Enrollments to the Repertoire course are closed for 2022

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What's Repertoire?

Repertoire is an 8-week online training program for aspiring pattern designers who want to become experts at what you do and be able to create any type of pattern you set your mind to.

I believe it’s important to build a strong confidence in your abilities and skills, if you want to succeed as a pattern designer. And the best way to do that is to educate yourself in the craft of pattern design, about different types of patterns, how they have developed and evolved throughout history and how they are composed.

But perhaps most of all; to get real and practical experience with creating different types of patterns yourself. And that's exactly what Repertoire is about.

Whether you’re in the early stages of your pattern design evolution, or a seasoned designer, this course will give you extensive knowledge about pattern styles and types, the technical skills for creating a range of different pattern types and styles, from simple to the most advanced and complex. And it's a treasure trove of inspiration and ideas for varying your work.

At the end of the course, you will have a large repertoire of patterns inspired by your favorite historical styles - and the know-how to add your own twist to them.

8 weeks where we focus on getting good at designing patterns

  • The Repertoire course has 6 modules released over a period of 8 weeks, each one teaching about the patterns and techniques of a specific composition type and gradually building in complexity, starting with the most simple composition type and patterns, and ending with the most intricate and complex.
  • In each module you are introduced to some of the most iconic and beloved historic pattern styles (and some that you may not know of yet), with video lessons in pattern history, style studies, step-by-step tutorials and practical implementation assignments.
  • All lessons are taught by Bärbel, in bite-size videos (with closed captions & transcripts).
  • As a student you have full support by Bärbel and the support team, a private community and also through live Q&A sessions.

I started learning from Bärbel a little over 18 months ago and in that time I've developed a colour palette and a design method which defines my style. I'm also focused on who I design for, which is incredibly rewarding as my design time has become productive. I have so many more tools in my design bag. 

- Jane Harbison

I have gained a better knowledge of historical patterns and their construction, with great practical instructions to put into practice right away. Because of it, I can now implement some classic patterns and use them as a basis for my own interpretations.

- Popeia Herzog

I’m now able to produce highly complex beautiful patterns and am so excited that I finally completed a mirrored complex Arts and Crafts style pattern. I’m amazed at how far my design pattern skills have improved.

- Catherine Endres

Become a skilled & confident pattern designer

Who can create any type of pattern you set your mind to.

With an extensive knowledge about different patterns and styles.

And lots of practical experience of creating a range of different pattern types.

Who has tools and techniques that makes creating even those really complex patterns and compositions feel effortless and fun.

Being able to trust your skills and that the patterns you create are well crafted.

Feeling comfortable with presenting yourself as a professional pattern designer.

Let's make you a pattern design expert! Here's how:

By learning from historic patterns and styles

Complex patterns broken down into steps that will show you exactly how to create patterns in your favorite styles.

Easy to follow drawing techniques and practices, closing the “gap” between what you see in your head and what comes out on paper. 

Pattern tutorials organized by the complexity of different motifs and compositions, to gradually and steadily advance your skills.

Composition studies and practices to train your eye for what works and what doesn't, so you can create sophisticated and intriguing patterns of your own.

Introductions to a plethora of historic styles and motifs, patterns and composition types, that will help you diversify your collections and portfolio.

I have made so much progress as a pattern designer since I started learning from Bärbel. I feel it has taken my pattern making skills to a new level of design. I now feel confident in my abilities to make patterns and I truly feel I have no limitations to designing patterns!

- Sarah Garcia

I’ve gained a solid foundation in classical design principles, styles, and techniques. This has helped me round out my design and pattern making skills and improved not only my design aesthetic, but my design value as well.

- Michael Sheridan

The intriguing history of patterns

To create patterns for the future we can learn from the successes in the past

Come join me in a journey through time, where we will learn about some of the most iconic and beloved pattern styles in history - and how they have evolved and are now influencing the patterns of today. 

Ancient Egyptian

Ancient Greek & Roman

Ancient South American


Indian Floral




Toile de Jouy

Arts and Crafts

Art Nouveau


And more...

There's a treasure trove of pattern possibilities waiting for you inside


  • Foulards & petítes

  • Quatrefoils

  • Rosettes

  • Ditsy

  • Vermicular & Coral

  • Checks & Diamonds

  • Lozenges

  • Hexagons

  • Overlapping circles

  • Chevrons & zigzags

  • Scales, scallop & fan

  • Stripes


  • Plaids

  • Diaper

  • Trailing florals

  • Ogees

  • Conversational

  • Landscape


Getting your vision onto paper & screen can be frustrating

But with my step-by-step tutorials, with tips and helpful techniques it will get easier:

Develop your drawing skills

  • Tutorials on how to draw motifs in different styles
  • Drills that will train your eye-hand connection
  • Guides and templates to aid your hand

Develop your digital techniques

  • Tutorials on how to build different types of repeats and compositions; with both traditional techniques and Adobe Illustrator.
  • Best practices for vectorizing your motifs.

Student stories


“Bärbel is one of the finest teachers I’ve ever learned from. Her lessons go in depth and give so much context for the historical styles she teaches about. I feel like I’ve become a stronger surface pattern designer since learning from her. AND going back to study historical patterns and design elements has given me fresh perspective for how to infuse these time tested motifs and design rules into my own modern style of illustration. There’s a reason Bärbel has long been a ‘top teacher’ in our industry.”

- Stacie Bloomfield, Gingiber

6 modules, gradually building your skills and techniques



  • How to create patterns with the most simple pattern composition type.
  • Introductions to classic pattern types and historic styles and motifs like Rosettes, Quatrefoils, Paisley and floral petítes.


  • How to create patterns with intertwining motifs in dense compositions.
  • Introductions to styles like Millefleurs, Liberty florals and Chinoiserie. 
  • Continuing with more complex Paisley patterns.


  • How to create patterns with no spacing between the shapes & motifs.
  • Introductions to geometrics like checks, diamonds, hexagons and circles, African and ancient styles like Egyptian and South American.


  • How to create patterns with motifs with no visible beginning or end and patterns with foreground and background layers.
  • Introductions to stripes, plaids, Indian Floral and Arts and Crafts patterns.
  • Continuing with more complex Chinoiserie patterns.


  • How to create patterns with a zoomed out perspective and tells a story.
  • Introductions to conversational, landscape, Toile de Jouy and Renaissance tapestry.
  • Continuing with more ancient Egyptian and Chinoiserie patterns.


  • How to create symmetrical patterns with mirrored & interlocking motifs.
  • Introductions to Ogees, Damask & Art Nouveau patterns.
  • Continuing with more complex Paisley and ancient Greek patterns.

Student success stories

Beatriz Pascual

When I started, I didn't have a focus or a clear style. I used to create random designs and always had the feeling that they were not very cohesive. Bärbel’s classes shifted my mind towards something more specific and I found that traditional patterns really fit with my style and personality, giving me constant inspiration to create my own designs. In 2021 I started crafting my own products with my designs and opened an online and physical store (actually making sales!) and in 2022 I have started to work with a client.

Suse Kopp

Bärbel’s ability to break down complex tasks in small baby steps has helped me loose my fears and be able to trust my drawing skills. Now I have the confidence to call myself pattern designer and illustrator. I had a pattern ending up in the top 25 in a Spoonflower competition and I’m getting more of my illustrations on book covers in my main job as book cover designer. And I’m coming close to finishing a collection at last.

Nigar Jaffri

Taking Bärbel’s classes has been a life changing experience for me, an educational empowerment to my abilities and confidence as a textile designer, as I’ve set up accounts at different POD sites and approached companies with my portfolio, which has resulted in collaborating with two prominent companies! The wealth of information Bärbel provides in her courses has been a pivotal point in fulfilling my dreams of being a freelance textile designer.

Repertoire resources at your finger tips

6 modules
gradually building in complexity

120+ bite-size video lessons and step-by-step tutorials

Transcripts and closed captioning, printable guides and templates

Implementation & inspiration prompts

Ability to search for words in videos & lessons

Support and feedback from the community and support team

Private community with your pattern design colleagues

Weekly live Q&A calls
with Bärbel

Meet Bärbel Dressler

Your Repertoire teacher

Accomplished surface pattern designer, experienced online educator and pattern historian


By studying historical patterns and styles Bärbel taught herself advanced pattern design and how to create complex, layered and flowing patterns. Her love for historic patterns and styles has highly influenced her work and has opened doors for working with companies around the world.

She has taught over 30.000 students about pattern history and how to create patterns in classic styles, drawing and illustration.

Bärbel lives in Stockholm, Sweden where she runs her design and education business Bear Bell Productions. She has designed patterns for home decor, home textiles, fashion and marketing assets for companies in Europe and North America since 2014.

One is never bored when learning from Bärbel. She brings fresh surprises, challenges you to use another media, or to look around and up to find real inspiration. She has great and deep knowledge, experience and high standards in what she does. She’s like an actress, making the studies a joyful adventure.

- Vesta Dobreva-Stefanov

Bärbel makes learning fun and is an inspiring teacher and brings joy to the classes. Her historical knowledge of pattern design is second to none. She guides you through designing in Adobe Illustrator in a way that is easy to follow and build upon.

- Aline Doornhof


As a Repertoire student you have unlimited access to the 2022 course, even after the 8 weeks have come to an end. You can come back and watch and rewatch the lessons whenever you want and need, for as many times you want.


You can follow the modules and lessons as they are released or work through them in your own pace, together with the assignments and implementation prompts that are there to keep you going and motivated.


The Repertoire course comes with a 2-week money-back guarantee. If you for some reason feel that the course isn't living up to your expectations within the first 14 days you will get a full refund from me.

More student success stories

Lorna Bates

I now have the confidence to design and draw repeat patterns by hand and enjoy taking inspiration from the historical bank of knowledge discovered through Bärbel’s classes. And I am very proud to say I have developed my love of pattern into an art practice which is now not only satisfying for me but has gotten me noticed and I have been signed up to a design studio, gaining in confidence and experience every day.

Chloé Oternaud

After following the tutorials on Millefleurs I created my personal take on the style, with a design of "potted interior flowers". the motifs caught the eye of a friend, who asked if I could print some posters for his wife. So I adapted my drawings for larger scale. And one year later, the series of motifs was selected by a French greeting card company!!! Wouhoooo! I have now completed another collection for them and have a third in the works. This all started from your Millefleurs lessons, and now I am a licensed artist! 

Lyn Kalogirou

Before I didn't really understand what a pattern collection should be composed of, I hadn't submitted patterns to Spoonflower challenges and I certainly didn't know much about the History of Design, although I thought I did. Now I can see my style developing and maturing, with deeper and stronger roots to grow it from. This has given me the confidence to call myself a Pattern Designer, to get over my imposter syndrome and share my work without fear of failure.


More student stories

Margaret Meagher

Learning from Bärbel has opened me up to the immense possibilities in the use of historical pattern styles. Her instructions are detailed, so I know what steps to follow when I create my own work. This has helped me create better patterns, in many more styles and I now have a collection of patterns that are ready to be made available for sale on Spoonflower.

Rashmi Pannikar

Before I didn't know how & where to start sketching any given historic motif, or how to create a simple scale pattern, but now I have a process & tools for creating complex patterns with ease. With Bärbel’s lessons I not only made a simple scale pattern but also created a complex composition inspired by the Ancient Greek & Roman era. I feel so proud about myself that I have made this progress.

Regina Kareev

I've learned a lot about historical styles and classic pattern types, where they come from, how they're connected and how I can use elements from them in my own work. Now I'm able to design patterns with traditional layout and motifs. I feel that my designs are becoming stronger and I have more confidence in my work and I've just launched my first collection of fabric and wallpaper on Spoonflower. As George Santayana has said: “To know your future you must know your past.”

Mairin Kareli

One the biggest take away for Bärbel’s approach for teaching is the only one I have found that helps with planning and understanding pattern composition beyond straight /half drop/brick repeat and instead expanding them into patterns like Ogees, Scales, Indian Florals and Arts and Crafts and explaining why these they look the way they do and how create that yourself. It’s so useful and really expands ones ability to create.

Christine Giarusso

I feel more educated and my skills have vastly improved. This has given me the confidence to add my work to POD sites, where I'm seeing sales!


Jennie Enström

I feel so proud of how much I have learned and how I use the new knowledge and inspiration to test different ways to draw and make pattern that expand my horizon!


Elisabeth Wilks

One the biggest take away for me is how I look at the history of different types of patterns and designs and how they inform our modern patterns. This has made me grow and develop into a more informed pattern designer and be able to create more in-depth patterns.

Tracey Graver

Barbel has broken down complex motifs, history, and pattern design concepts into manageable steps. She encourages me to take chances and try - and gives such valuable feedback for everyone to learn from. She makes me believe I can do it!

Michelle Saunders

Bärbel's classes engage my curiosity and urge me to push my self in a gentle but caring way. I love learning the history and background, it brings so much more depth to the learning and has challenged me to explore my skills as my styles develops improves.

Susan Felicity

The historical pattern information is unique in the world of online pattern design education. Bärbel provides extremely well structured lessons, presented in a lovely genuine, easy-to-understand style.

Mary Roxanne Harmon

I've learned that there's so much more to patterns than just creating them. Bärbel's lessons are so thorough, knowledgeable, and inspiring! She pushes your boundaries to help you create the best version of pattern designer self and your designs!

Marcela Shaw

Bärbel has given me an incredible amount of information about the historical  development of patterns and what elements make those patterns unique. I’ve grown as an artist by learning techniques for creating different patterns and exploring new drawing styles.