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Design Challenge - For the Boys

04 January 2018 11:46


Welcome back to a new year of designing and sewing!  I hope you all had a jolly Christmas and are ready to get back to everyday life.

Our design challenge for children is still running (read all about it here), but it's time for a new challenge for everyone.

I'm risking the opprobrium of the PC brigade by making the theme of this month's challenge For the Boys.  It might not be politically correct to say so, but boys, in general, don't want to wear, go to bed under or cover their windows with the same patterns that most of their sisters do.  Of course there are exceptions to the rule, and that's fine.  Boys who want flowers and girls who want tanks are very welcome to choose those options.  Except that anyone who wants tanks, cars or anything less flowery will often struggle to find fabric to their taste.  People who sew for boys frequently complain that they struggle to find suitable designs.

So this is your chance to redress that balance.  This month's challenge is to come up with a design which boys, or less 'girly' girls, will be happy with, whether it's for their shorts or their curtains. 

Talk to the boys and men in your lives and let's see what we can do!


Please upload your challenge designs to your account on our website.  If you haven’t already got an account, it’s simple to set up.  You just need an email address, password and name, which can be your own name, a nickname or a business name.  (You will be prompted to log in or create an account when you try to save your design.)  Then email me at, to tell me the name of your account and design.  (So I can find the right one!)  This is the name you use on your account, please.  It's the one on the black ribbon at the top of the screen when you log into your account.  I need this name to find your design.  There's no need to send me a link as this will not work until your design has been made public.  Without the correct name, it is very time-consuming for me to find your design, so your entry may not be included.    You may also upload your design to our Facebook page.  I will put any not already uploaded onto Facebook after the closing date.   In case you're wondering about the order in which designs are listed on Facebook, the first to arrive in my inbox goes at the top, with the rest listed in the order in which they are sent in.   We may select one or two to put into our competition winners slot.

If you'd like to make your design public, order a swatch using voucher code BOYS.  This will enable you to order without paying.  I won't print the fabric, but you will then be able to make it public.

 So, the challenge is:  Create a design suitable for printing on fabric based on 'For the Boys'.

Technical matters:

Your design should be at a resolution of at least 150 dpi, but not more than 300, using RGB colour space.

When it comes to printing, the repeat options are:  Straight, Centre, Half-drop, Half-brick and Mirror.  Once you’ve uploaded your design to our website, you can play around with the repeats to see which one will look best.  For pictures of what the different repeats look like, check this blog post.

To take part:

Upload your design onto our website by Tuesday, January 16th, giving it a title.  Email me at, telling me the title of your design and the name of your account.  You can also say a little about the inspiration behind your design, if you wish.

The closing date for receiving designs is midnight on Tuesday, January 16th, after which designs will be displayed (at the fat quarter size) on Facebook and on the blog.  Any designs uploaded to Facebook after the closing date may be removed.

By entering, you agree to our challenge terms and conditions.

You may only submit one entry, which must be your own work and based on the theme 'For the Boys'. ‘Your own work’ means any form of original art work, photography, etc which you have produced. Your design should not have been entered in one of our previous competitions or challenges.

All entries will be displayed, unless we feel that the subject matter is inappropriate.  Copyright will remain with you, but by entering the challenge, you give us the right to use your design in any way we wish on our web site and social media, for advertising purposes.

All designs entered into the challenge will be made public on our web site without charge and will be available for sale.   The designer will be paid £2 per metre commission on any sales of the design.

Happy designing!