Textile Design

70's Vintage Florals

As I sit curled up in blankets on my couch, staring out at the snow falling out the window, it's funny to think of anything floral related. However, if a little vintage flare is added to the mix, florals for a fall collection totally works.

 Dresses by Mata Traders. Textile Design by Shifra Whiteman. 

Dresses by Mata Traders. Textile Design by Shifra Whiteman. 

Last spring, when the design team at Mata Traders came together for our seasonal brainstorm session, I kept feeling drawn to images of antique and vintage flowers. My favorite was a piece of 70's wallpaper bursting with mustard, pea green and brown flowers. My first reaction was "Gross!  The colors are horrible!", but the shape of the flowers caught my eye and I started to sketch them over and over again. I finally created a repeat that everyone on the design team loved, and then we started to play, what I like to cal "the color game". We tried using darker muted colors, bright colors, pastels…I'm pretty sure we tried every combination of colors under the sun. In the end, we chose a few purples, a cream and a punch of orange. 

 Left: Hello Dolly Dress. Right: Oberlin Dress. Dresses by Mata Traders. Textile Design by Shifra Whiteman.

Left: Hello Dolly Dress. Right: Oberlin Dress. Dresses by Mata Traders. Textile Design by Shifra Whiteman.

After receiving a sample pieces back, we knew we had made the right color choice. The colors are a nice change from the monochromatic winter wardrobe. The print came back so well that two dresses were created from the fabric. The Hello Dolly Dress is so cute and pairs nicely with chunky sweaters for fall, and elegant Oberlin Dress

My Deer Print

Last spring, the design team at Mata Traders gathered around and decided that for Fall 2014, we wanted to design a print with an animal. We started thinking about what would work best for Mata Traders' aesthetic. 

 Paisley Ducks from Cukoos Nest Clothing,  Foxy sweater dress by Ravelry and Zebra dress by Anthropologie.

Paisley Ducks from Cukoos Nest Clothing,  Foxy sweater dress by Ravelry and Zebra dress by Anthropologie.

While researching, we found some awesome prints that already existed. Check out the crazy paisley duck print shirt by Cukoos Nest Clothing, this awesome fox sweater dress print from Ravelry (what did he say?), and this sophisticated zebra dress from Anthropologie. 

 The  Buck Stops Here  skirt and the  Near and Deer  top. Loving the puns!

The Buck Stops Here skirt and the Near and Deer top. Loving the puns!

After getting inspired by all these cool animal print ideas, we finally decided to focus on deers! I played with adding different textures in the initial deer shape, like spots and stripes. In the end, we thought that hatches would look the best. It was traditionally screen printed and the samples came back so well, that Mata Traders designed a snazzy shirt and funky skirt! 

  Buck Stops Here  skirt and the  Near and Deer  top.

Buck Stops Here skirt and the Near and Deer top.

Check out the Buck Stops Here skirt, and the Near and Deer top! Gosh do I love those puns! They are both great casual looks that are a fun statement piece perfect for fall. On a side note, I am starting to fall more and more in love with neutral colors and the brown is a great change from my go to gray. 

Stay tuned for more goodies!

Designed to Carry a Cause: Textiles for Malia Designs!

I am THRILLED to announce that I can now add wallets to my textile design list! Last winter I was approached by Lia Valero, one of the founders of Malia Designs. Malia Designs is a fair trade bag company working with women in Cambodia, rescued from human trafficking. They are such an inspirational company and their tagline "Designed to Carry a Cause" is beyond appropriate.

 Textile Design by Shifra Whiteman. Wallet by Malia Designs. 

Textile Design by Shifra Whiteman. Wallet by Malia Designs. 

During the initial design meeting, it was pretty clear that Lia had a direction and gave me the reigns to run with it. In the past the textiles have gravitated more towards organic floral designs, inspired by the natural flora and fauna of Cambodia. However, times are changing and she felt Malia Designs needed a fresh new perspective. I designed a few patterns for them, but in the end we chose two variations of this triangle print for their Fall 2014 collection. Together we played with colors (there are some fantastic bright colors in the lining!)  and decided the pattern fit the signature collection of silk wallets. 

 Textile Design by Shifra Whiteman. Wallet by Malia Design.

Textile Design by Shifra Whiteman. Wallet by Malia Design.

Rumor has it, they are so successful because I haven't even gotten my wallet yet! The first shipment instantly flew off the shelves! Thankfully the second shipment is in and you can get your own wallet by clicking here

 

Malia Designs also supports Stop Traffick, is a Chicago-based, grassroots effort to raise funds for victims of human trafficking and spread awareness about this critical human rights issue. One of the 2 organizations they support is Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, known as CAASE. Please consider donating to CAASE. 

Cross Stitch Roses

Another season has finally come in and Fall 2014 is upon us. The new collection has arrived, it looks fabulous and boy do we have some fabulous prints to share with you! 

Last summer we at Mata Traders took a good look at the Fall 14 forecast and fell in love with this idea of crafts. We already have embroidery in every season and sometimes we add a bit of ikat into the mix, but for this season, we decided to focus on a pattern fully dedicated to cross stitch. As you know, I have personally become fascinated with cross stitching (thanks to my good friend Haley), but here was a chance to play with the image of the craft rather than actually cross stitching a dress. Now that we had our concept, we needed a subject. The forecast was full of vintage florals. We decided to merge the two ideas; vintage florals and an illusion of cross stitch. 

 Cross Stitch Roses. Textile Design by Shifra Whiteman. Garments by Mata Traders.

Cross Stitch Roses. Textile Design by Shifra Whiteman. Garments by Mata Traders.

Creating this particular pattern was really fascinating to create. From the beginning, we wanted colorful flowers with a dark background so that the colors, no matter what we chose, pop! We started with a grid made up of the letter "x" and used illustrations of 3 different flowers. Then, we used 3 different shades of the same color to show the shading between each petal and 2 shades of green for the leaves. After playing with 3 different types of flowers, we decided to use only roses. The next step was playing with scale. We had one word on our minds…BIG! We wanted everyone to see each "x" printed on the fabric.

 Left: Oberlin Dress    Middle: Hello Dolly   Right: Loyal Love Dress

Left: Oberlin Dress    Middle: Hello Dolly   Right: Loyal Love Dress

We held our breadths waiting for a sample to come back and see if this pattern would even look good.  Thankfully it did! The whole design team fell in love with it and the vintage look with a modern twist looks awesome. We love it so much that Mata Traders decided to make 3 dresses with the fabric! Check out the Oberlin Dress, a wonderful cut perfect for any lady (especially ladies with curves), or the Hello Dolly Dress which could be paired perfectly with a cozy sweater! But my favorite dress is the Loyal Love Dress. It is such an elegant garment that could be dressed down for work just as easily as it could be dressed up for a wedding.