Sunday, 30 January 2011


As you may have worked out from my previous posts for my current brief I have to make an accessory.

I firstly thought that I would make a head piece and as I knew I would, I changed my mind so now I am doing shoes.

What would you have done?

Knitting Workshop

Well for the brief that we are currently doing we are required to attend workshops to learn new skills that we may not have done before. Knitting is the first one that we have done that I already knew how to do.

I really enjoyed knitting with materials other than wool because it was unusual and I think that these give a really good effect.
I could definitely use this on my final accessory and I think that it would look quite effective.

Have you ever tried knitting?

Monday, 24 January 2011

Appliqué Workshop

As you may already know from my previous posts we are doing workshops to attain certain skills that we can use when making our accessory. The next one on that we have done is appliqué.

Appliqué is a decorative design made from one material being sewn onto another. Just like the batik, I have never done this before, I was excited about learning this new skill but anxious to see whether I would be able to do it.

I thought that this skill was really effective and easy to pick up. I think that this would be good to use in my final accessory.

Why don't you try it?

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Batik Workshop

For our current brief we are required to attend certain workshops to learn skills that we can use for our accessory. Looking forward to it?? Yeah.

The first one that we have done is Batik. Nervous?? Yeah. I've never done this before and didn't really know how it worked.
After doing this I feel as though I would be able to apply it to my accessory and use it in different briefs. I am glad that I was able to learn this but I must warn you ... Its harder than it looks.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Chanel Head Pieces

As I have told you in previous posts I have been researching for my new brief. You will not believe what I have found.

You may have already seen Chanel's spring 2009 Haute Couture collection, but you may not have noticed the amazing head pieces that were included. These absolutely stunning pieces were made by hairdresser Katsuya Kamo. He managed to create over 65 pieces out of just 2 packets of office depot paper. If that wasn't shocking enough him and his 7 assistants took 3 weeks to create the pieces and still claims that it was easy.
Yes I wish that I was half as talented as this guy.

What do you think of them?

Monday, 17 January 2011


Last lesson in pattern cutting we looked at interfacing, and if you don't know what this is (neither did I when I was first introduced) hopefully you will by the end of this post.

Interfacing helps to give structure to different parts of a garment; it also comes in different weights each of them is used for a different thing.

Light and Medium interfacing are used to make collars, cuffs, waistbands, button stands, and facings.

Heavy interfacing is used to help make strong and structured shapes.

Skirt Facing.

In our last Pattern Cutting lesson we looked at skirt facings. As you may remember from my previous posts I attempted one of these on my toile, quite successfully (even if I do say so myself) but I was looking forward to learning how to do it properly.
This is my finished skirt facing. I think that it finishes the skirt of really well instead of using a waistband or a yoke.
When I was making my facing I came across a problem, it was too short. The reason for this mistake was that I hadn't been careful enough when I was closing my darts and with my seam allowance at my zip. This meant that I couldn't sew the edge of the facing into the stitch lines of my zip :(
Solution :) above you can see that I found a way to fix my mistake. I hand sewed the sides down making sure that the stitches couldn't be seen on the front.
This picture shows the facing on the inside of my skirt. As you can see it really neatens up the top edge and just makes the skirt look professional.
This picture shows the interfacing this makes the facing stronger and gave the top of the skirt shape and structure.
This picture shows the Retaining row on my facing. A retaining row helps to hold the facing down and stops it from rolling up while you are wearing the skirt. So I suppose you could say its kinda helpful. As long as you just sew through the facing and the seam allowance and keep it close to the seam line it will look perfect.

Sunday, 16 January 2011


Well, I have spent nearly every minute of my weekend improving my research for my new brief which I told you about in my previous post; but still don't seem to have got a lot done (this seems to happen a lot). At least my presentation of my book has improved.

One of the people I have researched is Ann Sacks. She is a tile designer and her tiles are some of the most beautiful textures that I have come across.
As you can see from the picture the tiles can be individual or as a mural, either way they would definitely add character to a room. There are three different versions of these tiles and I think that they are all very unique and the way that they are made using the technique sgraffito means no two tiles can be exactly the same.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

New Brief

Right, so we have just been given our new brief :/ (for me he hardest part) but I actually really like the sound of it. For the final outcome of it we have to create an accessory; yes it may sound exciting but at the moment I feel that if I was asked to create a garment I would have more chance of a successful outcome, of course, I will try my best and keep you updated on how its going.

At the moment a head piece seems like the best idea but this will most probably change through the course of the brief.

Any ideas?

Friday, 7 January 2011

Inverted Pleats.

Inverted pleats are another adaptation that we have learnt in our pattern cutting lessons. I found this one harder than the box pleat and in my sample I came across a slight problem; this was that I marked my pleat line to close to the centre front so the panel that is in-between the 2 pleats was to small and the pleats touched on the inside.
After doing this I have learned from my mistake and know that if I was to do this again I wouldn't make the same mistake.

Box Pleat.

In our pattern cutting lessons we have been looking at different aspects of a skirt; for example, Zips, Pleats and Button holes. Recently we looked at a box pleat in a skirt.
We only did the front part of the skirt as it was a sample but it shows the effect of the box pleat. I think that this was a very useful adaptation to learn and I feel that I will be able to use it in a future garment.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

What inspired me?

As my previous post have been explaining I have been making a toile for the current unit. I thought that I would share with you some of my thought process and the reasons for my decisions.

I decided to do a straight skirt because its a very simple shape which matches the simple shapes that are present on the French furniture.
I decided to do a zebra print because of a piece of French furniture that I saw when I was researching my theme of French furniture. Also because it fitted in with my concept as it includes a contrast.
I decided that I wanted to have the edge of the zebra print messy and fraying because it contrasted with the neatness of the French furniture. Also I feel that this frayed edge contrasts with the neat stitched line that is around it.

My Design Feature.

Finally my skirt toile was made and it was ready for me to add my final design feature which was my zebra print. I was excited to see what it turned out like but I was really scared that it was going to go wrong but I knew what I was doing and decided to try it.
This was the first step. I had to draw the design on.
Then I had to sew the design on to create the separate sections that will become the leopard stripes.
Then I cut out the middle of the sections to reveal the underneath fabric. I am pleased with how it turned out and think that it looks really effective.

Finishing the Bottom.

After I tidied the top edge with a facing the final thing that I had to do before adding my design features to the front was to finish the bottom. So I added the hem line to the bottom and added a hem around the slit.
I think that the hem has finished the bottom of the skirt really well and makes it look neat and professional.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Adding a facing.

Now I had my 2 nearly identical skirt shapes with 2 identically tatty top and bottom edges, what to do next? Well I decided that I would attempt to add a facing to the top edge of both of my skirts together. I was nervous about doing this because I hadn't actually attached one before I only had the experience of creating the pattern for one and cutting it out of the fabric but it was the way that I wanted to finish the top edge of my skirt so I decided to take a risk and give it ago.
These are the paper patterns that I made to create my facing. Then I cut them out of the calico.
This is how it finshed the top edge of my skirt and I am really pleased with the results.

All over again.

I then repeated the same steps that I did to create the first skirt toile to create another out of a darker fabric that will them be sewn into the inside of first one I had created. The only difference was that I didn't include a zip I used the same technique as I did for the slit and used it on the top part so that it would fit around the zip.

Joining the front and the back.

After I added the zip and the slit in the back of my toile the 2 back pieces were joined together leaving my skirt in to halves. The next step in making my toile is to join the side seams together this will make my pattern pieces into an actual skirt. The side seams were joined together with 1.5cm seam allowance which I added to the paper patterns that I created first.

Adding a zip.

After closing the darts on all three pattern pieces of my skirt I moved on to the next step which was to add a zip. I decided to put in a lapped zip at the centre of the back of my toile. I decided to do this type of zip because I was able to achieve a good quality finish on the one that we did in our pattern cutting lessons and I feel that it will look really effective on my toile. At the same time I created the slit in the back of my skirt.

Continuing with my Toile.

After having cut out my pattern pieces and notching the edges I closed up the darts.

The Next Step.

After creating my paper patterns for my skirt I cut the pieces out of calico, trying to waste as little fabric as possible.