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. Emily says:

    Garden Party (AJG-9932-193) Summer
    its the watercolor-y aspect that I like so much, I think

  2. Mary says:

    Love Bling Blossom (AJG-9926-192) Spring, it pops!

  3. Ann Marie says:

    I like Diamond Sparkle (AJG-9930-192) in Spring and AJG-9931-10 in Pink. They’re so different. And some of the prints I like better in Summer, but most I prefer in Spring. I’m intrigued by Flower Chain (AJG-9928-193) in Summer for borders. Hard to choose!

  4. Monique says:

    As soon as I saw it, I loved the Vintage Paisley in spring #Primp (AJG-9925-192). Amazing. Gorgeous!

  5. susan says:

    Bling Blossom (AJG-9926-193) Summer

  6. I had a hard time deciding spring or summer. Finally decided I like the spring color way slightly better. Love the prints.

  7. sarah baird says:

    such fab fabrics to brighten up the day; hope i win

  8. Paula says:

    I really enjoyed reading about how these fabrics were created. I like the summer colorways the most. My favorite print is Bling Blossom (AJG-9926-193) Summer.

  9. Candace says:

    Garden Party (AJG-9932-193) Summer is sooooo pretty. They all are!

  10. meisko says:

    All great fabrics, hard to choose, but I would go for the summer colorway and Flower Chain (AJG-9928-193):)

  11. elena says:

    Hi all!
    Thanks for a great giveaway.
    Is difficult to choose only one. All the collection is awesome, love the colors and the flower designs are brilliant.
    but here you have my election Primp (AJG-9925-193) Summer
    Fingers crossed!!

  12. Talia says:

    What a great post: so lovely to see how the creative process unfolds. You have such a beautiful style. My favorite fabric is the AJG-9931-10 Pink — I think because I recently finished a little brown and pink baby quilt which would have looked great with some of that fabric in it!!

  13. karen says:

    Spring! Spring! Spring!

  14. Sharon says:

    I REALLY love the Lime fabric…I can think of lots of projects it would be perfect for!!

  15. Kirsty says:

    That was really interesting – I love seeing where the initial inspirations come from.

    My favourite colourway is Summer, and my favourite print is the Wallpaper in Summer. Or maybe the Diamonds in Summer. Then again…:)

  16. Elana E says:

    I love the bright summer palette. Thanks for the giveaway!

  17. rockymountainmama says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your process Josephine! Its fun to see how different designers work. I love Primp (AJG-9925-193) from the Summer palette. And its tough to choose, but I think I like Summer best. I LOVE your fabric!!!

  18. Lysa Schloesser says:

    I know I can’t pick them all, even if I want to. So prolly Modern Lace, Pink & Yellow (AJG-9931-110) Hot Pink. Yum.

  19. Lindsay says:

    Love them both, but I think the summer one is my favorite. Reminds me a little of Austin Powers, yeah baby! ha ha. Would be so cute in a quilt, or skirt, lots of possiblities!! And I love this one: Mum Garden (AJG-9927-193)

  20. Annie says:

    I love the Spring collection of the fabrics, so pretty!

  21. Veronica says:

    Very hard to narrow down, but I think the garden floral in Spring.

  22. Laura Penna says:

    I love them all, but if I had only one choice it would be the multicoloured wallpaper print in the Spring palette. That was tough to chose, I think I typed and deleted and re-typed about 10 times. :)

  23. Henria O. says:

    I like the Summer colorway. The Primp (AJG-9925-193) print is my favorite!
    sazzyfrazz at gmail dot com

  24. sharon says:

    I like them all but Ag 9932-193 is my favorite.

  25. lisa says:

    loving Bling Blossom (AJG-9926-193)

  26. Sharon says:

    I like the spring colorway and this print in particular
    Bling Blossom (AJG-9926-192) Spring