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. Erin says:

    Spring is my favorite colorway, and by far my favorite print is Diamond Sparkle (AJG-9930-192) Spring

  2. Jan says:

    What an exciting fun collection and what a happy giveaway now that winter seems to be behind us.

    My favourite print is Garden Party (AJG-9932-193) Summer.

    Keeping my fingers crossed

  3. HotFudge says:

    They are simply stunning.

    My favourite is Primp (AJG-9925-193) Summer

    Keep designing beautiful fabrics!


  4. mjb says:

    I like the transparent flowers in summer.

  5. Leigh says:

    I LOVE the striped floral medallions in Summer! LOVE it! I can see why she gets a great response for that one!

  6. sarah says:

    Gollee!! What fun! Thanks for the blog post; it really took some time. The pictures are beautiful. I really like this one Modern Lace, Green & Pink (AJG-9931-192) Spring – the green background with the pink floral print. Wow!

  7. jessie says:

    LOVE the spring colors! Groovy & fun designs!

  8. Christy says:

    Garden Party (AJG-9932-192) spring. I love the 70′s ish retro look of this pattern. It’s gawgous!

  9. Becky says:

    I love the brights in the Summer collection! The floral, but I am having a hard time choosing between Bling Blossom (AJG-9926-193) and Mum Garden (AJG-9927-193)! I have been looking for months for something bright and colorful, with white in it, and have finally found it!

  10. Dot says:

    Loved her first line but this one even more. Spring color palette with AJG 9927 (multicolored floral) is my first choice. But I would be happy with any of her fabrics. Bright and inspiring.

  11. vadjutka says:

    I am totally in love with the spring color palette – my fave is this one: Blossom (AJG-9926-193)/

    I must be very a great job to desing these pretty fabrics!

  12. Melanie says:

    What a pretty collection! I love the summer colorway and I think my favorite print is Mum Garden (AJG-9927-193) Summer! They are all so happy and fun!

  13. gigi says:

    omgosh! what a gorgeous collection! & thank you so much for shedding light on your designing process, so interesting!

    i especially love the garden floral in the summer. that orange is just so fun.

  14. Katie says:

    It’s a tough choice, but I think I just slightly prefer Spring to Summer. I especially love Garden Party (AJG-9932-192).

  15. Arlene ball says:

    The Spring prints are my favorites- especially Bling Blossom (AJG-9926-192) & Primp (AJG-9925-192)!

  16. Valerie says:

    I like Bling Blossom (AJG-9926-193) Summer the most. I think it’s the warmer colors, and maybe the flowers since everything here is just starting to bloom.

  17. Katy says:

    Oh…definately “Summer!” What a beautiful start to creating fun and colorful items for the coming season.

  18. Peggy Raymer says:

    I love all the bright beautiful colours. I have never worked with brights yet. I think the spring is my favourite so far.

  19. Melissa says:

    Love the Spring fabric!

  20. WHATUPDUCK says:

    Love them all, but if I had to choose I guess I would go with Spring!! Love, love, love your designs!!

  21. carrie says:

    These fabrics are all so beautiful! I prefer the Spring color palette, my favorite print is Primp (AJG-9925-192).

  22. Stephanie says:

    My favorite from the Glam Garden collection is Primp (AJG-9925-193) Summer.

  23. MzTallulah says:

    Both colourways are really cute, but I’m a purple kind of girl, so I’d have to say Spring.

  24. Natasha says:

    Great blog post, thanks for sharing your process!
    I love the summer colorway.

  25. Tricia says:

    I love Vintage from the Spring collection!

  26. Denise Felton says:

    Love love LOVE it all — spring and summer. If I have to choose a favorite colorway, I’ll go with summer, though spring is just as lovely in its own way. And I have the same difficulty choosing a favorite print. They all rock. But my eye does keep going back to Flower Chain (AJG-9928-193), so it’s probably my favorite of the moment!

  27. grace says:

    WOW! so gorgeous. I love both colourways, my favourite print is Modern Lace, Green & Brown (AJG-9931-50) Lime.

  28. Sara says:

    I will go with summer (am into those bright citrusy greens right now), but the whole collection is great! For print, I’ll say Garden Party (AJG-9932-193) Summer

  29. Doris says:

    My fave is Bling Blossom (AJG-9926-193) Summer…GORGEOUS collection!

  30. Meg in CT says:

    Love the Garden Party (AJG-9932-193) Summer. Retro, but with such fresh colors!

  31. angela lashley says:

    They are so beautiful but if I have to choose one it would be Diamond Sparkle (AJG-9930-192) Spring, the colors in the spring collection just pop. For seattle these colors are a breath of fresh air!

  32. Katy says:

    Garden Party (AJG-9932-193) Summer

  33. Kristin says:

    I love seeing the hand drawings come to life in thefabrics. My favorite is Garden Party (AJG-9932-192) Spring – butthe whole collection is beautiful!

  34. Becca says:

    I just saw these yesterday in a fabric store and I loved them! They’re both pretty but I like summer better.

  35. Michelle says:

    I love Garden Party (AJG-9932-192) in Spring. It’s so floral and so fun. The whole Liberty of London thing at Target got me on the floral train and now I want it everywhere. Such beautiful fabrics!


  36. Meagan says:

    Diamond Sparkle (AJG-9930-193) in Summer is amazing, but all of them are wonderful!

  37. Karen Macomb says:

    Thank you so much for featuring such a wonderful artist. Josephine is amazing…

    Favorite: Diamond Sparkle (AJG-9930-193) Summer

  38. Pattie C says:

    Wow what a process to get a design to fabric. I love the summer collection.

  39. gwyneth says:

    i love the wallpaper print in summer!

  40. T Han says:

    Oh, it is so hard to decide which I like better, Spring or Summer. I think Spring won me over, but I especially loved the blue in the Summer line. I also liked the wallpaper design, very cool. Thank so much for sharing your design process!

  41. Rosy Lady says:

    My oh my, these are gorgeous! I love the colors, my favorite is the wallpaper print in Summer but, I also love the all over floral print.

  42. wendy says:

    I love Diamond Sparkle (AJG-9930-193) in Summer! I hope I win, March 31 is my birthday!

  43. Adva Price says:

    I love pink and brown, so AJG-9931-10 Pink is my fave.

  44. Bling Blossom (AJG-9926-193) Summer – love all the prints in the summer color way – but that one is my favorite.

  45. Val Miller says:

    I love the spring colourway – and I think my fav print is the Gem Glitz (AJG-9929-192) … not that I would turn down any single one!! They are all really nice!

  46. Maren says:

    I love the Medallion print (Flower Chain (AJG-9928-193)) in Summer but if I win I would use the fabrics on a project for my niece and she would probably prefer the Spring Colorway!

  47. Jessica says:

    I love Bling Blossom (AJG-9926-192) Spring – what a great giveaway!

  48. delitealex says:

    I love Primp (AJG-9925-193) in the summer colorway with the reds and blues.

  49. Holly Clarke says:

    I love this post. Thanks for explaining the process. I would love to design my own fabric someday, and I really enjoyed reading about what goes on from start to finish. My favourite is Garden Party (AJG-9932-192) Spring.

  50. Sara R. says:

    I love Primp (AJG-9925-193) in Summer — very vintage looking!