Fabric print design and a custom printed hoodie

I’ve been wanting to create a custom fabric print design for ages, but I’ve never taken the plunge. Then I’ve found Contrado (they have both a UK and a US-based site)… I could spend hours browsing their site!

Here’s what I did to design my fabric first and then get my hoodie.

I did not receive compensation for this blog post. However, Contrado sent me the hoodie, made using my custom print fabric for free. Opinions are 100% my own! 

Serger Pepper - Fabric Print Design - Contrado Custom Hoodie - wearing it 5

My custom fabric print design process

First of all, I had to brainstorm about which characteristics my fabric had to include:

  • a black background;
  • random fuchsia spots;
  • some random colorful images;
  • “things” falling down and piling at the bottom.

Then I’ve opened Illustrator and started designing, coming out with this:

Serger Pepper - Fabric Print Design - Contrado Custom Hoodie - hearts

… meh…

So I decided to search for a vector drawing – maybe flowers? Since I’m slightly obsessed with the frangipani scent, when I’ve found these lovely plumeria free vectors, I’ve fallen in love!

Serger Pepper - Fabric Print Design - Contrado Custom Hoodie

Plumeria Vector Flowers | designed by bluebeachdesign

A few tips for you, if you want to play with fabric design:

  • work with vector files (as opposite to jpeg) that allow you to go as big as you need avoiding a pixelate effect;
  • use an Illustrator artboard wide as a regular fabric bolt (anything around 1.50 m – 60 in) and high at least as your hoodie, so you can play with fabric placing a little bit;
  • make sure your design isn’t too consistent, or it will look flat and boring. Ensure variety in width and shapes to get the “designer fabric” look;
  • consider the length of the garment you’re going to sew and plan the fabric design consequently.

So I started playing with the flowers, changing sizes, rotating each one and moving them all around until I came to this:

Serger Pepper - Fabric Print Design - final fabric - Contrado Custom Hoodie

So Much Better! What do you think?

With this, on their site, you can now print your favorite fabric. They have so many to choose from (I suggest you get their Swatch Pack, so you can touch and see the huge variety of fabric they have for you to choose from. I have a few favorites: the organic kinds of cotton, the crushed velour, a few mesh and laces, the oilcloth… too many to choose from.

Just upload your own fabric print design and place your order: you are done!

If you want to go the lazy way (like I did) they have an awesome clothing section, where you choose between their wide collection of cool garments: from hats to underwear, going through dresses and bomber jackets for you, your man and your kids. Since I’m a hoodie kind of girl (I have so many, in my closet), I went with it.

Let me show you a few screenshots of the whole design process, so you’ll see how easy it is, or scroll down to see the gorgeous final result. I already know I have a new staple, in my wardrobe 😉

How to design a custom hoodie

Click that button saying “start design” and in a few minutes, you’ll be ready to see your new hoodie taking shape!

Serger Pepper - Fabric Print Design - Contrado Custom Hoodie - start design

In the following page you can choose between several options:

  • with or without a center front zipper (with zipper for me, thank you!);
  • your size (check your bust girth against the size charts you can find clicking on the third tab, mid-page here), but select 2 sizes smaller than the size you read if you are a woman and want a slim fit – I did it and my hoodie is spot on!
  • the color (gray or white, I did the second one) for the inside of the fabric;
  • the color for the thread (black or white, I have chosen black)
  • if you want or not a label (oh, yes! I truly wanted it!)

Serger Pepper - Fabric Print Design - Contrado Custom Hoodie - choose your option

Once you’re done, you’re ready to upload your custom fabric print design file (jpg, png or tiff). You also have the option to add text, pictures from your FB or Instagram or play with the awesome images from their library.

Serger Pepper - Fabric Print Design - Contrado Custom Hoodie - add images or text

And here you can see mine: the label and the main textile pattern.

Serger Pepper - Fabric Print Design - Contrado Custom Hoodie - add images or text done

Then you can place the fabric you have just designed into each one of the pattern pieces, just like you would do if you had to sew it. Place the fabric sample as you like it, rotate it if you need. Even better than with real fabric, you can also zoom the fabric in and out (I did it with cuffs, using the smaller flowers made even smaller).

Serger Pepper - Fabric Print Design - Contrado Custom Hoodie - planning the hood

Add the label and you’re done!

Serger Pepper - Fabric Print Design - Contrado Custom Hoodie - add a label

And the best part was that I had it in my hands in a couple of days… quicker than hell!

What do you think of my new hoodie?

I truly love it, and the fit is superb 🙂

Serger Pepper - Fabric Design - Contrado Custom Hoodie - wearing it2

Can you spot the subtle Serger Pepper logo on the upper left front? I couldn’t resist… I had to add it 🙂

Serger Pepper - Fabric Design - Contrado Custom Hoodie - wearing it featured

Check how accurate is the print on the front pocket:

Serger Pepper - Fabric Design - Contrado Custom Hoodie - pocket detail

And how cool is the label? Looks like a store-bought hoodie… but no one will never have it – just me!

Serger Pepper - Fabric Design - Contrado Custom Hoodie - love that label

Just a couple more pictures, just because I am so happy with it!

Serger Pepper - Fabric Design - Contrado Custom Hoodie - wearing it 8

Serger Pepper - Fabric Design - Contrado Custom Hoodie - wearing it 7

Serger Pepper - Fabric Design - Contrado Custom Hoodie - wearing it 6

Serger Pepper - Fabric Design - Contrado Custom Hoodie - wearing it 4

Serger Pepper - Fabric Design - Contrado Custom Hoodie - wearing it1

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About the Author:

Hi there! I love sewing, creating my own patterns and refashioning pre-loved clothes... If you love the same things, why not be friends? See you on Pinterest http://Pinterest.com/MammaNene

2 Comments

  1. mccandlessquilts July 18, 2017 at 21:03 - Reply

    Great job! I really like the design of the fabric. Looks really good on you! I’m not a hoodie girl, mainly because of the fabric choices, but this I would wear.

    • Irene July 20, 2017 at 16:15 - Reply

      Thank you for liking it, mccandlesquilts <3

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