Designing: ONE on ONE

Designing: ONE on ONE

I am excited to step into 2019 with a focus on exploring our Design Eye  and ‘expanding the toolkit’ we, as makers, use. This is the Year of ONE on ONE. Each month I’ll explore my design process through 1 color & 1 stencil.

The world opens our eyes in magical ways when we set limitations… fabric, one pattern, one trim, one ingredient, one map, one city, one pencil, one recipe, one idea…one color. 

It’s January and COLOR is such a good place to start. My theme this month is Black & White. Listen to this conversation about ONE color through the lens of  your favorite color .  

                   1 color=BLACK     1 stencil= The Bamboo Forest

 Start with a basket of MATERIALS, on the design table: What basket will you use? What are your favorite things? What will be inspiring as you explore design?


Pattern Papers=I’ve been using 1 Pant Pattern to make various styles: from soft drapey ones to  fitted spandex versions. For my favorite BLACK spandex pants: Once I adjust my Capitola Pant Pattern for the style I'm making, I trace a copy in brown paper. The patch of fabric, sewn to the paper, is a good reminder of the pants I made from the pattern. This technique makes every pair a quick success!

The Capitola Pant Pattern is also available in a download version.

ONE Stencil:

The Bamboo Forest -In addition to a color theme…a stencil design can be a way to express something beyond the image.

 New Ways to Print: Printing through another window to create another shape. A circle and a square were cut out of heavy paper (on the left) and laid on the fabric to print through on the black linen. The white hand-stitching gives more definition and looks great on both sides!

THE WAY the black bamboo was printed on the white linen was inspired by the ‘navigation tools /maps’ made in the 1800s from sticks and shells by sailors who navigated in the Marshall Islands. Brilliant really!

To accent the idea, I doubled up a colored sewing thread and knotted the intersections where the sticks cross. This stencil is available as a single or in The Japan Collection- a 3-stencil set. Of course…I am anxious to see what inspires your printing this month and the rest of the year so please share!!!.


You SHOULD add Re-Making to your: 2019 to-do-alot!  list. I will always be  a broken record on this….This process changes everything. Whether you, turn 2 shirts upside down and end up with a new dress, add new sleeves or just swap out some buttons= It will open your creativity in un-expected ways. 

......TRUST ME!  It always expands my design thinking and technical knowledge of construction, fabric & sewing. My lates piece is this black linen shirt. It started from a garment I had cut parts from already. 

Sometimes the driving force is a great piece of fabric. Worn and soft…I like the feel and weight of the linen. Sleeves were added in a light weight linen. Hand-stitching along the seamlines accents the intriguing construction lines. 

 Ready to Play? Please share your designing with the Bamboo Stencil to my Facebook Albums to inspire others. You can join me in the studio this month for Fabric Printing Class on Jan 25th and a Remake Class on Jan 26th.

 Abundant Creativity and Joy to you in 2019! •  Diane

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You are the gift that keeps on giving . We can feel your excitement as you continue to inspire us.

Mary Glenn

Great inspiration as always. Thank you for everything you have shared. I’ve been going through many of your past posts over Xmas to inspire me. I’ve bought a set of fabric pens and am willing myself to be brave enough to make some marks.
Wanted to ask though – would you ever consider an online class? I’m down in Perth Australia and have always wanted to do a course with you. I’ve been doing a few online via the Teachable platform, and have found that it’s a great way to be inspired from a distance and at my own pace in the spaces between the day job! I have your drawing on fabric video which is a great start.
Happy New Year!


This is a perfect jump start to the new year. As Julie said, very doable. Thank you. Getting overwhelmed at the start is always my downfall, which is why I like this approach.

Chris Allen

What an inspiring blog! Thank You for sharing your brilliant creativity with all of us! Happy 2019!

Mary Still

Your blog always makes me absolutely itch to get started!

PS – My 8-year-old grandnephew recently described me to his mother (my niece): “She looks just like Grandma [my sister], except that she wears curtains!” As a recycler of any fabric into clothing, I was completely flattered, and have to thank YOU for much of my inspiration.

Pat Mincemoyer

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