Product Feature: Made By Mrs M

Kate Marsden Made By Mrs M Made By Mrs M Button brooches Made By Mrs M Cushions Made By Mrs M NOTHS Summer 2015

Made By Mrs M is a UK-based brand with a colorful range of products from mugs to cushions, lampshades to notebooks, as well as selling their original fabric designs by the meter. Read on to learn a bit more about the brand and founder Kate Marsden.


“Made By Mrs M started when designer Kate Marsden realised she needed to return to her original passion. Kate studied Fashion & Textiles but went on to work for many years in the City of London. Kate’s love of art and design, and in particular textiles inspired the launch of Made By Mrs M. Kate likes to share her love for quirky, colourful and unique designs inspired by mid-century architecture, as well as her passion for making, with others via her fabric, product ranges and blog.

Based on the South London/Surrey border, Kate designs a range of patterns for fabric, which she also uses to illustrate a selection of complementary products. Kate has been striving for some time to ensure that all items are UK made, and all of her new products now achieve this aim. New fabrics and mugs are printed in the UK by small companies, while Kate makes all other products herself from her studio.

You may have seen Made By Mrs M products and Kate’s blog, in the following places: Royal Academy of Arts RAted range (Autumn 2014), Emerald Street (February 2015), Homemaker Magazine (March 2015), Craftseller Magazine (December 2014), Renegade Craft Fair (2014), Crafty Fox Market (2014 & 2015) and Thread Festival of Textiles (2014).”


You can visit Made By Mrs M at, or on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook.


Is your eye drawn to the colors and patterns you see on clothing or in home decor? Do patterns fill your doodles, drawings and artwork? You could make money in the textile design industry. Get our FREE video training today!

Fashion Illustration with TJ Walker

TJ Walker is a fashion designer and the co-founder of the streetwear brand Cross Colours, and has over two decades of experience designing clothing. This month in the Textile Design Lab TJ has offered a tutorial to our members in three parts: first, a short video on Illustrator basics and file set up which leads into part two–a step-by-step tutorial on illustrating a short sleeve crew neck tee shirt, and lastly, a look at some of TJ’s work over the years and his list of “5 P’s”–thoughts on finding lasting success and longevity in our creative industry. Textile Design Lab members also receive a downloadable female figure template as seen below.

You can read more about TJ in our recent interview here, and please enjoy this short excerpt from part two of TJ’s Textile Design Lab tutorial, walking through the process of creating a tee shirt in Illustrator.
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Ready to add a neckline, sleeves and hemline stitching to your tee shirt? Become a member of the Textile Design Lab to gain access to the rest of this tutorial, including TJ’s video on Illustrator file setup, a downloadable female figure template as seen in the above sneak peek, and TJ’s thoughts on what it takes to succeed as a designer. TDL membership is just $42/month and in addition to our monthly guest expert tutorials you also will receive access to our private forum, eight different e-courses, fun design challenges and lots more exciting and helpful content to get your textile design career off the ground. Visit to learn more! 

Featured Designer: Jacqueline Maldonado

I could just gobble up these candy-colored watercolors, couldn’t you?! These dreamy designs are the work of Jacqueline Maldonado, a surface pattern designer and watercolorist currently residing in Long Island. In 2012, Jacqueline took a leap of faith to pursue her art as a full-time endeavor and has been kind enough to share a bit about that journey with us today:


“I’ve always been an artist but I never believed I could actually create for a living. Although I was accepted into the Fine Art program at the Fashion Institute of Technology, believing that I could not survive as a fine artist, I chose instead to study Display & Exhibit Design. After graduation, I began a career in retail as a visual merchandiser. Later, I tried my hand as a floral and holiday display designer and even had a brief stint as real estate agent. I went back to retail and eventually worked my way around the fashion industry until I landed a job working in a high-end wholesale children’s fashion showroom as a brand manager. Although I loved working with fashion and people, I was never fulfilled in any job. I needed to live a more creative life; I needed to create, I needed to paint. I decided to go back to school and earned a BA in Visual Art from Empire State College where I studied one on one with established painters, including Jill Moser (look her up – you won’t be disappointed!). I planned on earning my masters in Art Education, but mid way through my studies, I became pregnant with my now 3 year old daughter. My doctor advised me to refrain from work and school due to a high-risk condition. It was at this time that I began to research ways in which to sell my art online. After all, I had piles of work just laying around collecting dust and I was desperate for income. I had nothing to lose so I began selling on Etsy and POD sites like society6. After a short time, I started to see success, selling my work on products and being accepted as an artist on Deny Designs. In the last three years, I have steadily built my business and feel as if I am living a dream come true. I never thought I could make a good living doing what I love. But I am finding that the more ‘me’ I am in my art and life, the more successful I become. It sounds cliche, but it is true. I spent so much time trying to be whatever I ‘wanted’ to be, whatever I thought would make me successful, when really I should have been following my heart and being who I am all along. I am a painter with a passion for pattern. It’s who I am so it’s who I am choosing to be.”


You can find Jacqueline around the web at, on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Have a wonderful Friday, everyone (and why not bust out those watercolors this weekend?!) :) -Chelsea

Textile Design Lab Member Spotlight: Diane Labombarbe

diane_labombarbe_samples_1Diane Labombarbe is one of the more than 300 talented and passionate designers who make up our Textile Design Lab community, and we are thrilled to share her story and some of her beautiful work with you today! This is the second post in our new series highlighting the incredible work our members create both inside and outside of the Lab (check out our inaugural post HERE featuring Laura Muñoz Estellés.) Read on to learn more about Diane’s design background and a glimpse into her creative process!


Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from? What is your career background and what drew you to textile design?
I live in a small rural city in Ontario Canada. When I was young my mother was a work-at-home self employed seamstress. I often got scraps to play with and learned to sew at a very young age. I designed my first plush toy at about 8. It was a strange black monkey type creature that I loved. I think that sparked my love of designing things, which over the years has included sewing patterns, woodworking designs, quilting and textile art.
I have a background in retail management but have worked as a freelance artist for over 10 years now.
What courses have you taken in the Textile Design Lab? What is your favorite aspect of the Lab?
I am working my way through “The Sellable Sketch” and “The Ultimate Guide To Repeats” at the moment. Although I am not new to surface design, I am not trained in textile design and have learned so many valuable things from the classes from how to discover your own personal design style to what size artboards to use in Illustrator.

I have found the Textile Design Lab to be a fantastic place filled with inspiring artists that are willing to share knowledge. I am self-taught so I find all the info invaluable.

What projects are you currently working on?
I am currently busy building my own portfolio site and blog and a set of patterns to display there using both digital and traditional methods such as block printing. I am also working of a series of sewing patterns that I plan to sell online. I am working on journal cover designs for a regular client of mine.
Where do you find inspiration when creating a pattern? 
Because I love nature and all things vintage I seem to have no end to things that inspire me. A walk outside in my overgrown garden beds or using that old 1950s colander I use to drain veggies. I am also a photographer and I love macro photography because you see things you would never know are there. I often start a pattern based on the seasons. For example, I see the vivid yellow black-eyed-susan flowers in my garden and think how great they’d be for a Halloween or fall series.
What do you do if you’re stuck in a design rut or feeling uninspired?
It’s so easy to become inspired or get yourself out of a design rut. Grab a favourite magazine and go curl up in chair with it. Even a tablet version would work but there’s something about holding a real book in your hands and leafing through pages. I’ve done it since I was a kid. Flip through and stop at any pages that catch your eye. It’s amazing how the photography in a well known food or fashion magazine can kick start your engine.
I am a traditional and digital artist but after so many years of working digitally I started using my sketchbook every day. I keep a can filled with colorful Sharpie markers on my kitchen table and each morning I doodle at least one page. I never have an idea what to draw, I just start with a line and it always becomes something.
What do you hope to achieve as a textile designer? What are your goals for your career/business?
My goals are to expand my client base, get a portfolio finished, and finally get that website and blog going so I can share sewing patterns with others. My main goal is to spend a little more time with fabrics.



You can find Diane online at her website,, on Spoonflower, Society6, and her iStock illustration portfolio.


Ready to transform your talent into a thriving career in textile design? Become a member of the Textile Design Lab today! Membership is just $42/month and includes seven different e-courses, a private forum, weekly live artwork critiques, guest expert tutorials, fun design challenges and lots more exciting and helpful content to get your textile design career off the ground. Visit to learn more!

Hand-printed Fabrics by Soda + Stitch

Jemma Bell is the founder of Soda + Stitch, which specializes in selling hand block printed fabrics by the meter and also offers the opportunity for customers to order customized designs or for existing prints to be sewn into products. Recently Soda + Stitch also released their debut collection of children’s mix-and-match bedlinen filled with ”playful prints, bright colour palettes and soft textiles” which has seen a great response so far!

About the brand

“Soda + Stitch was founded by self confessed textile lover, Jemma, after a life-changing and rather spontaneous move to India. After landing in Jaipur, surrounded by the smell, colour and liveliness of daily life, Soda + Stitch was born… The opportunity to design and create textiles in India’s bustling chaos was just too appealing!

Soda + Stitch has a serious passion (addiction may be a better word) for all things colourful, textured and playful. We also aim to nurture the handmade textile industry which is exactly why all our textiles are hand block printed by seasoned masters in Jaipur, India.

Hand block printing is an age old artisanal technique which creatively embraces the beauty and imperfections of the handmade.

Each block has been carved from soft teak wood, each colour mixed by the careful eyes of our colour masters and each meter painstakingly printed layer by layer. It is for this reason that some variations in print and colour may occur. A lovely reminder of the fabrics beginnings.

All designs use quality cotton fabric, colourfast dyes and the amazing hands of incredibly talented block printers.

Soda + Stitch definitely shake off the norms of block printing in order to bring you a fresh, vibrant and popping range of textiles.”


About Jemma

“My work is a little varied but as a designer it explores a considered and intuitive meeting of hand generated work and computer aided graphics. A quirky, illustrative, yet pared back approach is at the heart of what I do. I like to have a little fun, without going over board and compromising aesthetics.

I generally start work with a pencil on paper or a big black marker on paper… Watercolour sometimes creeps in there too. When I’ve got some marks on paper that I’m happy with, I then scan into the computer where I can explore colour, scale and pattern repeats more easily.

My background was originally in Graphic Design, but I was always yearning for a more hands on approach, so when I discovered Textile Design I was a happy lady! Having a graphic background has helped me enormously and I still freelance in the field but Textile Design is the true passion – it gives you the opportunity to get your hands dirty and to produce a physical piece that can be kept and treasured.”


Visit for more information or connect with Jemma via FacebookPinterest or Instagram.


Is your eye drawn to the colors and patterns you see on clothing or in home decor? Do patterns fill your doodles, drawings and artwork? You could make money in the textile design industry. Get our FREE video training today!

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At Pattern Observer we strive to help you grow your textile design business through our informative articles, interviews, tutorials, workshops and private design community, The Textile Design Lab.