Guest Post/Giveaway: Josephine Kimberling on Glam Garden

Thanks so much to Kim for inviting me back to True Up, to guest blog about my new fabric collection, Glam Garden! Last time I was here Kim interviewed me about my debut fabric collection Hot Blossom, and today I’m going to share with you the inspiration and creative process behind Glam Garden.

For Glam Garden, I started out with a desire to create a very pretty collection full of different types of floral prints. During my day job, I had been busy creating loads of geometrics and textural prints in dark colors. Inside I was itching to create something feminine and pretty! So when I set out to start working on Glam Garden, everything girly just flew out of me! It was quite fun and freeing to experience.

When I start creating prints for a fabric collection, I’ll start creating the ones that I have a strong vision for. Next I’ll work on the supporting prints. These prints are fun and interesting to create because a funny thing happens when I start drawing -– my original ideas start to morph into something different than I had originally planned. This happens because when I put them all next to each other, they may not cohesively pull the collection together, as originally intended.

The first print I designed was the two colored floral. I started out hand drawing it in pencil so I could erase and rework it as I went. Then I scanned my drawing in and drew over it in Illustrator so I could work on the repeat.

Next I designed the all-over multicolored floral. This one came from me doodling away in my sketchbook one day, fitting different shaped and sizes of flowers together.

With the garden floral, I set out to create a three-color print that was hand-drawn and free-flowing. I drew these flowers by hand using a black pen, while referring to my flower photos. Funny, but sometimes I get impatient and don’t want to draw in pencil, and then over my pencil drawing with pen -– so I just go straight for the pen and start drawing away! Somehow the fear of drawing in pen forces me to focus and not mess up. I drew the flowers individually, then scanned them in and worked on the repeat in Photoshop. When I got the repeat completed, the print was really boring with my original concept of a solid ground color, with outlined flowers filled in with white. The transparent look of color came from me playing around with different layer techniques in Photoshop until I found just the right look.

The next print I worked on was the mod transparent geometric floral. I actually designed this one a couple of years ago, but it was laid out much differently. I had always loved it and wanted to rework it to fit it into this collection to add a vintage feel.

For the multicolored wallpaper print, I wanted to create a statement print that was really different and pushed me creatively. I had sketched a couple of ideas out, and for this one I just forced myself to loosen up and play with the new “blob brush” in Illustrator CS4. I haven’t created anything like this before, so it was like a fun puzzle to work on! Because of the process, this print is my favorite out of this collection!

I added in the diamond burst print to add a sense of vintage nostalgia to the collection. Simple prints are the most difficult for me to create actually, because I don’t find them very fun or challenging. I end up spending more time on them then I should because I work on trying to find a way to make them unique and stand on their own.

For the dotted gems print, I was inspired by the jewelry that was out last spring, which used different sized colored gems together to create shapes. I created my own interpretation into a geometric pattern.

The striped medallion floral started as a sketchbook drawing that got reworked once I started drawing it out in Illustrator. I get a lot of response out of this striped medallion-like floral, which has been fun to see! I’ve had the most fun actually using this one to sew with because the medallion stripes are just the right width to use for borders.

So, that wraps up the creation process of each of my Glam Garden fabrics! I thought I would also share with you a little bit about my inspiration behind the photo shoot too!

Once the colorways are chosen, strike-offs are submitted and approved, and sample yardage is developed –- it then arrives on my doorstep to begin creating away! I then pull together sewing patterns that fit my theme, take the technical drawings of those garments into Photoshop, and plop my fabrics into them, until I find a connection between the garment and the fabric.

It’s always flattering to me when people ask where the patterns come from, and when they are surprised that they come from a fabric store! I feel it truly does make a difference when you are intentional about making a garment cohesive by using just the right print.

I then spent about a month sewing every spare minute I could. To be honest, I haven’t really ever sewed according to a pattern until I started creating fabric collections. But since I work in fashion, I was bound and determined to sew garments to be able to tell the whole visual story of my collections.

With the bright colors and girly prints of my Glam Garden fabric collection, I really wanted to create a pretty garden party themed photo shoot! And with the transparency effects in some of the prints, I thought using tissue paper and items that diffused light would be a really pretty concept to tie it all together. To glam-up the collection, I went on a hunt for pretty looking candy – and what kind of party would this be if we didn’t have cupcakes with gorgeous frosting colors??

It took a small village to pull off the photo shoot – from my friend Cheryl helping me sew, to my friend Karin who collaboratively designed the Luscious Bow Tote free pattern download, to Tina Michalik sending me the “Big Zag” quilt she designed for this collection for Robert Kaufman (get the free pattern here), to Danielle Howarth from Dani Bags Boutique offering to sew her Sophia bag in my Glam Garden fabrics, to my husband & family helping with props and friends helping with modeling. It was all of their help that allowed the photo shoot to be successful!

As you can see, it took a lot of time, thought and people to put into each fabric collection from start to finish, which when it’s all complete, is very fulfilling, and I feel like I have been able to say visually all I could about that collection. And what’s even better is handing over the fabric relay baton (so to speak) to the rest of the creative community and seeing what they create!

That wraps up my Glam Garden inspiration and creative process! I hope you enjoy the photos and feel inspired to create your own fabulous creations. It’s always a pleasure to share with all of you. Thanks for having me!

All professional photos by natalie g.| photography.


Robert Kaufman Fabrics is sponsoring this guest blog by generously giving away two fat quarter packs of the Glam Garden fabric collection –- one fat quarter pack for each colorway, Spring & Summer!

To enter, please name your favorite print and colorway from the Glam Garden collection in the comments. You can see all the prints with their colorway info on the Robert Kaufman website. Winners will be drawn randomly next Wednesday, March 31, 2010, around 3pm Central US time. This giveaway is open to readers worldwide.

Thank you so, so much Josephine! Your hard work to share your vision of beauty is evident and I know you’ll inspire many!

To see more of Josephine’s work and get her perspective on the fashion world, follow her blog and become a fan on Facebook.

Disclosure: Robert Kaufman is a sponsor of this website and is providing the prizes for the giveaway.

Congratulations to our winners Sara (comment #128) and Laura Pearce (comment #9)!

Since Robert Kaufman doesn’t assign official names to their prints, once all the entries were in I did a search & replace to change the codes to Josephine’s names for them. That resulted in some grammatical weirdness — sorry about that!


  1. Cathy says:

    I love Modern Lace, Green & Brown (AJG-9931-50) in Lime. I’m a sucker for green and brown.

  2. Linnea says:

    I really love the garden floral in the spring colorway. That print screams Liberty of London to me but in a less busy kind of way…love it. Love the whole collection really. And don’t even ask me to choose a favourite colorway. They’re both awesome!

  3. grace says:

    Favorite: Glam Garden
    Bling Blossom (AJG-9926-192) Spring

    I like spring colors just slightly more than summer. both are lovely–

  4. candi says:

    I’m loving the spring colorway. The greens and pinks are a current favorite of mine. What a great giveaway.

  5. 2hippos says:

    I love reading the backstory and love the summer colorway. My favorite print….tough choice but Glam Garden
    Gem Glitz (AJG-9929-193) wins out.

  6. Leigh says:

    I love the diamonds in both colorways- with maybe a slight edge to the Spring!

  7. Charlene Christian says:

    They are both sooo pretty, but I really love the summer colorway!


  8. Jen Eskridge says:

    Great post! My fav is Flower Chain (AJG-9928-193) Summer.

  9. Laura Pearce says:

    I love the garden floral with the color washed effect. I think I prefer that one in Spring, but as a whole, the Summer collection’s colors really speak to me the most :)

  10. Amber says:

    I love the Garden floral – such a pretty print! And the pinks and oranges in Spring are so pretty!

  11. Kaye Prince says:

    I really love the Spring colourway and I think my favourite print is Diamond Sparkle (AJG-9930-192) Spring. Thanks so much for the awesome giveaway – I really hope I’ll get to add a little of this awesome collection to my stash!

  12. Rachel says:

    What a treat to see the whole creative process! Thanks!! I am loving 193-Summer. They are all beautiful!

  13. Paula Bohan says:

    The whole line is spectacular, but I especially love the mod transparent geometric floral and I think I prefer the Spring colourway – hard choice! Thank you for the giveaway!

  14. angie says:

    thanks for the fun giveaway! it’s tough to make a choice but i think my faborite is: Garden Party (AJG-9932-193) Summer…beautiful fabric!

  15. LizM says:

    They’re all amazing, but I have to pick Gem Glitz (AJG-9929-193) as my favorite…

  16. Hilary says:

    I love the diamond burst print in Spring!

  17. Pam M. says:

    I am loving the summer colorway, especially the orange with the blue flowers.

  18. Shannon F. says:

    Bling Blossom (AJG-9926-192) Spring, the Spring colorway is just beautiful!!

  19. Sarah M says:

    My favorite (today) is the summer colorway, but truly I really like both. I love your fabric designers interviews!

  20. eadaoine says:

    Primp (AJG-9925-192) Spring really caught my eye!

  21. Jeanne says:

    I am all about vintage and Mingle from the Spring Collection is my color and the polka dots are awesome. It is a great collection, feminine and colorful. I LOVE IT. Thanks for sharing.

  22. Leisa says:

    Oh this is a gorgeous collection!
    I particularly love the Summer colourway and in specific the fabric coded Primp (AJG-9925-193) – The RK site doesnt give it any other name but in your article youve called it the multicolor wallpaper. I LOVE it. And Im gonna try to get my hands on some of it (hard in Australia).

  23. Susana says:

    I can’t decide which colorway I like best as a whole, but my favorite single print is: Mum Garden (AJG-9927-192) in Spring. Thanks for the peek into the process, too.

  24. Kim says:

    It’s so hard to choose a favorite in this lovely collection! I’d say that the Summer colorway is my favorite. I just love to see orange and aqua mingle with pink. My favorite print is the wallpaper one ( Primp (AJG-9925-193) Summer). Thanks for sharing your story, Josephine!

  25. Angela says:

    Yummy..gorgeous…my favorite is the spring colorway.

  26. Pepie says:

    the spring colorway is my favorite.
    Primp (AJG-9925-192) is one of the greatest.

  27. Beal says:

    So hard to choose! I like Garden Party (AJG-9932-193) Summer.

  28. sarahkate says:

    Gorgeous fabrics!! I love any of the collections they’re absolutely gorgeous! Thanks for the generous give away :)

  29. Katie B says:

    I love this fabric! The dotted gems in summer is my favorite.

  30. Such pretty and fun designs! My favorite is the summer colorway.

  31. cathy says:

    They are all beautiful. My favorite is the striped floral medallion in Summer. Oh the possibilities of this print stripe…

  32. Allison S. says:

    I love the two-tone floral in brown and pink. So beautiful!! I think I like the Spring colorway the best, but Summer is awesome too. Thanks for the opportunity!

  33. Aditi says:

    What an interesting read! Thanks! As for choosing, it’s tough but I’ll say Summer. :)

  34. Em says:

    My fave is the one Josephine called overall multicolored floral, in spring. It’s virbrant and fun and … just lovely!

  35. Suzanne says:

    Love the mod transparent geometric floral in spring colors just a bit more than the others. Tough call, the two color floral and the wallpaper print are right up there.

  36. Nicholas says:

    I am all about the striped medallion floral in summer! So lovely!

  37. Pat says:

    I love the spring collection! Yummy!

  38. Cheri says:

    I like the summer one Diamond Sparkle (AJG-9930-193).

  39. Johanna says:

    Whats different about these fabrics is that the colour combinations are really eclectic and even eccentric in their wattage! these girls are bright! I cant go past Mum Garden (AJG-9927-192) Spring…….. the layering of the images and the browns and purples really convey those moments in a spring garden that can be overlooked for that….. fresh green……congratulations, they all really apppeal

  40. Carol says:

    My favorite print is AJG9926-193 in the Spring collection.
    They are beautiful.

  41. Sylvia says:

    Neat post! I love Mum Garden (AJG-9927-192) Spring, it’s so fun and colorful!

  42. Anita says:

    Definitely the diamond burst because of its vintage look.

  43. Ramona says:

    Gem Glitz (AJG-9929-193) Summer… I think it’s sooo versatile! I LOOOOOVED the butterflies from hot Blossom, and am psyched to see this new collection!

  44. kara says:

    I love Diamond Sparkle (AJG-9930-193) in summer!
    the spring colorway is appealing but the summer really has more applications when I think of things I’d use them for

  45. kimbuktu says:

    It is really really hard to choose, but I will say the Spring colorway edges out the summer for me (by a hair), and I will pick the AJG-9931-10 Pink as my favorite pattern (although I like them all!).

  46. Jenny says:

    I love the striped medallion floral in the summer colorway. Overall my favorite colorway is summer. What beautiful handbags and quilts I could make!

  47. I love all the prints! Great colors! If I had to choose one, it would be the striped medallion floral in the summer colorway (Flower Chain (AJG-9928-193) Summer) – irresistible colors!

  48. Linda says:

    Oooo, pretties! I definitely like the “pop” of the Summer colorway, and I think that Garden Party (AJG-9932-193) Summer is my favorite print. It was a hard choice to make, because they’re all pretty special. I hope I win. What a treat it would be to get in on the ground floor of this collection. 8-)

    Thanks to True Up and Robert Kaufman for this giveaway.

  49. Jane Wilson says:

    These patterns are just gorgeous!

  50. Chelsea says:

    I love the mod geometric and the wallpaper stripe and I love both colorways. I keep trying to type one that I like more and am unable to choose.