courgette drawing on cotton shirt

How a day at the market inspired a fabric shirt print design

An insight into how a moments inspiration was taken from a watercolour painting all the way through to a fabric print concept for a button-up shirt.

It was my first official NSS (no supermarket Saturday) this weekend. Starting with one day a week I’ll be consciously avoiding the tempting fluoros, whilst exploring other avenues for cupboard stocking. #nosupermarketsaturday I’ll be obnoxiously tweeting.

farmers' market inspired shirt pint
So on Saturday I trotted along to the Parliament Hill Farmers’ Market which runs from 10-2pm every Saturday.

Beautiful baskets of courgettes caught my eye – I’ll have to get the name of this stall next Saturday.

farmers markets courgettes

The colours of the courgettes were so inspiring. I couldn’t wait to get home to lay down some washes of yellows and greens, with a drop of blue pigment as well.

With a combination of watery washes and thin pigment overlay emerged a suitably realistic and stylistic design.

watercolour courgettes drawing table

The globe courgette was a nice addition to the crew, it’s not something I normally see at the supermarket.

When laid out end-to-end, and formatted into a repeat pattern, the globe courgettes gives the design a Morse Code-like appearance.

courgette pattern from watercolour
courgette watercolour pattern


dash dot dash dash …

I do now know what courgette is in Morse Code, -.-. — ..- .-. –. . – – . so if I’m banging this on the supermarket window you know it’s courgette o’clock.

But what are the courgettes above talking about?

.– . –. –. . – –
. – — . — . —


Oh gosh, is that courgette pattern being aggressive right now? Get back in your box courgette pattern, I’m going to make you into a shirt.

Here we have my perfect shirt, (and no one knows it says some angry garbled “weget mememe” message in Morse code).

I’m imagining a sort of very soft, very drape-y (is that the right word for lots of drape?) cotton, low cut under the arms and rolled up sleeves, ready for business, ready for more farmers markets, ready for carrying bundles of celery and leeks under arms. Now, if only I could find me a wicker basket on wheels that would be so sweet.

Courgette shirt pattern

Some days I feel about as smug as this dandy in a courgette shirt, peachy hair and pink trousers.

courgette shirt

courgette illustrated shirt

courgette drawing on cotton shirt

And if you’re wondering I did buy the courgettes! They are all gone now. I cooked up a rice and vege stir fry, chopped them up in a spag bol, and had them fried with eggs for breaky.

watercolour courgette repeat pattern

This design did make it into the real world, and the watercolour really translates beautifully onto cotton. I love how each courgette looks like a little hand painted gem.

Courgette watercolour pattern

How about that globe courgette, eh?

courgette fabric print from watercolour

So that’s it from me on my first #NSS, if you think it’s worth a comment, you know what to do. If not that’s all good too 🙂

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