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. martha brown says:

    This a a fantastic line — I can’t wait to see it all in the stores :) My favourite is the summer floral — 9932-193, but I also love Modern Lace, Green & Brown (AJG-9931-50) Lime .

  2. Lindsay says:

    I love the pink flower on the green background in the summer collection. Thank you for sharing your inspiration. I love seeing the “behind the scenes” action.

  3. oh. my. gravy.
    That line deserves a *thud* for being more yummy than cake!

    It’s a toss-up between AJG-9926 in Spring or Summer…I just LOVE all of it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Corry says:

    I love Modern Lace, Green & Pink (AJG-9931-192) Spring. That shade of green is wonderful!

  5. Anita says:

    What fun fabric, I really like multicolored floral fabric.

  6. Lindsay says:

    I really like Diamond Sparkle (AJG-9930-192) Spring as a geometric but something a bit different. Garden Party (AJG-9932-193) Summer in a close second.

  7. Sequana says:

    I love the garden floral in Summer; altho, I wouldn’t turn down any of them. *S*

  8. Tammy says:

    Love Love Love them all! Hard to choose a favorite, but
    Mum Garden (AJG-9927-193) Summer really catches my eye!

  9. Donna says:

    I’m loving the summer colourway – the turquoise and orange prints are great!!

  10. Hilary says:

    Bling Blossom (AJG-9926-192) Spring is my favorite.

  11. Kari says:

    AJG-9927-19 is my favorite print. I like the summer colors best.

  12. Oh. oh. I can not decide. I love them ALL! Ok. This one:
    Primp (AJG-9925-193) Summer but honestly, they are ALL stunning! Thanks so much for a fabulous contest!

  13. Elise says:

    I lov, love, love all the fabrics! They’re so joyful! I think my favourite is Diamond Sparkle (AJG-9930-193) in Summer, although i do like mingle in green! Although both colourways are awesome, i’m liking summer a little bit more… :)

  14. Sarah C says:

    AJG9925-192 in Spring. I really love the color combinations in it, but truly all of them (spring & summer) are “wow” designs. What a great giveaway!

  15. Diana V says:

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

  16. Tasha says:

    This is a great collection! I like the summer colorway best, and my favorite print is:

    Gem Glitz (AJG-9929-193) Summer

  17. Leah says:

    I am such a huge fan of your prints! I wish I had been able to get my hands on more of your Hot Blossom fabrics, so I was really excited to see this new line. I love both of the Glam Garden colorways, but I think the Summer is my favorite! :)

  18. craftytammie says:

    that was a great look at how it all comes together – and I love the new line! It’s hard to choose a favorite, but I love the summer colors and the vintage green floral print (Garden Party (AJG-9932-193) Summer) Thanks for the chance to win!

  19. Angel says:

    I loved reading about your process! Congrats to you for such a beautiful, flirty and girly collection!
    It’s hard to choose just one but I’m going with the wallpaper print in Spring, Primp (AJG-9925-192).

  20. random Cindy says:

    I enjoyed reading about your design process and the preparation for the photo shoot. I’ve been starting to feel so old school lately . . . it’s nice to hear that you start in pencil or pen and don’t leap to the computer. And I love the crayon box colors.

  21. Lisabee says:

    I love the geometric floral in spring. My second favorite is the dotted gems print. Actually, I like all the fabrics in the spring colorway.

  22. danasuz says:

    What a lovely collection. It makes me want to drag out the sewing machine, brush off the cobwebs and get to work!

    My favorite pattern/color is:

    Garden Party (AJG-9932-193) Summer

    But all that hot pink for spring is wonderful, too!

  23. TaraLee says:

    My favorite is the diamond print in summer colors! Very nice collection, great story!

  24. Debbie Y says:

    Wow what awesome fabrics. I like all of them, especially the Spring range, and I just love this one Gem Glitz (AJG-9929-192).

  25. deborah says:

    Love these fabrics in all of the colors and patterns!! I found your description of how you designed each fabric to be very interesting. If pressed, I would pick the Spring Colors and I really like the all over multicolored floral!

  26. Collette says:

    I’m usually not so hot on the bright colors but I am really digging these! Who knew????

    I love that two colored floral (AJG-9931) and am having a hard time deciding whether my favorite is the hot pink or the lime. Hmmm.

  27. Staci Payne says:

    Gorgeous stuff! I love the Summer Colorway!

  28. Wow, what a great collection, and I love the details that you went into so that we could see how much goes into designing. It was hard to choose only one, but my favorite is Mum Garden (AJG-9927-192) Spring colorway, the all over floral print.

  29. Jackie H says:

    What a fun collection! I love bold colors and prints!! One of my faves is Mum Garden (AJG-9927-192) in Spring! Yay! :)

  30. craftykat says:

    i love them all but am leaning towards Flower Chain (AJG-9928-193) Summer – loving the colours!

  31. Garden Party (AJG-9932-192) Spring made me gasp, it is so beautiful! This collection is astounding. Thanks for designing it!

  32. mab says:

    When I read through the article and saw the striped medallion floral in summer, I said “WOW!” Don’t you people know I’m on a fabric buying freeze? You’re wrecking that! :)

    Beautiful collection!

  33. Angelina S. says:

    Dotted gems in summer for me, please! Such a pretty, fun collection!

  34. heather says:

    I love the dotted gems. :)

  35. Meghan says:

    So hard to choose! I’m drawn to the summer colorway, especially the wallpaper print.

    But, really, they’re both wonderful. Thanks for the giveaway!

  36. Doina says:

    Great giveaway! Beautiful colors! Please count me in!

  37. Nikki says:

    I really like Primp (AJG-9925-193) Summer. The colors and design are stunning! Thanks for the giveaway chance.

  38. Adrianna says:

    Garden Party (AJG-9932-192) Spring! Can’t go wrong with pink & orange!

  39. Johanna says:

    I really love this one: Flower Chain (AJG-9928-193) Summer
    It would normally be too busy and bright for me but for some reason it totally speaks to me :)

  40. Anna says:

    I love pink paired up with either brown or green so I’d have to say that my favourites are AJG-9931-10 Pink and Modern Lace, Green & Pink (AJG-9931-192) Spring!

    What a lovely collection! :)

  41. Jacqui says:

    Ooo tough to decide! My favourite print is the Garden floral (Garden Party (AJG-9932-192)) in Spring but for the colourway I think I like Summer as a whole just a tich more than Spring. Love the oranges and pinks!

  42. M&Co says:

    My favourite print is Glam Garden
    Modern Lace, Green & Pink (AJG-9931-192) Spring, but when it comes to the colorway I think summer is my favourite as the colors are so vibrant and cheerful!

  43. Karo says:

    very fun and interesting looking collection. i love how suitable for women’s apparel it appears to be! :)

  44. julie says:

    love the mod transparent geometric floral, graphic and pretty!

  45. Katrin says:

    I love the summer colours, especially the striped medaillons. Great for a summer quilt!

  46. Shannon says:

    What a beautiful collection!!! I love the patterns Josephine selected to showcase the prints–it just makes them even more appealing!!! Awesome!

    Oh my gosh…I love both colorways…but I think if I absolutely had to choose, I’d choose Summer. My fav prints are: Primp (AJG-9925-193) Summer and Garden Party (AJG-9932-193) Summer. Stunning!

  47. Jenny says:

    Gem Glitz (AJG-9929-193) Summer must be my favorite…the summer prints have gorgeous color. what a fun line.

  48. Katy says:

    Wow – what a stunning collection. I saw the quilt pattern a little while ago when Tina told me she was designing for Kaufman. I love love love all of the prints, they combine so beautifully. Maybe if I had to pick a favourite print it would be wallpaper…but to be honest they are all as beautiful as each other!

  49. Eliane T. says:

    What a beautiful collection! I love the AJG-9931-10 Pink.
    Thanks a lot for the chance.

  50. Sue says:

    What a lovely give-away.

    My favourite is AJG-9925 Spring. Thank you.