March 25, 2016

I love that the idea of designing and printing your own fabric is becoming more and more accessible to home sewers. I think that there is such a hole in the market for modern, graphic, apparel fabric. It always has baffled me that I could go into a huge fabric store in NYC and still have such a hard time finding modern, on trend fabrics. There seems to be a huge disconnect between ready to wear fabric designs and what home sewers have access to which is really frustrating to me.

OK, rant over. Am I the only one that feels this way?

That’s why I was so excited to hear about another design and print your own fabric company coming on the scene. When My Fabric Designs asked me to try out their services I seriously jumped at the chance. I dream of large scale graphic patterned fabrics that I never seem to find. What I would design was pretty much all I could think about for the next week.

I ended up putting together a very simple green, black, and pale pink abstract design. I designed it in illustrator in just a few minutes, the harder part was learning how to make a repeat pattern. I am still learning all the ins and outs of this but it’s really fun and rewarding to figure out. Also, youtube is a lifesaver when trying to learn this kind of thing. I received the fabric a couple weeks later and it was perfect! The colors were exactly like I had prepared and the silk crepe was soft and flowy. I am so happy with how it turned out!

I only ordered two yards of the fabric so I knew a top or blouse was probably in order. While trying to decide, Caroline of Blackbird fabrics posted this amazing tutorial on the Sewaholic blog for hacking the saltspring dress into a ruffle cami. I loved it right away and it seemed perfect for this flowy fabric.

I followed Caroline’s tutorial almost exactly including the full bust adjustment and singleย strap. The only change I made was to line the entire bodice instead of doing facings. The silk was the tiniest bit see through so I chose to line the top section with some white rayon challis that I had in my stash. ย I didn’t feel like I needed to line the ruffle so I left that as is. I love the cami so much. Perfect for layering with a jean jacket in spring. I want to make a few more now. I love Caroline’s chambray one and I think a white one would get so much wear in the summertime. I havn’t actually worn this out of the house yet because we just had a blizzard, but I’m excited to see how the fabric wears and washes over time.

My Fabric Designs has generously offered to give one reader a $35 gift code to try out their fabrics. You can either design your own pattern and upload it, or choose from one previously designed including the one I made for this top. To enter the giveaway, simply add a comment to this post telling me your favorite color (just for fun). I will choose a winner randomly and announce the winner this Sunday evening. Good luck!


Comments for this post / giveaway have been closed. The winner of the My Fabric Designs prize is Aleah of No Time to Sewย  (Who’s favorite color is yellow by the way).

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  • sarah Watkins March 25, 2016 at 12:02 PM

    my favourite colour is teal.

  • Aimee Elise March 25, 2016 at 12:06 PM

    Hi Kelli! I love how the top turned out and it really does look perfect for spring. I agree with you in terms of prints on fabric being very out of touch most of the time with things I’d actually find RTW or something I’d want to make. I was in JoAnn’s the other day and all of the decent printed pieces had one really weird element that was a total turn off – sequins/glitter dots/zebra print/glitter. Blegh. My favorite color is green!

    • True Bias March 25, 2016 at 12:11 PM

      I hate it when they throw a strand of glitter in!!! Ruins it.

  • Graca March 25, 2016 at 12:10 PM

    My favourite colour is yellow!

  • Tatiana Vovchenko March 25, 2016 at 12:13 PM

    Beautiful fabric and top! My favorite color is periwinkle blue.

  • Rebekah G Mejorado March 25, 2016 at 12:17 PM

    A great pairing of pattern and fabric! I would totally make something in my favorite color turquoise. I can’t ever find any prints in that colorway.

  • JessZ March 25, 2016 at 12:17 PM

    Love green!! Pink is a very close second. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Katarina March 25, 2016 at 12:25 PM

    I love a good rich navy. Not too dark or bright, a perfect, moody, deep blue.

  • debbie iles March 25, 2016 at 12:30 PM

    Cute top. Today I like orange ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • katie marcus March 25, 2016 at 12:37 PM

    I am with you on the difficulty of finding cool prints in garment-appropriate fabrics. Your design is so nice – I’d buy it! It reminds me of the Aussie brand Gorman. My favourite colour is pink!

    • True Bias March 25, 2016 at 12:45 PM

      just checked out gorman. holy moly i love them!

  • Lorene March 25, 2016 at 12:38 PM

    My favorite color is aqua.

  • Haylee March 25, 2016 at 12:47 PM

    I love (!!) this Kelli, I’m in love with the ruffle and the silky fabric. I also love your fabric, I can’t believe you designed that. I totally agree, it’s amazing to me going to fabric stores sometimes and realizing how limited the fabric selection is, especially for prints so I’m really excited to learn about this company. Though that being said, I am just about the worst graphic designer in the world so I may just have to stick to other creative people like you coming up with good designs. haha

    Oh awesome this is a giveaway too! Ok my favorite color is light peach/coral. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Lisa March 25, 2016 at 12:47 PM

    Loving the fabric you designed. My fave colour is indigo ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Meg White March 25, 2016 at 12:59 PM

    Great print! And green is my favorite color.

  • Katie March 25, 2016 at 1:08 PM

    Such a cute top!!! Such a great use for really pretty prints (and not terribly difficult in more challenging fabrics. I also love the print you designed!

    My favorite color is probably pink (although that seems cliche), but I usually sew with navy.

  • Christina March 25, 2016 at 1:13 PM

    Super cute print! I would live to try my hand at designing a fabric print, that seems like so much fun! My favourite colour is dark turquoise

  • Stephanie Levac March 25, 2016 at 1:14 PM

    My favorite color is mint ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the chance to win!

  • Katie Broussard March 25, 2016 at 1:16 PM

    Oddly enough,my favorite color is green.

  • Sue March 25, 2016 at 1:33 PM

    I LOVE this top, both the fabric and the style. I’d love to try to design my own fabric–definitely something in Aqua!

  • Jenny March 25, 2016 at 1:50 PM

    My favourite is blue – any shade of blue.

  • Anna-Marie March 25, 2016 at 1:53 PM

    Love the top. My favourite colour is yellow as it’s warmth lifts my spirits. Thanks for the chance to win.

  • Carly March 25, 2016 at 1:58 PM

    Your fabric looks great! My favorite color to wear is red.

  • Sally N March 25, 2016 at 2:15 PM

    Love that print! My favorite color is orange.

  • Shannon Phillips March 25, 2016 at 2:18 PM

    My favorite color is definitely mustard!

  • Kathryn Torres March 25, 2016 at 2:21 PM


  • Manju March 25, 2016 at 2:25 PM

    I love all the colours! But maybe red?

  • Genya March 25, 2016 at 2:28 PM

    I love your top, don’t have the saltspring pattern but any spaghetti straps top will do the trick. Oh i realy live violet ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Natalie March 25, 2016 at 2:50 PM

    My favorite color is purple! Your top looks so fun. I have’t tried out any fabric design websites yet, but I hope to one day soon!

  • Lisa G March 25, 2016 at 2:53 PM

    I feel the exact same way re: modern prints in fabric stores! So frustrating sometimes. Your cami turned out beautifully, I LOVE the print you created. That green is fantastic.

  • Ruth Siedlecki March 25, 2016 at 2:56 PM

    My favorite color is green! Great print I would be excited to try it!

  • Mel March 25, 2016 at 3:12 PM

    gorgeous top! my favourite colour is blue ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Holly March 25, 2016 at 3:12 PM

    Yes yes yes and ditto to all of this! And green is my favorite color, so I’m really digging this top!

  • Bella March 25, 2016 at 3:20 PM

    I agree, it’s difficult to find a great graphic print. A good print on silk crepe is my holy grail! My current favourite colour is rust. Love your cami.

  • Alexandra March 25, 2016 at 3:44 PM

    My favorite color is grey!

  • Suzanne Mills March 25, 2016 at 4:36 PM


  • Daniela S. March 25, 2016 at 5:15 PM

    Great cami. My favourite colour right now is blue.

  • Emma March 25, 2016 at 5:58 PM

    Can I second your rant? It’s way too hard to find modern graphic prints!

    My favourite colour is yellow. Depending on the season, it varies from a lemon shade to a mustard.

  • Jane mccormick March 25, 2016 at 6:17 PM

    Beautiful top! I love the color green.

  • Jane mccormick March 25, 2016 at 6:18 PM

    Beautiful top! I love the color green. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Masha March 25, 2016 at 7:15 PM


  • LH March 25, 2016 at 7:32 PM

    It’s stunning, but while I love the idea, at $38 a yard I think the price is a little prohibitive. I definitely prefer to keep my sewing expenditures under RTW costs for the most part!

    • True Bias March 25, 2016 at 7:45 PM

      i totally get that. a few years ago i would never have spent that much on fabric. my mindset has changed a bit though. at least for a really special garment, i’d rather spend the extra money and get something that i love than to go through all the time to sew something that im not in love with. ive wasted so much money on fabric that i have never used because it wasn’t quite right but i tried to talk myself into it.

  • Elisabeth March 25, 2016 at 8:01 PM

    Ooh, so pretty and feminine! My favorite color is dusty periwinkle blue.

  • Kristie March 25, 2016 at 8:05 PM

    My favorite color currently is navy blue. Although I never wear it, I just think it looks good with everything. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Sherri March 25, 2016 at 8:44 PM

    I’ve never designed my own fabric. It sounds like fun. I love navy blue

  • Meg March 25, 2016 at 9:59 PM

    So, so pretty! This green is my favorite color (ok, any green, really).

  • Sara March 25, 2016 at 10:37 PM

    This is so good. Caroline’s post got me all excited for spring and then it snowed here. I was quite sad. I’m dreaming of all the spaghetti strap cami’s and dresses this summer though! I hate strapless bras but I love spaghetti straps more… You know, I have always said my favourite colour is purple but I think an olive-tinged forest green (to get real specific) may have surpassed it as of lately, though it’s always been one of my faves to wear.

  • Kathy March 25, 2016 at 10:52 PM

    I love blue.

  • Julie March 25, 2016 at 11:38 PM

    I think this would look lovely in my favourite colour-mustard!

  • Trine March 26, 2016 at 12:50 AM

    Gorgeous cami. The green color is so good on you.
    My favorite color is midnight blue.

  • Anemone March 26, 2016 at 1:31 AM

    Love your fabric design. My favourite colour is blue.

  • Jenny March 26, 2016 at 1:34 AM

    I love cerise

  • Stirling Allred March 26, 2016 at 2:08 AM

    Today my favorite color is dark purple.

  • sara March 26, 2016 at 2:15 AM


  • Tracy March 26, 2016 at 2:53 AM

    Such a beautiful top, both in fabric and style. I love blue, pretty much every shade of blue!

  • Jayne March 26, 2016 at 4:16 AM

    I agree with you and find many fabric prints just too twee and ditsy, I tend to home in on vintage fabrics when I find them. Love your design I would def work with that. My favourite colour to wear is blue.

  • di March 26, 2016 at 4:18 AM

    Nice work on the print. My favourite colour is yellow. Growing up in a family of 6 children we were assigned colours for cups, toothbrushes etc to make life easier. Mine was yellow. Unfortunatly is pretty tricky to find nice yellow prints for sewing.

  • Carole March 26, 2016 at 5:06 AM

    Modern prints are so hard to find. I love this print though
    My favourite colours are black and orange

  • Alice Lam March 26, 2016 at 5:30 AM

    Dark forest green!

  • alexa March 26, 2016 at 5:50 AM

    I love green!

  • Claire March 26, 2016 at 6:14 AM

    Beautiful design, I’d buy that fabric in a heartbeat. Yellow is my favourite, but it’s hard to find and even harder to wear with my pale skin and fair hair.

  • Jana March 26, 2016 at 6:18 AM

    I donโ€™t actually have one favourite colour! I love bright colours and loathe pastels, and Iโ€™m currently somewhat obsessed with teal, my other favourites being a bright apple green, purple, orange and hot pink.

  • jenn March 26, 2016 at 7:01 AM

    Yes! I’m always looking for modern apparel fabric that’s wearable. There’s alot of “beautiful” fabrics but I can’t see myself wearing them everyday. Give me any shade of blue.

  • Kristin P March 26, 2016 at 7:38 AM

    Great idea with the print and the fabric+pattern combo–the top really looks stunning on you! I agree about finding decent colors/prints in fabric yardage. That’s why I have intentionally created a fabric stash–when I see something I like, it’s actually pretty rare, so I’ll go ahead and purchase it even if I don’t know what to do with it yet. It doesn’t help that my favorite colors are more like “non-colors”… Two of which my boss has dubbed “mouldering walnut” and “dirty shrimp pink”. Hahaha!

  • Anni March 26, 2016 at 10:02 AM

    Right now I’m loving all pastels.

  • Jes March 26, 2016 at 10:12 AM

    What a gorgeous top and I love how you show the inside as well–lovely construction. My favorite color is blue but would love to make something like this in a springy coral color.

  • Kelli March 26, 2016 at 10:15 AM


  • Rebecca March 26, 2016 at 10:36 AM

    I’m joining green team! I’m also trying to make that transition from sale fabrics to the really good stuff, while cultivating a tnt pattern wardrobe so I can’t fall back on the “wearable muslin” excuse ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Donna March 26, 2016 at 11:02 AM

    Love your cami – and the pattern is very cool, reminds me of a modern leopard print. My favorite color must be dark blue, based on my fabric choices.

  • Kimberly Rampersad March 26, 2016 at 11:20 AM

    I love the color purple, I love the print of your top. Thanks for sharing.

  • Ali March 26, 2016 at 11:32 AM

    I love green! Fresh and vibrant. Your top reminds me of a favourite Aussie RTW label, Gorman

  • Becca March 26, 2016 at 12:04 PM

    Love a ruffle! Favourite colour has to be yellow. Generally underrated I think but it makes me feel bright ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Meagan March 26, 2016 at 12:17 PM

    My a favorite color is red, I love wearing it and decorating with it. I’m always cold so it makes me feel warm.

  • Justyna March 26, 2016 at 12:36 PM

    Every shade of blue!

  • Jill March 26, 2016 at 1:32 PM

    Favorite color is teal. Your top is gorgeous! (As is your hair.)

  • Rajee Pandi March 26, 2016 at 2:16 PM

    Love the choice of your pattern

  • Jess March 26, 2016 at 2:17 PM

    Perfect top! When I saw Caroline’s tutorial, I immediately had at least 3 versions planned that I want to make ๐Ÿ™‚ My favorite color is… green? Although I mostly wear black and gray, but green or pink accents happen a lot!

  • Adi March 26, 2016 at 2:30 PM

    I love the raffle shirt! And the design of the fabric, so wearable!
    My favourite color is yellow:)

  • Erin March 26, 2016 at 2:58 PM

    Great looking top – that should get a lot of wear once your weather warms up. It’ll be super cute in the summer. My favorite color is aqua. Hopefully your fabric keeps those gorgeous bright colors & doesn’t fade too much!

  • Julia March 26, 2016 at 4:03 PM

    Your cami came out so beautiful! While I mostly wear black or grey, my favorite color is probably emerald green (kind of similar to the color of your top). Thanks for offering the giveaway!

  • Nique March 26, 2016 at 5:17 PM

    Fabulous color/print combination.
    My favorite color is yellow

  • Katy M March 26, 2016 at 9:05 PM

    I love turquoise ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Ybat March 26, 2016 at 9:59 PM

    I love tealโ˜บ

  • Marie Biswell March 27, 2016 at 1:39 AM

    My favourite colour is orange…even though I look terrible in orange!

  • Nessie March 27, 2016 at 5:15 AM

    My favourite colour is purple, which happened to be my high school uniform colours- I couldn’t wear it for years after that!

  • sallie March 27, 2016 at 6:39 AM

    I love this top so much! The fabric you designed is really perfection! Love everything about it!

  • elizabeth March 27, 2016 at 6:43 AM

    Blue. I actually love coral, but it looks terrible on me.

  • Meriwether March 27, 2016 at 9:03 AM

    Love your fabric and that top! I have a geometric silk crepe that I’ve been wanting to turn into a similar top, and yours has the perfect ruffle ratio. My favorite color is green, although I have a problem with buying all black and white graphic print fabrics.

  • Katherine Mckay March 27, 2016 at 9:44 AM

    Hard to say. Probably blue.

  • Jamie March 27, 2016 at 10:23 AM

    My favorite color is teal blue but I find myself drawn to oranges lately.

  • Mari March 27, 2016 at 12:37 PM

    Love your fabric – think it would be fun to design some.

    Blue is my favorite, but I’d probably design something the color of a ripe watermelon!

  • Ginny March 27, 2016 at 2:21 PM

    My favorite color can vary from day to day, but it’s usually a nice deep indigo blue.

  • annabel rivera March 27, 2016 at 9:26 PM

    So pretty. I want to make one also! My favorite color is navy blue.

  • aleah March 28, 2016 at 12:03 AM

    I’m so glad fabric printing is becoming a real thing! I’m always so envious of the great prints I see in RTW garments. And I love yellow. I don’t know that it’s the best color for me to wear, but I love it…

  • Kat @ House of Lane March 28, 2016 at 3:33 AM

    This is just gorgeous! I love the fabric you designed and the style is perfect to show it off. I would love to snag myself some of this fabric. My favourite colours for the record are pink and gold!

  • Danielle Bilder March 28, 2016 at 6:35 AM

    In my head, my favorite color is turquoise, but realistically my wardrobe is mostly gray and navy so those are more likely my favorites!

  • Meghan March 28, 2016 at 7:50 AM

    I love blue, and denim, and chambray mixed with some black and bring pops of other color!

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