This time last year it was four months before my wedding. I had been working on some very special fabric designs for the big day and had just sent them off to my digital printers up in Scotland. I was cutting it very fine indeed, with getting the designs off to print, to have them back in time for my lovely dress maker Emma of OhSewVintage to get going with making up the dresses. So it was a busy time of crossing fingers and hoping everything came back looking good!
I got married in the Chiltern Hills at the very beautiful National Trust location of Whipsnade Tree Cathedral. Once we'd found our venue and I had the idea that I'd like to make some designs inspired by the woodland location. My fiancee and I spent lots of time there, we walked the spaces and took many photographs, trying to really soak up the special atmosphere of the location, to get the inspiration going.
I then spent the winter months in the studio sketching and developing a pattern and placement print collection. I was particularly interested in a one of the chapels which was surrounded by a group of silver birches. These birches, their bark, leaves and the dappled shadows they created, became my main focus.
I made a collection of 18 designs and a linked colour palette that was inspired by the tree cathedral, which I then shared with my bridesmaids, so they could pick their favourite designs and colours to go onto their dresses. My Maid of Honour and I met with my dress maker Emma and we talked over suitable fabrics and layouts for the patterns and I worked the girl's choices up into repeat and sent them off to CAT Digital in Glasgow to be printed. It was very exciting to open the fabric package a few weeks later! There was a whole lot of fabric... I had to lay it out on my dining room table to check the print and organise it to go to the dress makers.
This first design is on a stretchy cotton satin, for my Maid of Honour's vintage style wiggle dress.
I had two little bridesmaids and their designs were printed on pretty cotton poplin.
My cat wanted to 'help out' and inspect the designs too! This design was inspired by the blurry dappled shadows underneath the trees in the sunlight.
My talented little sister who works as a wonderful bespoke wedding florist (check her out at Briar Rose) had a placement print dress on silk cotton. Not a bad thing to have a florist in the family if you are getting married...
My other sister had this birch bark inspired design on silk cotton. She was expecting my nephew at the time and wanted something a bit more subtle and sophisticated for her and the bump.
I had some light wool voile printed to make scarves as gifts for some of the special guests like the mothers and my new sister-in-law.
This birch bark inspired design was printed on silk cotton too, both for my dress and for the usher's pocket squares.
After I check the fabric delivery it got rushed over to St. Albans where the wonderful Emma at OhSewVintage got busy bringing the designs to life.
I really like this image as it show's my sister's (aka Briar Rose) gorgeous floral work alongside my surface pattern designs.
The flower girls dresses. I think the wee scribbly clouds dress is my favourite of them all!
My clever graphic designer husband used the pattern designs in all our wedding stationary and we even did our bunting with fabric from the collection!
It has been a real pleasure to share my designs and the process behind them. It is a bit of a one off occasion for a pattern designer to have the opportunity to work on a wedding in quite this way! Thank you to all the lovely people who helped make it a special day!