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Welcome to the Secret Garden...It's time for our very first fabric design competition!


As you all maaaay have heard (not that we've been talking about it - *ahem* - much at all...), we are gearing up to move into print-on-demand fabric, and in particular we are soooo excited to be starting work on building up the most beauteous gallery of fabric designs the world has (probably) ever seen! One way we're going to be doing this is by partnering up with with some super duper artists and illustrators and the other is by running competitions open to anyone-and-everyone and voted on by you.

Although we don't yet have our very own printer, we're too impatient to wait to start building up this gallery, so we're going to be outsourcing short runs of designs until we do (gotta think positive - 'when' not 'if' - riggggghhhht???). 

Sooo, here goes, time to launch our first fabric design competition! If you feel up to creating a fabric design we would absolutely LOVE to see your work. Since Eloise's monster flowers went down so well that you sold us out in three days, I think we can safely say that you share our soft spot for florals. Which is why, we were thinking of continuing on a similar path for this theme and going with ...

**** Secret Garden ****

Please note that it's meant as a loose brief which is very much up to your interpretation! Perhaps some florals with a twist, a reinvented much-loved classic or basically bringing a vintage floral design up to date in any way you see fit. To get you thinking, here are just a few little bits and pieces of bloom inspiration we found on the interwebs: 

Disney's Fantasia

Crystallised rose clusters with ice cream - Tim Walker





Snow Flowers - Matisse

How the competition works 

  • Send us through your fabric design as a pdf (highest resolution as possible and remember to save all colours in CMYK ready for printing) to by Friday 18th April 2014. Just the one design per person please! 
  • We will then set up camp over the weekend - complete with coffee, cake and cats - and go through your loverly designs to try narrow it down to a handful of the ones we think will be the most popular. 
  • This handful of shortlisted designs will then be posted on the blog on Monday 21st April for voting on by you guys! 
  • Winning design is simply the one with the most votes. 

What happens if I win? 

A big virtual hug and a kiss from us! But also:

  • Your fabric sold on and lots of shouting from the rooftops about you on all of our online portals.
  •  An upfront fee GBP 100 /  EUR 121 / USD166 / AUD 180 / CAD 184 and the same fee again every time 500m / 547 yds of your design is ordered 
  • 3m / 3.3yds of your very own fabric 

Here comes the legal bit 

The winning fee is a time limited licensing fee only, no fear - we do not own your design outright for ever and ever! Should you win we will send you over a proper contract and everything, written in plain english that humans without law degrees can understand. By submitting your design to this competition we do not own it!  However, we do ask that you play nice and don't submit it to any other competitions.

....and some final things to bear in mind 

  • Your design must be able to be repeated and tiled! 
  • Pigment ink printing is not the biggest fan of large swathes of black or dark red, so best to avoid them if possible. 

Ummm, that's it and as ever, we absolutely cannot wait to see what you make! 


Comments on this post (17)

  • Apr 18, 2014


    I am having problems sending the file over. Shall be with you soon!



    — Nicola

  • Apr 18, 2014

    Is that midnight as in midnight the morning of the Friday or midnight the morning of the Saturday? As in, did I miss it?!

    — Sara

  • Apr 17, 2014

    Hi Jelirad & Lillian,

    The fabric will be 60"/150cm wide, so it’s up to you really whether you want your design to span the entire width, or be repeated within that width.

    In terms of pixels, as high res as possible please!

    Good Luck! xxx

    — Elisalex - By Hand London

  • Apr 17, 2014

    Hi Nicola – the comp closes at midnight BST. Good luck! x

    — Elisalex - By Hand London

  • Apr 16, 2014

    What time will you be specially closing this competition? Thanks

    — Nicola

  • Apr 16, 2014

    what size should the image be? or can it be any size?

    — jelirad

  • Apr 15, 2014

    What should be the size of the artwork? Since it is for a fabric, what´s the fabric size? I should do a repeatable print, so is best to know what´s the fabric size, am I right?

    — Lilian

  • Apr 13, 2014

    Hi Lani – the fabric we print on is white, so you could either leave it that way or choose your own background colour. Totally up to you! x

    — Elisalex - By Hand London

  • Apr 13, 2014

    Hi Clare – a single image is fine! x

    — Elisalex - By Hand London

  • Apr 12, 2014

    Just wondering, do we give you a single image or do you want us to work out tiling/repeats etc? Thanks very much, so excited about this! x

    — Clare

  • Apr 12, 2014

    I hope this isn’t a stupid question, but what colour fabric is the design intended to be printed onto? Or is the fabric neutral and any background colour for the design could be chosen. Just wondering, as a full colour background would then need a lot of ink?

    — Lani

  • Apr 03, 2014

    Hello – I’ve created a design in Photoshop Elements (which doesn’t do CMYK!) – is it possible to submit an RGB file instead? Thanks.

    — Kate

  • Mar 30, 2014

    Hannah, very well observed, it seem that we neglected to add that in initially… Have done so now, one design per person please, to make it nice and fair!

    Marilla, hand drawn is very much welcomed! It should be scanned in very high res and sent over to us as a PDF.

    So wonderful that you guys are excited about the competition!

    — Charlotte Hintzen

  • Mar 28, 2014

    I’m excited! How many entries can you submit?

    — Hannah

  • Mar 28, 2014

    Does the design have to be done on Photoshop/illustrator or can it be hand done?

    — Marilla Walker

  • Mar 28, 2014

    Oh this is so wonderfully exciting!! I must do this…
    Congrats on your new ventures btw :)

    — Rochelle New

  • Mar 28, 2014

    Girls, I am SO in ! Sounds si much fun ! Mixing my two favorite things in the world : graphi design and sewing…

    — the tiny tailoress

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