Hello hello! I hope you’ve had a chance to look through our first collection of fashion fabrics, and I hope you found something you love. Today we have an interview with Miramar designer, Whitney Crutchfield. Whitney and I met back in 2011 when she was a resident at the Textile Arts Center in Brooklyn, and I was just starting Workroom Social. In the five+ years since we met, it’s been really fun to help each other develop in our businesses and careers, together celebrating every small achievement in our journeys. Fittingly, today Whitney is the founder, designer, and maker at WE GATHER, a company that creates celebration textiles, handmade specifically for your wedding, dedication ceremony, new baby, anniversary, housewarming, or other celebration.
Don’t forget, Miramar is now available for pre-sale until Friday, December 23 only. Get it while you can!
Workroom Social contributor Suzanne interviewed Whitney for our blog. I’ll let her take it away! Happy Monday everyone!!
Designer Whitney Crutchfield has been obsessed with fabric ever since she first learned to sew as a little girl. Now a textile designer, weaver, and screen printer, Whitney makes it her mission to bring more color, pattern, and visual delight into the world with her handwoven textiles company WE GATHER. When she’s not sitting at the loom or elbow-deep in a dye bath, you can find Whitney teaching college students and adults around NYC, or eating chocolate and cheese.
Suzanne Beaubien: Where did you get your inspiration for the Miramar collection?
Whitney Crutchfield: I like to draw inspiration from daily life, observing what people are wearing to work and to a party, noticing a repeating pattern on the trims of buildings, capturing the color combinations in chipping paint on the subway platform. I also take note of print and color trends in interiors, homewares, and other industries, since these are all things that allow us to express ourselves and affect our daily lives.
Suzanne: What was your process for designing the prints in Miramar?
Whitney: Jennifer and I worked closely to develop a vision for this collection of prints, reviewing lots of current and past trends in the fashion world and studying all the possible categories of print design. We knew that we wanted these fabrics to be a fun and classy choice for the home sewist, so we used that as a beacon during the design process.
I usually start with a list of prints that I’d like to create to make a well-rounded collection. This will include all types of categories—stripes, dots, abstract shapes, conversational prints, florals—and I’ll brainstorm specific ideas for these categories. For instance, fruit prints are really cheeky and fun conversational prints, so I’ll make a list of all of the fruits that would work for the collection. Lemons and strawberries were the winners this time!
My hand-painting process wavers between very intentional and very improvisational. I used watercolors to paint these prints, which for me is not a medium that I can always predict, and I like the possibility of surprise in that. It has the potential to be very soft and fluffy or very opaque and hard-edged. I usually paint the same thing over and over again until I have a few options from which I can choose.
After I’m satisfied with a motif or image, I scan it and use digital software to create a repeat layout and adjust the colors. I love the process of creating different color combinations. There’s always one that you think is going to be really strange and ends up being a star!
Suzanne: What was it like working with Jennifer on the Miramar collection?
Whitney: I love working with Jennifer! We connected many years ago through our own screen printing pursuits, so print runs deep in our history. It was fun to be able to combine my design sense with her goals for the fabric collection and work to create something that represents both of us. Jennifer gave me a lot of space to experiment with ideas and styles, and that makes a collaboration like this all the better.
Suzanne: What makes this project so awesome and special (because it is!)?
Whitney: I LOVE this collection for so many reasons. The prints evoke a sense of whimsy without feeling frivolous. They’re playful but not silly. We’ve created an assortment of prints that can appeal to so many different tastes, from a classic dot to a bold floral to a mystical all-seeing eye. The richness of the color palette we chose kind of draws you in and makes you feel luxurious and proud. I also love how soft and supple the fabrics are—it makes you want to roll around in them. And mostly, the project is special because it comes from a place of delight. It was such a pleasure to dream up these prints and see them come to life, and I hope that you can feel that too!
Workroom Social’s Miramar collection is available now for pre-sale. Limited quantities of our 100% rayon fabrics are available until December 23, 2016. Pre-sale expect to ship February 15, 2017.