The Outside Olso Collection {in my stash}

Sunday, 3 March 2013

I decided to stop buying more fabric, so of course I bought more - it is the same as when I am on a diet, I crave what I should not eat. However I was tried to be reasonable, and really looked at design that was 'more me' (if that makes sense). To be fair I am a little late to join the Outside Oslo fan club. With its scandi design on canvas weight fabric, in fresh colours, how was I supposed to resist? Can you?    

I thought it was worth spreading the Outside Oslo love with an interview of the designer Jessica Jones about designing fabric and what to make in Outside Oslo. You should also check out her blog  'how about orange'

The whole collection
How did you end up designing fabric?

It's not a very complicated story... I was working as a graphic designer (still am) and blogging on the side for fun (still am), when Caroline of jcaroline creative (now closed) sent me an email. I knew of her online shop, but didn't know her at all. Essentially she said, "I like your blog. Want to design some fabric for me?" Essentially I said, "Sure." Without having a clue how to do it. 

I have a BS degree in Design Communication and have been working as a graphic designer since college. I use Adobe's Creative Suite every day, which includes Illustrator and Photoshop, so I imagined it couldn't be that hard. Other people do it, right? 

So I figured out how to make repeating tiles of pattern in Illustrator, my program of choice because I like flat graphic shapes. Essentially you do it like this (the best tutorial I could find for you.) I set to work making a page of patterns, and from those Caroline selected her favorites. I designed some prints to coordinate with them. Then Caroline picked a set and I refined them until we ended up with Modern Flora, my first collection. She found a vendor to manage the printing. I sent them files and they magically turned them into screens. Yes, using magic! And then in January of 2008, Caroline and I met in Massachusetts for the print run, which was great fun.

My process: If I have an idea for a pattern or interesting shape, I might spend a nanosecond sketching it on whatever piece of scratch paper is handy. Or I might not sketch it at all. I might just start making it in Illustrator. I don't have a sketchbook. Sometimes I doodle on computer paper, or notebook pages, or junk mail. Then I put it next to my computer until it's time to make it in Illustrator. Sometimes I lose it or decide to throw it away because it sucks. I don't try to make nice sketches AT ALL. Just a shorthand notation so I'll remember an idea. And then it usually turns out completely different, anyhow

What is your favourite fabric?

It depends on the day, but right now I'll say the Tulip print from Outside Oslo.

Dawn Tulip
What is your favourite item made with the collection?

This travel bag made my by Mom - ie Grandma G (check her Flickr account for more inspiration on how to make the best use of the Outside Oslo collection).

What was the inspiration behind Outside Oslo?

These prints have a bit of a mid-century vibe and look somewhat Scandinavian to me. Relatives on my mom's side of the family came from Norway. The prints are all named after things you might see on a nature walk somewhere outside a city, and I always adore alliteration. Thus, Outside Oslo.

What are you working on now?

Like always, a variety of websites, logos, and brochures for clients. And... some new fabric prints, too!

Thank you so much Jessica! To get your hands on Outside Oslo, check the Needle Shop.

Linking up to Sunday Stash today. 


  1. Those fabrics are really beautiful! I can see why you couldn't resist!

  2. I agree they are gorgeous! Loved reading about Jessica's process in designing, great interview :)

  3. I love how you just casually throw in a fab interview with Jessica! Great to read the back story.

  4. Oh, I have never seen these prints! So gorgeous! Great interview, too.

  5. Who can resist these fabrics? I don't sew and I'm heading to Needle Shop now! Who knows...maybe I can pull together a knitting project bag?

  6. I can see why you couldn't resist these pretties! Just gorgeous!

  7. Ooo thank you for linking up this week because i have never heard of these fabrics or designer either. I am a bit of an Ikea and mid century modern fan and also love the feel of upholstery weight fabrics. Love to see more of your stash each week please.

  8. What an interesting story! I knew magic had to factor into fabric design somehow:)

  9. Love Outside Oslo because of the colors and mid-century vibe. How great to have a designer aside and get a look see into her design process, thanks!

  10. This fabric is awesome. I love how it's modern in clean, bright colors and has contrast.