Fixing what went wrong…



After washing my scarf out and redoing the black, the blue began to fade. I was really upset that nothing seemed to be going right and spoke to Becky for advice, by getting upset over this i realised how much i cared about getting this right, i wanted it to be as good as it could be.

After looking at my scarf and deciding that the blue definitely needed to be done again i decided to make up a screen for just the blue chevons, so i worked carefully tracing over them with a fabric wheel and cut out silhouettes of the chevrons on to paper which i then exposed on to a screen. With careful precision and patience me and Becky both printed the chevrons over the top so that they matched the original, this took a lot longer than i expected but i am so happy it’s done – and looks so much better!


I was now ready to discharge over the top of my scarf, i knew from the beginning that it wouldnt repeat or match up at all, but in my samples thats what i wanted, i preferred it to be messy because it gave it more of a tribal appearance which is what i was going for.

As i was discharging i could tell that it was already going wrong but i went ahead anyway as i was layering other processes over the top so it wouldn’t show as much. One mistake was that i didn’t put enough pressure on the screen so some areas of the discharge didn’t come out. When i steamed my scarf i could see the areas in which didn’t work as well and i was annoyed by it however my peers and tutors told me it looked nice and you always do feel less confident about your own work.

Although i’m not really happy with how this has turned out i have the Christmas period to think about how i can improve it whilst referring to my samples. I have other screens exposed so i could use them to work over the top with aswell as handpainted techniques to cover up gaps and areas which are wrong.



Starting my Scarf


I was really really anxious to start my scarf as i have never worked with a scale this big before, however i was quite confident with creating the background so i just got on with it. To give me a rough idea of where the chevrons would sit i put my large screen image under the scarf which was quite transparent so i could see where i could start, from then i carried on freehand as i have good precision when drawing.


As i was drawing on to the fabric all of the dyes were bleeding into each other and i was getting a bit worried but i thought to myself ‘i can’t stop now’ i had to carry on to see how it would turn out, i already knew that the colours faded a lot when washed so it wouldn’t show immensely it would be quite subtle but i didn’t want that horrible inbetween brown/grey colour when colours mix. I proceeded to paint on to my fabric like i done on my samples using many different types of mark making and mixing up my three colours in order. So far so good.


After 6 hours of carefully handpainting the 1m x 1m blank canvas i had finally finished. It took a lot of patience but i was really pleased it was done, as this was the first and largest stage of my progression in making my scarf. I was worried about washing it out because i have used dark colour such as black and blue i am worried they will run, i want to keep the white areas white instead of an off-grey so i will have to be quick, careful and really thorough.



After washing out my scarf it looked like this (image above) i was really unhappy that i had spent so long painting it and the black had come out grey which was lighter than the blue (not intended at all!) so i thought about how i could make the black more intense.

After deep thought and much consideration i thought that black acid dye paste was probably my best bet, although again i will have the same problem when washing it out, as black acid dye runs a lot. At this point i’d had enough so had to walk away from the scarf for a while, but the next day i tried again, i pinned the scarf down to the table and began working in to it with a black acid dye paste, when i’d finished i hung it up and immediately it looked a lot better with the black being more intense as it contrasted with the lighter colours, i left it to dry completely and then steamed it.


After washing out the black it ran slightly but nothing too noticeable, however after i’d washed the scarf so many times the blue began to fade…just my luck! Now for another task to make that brighter…

Exposing a Final Screen

At first i was adament that i wanted just the long line of chevrons on a screen when Will told me i had a lot of space on my screen and should definitely consider making the most of it. I then began to think about what else i could put on the screen, then i thought back to my scarves that i created on illustrator, i thought that if i blew them up on the photocopier they would make nice large prints. It took me 4 attempts for each image to get them how i wanted them and then i went on to the lightbox to make them a little bit larger, i had to find where they linked though so that they would repeat and become bigger.


These were the four images that i decided to put on to my big screen (below) the middle bottom and top images are my favourite and i am planning to use them both for my final scarf, i’m looking forward to experimenting with these as they’re new images and it gives me something new to look at as i feel as though i’m always using the same imagery.


Scarf designs on Illustrator


The illustrator lessons became very useful as they broadened my knowledge, not only to use illustrator but also how to use a mac computer and how they work, they’re surprisingly different to a windows computer. At the beginning of this year illustrator was completely alien to me, we had never been shown the programme before as we had only ever been introduced to photoshop, however, i learned most of my photoshop skills experimenting on the mac by myself, rather than in the workshops, it’s much easier to learn and try things on your own rather than follow someone else as you begin to remember them as you do them, whereas if your shown the work is basically being done for you and in your mindset ‘can be shown again’.


Throughout semester one my skills on photoshop have become a lot stronger, as we have been given the chance to attend more workshops and i have also made a lot more effort myself, by going to the open access in the mac suites. I would like to get my own mac with adobe programmes on it so that my skills can be improved further, however i do think that my skills are good enough that i could go and work with a company and be able to transfer their designs on to a garment on the computer.


Portfolio Ideas…


By looking at a portfolio from a previous student called Becky it enabled me get some inspiration for my own portfolio, it looked so professional something in which i was certain i couldn’t make myself, especially not being that experienced on photoshop, however her designs in themselves were a lot more advanced than mine therefore sat a lot better together than mine do, this tells me that i need to make more supporting samples for my collection so that they fit in with each other.


I love Becky’s work and am fully inspired by her prints, they’re absolutely beautiful, her idea of adding flowers in to the pineapple immediately adds more depth in to her design, even though the images in the designs are completely different she manages to pull the collection together by keeping a similar colour theme throughout.


I get quite stuck on page layouts, it’s not my strongest point, i always struggle setting out a sketchbook so i end up leaving everything loose and putting it together at the end. I think as i progress on photoshop i’ll be able to place everything in a good layout better, the hardest part is starting something, i end up staring at a blank canvas for ages, it’s like that with everything i think though, but thats part of designing.


This was my favourite page of Becky’s portfolio because it’s so busy, it looks amazing. My mind set towards ‘less is more’ has completely changed over this semester as i used to agree with it and keep everything quite plain, however i have really enjoyed creating my crazy layered designs this year and i’d like to show this throughout my portfolio. Her illustrations are really beautiful, although taken an image from a magazine she has made it her own, by adding glasses, socks and shoes etc so that every illustration is unique.


I love the coloured ground on her photoshoot, i would usually always stick to a white ground but after seeing this it has made me reconsider, however for my current project as i want people to focus on my scarf i will keep the background white, but if i ever made a garment like this i’d definitely use a coloured ground as surprisingly it brings the image forward.

Supporting Samples on Paper


From previous experience of working on paper, this seemed to be the most successful outcome for me therefore i decided to create some more final supporting samples using the same technique as my initial ideas. By working on a wet background it made the ink bleed therefore everything merged together so that no edges were sharp, this was because the mark making on top is supposed to be sharper so that it adds depth in to the design.


At first the design looked quite childlike on the paper but i knew that it would dry a lot nicer, by working over the top of the design it completely changes it, especially the technique that i have chosen to use, the small lines and dots make it very interesting and the types of marks contrast together to form an image.


On the lighter grounds it was better to use lighter colours with it, therefore smaller marks would be made in black, this works best because the black is the main focus of the piece when it’s added in so when it’s smaller it gives the design a delicacy. However, i prefer the designs which have more black in the background as they’re bolder and more of a statement.

Im really pleased with my designs this year and feel as though i have really pushed myself, my work has improved dramatically from last year and it makes me feel proud of myself and also surprised that i can do well, i’m really excited to hand my work in and recieve my grade as i have worked so hard and feel as though i deserve it.

Lecture: Fashion and Visuality

Notes from the lecture:

  • The woman is the object of the male gaze
  • Advertisement in the 90’s, feminism is used in an ironic way
  • wonderbra
  • Sara maple – self-portraits demonstrates ironic style of feminism
  • sara maple
  • Stereotyping: sexist, self-indulgent
  • Cindy Sherman: questions structures
  • Central core imagery: Judy Chicago
  • ‘Dinner Party’ reinforced, sexual stereotypes
  • chicagothedinnerparty
  • Value sexuality (womens)
  • Vagina – a secret place that can be entered
  • Other feminists found her work problematic
  • Vagina on plates
  • Construction of male fantasy
  • Laura Melvey – women in Hollywood: perfect body – fantasy – pleasure
  • Men are terrified of this image because of their lack visually
  • Threatening otherness of women scare men
  • Avant garde – sexism in mainstream film
  • Emphasises the signifier over the signified
  • Compensation – women have a lower place in society – subordinated
  • Collusion/disrespectful images to women as they are being used
  • Female stars ‘can generate fantasies, power, control and self-confidence, fantasies that can inform the activities of everyday life’
  • A feminist inspired analysis of visual images might ask: Who is looking at who? Who controls the look? What kind of femininity does the image construct?


Article: is fashion a feminist issue, after all?

This article by Lisa Armstrong was interesting to me, mainly because I completely understood it I suppose. I agree that some young girls shouldn’t be exploited in the way that they are, as I said in my previous blog, and I too believe that it is almost pornographic. Being 20 years old myself I would never even think of exploiting myself in that way, however I know girls my age from school that do, it’s like a fashion nowadays.

When I go out at the weekends, I see girls wearing next to nothing, fake eyelashes, hair extensions which in the past would probably be seen as a form of drag has now become ‘natural’, the word natural being in quotation marks because fashion is now the complete opposite of natural.

Lisa talks about bondage accessories, which used in the wrong way aren’t really acceptable, for example young girls posing with these inappropriate accessories could suggest sexual connotations which are probably actually partially intended as the manufacturer knows that this will grip attention, especially male attention.

I personally don’t agree with Miley Cyrus’ behaviour, especially as she is the same age as me, I think she is exploiting herself in the wrong way to the wrong people thinking that she is starting off a trend which will then be followed by other young female fans who will then also be attracting the wrong type of people. I often think ‘what do her parents think of this behaviour?’ I would be so embarrassed if my parents saw me do that.

No one wants to get old, I don’t ever want to get old either but that doesn’t mean that you should start exploiting yourself early, comfortable or not, young girls are so naïve and have no idea who is looking at them, fantasising over them, and what they’re thinking about them, it should be left to older women with more experience, the older generation, if exploited at all.

Notes from seminar:


  • Cindy Sherman
  • Laura Melvey
  • Tracey Emin
  • Margaret Thatcher
  • Sarah Maple
  • Judy Chicago
  • Vivienne Westwood
  • Dior
  • Sonia Delunay
  • Feminists don’t have to be female
  • Might use clothing to make people view the role of the female in a different way
  • Been given so much that it’s been taken for granted

What does feminism mean?


  • Equal rights
  • Jobs, voting, salary
  • Suffragettes
  • The right to vote
  • Girl power
  • Sex and the city – Carrie Bradshaw


  • Equal pay
  • Freedom of clothing ‘taboo’
  • Sexy, sophisticated, sassy
  • Rights to expressing same sex relationships
  • Public/media
  • Civil partnerships – only legal in the past three years

21st century feminists:

  • Caitlin Moran (quote – refine)
  • Lady Gaga
  • Rihanna
  • Miley Cyrus

Is fashion feminist?

Why were most male couturiers gay?

  • Stereotype – wouldn’t expect a typical man to be able to design dresses
  • Irrelevant/coincidence?
  • Men/designers in these times were expected to be hector or homosexual
  • Homosexual men see women and fashion in a different way – passionate

– The freedom is there if you want to dress sexually, have the power to choose however men can see them in a different way which women may not see as kindly as they do.

– Stereotype: women are now openly admitting that they are sleeping with more partners

– Cosmopolitan: seen as porn – the first image of a nude man – taboo – female magazine

– It’s okay for women to have sex now and not be seen as a slut. Has always been okay for men to sleep around and experiment, never the same for women

– Judgemental/confidence