Custom Printed Fabric for Cameron’s Custom Wedding Dress

A custom printed fabric consultation at Red Canary | Brooks Ann Camper Bridal Couture

After completing the first draft of Cameron’s custom overdress pattern, I shifted my focus to fabric. Though I love shopping at Mulberry Silks for bridal fabrics, sometimes my brides have very specific visions that simply can’t be found in a small boutique store. Or anywhere for that matter…

Cameron’s custom wedding dress design features a floral pattern on a sheer white silk. She wanted white flowers (with bits of green and maybe gold), fairly large in size, and not very close to each other. Her flower preference was gardenias. I considered making the fabric myself (maybe with appliqué or hand painting?) but Cameron’s tight budget didn’t allow for these labor-intensive couture techniques.

Cameron's Custom Wedding Dress Sketch by Brooks Ann Camper Bridal Couture
Cameron’s Custom Wedding Dress Sketch by Brooks Ann Camper Bridal Couture ©2017

Custom Printed Fabric

When I started to consider having Cameron’s fabric custom printed, I first thought of Spoonflower. Spoonflower is a well-known custom printing business local to me in Durham, NC. Even though now it is a huge international company with literally millions of customers, I first visited Spoonflower when it was just getting started. A friend of mine was the part-time bookkeeper back when Spoonflower was only a couple of guys with a couple of printers. It has been incredibly cool to watch this business grow so much so quickly!

But my hopes of using Spoonflower were dashed when I found out they don’t have any sheer silk options for fabric printing. Sad trombone.

Then I remembered my friend Ann Tilley mentioning that she knew a custom fabric printer in downtown Greensboro. Enter Anne of Red Canary Studio!

Red Canary Fabric Print Studio storefront | Brooks Ann Camper Bridal Couture

Red Canary

Unlike Spoonflower, Red Canary is a small studio run by only one woman with over 18 years of fabric printing experience. Anne Schroth works one-on-one with her clients for a truly custom experience. (Right up my alley!) And lucky for me, she also prints on sheer silk!

Anne Schroth of Red Canary Studio in Greensboro | Brooks Ann Camper Bridal Couture

I first contacted Anne over email and we set up an appointment to meet in her studio. While I was there, I showed her Cameron’s sketches and inspirations.

Consulting custom fabric at Red Canary | Brooks Ann Camper Bridal Couture

It was a very inspiring experience and workspace!

Consulting custom fabric at Red Canary | Brooks Ann Camper Bridal Couture

Anne's desk and one of the fabric printers at Red Canary | Brooks Ann Camper Bridal Couture

Anne uses two giant printers to create all the custom fabrics!

The fabric printers at Red Canary | Brooks Ann Camper Bridal Couture

Together, we looked through both printed and plain fabric samples…

Consulting custom fabric at Red Canary | Brooks Ann Camper Bridal Couture

…and I showed Anne some of Cameron’s favorite flower inspirations.

Three gardenia images that could be used in Cameron's custom wedding dress by Brooks Ann Camper Bridal Couture

When we started talking about the spacing for the flowers, I knew we’d need to be thoughtful about placement. While the large panels of the dress’s skirt allowed for a lot of flexibility, the top would need extra consideration. I wanted to make sure the flowers weren’t awkwardly placed or broken up by the seams of the bodice.

To work through this idea, Anne traced a copy of Cameron’s bodice pattern to help customize the layout and flower placement!

Anne traces my pattern for placement of gardenias | Brooks Ann Camper Bridal Couture

After we achieved a good foundation for where the project was going, Anne let me know that she’d start working up some samples with different layouts, flowers, and fabrics. Once they were ready, I’d be able to show them to Cameron in our first mockup fitting!

Ann & Anne (& Brooks Ann!)

As we were wrapping up, Ann Tilley showed up in the studio! The two Ann(e)s were in the beginning stages of starting their own digitally-printed small-batch clothing line called Ann & Anne.  Their first collection launches on August 4, 2017!

Anne Schroth and Ann Tilley at Red Canary fabric print studio in Greensboro | Brooks Ann Camper Bridal Couture

I was so thankful to have found out about Anne through Ann! I felt confident that Red Canary’s truly custom service would be a perfect fit for Cameron’s dress and future custom sewing projects.

Have you ever designed or created your own custom fabric?


NEXT POST: I start creating the mockup for Cameron’s custom overdress!






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Hi there! I'm Brooks Ann.

I’m an independent designer and couture dressmaker for one-of-a-kind bridalwear located in Hillsborough, North Carolina. I also teach the sew-curious both in-person and online.

My blog follows along with the couture process of how each heirloom-quality custom wedding dress is made from idea to wedding day, as well as other interesting tidbits related to sewing, weddings, and body positivity.

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