Earlier this year I signed up for Bonnie Christine's Immersion Course to learn more about Surface Pattern Design. Before the Immersion Course, I had taken all of her classes I could find on Skillshare and still learned a ton in Immersion.

This was a 8-week course, taken online through Bonnie's website. The course was taught using Adobe Illustrator to create repeating patterns. There was also a bonus portion illustrating how to use an iPad to do the same. You can take the course at your own pace and starting at any skill level. ( If you want to find out more click here! )

As it is with every project - you start with inspiration. My husband and I had recently taken a trip to Italy and the sites were simply breathtaking. I immediately pulled up all the photos from our trip and quickly saw inspiration throughout. (Take me back!)


I was able to pull colors directly from my photos to create a custom color palette that captured the Italy I remembered. I took some time to brainstorm different words that came to mind in order to develop my concept. I also made several sketches or doodles of all the different motifs I found inspiring on all the old buildings or marble floors.


Some images I scanned, some I traced on the computer. I also used LiveTrace to get the sculpture traced into Illustrator. I didn't end up using all of the motifs in my patterns, but this is what I started with. 



Over the next week, I scanned my sketches into Adobe Illustrator. Once all my motifs were in one file I was able to add color to each element from the color palette I had created.

Concept board:




After that - the really hard work began. This part is really intimidating to me! I open a new blank document and it just feels like a huge hurdle to get started. There is SO much empty space! I started with one of my favorite motifs and began to play around with no expectations. After lots of trial and error, here was the first pattern I ended up with:


Once the initial pattern was created it was easy to play around with all the different color combos from the color palette I created. This was the second colorway I landed on:


From there, the rest of the pattern collection followed the same steps. I started with one motif and played around with it until I got the repeat I was happy with. A part of the course was learning how to create different types of repeating patterns. So, we were encouraged to try to create patterns that repeated diagonally, linearly, or randomly. We were also encouraged the play with texture! There is so much wonderful texture throughout Italy. All those old, crumbly buildings were so beautiful to me so adding texture to this collection worked really well.


Here is the complete Bellissimo collection in two color palettes:




I love where the collection ended up, but I know I am still trying to pin down my signature style. It's going to take a lot more practice and study to really find what that is - but I am super excited to keep exploring.

This collection is available on Spoonflower if you want to use any of these in your next project! I would love to see what you make so make sure you tag @SewnHandmade on FB or IG so I can see. 

I look forward to sharing more with you all as I continue to learn!


Until next time,




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