Sometimes you walk into a store and you think to yourself, "Aw man, all these clothes are ugly. I wish I could sew my own things, with my own floral designs on them." And you absolutely can. Let me guide you through the process of designing your own floral fashion print, which you can later use for awesome and unique DIY projects!
1. Make Some Motifs
Designing a pattern for use on fabric requires you to consider a few things before you start drawing.
First, consider your scale. If your motifs are too large, they will look awkward on the final product, and if they are too small, the details will be lost.
Aim for a scale that will let a good portion of your repeat be seen. If you plan to make large items like clothing, cushions, or kitchen towels, you can go with larger motifs. If you want to make accessories like wallets or hairbands, the scale needs to be smaller or the pattern will not be visible.
The safest bet is to make the design larger than you think you will need, since it is easy to reduce image size in Adobe Photoshop, but it isn't possible to increase it without loss of quality. But make sure that the level of detail and the thickness of your lines are suitable for your choice of scale.
Lines that looked great while you were drawing them could look spidery and thin at a radically smaller scale, or conversely they might appear thick and overpowering if the pattern is used at a large scale.
Start sketching your motifs. You can use as many or as few different flowers as you like, but my preference is always for a variety of blooms in different shapes and sizes, because this will later help you achieve a more dynamic repeat.
You can sketch out individual flowers and leaves and put them together later, but they will never fit together quite as well as when you sketch them out in a big bunch. The sketch can be very rough and loose because we will only use it as a guide.
If you have sketched your flowers in the actual size you want to use in your final pattern, scan your sketch at 300 dpi, as this is the image quality needed for a clear fabric print. Then you can use that scan as your working document, and you don't need to resize the image at all before you start drawing the clean linework over the sketch.
If you sketched your motifs smaller than you'd like them to be in the final pattern, feel free to stretch your scan to any desired size by clicking Control-A > Control-T to access the Free Transform Tool controls, and then Shift-dragging one of the corners outwards until your sketch has grown sufficiently large. This will damage the image quality of your scan, but you shouldn't really care, as the sketch will only be used to guide your linework.