How I Designed My Latest Seamless Pattern

Updated: Mar 30

A snapshot of my design process, from the initial idea through to the finished pattern

I'm always interested in seeing other artist's design processes so thought I'd show you mine.

Ideas stage

The ideas stage is exciting. An idea might have been percolating for a while or it might have just popped into my head from an event or experience, it can come from anywhere. Sometimes it appears as a fully formed idea, and other times it's just a thought of feeling, and I've no idea where it will end up, which is exciting!

Sourcing Inspiration

Getting outside and spending time in nature is great not only for my health and wellbeing, but also for inspiration. Friends laugh at me because I'm taking photos all the time. I've even been inspired to create patterns while stood waiting for the bus, by the light peeking through the trees and how leaves fall from the trees. My phone is full of random photos that are for a particular design or that I think might be useful at some point in the future. Inspiration is all around.


This is also a really exciting stage. Nothing beats sitting down with a nice cup of coffee and my favourite pencil and spending hours sketching ideas and motifs. This is definitely a happy place for me. I never throw any sketches away, even if they don't get used in a final design. They are a great source of inspiration for future work, and you never know when they might come in useful.

Digital stage

Once I've got plenty of sketches, and you can never have too many, I scan them into Adobe Illustrator. This is where the sketches get made into the finished motifs that I'll use in the pattern designs. Playing around with colour and texture is fun and I can spend hours doing this without noticing the time go by. I always aim to have more motifs than I'll need- again these never get 'wasted' as they can always be used in later designs.

Pattern making

Another happy place! Bringing all the ideas and inspiration together, seeing how all the motifs work together and making interesting combinations is like meditation to me! And don't get me started on colourways- it is so much fun to see a pattern in different colourways and I always have so many that I love, it makes it so hard to choose a final one.


Okay so I know I've said it's exciting for every stage of the process but it's true. I couldn't pick a favourite part of the design process, it's all exciting in it's own way. Seeing my designs on products and items that people have sewn is out of this world! I can't describe how giddy this makes me feel. It never gets old

Thank you each and everyone of you who make with and buy products with my designs on. You are making dreams come true

Lots of creative love

Kate xo

Head to my Instagram to see more behind the scenes and artwork, and don't forget to check out my designs on a range of fabric and homeware products Spoonflower Society6

I'm always interested in chatting to folks so if you want to get in touch please feel free: email

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© 2021 Kate Frances Designs
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