement could have put me in higher estimation in the eyes of those who cared about such things. I can just hear it now: "Oh, she designs fabric too!"

P.P.S. I made my second sale of the black version of the fabric yesterday!

UPDATE: Want to see this fabric turned into something neat? Check out the hat and the scarf!


  1. Congratulations on the sales Rochelle! How exciting. The fabric looks great too!

  2. CONGRATULATIONS, Rochelle!! I love Pride & Prejudice too!!

  3. Oh, that is great! Congratulations to you!! I can really resonate with this, as we are big JA fangirls at our house. :) We quote her all. the. time. P & P text fabric is a brilliant idea!!! I wish you all success with it. :)


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