Here's my deal: I relax after work by making tiny zipper pouches for my friends, family, and occasional etsy patron. But finding fabric is a real challenge sometimes for a geek girl like me... it's rough being limited by the visions of an industry, hoping the fabric stores will have something for me in their seas of floral prints. Oh but wait... enter spoonflower! I'd browsed around spoonflower and ordered fabric, but this summer I started uploading my own designs and zomg it is a BLAST.
To get started, you will need:
1) Creative vision
2) A graphics program (as always, I use GIMP because it is free and open source and wonderful)
3) About $15
Head to http://spoonflower.com
and upload some designs. Make sure they're in a "collection", so you can order swatches of them all at once. Then order your swatch... for $12+s&h you can get five 8x8 squares, all different designs. I love this because I make so many little projects, if I order a whole yard of fabric my sewing ADD prevents me from actually making stuff with the whole yard. For $20+s&h you can get 15 8x8 squares... a much better deal!
Then in about two weeks, you have fabric! It's washable and sewable and from the outside you totally can't tell that it's a one-time printing deal.
Spoonflower's colors take some learning. Since they print on white fabric, darker colors don't tend to be as dark as you'd like... black is more of a dark gray. Also, like many printers, subtle color changes can be lost in the final result. So for your first order of swatches, make sure you get lots of different colors so you get a good sense to direct you on future designs. I once ordered a whole yard of what I thought would be blue lego fabric once only to find that it was solid blue... BIG mistake! I had to significantly tweak the colors and increase the contrast to feel good about selling it in the spoonflower marketplace.
Which brings me to the last point: any fabric you've ordered, you can put up for sale if you like it. If someone buys it, you get a commission. You can have this sent to your paypal, or just use it to buy MORE FABRIC which so far is what I've done... I've made about $15 this summer, yay!
Here's my latest creation: it's purple, and feministy!
Here are all my designs. It's like a quilt of me... I love books, feminism, legos, running, computers... you get the point right?http://www.spoonflower.com/profiles/spacefem
Anyway if anyone else has tried out spoonflower and has a link to designs, you're welcome to post it, I'd love to see what we're all up to these days.