Action Plan for the summer!

My action plan for the summer is simple – start preparing for the third year! I want to have a broad portfolio of research and ideas for when I get back after the summer as I want to be ready to just start! I wont have anything set and stone but it will be useful to have research to work from so even though we get a summer break for four months I wont stop working as I don’t want to lose motivation.

  • Start research for print
  • Colour palette ideas
  • 5 different mood boards/colour boards
  • Current trends – fashion week
  • 50x flat drawings for headstart to construction ideas
  • Dissertation – start researching over summer (digital printing)
  • Research 5 useful artists or designers for dissertation
  • Research print inspiration/construction inspiration
  • Research current issues/debates – NEWS
  • What you want to do – your philosophy…what is your philosophy? Think over summer break.

– Feeling inspired!


Year 3 presentations…

Today was really interesting for me i’m so glad I had the opportunity to watch the third year presentations, however nerve racking it was for them it was incredibly useful for me. Watching the presentations gave me a huge insight as to how much more difficult they are from our most recent ones…no notes! The main reason we were supposed to watch these today is because we will be writing a case study on one of the third year students in the next achedemic year – when we are third years!

I chose to do a case study on Nicola Newbery, she is mainly interested in digital printing with some aspects of construction, she is very talented and she works in a similar way to how I do therefore in a way I am using her work as inspiration for my own.

Here are some notes that I made from Nikki’s presentation:

  • bold, graphic digital designs
  • dramatic use of colour, scale and proportion
  • contemporary interpretations of traditional print designs
  • related to both interior and fashion trends
  • Embellishment: made out of brass, leather and collected jewellery – wanted to add something heavy to contrast with the delicacy of her fabric
  • photoshoot – wind machine created movement to show the full scale of the print
  • The Silk Bureau (Janine & Sarah)
  • A1 fabrics and UK Textiles
  • LinkedIn, Artsthread, Drapers & Graduate Fashion Week
  • GFW and New Designers
  • Skills on photoshop have improved dramatically
  • Wants to be a freelance designer or work locally (has a child)
  • Currently changing ideas to childrenswear as has had offers from certain companies
  • Wants to do an embellishment to improve

It’s really nerve racking to think that I will be at this stage this time next year, I can’t believe how fast my first and second year has gone! It’s scary to think that these third year students are planning their future and have started applying for jobs at companies in London or starting their own businesses etc. I really need to start thinking about what I want to do in the future but most importantly I need to start planning my third year!

However even though we were supposed to focus on our case studies I decided to take some more notes down about what I can do to help me through the third year from the inspiration that I took from these presentations:

  • Enter competitions
  • Twitter, facebook, pinterest
  • online portfolio
  • Blog – ALL THE TIME
  • Make a website
  • Internships
  • Start Dissertation EARLY
  • FMP – is you! What are you about? PERSONAL
  • Digital Printing
  • Are you an artist or are you a designer? Use art processes to create design
  • Gainsborough house – can print own fabrics
  • Own business – fabrics, textiles for interiors, textiles for fashion
  • Amanda Kelly design, Bay & Brown, Lulu & Co.
  • Is your work versitile? Keep your options open – don’t categorize yourself.

This really made me think that I need to make an action plan for over the summer, I am really inspired today and I know that i’ll have to work really hard (even harder than this year!) to achieve the first that I really want. I made a note of every thing that the third years were talking about in their presentations so I can begin thinking about my own and work on it as I go on through the year as I always dread presentations and it is my downfall so I need to put a lot of time in to it so that it won’t pull my third year grade down as i’m worried that it has affected my second year grade.

Notes for the presentation in the Third Year:

  1. It’s about your personal journey throughout your final collection and your future ambitions
  2. Introduce yourself
  3. What is your inspiration?
  4. What designers/artists have you chosen?
  5. What museums/shows/galleries/exhibitions did you visit?
  6. Your final collection
  7. What do you sway towards or are you open to options? (both fashion and textiles)
  8. Internships – what did you gain?
  9. Contacts
  10. What are your future plans and ambitions? Where do you want to be in five years?
  11. Have you closed any doors?
  12. How will you get yourself noticed?

Visiting Lectures: Lisa Temple Cox

Today we had a visiting lecturer called Lisa Temple Cox…I had first heard of her in A-level as i used her work of a collection of items in a box as inspiration for my own work. However, her work is actually completely different to what I thought and the research behind it is so vast that it made me think that I should broaden my research. Lisa travels the world to many science museums for her research which is truly inspiring, she even shaved her own head so that it could be cast – now that is commitment!


Death Mask: Waxed Face


Lisa Temple Cox: Cast Face

Lisa’s inspiration of face casts came from Leonardo Da Vinci’s anatomical drawings, after looking at his work she began making her own face masks using herself and other people, she said she accidentally dropped her first face cast and it became distorted, she said she preferred it so that became the way she worked, the image above is her first face cast, she kept it white instead of painting it in flesh tones and used a dark background instead of a light one thus making her designs individual.


Lisa’s work is completely personal although may come across as disturbing and upsetting to others, I felt quite uncomfortable when seeing the imagery in her presentation especially the photographs of deformed babies in jars but despite the crude images it was really interesting to see the research and outcome behind a different kind of art other than fashion and textiles. Strange but inspiring.

Getting Physical!

The thought of construction usually freaks me out, I am really good at it because of my neat nature – i’m a bit of a perfectionist! – I just find it quite tedious, but I’m always pleased with the outcome and can feel chuffed with myself and my creative abilities. I managed to complete half of my dress today which included, the wrap skirt, facing on the front, attatching the front pieces together and the back zip. It’s coming together nicely and is starting to actually look more like a dress than a few bits of fabric cut into shapes, when i first sewed the front pieces together it just looked like an apron, which worried me because I was scared that it was going to look rubbish, but when i pinned it to my mannequin when I got home I started getting excited at how good it looked!

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When I got home I went straight upstairs to carry on with my pin tucks that I started last week so that they will be ready for next Friday to do my sleeves and collar! I want to have my dress completed next week in plenty of time before the deadline so that I can work on sampling and pattern manipulation to improve my file, I really want to achieve a first in this module as I really think that I deserve it.

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My design was mainly based on my own taste, I didn’t really stick to the designs we learned in class as I wanted my dress to stand out and look different, I also wanted to challenge myself because I know that I can do something more confident and not just sit in my comfort zone, I wanted to learn something new and in all honesty I wanted to create a pattern which I could use again to make something for myself. I like construction because I eventually want to be able to make clothing for myself and get compliments and people asking me where my outfit was from so that I can reply ‘I made it’.

Designing for Digital Printing…

Finally! A bit of digital printing, something that I have always wanted to try! 

Sophie and I have been working on designs to send off to the digital printers this week, and our success on Tuesday really pushed us to go further, we created loads of prints using the same design just changing colour ways, pattern placement etc. it’s a really quick and effective way of creating a collection, because they all fit together in one way or another.


^ Grid of final prints to send on Photoshop ^


We chose a selection of designs in which we applied to a grid on photoshop to send to the digital printers for a meters worth of fabric, i’m so excited to see how it comes back as although it will be the same design it will look completely different on fabric. Digital printing is definitely something that I want to use in my final collection throughout the third year because I need something that will be quick and easy (although a bit pricey!) because I want to combine construction and textiles.

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Last semester I was interested in digital printing because of the difficulties that I experienced whilst trying to transfer my designs from paper on to fabric using the silk sceen printing process. It never seemed to turn out the way that I imagined that it would which disheartened me and made me realise that screen printing wasn’t for me, it was highly infuriating and helped me make my decision of using digital print for my third year collection.

I am pleased with our photoshopped designs over all, it’s nice to lay them out and see them as a whole collection as they all included elements from the initial drawings therefore all fit in with each other. I ended up picking out only four which were my favourite and fit together the best, as a designer I judge my own work as if it’s someone else’s, I think that you should be able to dislike what you create as some times it doesn’t work as an experiment.


^ Favourite Prints ^

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^ Flock and Foil on top of print ^


SWOT is something which was introduced to us this year and is required as one of the learning outcomes for our Personal Development Planning in which we are supposed to analyse our work, our experiences and working methods. It’s kind of like a critical analysis I suppose…

Strengths: Throughout the previous two years since I started my degree I have improved on so many things. I had absolutely no idea about the amount of work that we would need to produce and it came as quite a shock in the first year, however I have been able to develop my designing skills throughout textiles and the processes involved, I feel as though I have come a very long way both practically and theoretically. I have definitely become more organised (more in the second year) as I have attended mostly all of my sessions which has helped a lot, my time keeping isn’t great but I will always make up lost time with my own personal time as I am always in the studio/library. I feel as though I have also really improved on the Adobe Suite as I didn’t have a clue throughout the whole of the first year and beginning of the second but now I can sit on my own and do it by myself and to me that is a huge achievement.

Weaknesses: As I said previously my time keeping lets me down quite a lot as I arrive late to sessions therefore sometimes I miss important information which is given to us by the tutors, recently I have been working on my time keeping more and it has improved a lot. I have realised that I really need to be on time in the third year as it’s important not to miss anything! My major weakness is confidence, I find presentations really difficult as I get really nervous. This is something that I really need to work on as confidence is key in this type of industry and you will always be presenting work to companies, this really scares me but i’m sure with a lot of preparation and practice it can be brilliant.

Opportunities: I have two placements lined up for me which I am really excited about because I will learn about the industry and how it works (even if I am only making tea and coffee!) I want to come back with experience and the feeling of enjoyment however I am worried that if I didn’t like the placement it will change my mind about wanting to go in to the industry. I really hope that I can gain something from these placements and work my way up from the bottom, I am really looking forward to my future and want to start thinking about my five year plan.

Threats: Personally, my main threat is that I won’t get noticed when i graduate and it will be so difficult to get a job in the industry as there will be so many other students graduating at the same time and looking for jobs in the same places. A couple of people have told me to look for jobs in Berlin or Paris but I think that would be even more difficult for a new designer. I am going to write an action plan and create a website in which I will work on throughout the third year, I want to create a huge portfolio in which I can show to these companies.

Printing Success!

Today was a huge success, I was really pleased with how much we have developed our designs, I began marbling and Sophie had already drawn and prepared her patterns in which we could layer together on photoshop, I already feel as though we have a huge body of work to play with. I have never used a marbling kit before but it was actually pretty simple, and it’s amazing how many prints you can produce in such little time! I preferred the blue/grey tones of marbling to the darker and more vibrant reds, however I think that the reds will work better on photoshop when it comes to adjusting them because they will be brighter.

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It’s not usually open access to the Mac suites on a Tuesday but we were able to use the scanner for 15 minutes and Will showed us a few new things on Photoshop which was really interesting and will definiely be useful! I can’t wait to get started! I scanned in a couple of both the lighter and darker tones of the marbling samples and also all of Sophies drawings, after this I inverted and adjusted all of the marbling to the colours that I wanted, it was interesting because I was learning as well as creating. The designs that we produced looked amazing, with a lot of hard work and patience I feel as though I achieved so much today, I can’t wait to send these designs off to be digitally printed so that we can foil over the top of them.

I know that we are going to do well in this project as no one else is collaborating their ideas so we are at an advantage as our designs will be interesting, I can’t wait to start experimenting on photoshop and placing our designs on to furniture so that we can get a rough idea of what it would look like, I want to have a lot of examples to show OMCI because I really believe that they will like what we’ve done.