Designing a perfect fabric print with Contrado

Hello my lovely readers!

Have you ever had a project in mind, but could not find the perfect fabric to match your vision? Maybe the color of the fabric was not right, you needed a specific print or a different fabric type so you put the project aside for a later time or forgot about it all-together. Fear not, there is a simple solution to this problem!!! Just design your dream pattern/color and get it printed on a fabric of your choice! It is pretty simple with Contrado!

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For some time now I had planned to make a backpack for my partner who is a big fun of anime ‘One Piece’, but could not find any suitable fabric print to complete the project. Then one day I browsed the internet in a search for a fabric printing service in the UK and came across Contrado. I did not know what to expect and was not sure if it would even work but I thought I have nothing to loose and begun designing the pattern. I created somehow repetitive pattern using Inkscape that I wanted to use throughout my project and uploaded it onto a Contrado website.

When you click ‘upload your design’ button it takes you to the next page when you can simply add an image of your design or create a design out of multiply images.

Once all your images are uploaded you can choose what fabric you want your design to be printed on, print size, color of the background and edge finish by clicking on ‘product options’ tab. After completing this section you can start working on your design by clicking on ‘images and text tools’.



The page shows a live preview of your design while you work on it, and you can change, add, remove any images, change its size or placement to suit your needs.


There are few useful tools to help you out with a layout of your images, rotation, size and color. It is a quick way of changing your pattern design to see different styles. To complete the order simply click on ‘preview and buy’ button, fill in your personal details and pay for the product.



The design was printed and delivered to me 3 days later and the quality exceeded my expectation. The fabric was of high quality and the print had sharp and intense color. I couldn’t be more happier with it. The price starts at £14.50 for a 30 cm long, however it is absolutely worth it. I had ordered 60cm by 159cm, and used every little scrap of it .


Do you follow pattern layout instructions?

Hi sewing friends! I am wondering today if you always follow the instruction on pattern placement? I for once never even bother to look at it and would play a Tetris on my fabric with all pattern pieces. It takes time but I like to be as economical as possible and doing my own pattern layout allows me to save extra fabric that can be used in next project.

Typically the pattern instruction would tell you to fold a fabric together along the salvage edges and layout the pattern as required following the grain line and fabric print direction if necessary. This is a good system if you have many pieces and not all of them are on hold, otherwise you are ending up with a lot of wasted fabric that may be to narrow for anything else. As example here I used pieces from Agnes top pattern (by Tilly and the Buttons) which would use about 120 cm of my fabric lenght as most of the pieces need to be placed on fold and if you look at fabric requirement for Agnes top with cropped sleeves this is exactly how much it is recommended.

What I like to do in this situation is to fold over one salvage edge to the middle of the fabric.

This way I use about 146 cm of my fabric lenght but also my left over piece is much wider, which would be easier to find usefulness in the next make. The best option however is to have an idea what other pattern might be used it for and cut it at the same time.

In this scenario I decided to make a Molly top ( by Sew Over It) with short sleeves, however the pattern pieces do not fit on the other half of the fabric.

That is when my Tetris game starts. I take the widest piece out of both pattern tops, measure its width so I know exactly how much fabric I need to fold on one edge. Next I fold over the other edge meeting both salvage ends. I lay out all pattern pieces to check if they fit and cut it out once I’m happy. This way I can make two tops out of 150 cm lenght of fabric, which is pretty good.

By follow this rule at all times and I managed to squeeze out those two tops from scraps of materials I used for Hibiscus, Frankie and Freya tops.

I had to be a little creative but I like the color combinations.

~what rules and instructions do you break?~

Monika xxx