Saturday, 30 April 2011


Well you know I have been attempting to do Japanese pattern cutting I started a new task of creating a skirt with a hole in it. It sounds outrageous I know but it doesn't seem as tricky as it sounds.
If you want to try this at home, right down a few notes and get started.
1. Create a cylinder with paper and divide it up into 5 sections.
Slash down the sections to create 5 different pattern pieces.
2. Cut them out of calico and sew altogether with 1cm
seam allowance making sure the notches match and the patterns fit from top to bottom.
3. Press all the seams open.
4. Create skirt block and pattern using slash and spread method spreading by 13cm between each slashed piece.
5. Sew side seams together imagining a zip is in one and fold over by 1cm where the zip would go.
6. Pin on mannequin to show exact fullness and volume and cut off any fabric to gain a severe slant.
7. Cut a hole where you want it on the skirt but make sure it doesn't look too ugly.
8. Place the cylinder you made before through the hole making sure the hole isn't too tight but just gives enough room for you to pin it on the outside of the hole.

9. Make sure you pin it flat to make the measurements more precise.
10. Draw design lines and then slash down them to create more pieces of fabric to then trace off and add 1cm seam allowance and notches to then match them together.
11. Cut out pieces in final fabric and sew in the zip in between the two largest pieces ending at the first notch.
12. Sew all pieces together using 1cm seam allowance and pressing the seam open.
13. Create a waist facing and sew it inside the skirt and press the facing.

If you break it down like this you will find it easy, if I can do it I'm sure anyone can!


INDIVIDUAL CIRCLES PINNED TO THE MANNEQUIN - This technique was a guide to see how I would gain the effect used in the Vogue image. This is a nice technique but doesn't exceed the volume I want.The main feature was the gaps in between the circles but I will have to try different methods and find the technique with most fullness and volume.

OVERLAPPED CIRCLES - For this technique I tried to gain more volume by overlapping the circles which worked nicely but it wasn't as severe as I imagined. This technique looks more professional and is closer to what my end result should look like.

HAND SEWN CIRCLES ON THE MANNEQUIN - This technique was what I was imagining with the excessive volume and holes acting as the main feature. If I were to attempt this again I would try different sized circles and make the circles neater so they provide a nicer finish.

I will continue to experiment with different sized circles and pinning it in different ways so I get the best shape possible. Out of all these attempt the last attempt was the closest to what I want my final outcome to look like so I will make sure from now the experimentation is expanding on similar techniques of the last attempt.

Thursday, 28 April 2011


The other day I managed to get all my different units improved so I went ahead and started the sampling and Toile diary task for this current brief.I tried out 5 different methods on how to construct my skirt to get a better idea of how I would managed to create it and came across some problems that I now know how to solve.

1. To begin with I had to experiment with different methods t
o construct the shape of my skirt. I wanted to use the top stitching as the main feature. I think this was successful but the raw edges looked unprofessional So I would have to sort them out for this technique to work out.
2. Instead of using the top stitch as the main feature I used a seam but it caused an uneven hemline so I had to problem solve the raw edges in order for it to work out.
3. PROBLEM SOLVING - This is how I solved the problem by bagging it out and securing the raw edges. This method worked really well making the finish professional.
4. Two layers of Wodding - This was very fiddly to do but with a larger scale garment it would be more approachable and provide my skirt with additional volume more than if I were to use one layer.
5. I used both the seam and topstitch as the main features but it was unsuccessful because there were still raw edges and a lot of volume was lost through the bagging out process.
Overall out of all these attempts I think attempt 3 and 4 worked the best but I struggled with sample 4 in small scale but if it was enlarged I think the double thickness could work really well and hold my structure better.


I have managed to draft out my design board, drawing the outline of my chosen design to then add to in the later stages of the design process. This was a guide on which step to go with next for my sampling stages and how I wanted to see my design board and overall design. I traced round a design template.. because to be honest by drawing skills aren't that great and made it into quite technical drawing making all the dimension precise and accurate. Some advice of the tutor was to combine both technique and some of my experimentation with Maren Esdar's work together to make my design board more unique and portray my message and theme clearer.FRONT

Obviously I'm still not finished with creating my design board, but I'll have to keep you updated with my progress in getting this task done.


You might think I have become slightly obsessive over fabric swatches but actually I just emailed and applied a few too many shops and stores. Whoops! I think I might still have some to come in the post!
Anyway, I have managed to receive some over sized samples this week allowing me to see a larger scale of the fabric to see alot of t
he pattern and work out how much I would need for my design. Yet again I have mixed & Matched large retailers like John Lewis with smaller shops to compare prices and quality of fabric.

When I was applying for these samples I kept in mind that I wanted a diverse range of fabrics so applied for bridal patterns and swatches to see all the different embellishments and thickness of fabric.
1. 100% Polyester, Width: 55 Inches and £19.95 a metre.
2. 100% Cotton, Width: 45 Inches and £6.60 a metre.
3. 100% Cotton, Width: 45 Inches and £6.60 a metre.
I think these prices were reasonable and out of all 3 I think 2
and 3 obtained the same qualities and would be ideal for the base of my skirt. I think they share the same vibrant texture in the pattern and middle weight which will work nicely with the wodding in between. These prices were within my price range ideal for my target market making it affordable for someone to purchase.

1. 100% Silk, Width: 138cm and £ 25.20 a metre.
2. 55% Cotton, 45% Viscose, Width: 140cm and £ 34.00 a metre.
55% Cotton, 45% Viscose, Width: 140cm and £ 34.00 a metre.
4. 51% Linen, 49% Cotton, Width: 137cm and £ 13.50 a metre.
5. 54% Viscose, 40% Cotton, 6% Polyester, Width: 140cm and £ 25.20 a metre.

These colours all share a slight elegance and calm mood whic
h deters away from the message of my hard working class concept so I would consider using the thickness and texture of the fabric to obtain the structure of my skirt but I would have to choose a defiant pattern and fabric choice to really express the emotions of the working class people.These prices were within my price range ideal for my target market making it affordable for someone to purchase.

1. 67% Polyester, 33% Cotton, Width140cm and £28.00 a metre.
2. 52% Viscose, 43% Linen ,5% Nylon, Width:140cm and £38.00 a metre.
3. 93% Viscose, 7% Polyester, Width:137cm and £40.00 a me
4. 65% Rame, 35% Viscose, Width: 134cm and £ 49.00 a m
5. 93% Viscose, 7% Poly amide, Width:137cm and £ 40.00 a
6. 90% Polyester, 10% Viscose, Width: 140cm and £ 40.00 a metre.

I think the samples John Lewis sent me were a very good size to observe the qualities and properties of the fabric and I think all of them have the striking pattern and are potential samples to be used for my skirt with a thick infrastructure. I think these will all be suitable to defy my t
heme and work well with the wodding for my quilted attempt on the panels of my skirt.These prices were within my price range ideal for my target market making it affordable for someone to purchase.

1. Cotton/ Wool Mix, Width: 140cm, £60.00 a metre.
Cotton/ Wool Mix, Width: 140cm, £60.00 a metre.
3. Linen/ Viscose Mix, Width: 140cm and £29.00 a metre.
4. 100% Cotton, Width: 140cm and £ 18.75 a metre.

These prices are really high but I can understand with th
e use of stitching and hand embroidery which creates a nice external texture. I would consider using some of these samples but the price makes it restricted on how much I would be able to afford. They all would be suitable for my chosen design obtaining a nice structure of the skirt compensating the wodding in a structural format.These prices were within my price range ideal for my target market making it affordable for someone to purchase.

1. Viscose/Polyester, Width140cm and £20.00 a metre.
Viscose/Polyester, Width140cm and £20.00 a metre.
3. Polyester, Width: 150cm and £ 9.00 a metre.
4. Polyester/Viscose, Width: 150cm and £ 13.00 a metre.
5. Polyester, Width: 140cm and £ 9.00 a metre.

These prices are ideal for my target market and the fabrics are all suitable both for my circular shapes used for the bodice and the structure of the skirt. Number 5 would be the exact weight to use for my circles not too flimsy but can hold a slight shape. The colours also blend well together and have an external pattern added to the fabric which creates a new texture and more emphasis on the fabric which will exaggerate my message and my theme.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011


As you know I have been collecting fabric sample and yet again I have had a few delivered in the post ( now I'm starting to begin a fabric range and it's starting to take over my household.)

I managed to receive 5 samples from this company supplying me with a range of patterned and basic materials. To be honest I don't think these materials are what I would consider for colour and pattern use but I would use them as a guide of what thickness I want to use for t
he skirt of my garment.
1. 64% Cotton, 36% Polyester, Width:140cm and £3.00 a m
64% Cotton, 36% Polyester, Width:140cm and £3.00 a metre.
3. 100% Polyester, Width:140cm and £3.00 a metre.
4. 50% Cotton, 50% Polyester, Width:140cm and £3.00 a metre.
5. 48% Polyester, 48% Acrylic, 4% Viscose, Width:137cm and £3.00 a metre.
These are very cheap prices for such a thick fabric so it wouldn't fit in with my target market but I could use them as a guide to get a similar fabric which has better quality if I were to use this type of thickness.

I didn't get a lot from this company but what I did receive was very interesting sending me wallpaper textures using different natural substances all entwined within each other.The only price I got was for the fabric which was : 100% Cotton, Width: 137cm and £ 27.00 a met
re. I think this fabric could be considered to be used for my bottom half of the dress as it with hold the structure of the shell. The price is expensive but fits in with the couture market level and is ideal for the quality of the fabric.THE FENT SHOP
I found loads of different fabrics that were in my colour scheme and obtained a nice repetitive pattern that would relate to my chosen theme. I think the prices in this shop are reasonable and I think the fabrics will be successful in the construction of my garment because they are thick and hold a better shape.
1. 100% Cotton, Width: 112cm and £7.80 a metre.
2. 100% Cotton, Width: 140cm and £7.00 a metre.
100% Cotton, Width: 112cm and £4.60 a metre.
4. 100% Polyester,Width:112cm and £1.72 a metre.
5. 100% Georgette, Width:112cm and £3.24 a metre.
6. Polyester, Wool, Lycra Mix, Width:150cm and £5.40 a
I think all these colours work well together but I would combine either 1,2 and 3 or 4,5 and 6 together just to allow them to blen
d in more discreetly.

I managed to fit in a little visit to this shop in my spare time and collected loads of suitable fabrics that would give my dress a reason to look at. Similar to the fent shop this brand provides a lot of different materials all suitable for the skirt section of my dress as I chose the solidified fabrics to give me a better idea on what thickness I would need.
1. Chenille Green, Width:150cm and £4.28 a metre.
2. Hessian, Width:150cm and £2.15 a metre.
3. 100% Polyester, Width:150cm an £2.50 a metre.
4. 100% Viscose, Width: 140cm and £11.15
5. Tulle Netting, Width:110cm and £1.34 a metre.
6. 100% Polyester, Width:150cm and £2.50 a metre.
7. 100% Cotton, Width: 110cm and £7.85 a metre.
I think all these prices are reasonable and fit in with my target market and are locally supplied so I don't have to pay additional postage charge or tax on my material. I think all these materials work well together and I think they could really bring my garment to life and promote my chosen theme.

Sunday, 24 April 2011


For task 3 on the previous brief I have to collect a selection of fabric samples within my colour scheme so I can choose what fabrics I want to use for my final outcome. I have emailed, applied and collected myself fabrics I think are appropriate for my fabric selection even if they are not in my colour scheme I have collected them for the properties of the fabric and texture. I even went to a lot of effort and applied to a German company taking different cultural influences that would relate to working class stylistic qualities in the fabric.

All the information is situated on the page of my sketchpad but in case you can't see it clearly.
1. 50% Polyester, 50% Poly acrylic, Width:140cm and £10.04 a metre.
2. 100% Acrylic, Width:150cm and £10.88 a metre
3. 100& Polyester, Width:140cm and £8.37 a metre.
4. 100% Cotton, Width:155cm and £10.04 a metre.
5. 100& Cotton, Width:154cm and £12.55 a metre.
I think all these colours blend in with my theme and inflict the same purpose of displaying a working class environment. Out of all these fabrics I prefer the Journey Collage one( number 5) as it is artistic with different shades of brown creating an eerie feel and atmosphere making it appear messy and dirty portraying a working class surrounding. I like the fact I chose qui
lting to refer t homeless people compensating their need to feel warm by comforting themselves in spare fabric taking a bit of their home with them. Number 3 looks has slippery properties so could be quite challenging to sew and fold and assemble in the constructive manner that describes my designs. I think the prices are all reasonable but I would have to be definite on which fabrics I wanted before purchasing avoiding a loss of money.CURTAIN SHACK
From this company I collected a few lighter samples of curtain fabric because I think it will suit the structure of my garment keeping it secure and intact.
1. Geneva Almond- Width:140cm and £10.75 a metre.
2. Riga Corn - Width: 140cm and £27.75 a metre.
3. Linara Cork - Width:140cm and £27.75 a metre.
I think these sample are reliable colours and textures and I wanted something complex and printed with a pattern allowing it to make a bigger statement. I think the prices are rather expensive for what restrict
ed choice you get but obviously it's better quality so I don't blame their prices and it suit a different purpose other than constructing garments as it's usually used for curtain making.
This company sent me 6 samples that weren't all in my colour scheme but I displayed them in my sketchpad anyway to use for evidence and textural uses. They provided the fabric content and price which was nice and thoughtful.
1. Netting, Width: 140cm and £1.50 a metre.
2. 100% Cotton , Width: 150cm and £15.00 a metre.
3. 100% Polyester, Width:150cm and £19.00 a metre.
4. 100% Polyester, Width: 112cm and £22.95 a metre.
5. 100% Polyester, Width: 112cm and £14.95 a metre.
6. 100% Denim, Width: 150cm and £19.00 a metre.
I probably wouldn't use any of these colours as they don't fit in with my chosen colour scheme but I would definitely use some of the fabrics but select a different colour.

The same as Berwick Street Cloth shop they send me samples attached to a piece of card but another selection of different colours.
1. 100% Silk, Width: 150cm and £64.85 a metre.
100% Silk, Width: 150cm and £64.85 a metre.
3. 100% Silk, Width: 140cm and £51.02 a metre.
4. Silk and Cotton Mix, Width:140cm and £21.28 a metre.
5. 100% Polyester, Width: 140cm and £12.72 a metre.
6. 100% Acetate, Width: 150cm and £ 23.40 a metre.
These prices are rather on the high end and would be ideal if I were to create a one off, couture garment but what do you expect it's London prices; it must be good quality.
It's evident that these companies are happy to sent samples and I have received many different sorts of sofa, curtain and dress fabric that I will surely keep getting in the post and I will keep you updated on which fabrics are next to be delivered to my home.

Friday, 22 April 2011


If you have viewed my blog recently I have been researching illustrators and have come across a unique illustrator called Jackie Bos which uses collage to display her innovative ideas. I find this technique interesting because it is the style in which I find the most suitable for me and I think it works well with my concept and the way I bring my chosen theme to life. I have attempted a few of my design in the style of her work sing my colour palette to capture the right mood and sense of working class.
The first attempt was to defy design 8 in her artistic format using different browns and reds cutting the shapes and layering the same shape. I think this attempt worked really nice with the different scales in which the body parts and the design itself and how it contrasted and brought the
design to life in a world of it's own creating my own mythological character.
Attempt two was more discreet of what you would see if it was aimed at a couture audience clarifying design 9 in a methodical format keeping it simple and plain using the black colour scheme. I think it worked well but it didn't quite reflect my chosen theme that well.
The final attempt was a successful attempt using different ways of creating the mood and atmosphere of the working class. The colour scheme of browns and reds worked in attempt one so I maintained that but changed the design to design 7 using different shapes showing diversity. I think this worked the best creating a different outlook on my design and seeing it in a totally different context.
I think the way in which Jackie Bos works is unique in it's own taking yourself out of the equation and truly focusing on your design. I would definitely consider using this method in my design boards because I believe it could really bring my design to life and relate to my chosen concept. If you like her work and have a secret passion of designing try this technique it's fun and works for any theme that inspires you. Try it!


For the next stage of this brief I have collected a selection of zips ( invisible, concealed, coiled) to help me choose what style I wanted to incorporate into my final design all within my chosen colour scheme. They all range in length and width with smaller zip heads than others given me a wider selection to choose from. I collected these from Abakan and some were left over from the surface pattern unit collected from college and they fit in with my colour scheme which was ideal! They all ranged in price the ones I purchased believe me I didn't steal all of them. The cheapest was 0.65p (8") and the most expensive was £1.10 (10")- they are estimates of what I could remember because I collected them such a while ago but I would have to check with the shop by revisiting the prices.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011


Do you remember one of my earlier posts on Japanese pattern cutting well I have arranged the images in an appropriate manner suited to universities that I will approach with my portfolio in 2011/2012. I have tried to get both sizes of an images contrasting from each other and highlighting the main image which shows of my garment in full scale. Overall, I like this layout but if you have any comments suggesting another layout idea that you think will be better - send me a message!

What do you think ?

Tuesday, 19 April 2011


During the research period of this brief I have managed to stumble across quite a few appropriate illustrators that link in with my chosen theme of working class. Carlos Aponte's work is create by using the media of tape on board free drawing the shapes to envisage a designer's collection working to promote brands such as: Christian Dior and Paul Smith displaying their flamboyant visionaries. I attempted his technique using similar materials such as PVC Electrical tape inverting the colour scheme of his to black on white paper making the design stand out clearly. The first attempt was of design 6 outlining half of the dress making it more abstract using an empowering colour but simplistic textural influences.

This attempt was a larger scale of design 3 and I didn't like the brown background because it didn't obtain the sharp contrast I wanted unlike the bottom attempt which was really successful and I think it turned out the best so I am pleased with my final result and would consider using this style on either my illustration or design board.

Another attempt was made by using design 2 as the muse highlighting the outline of the shape with tape and emphasising the texture and material by the accumulation layering and folding over to create creases. I think attempt worked really well and enough though it was a rough drawing turned out to appear professional.

Saturday, 16 April 2011


Another illustrator I researched into was Maren Esdar as she linked in within my theme using distorted images of models facial features and designs drawn to a smaller scale to promote her findings and ideas. I thought it would be really difficult but the help of photo shop I manged to create some of my designs with her method of technique. I think these worked out quite well but I don't think they would display my theme professionally on my design board so I'm glad I have attempted work like his but I don't think it will show off my design in a suitable manner.


I have been researching into different illustrators that can relate to my theme and cam across Sophie Toulouse that I have heard of from a previous brief but never looked into her enough to no her inspirations and background. I think she links in with my theme because of her uncertain lines the outline the shapes and bold colour scheme using a lot of negative space showing the emotions shared between a working class society. I recreated one of her illustrations to see if I liked the way she presented the work and how I could cope with the technique and using similar media of watercolours and inks and I think I would definitely consider using her technical inspiration for my design board.