Designing Fabric For Spoonflower

Okay, so over the past month I’ve gone from hating Spoonflower to kind of loving them. Go figure.

I was browsing their site over the past couple of days and realized that most if not all of the fabric I’d purchased or pinned was just gone. I contacted one of the designers and she told me one of the Disney people contacted them and forced them to remove their designs from their shops citing copyright infringement. Seriously? There’s tons of Frozen knock offs on eBay but no, they don’t care about that. They’d like to bully random individuals who are making designs inspired by “their” characters. Kind of enrages me. It’s like how they’re actively trying to copyright the name Aurora even though they didn’t come up with it. This is an issue because if they succeed then every performance of the ballet The Sleeping Beauty will now have to omit the name of the main character (and it’s where the name originated). Now don’t get me wrong, I think they should protect their brand. But their deranged desire to own the world needs to be scaled back a bit.

Any-who, there was a design I really loved. I shared it in a past post (the link now goes to nowhere) and I bought a swatch. A single swatch, sob. I’ll never be able to get more- unless I make my own…

This is how it all started. I wanted to see just how difficult it would be to make my own fabric. Turns out, not that hard. I mean, the really fancy stuff is pretty hard and I’m not even going to try (at least not yet). But I really wanted that specific design. I’d just ask the designer if she’d be willing to sell me the image, but I don’t know who s/he is. So I can’t contact them. So I tried making my own. I first had to draw my main character.


Look familiar? Yeah, he’s a cousin. Some modifications have been made and I’m not sure I’m finished. I may add some spikes to his back for a little variation. But I think he’s now generic enough I can still get the “look” without veering too close to copyright infringement. He looks pretty similar to many Chinese dragons without the added frills and facial features that make him who he is. Makes sense too, they studied Chinese dragons before finalizing shapes for him. So unless Disney can claim copyrights to all Chinese style dragons, he’s mine. I typed “Free Chinese Dragon Clipart” into Google images and this is some of what I found. So I think I’ll be just fine.

chinese-dragon-clip-art-13 chinese-astrology-fire-dragon how-to-draw-a-chinese-dragon-easy-step-8_1_000000127359_5

Obviously this is not a new shape. And looking at these make me want to add spikes to the back of “mine” even more now. I didn’t want him to have facial features or any patterns to him, I really wanted him to remain a solid color. I thought that would give me more flexibility in what I create. Here’s one sample of a soon to be fabric in my shop.


Sorry about that, but it’s my actual file and I had to draw that. You want one you draw it, deal? This is just one little sample, I did about a dozen more. Some are actually totally different but with leaves. I wanted to branch out and try the software and see what I could come up with. I think they look okay considering this is all just on my first attempt. You can see everything I made here in my shop. Please be aware that none of this is currently available to purchase. I can order all I like. But I am required to actually buy a swatch of each before I can make them available for public sale. What is nice though is that I can buy my own designs at a discount. And to order sample swatches it works out to something like a $1.25 per swatch instead of the usual $5, I also get 10% off each yard! I won’t complain about that. 🙂

I had been thinking. I need some new pajama pants at some point. I own three pairs and as you can imagine they’re in pretty heavy rotation. Only one pair actually fits, so that adds to the fun. I’m thinking I may want to design a really special fabric and when I do I’ll buy a couple of yards and do an actual tutorial. I think that might be fun. So if anyone wanted to make the same pair they’d be able to. I might do a few little tutorials like that. Come up with a special fabric just for that and share a how to. I like it when other bloggers do it, so why not join in on the fun? I’ll need to start coming up with ideas of designs. Maybe start carrying a sketchbook again. I think Target sells tiny moleskin ones. Perhaps I’ll pick one up the next time I’m there.

In the mean time feel free to let me know what you think of the designs, here or there. I’m not too good at this yet so I probably won’t be able to accommodate many, if any requests. I am able to draw though so who knows?


6 thoughts on “Designing Fabric For Spoonflower

  1. Ugh, Disney’s corporate greed is a real turn off – and the reason I won’t give them any more of my money. Copyright the name Aurora, seriously?
    Anyway, I haven’t had a chance to try them for myself (been sooo busy) but I’ve been reading all your spoonflower reviews and I love the idea of designing my own fabric. Once I learn my way around a sewing machine – I only sew by hand for the time being – I figure I’ll be unstoppable. It’s hard enough not wanting to go on a crazy shopping spree at Joann’s, but custom designs, wow.

    • I know what you mean. We’re big Disney fans in our house (not fanatics, but close) yet even I can’t stand the nonsense. They’ve been after that name for some time and it’s ridiculous.

      I’m glad you’ve seen all my reviews. I think it’s important to share if you’ve had good or bad experiences with a company. I think it can be tough to get good solid reviews for some places. Spoonflower certainly doesn’t have a review section on their website. And they ignore virtually all negative comments on their Facebook page.

      I hope you make the jump to sewing on a machine. There’s nothing wrong with hand sewing, it’s a skill I think everyone should have and it’s great if you’re proficient at it. Sewing on a machine really isn’t that hard, it’s just a bit intimidating I think. Your local Joann’s probably offers classes, most do so you should ask! And if you buy from a sewing store they almost always offer classes to teach you how to use your specific machine. It’ll cost more than buying a random Brother on Amazon, but it’s worth it to support a small business and have help available should you need it. 🙂

      Good luck in designing your own fabric. Once you start it’s hard to stop!

    • I’ve seen that design and thought it was amazing! Really though, I think Disney is out of control when it comes to some of their copyright complaints. It’s not like this fabric is stealing revenue from them. After all, if you can afford this fabric you can afford trips to the park. Where you will spend yet more on disney “stuff”. I know, I’m writing this in bed, in one of their resorts!

      If I were you I wouldn’t take the fabric down. I’d remove the tags, but that’s it. It’s a shame though. It does seriously reduce your visibility to disney fans. But we can only hope that true fans, looking for this stuff will be pointed in the right direction by others into the same things.

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