Friday, February 18, 2011

The Birth of a New Design

I love reading and learning about how others create new and fabulous designs, so I thought I'd share my process, as well. Most of my designs are created out of some need, either my own need for a new something, or a friend or customer's need for one item or another. This latest design is a combination of both.
I begin all my designs with a simple piece of paper, usually graph paper, upon which I sketch and calculate, scratch and scrawl. I end up with a bunch of numbers, some barely recognizable shapes and boxes, and, hopefully, the fabric requirements for the latest design.

I then get a piece of muslin, cut it to the required size, and make a mock-up if the item. This dry-run helps me to firm up the measurements and make sure that everything that works perfectly in my mind works just as well in real life.
And then I make a real prototype. I almost always make it in fabric that coordinates with my tote bag, since I'll be carrying it for a while to make sure that the design will stand up to daily use. The prototype gives me a final chance to make sure that my new design works (muslin is great for a dry-run, but is a bit thinner than quilt-quality fabric), and that the end product will be the quality I need it to be to be comfortable selling it. It also gives me the opportunity to make something for myself - not a common occurance.
After a few weeks of use, I'm comfortable putting the new design into production and making items for sale. During those weeks of use, I often jot a few notes for adjustments and changes on the design sheet, promising that, if I can read what I've written, I'll be making an improved product.

I started my wallet journey with the Simply Chic wallet, just a simple two section envelope style wallet. Next, the Doubly Chic billfold-style wallet was introduced. The Trifecta recently followed. And now, the fourth, and probably final addition to the family is a clutch-style wallet, as yet un-named. This wallet has just finished going through it's paces. I really like the functionality of the new design and am ready to make some for the shop - it just needs a clever name!


  1. It's SO fun to hear about artists creative process. Thank you for sharing!

    This wallet is GORGEOUS. The fabric, the colors, the clean lines. Love it!

  2. Thanks so much, Lisa! I had a lot of fun creating it and have LOVED carrying it and "testing" it out!

  3. you're so ANAL! i wish i could be more like you :)


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