Today I had another day just getting on with my work in the studio, I found it really helpful to be able to just get on, I worked on my back pattern pieces today trying to get the correct shape, I will continue with this tomorrow.
I also had my session with one of my tutors today, we were able to discuss how to create the lapel, we decided to make it one pattern piece that will connect into the side panel and connect to the top collar of right hand side, I was warned that this is going to be very technically challenging and I am probably going to have to do a lot of sampling until I find the best way to do it, but I look forward to the challenge.
My tutorial with one of my tutors today was really helpful, he wants me to leave the long bit on the front of my jacket for now so that I can develop my ideas around it, to see how my designs can develop. He told me to look at reflections in water and to see if I can find a fabric or even create a print that represents this. He also helped me with my designs, he told me to elongate my figure so that it was less stumpy, saying that would help my collection to have a more flattering and proportional look.
We also had our 2nd technical session working on the shorts today, I found this rather confusing as we were doing the jet pockets, I have done jet pockets before but we had done them a different way which made it harder for me learning a new method, but I finished it eventually –it did take me until 5.40pm but I did it!!!! I think I will have another couple of goes to practice this technique until I am happy with the end result and that I understand it fully.
Today was a really productive day, I got the main shell of my jacket, this really helped to relax me as I now feel like I am on track. I am really happy with the end result of my sculptural back, it has a really fluid feel and is beginning to look like what I had envisioned, I will continue to keep developing and evolving my design.
Today we had the buttonholer induction, I am happy to have had this as I will be using buttons throughout my design, the machine was quite scary to use but I know that the more I use it the more confident I will become.
We also finished off the shorts today, I ran out of time doing this but I will finish it within the catch up session next Tuesday, I just have the centre back seam, hem and crotch seam to finish. Overall I am really happy with the shorts and I have learnt a lot of valuable technical skills throughout the process.
This afternoon we also had a sustainable fashion and textile practice session where we discussed slow and fast fashion and how everyone’s purchasing habits have changed over the years. I will continue to research what environmental impact fashion has had on the world.
Today I had a mini tutorial with my tutor, unfortunately this didn’t go as planned, I felt okay going in to it but my tutor didn’t really like what I had produced, this made me really disappointed and I didn’t get much done afterwards, however since I have got home I realised that she was completely correct with what she said, I am going to spend the weekend going over my designs and creating new ones to develop my idea. She gave me lots of things to think about so I will begin to explore her ideas to see how they will look.
This morning I worked on my colour board and my concept board, I had been really unsure about which way I was going to with the colour palette for my collection, I couldn’t decide between a greyscale, oranges and reds or different shades of plum, I created 3 different colour boards today and my favourite was the grey scale one, I used the colours of the ash and smoke from a volcano to inspire my colour palette and I think that it is the best option for me especially when I look through my sketchbook, but before I decide fully I will wait until all of my fabric samples to arrive so that I can see which fabrics go best together.
Today was also my last technical session working on the half jacket, I really enjoyed today seeing how it came together.
I also worked on my design development today, I have found this a really stressful process as I haven’t been able to draw exactly what is in my mind onto the paper, they just don’t end up how I want them which has been really difficult for me and has also started to really knock my confidence, I will keep working on it as I know practice makes perfect.
Today we had a visit from Ciment Pleaters ltd, this was really interesting and it showed a lot of different techniques that could be achieved by pleating, many of which I had never know where even possible, I think that It something that I might want to explore next year, even though I don’t think I am going to use it this year it was really helpful to see what can be achieved as well as get an idea of cost.
I also did a little bit more design development today, I have been finding it really hard to design at the moment but its only because every time I draw it doesn’t look like how it is in my head which is a bit disheartening but I am going to keep going to hopefully improve!
I removed my fabric from the rust dyeing process today and on some pieces it has come out looking really good, I will wait until my tutorial on Friday before I carry on any further with this. If I am given the go head with this process then I will go to the seaside to see if I can find any rusty metal that might have been washed up onto the shore, this will help everything to link together as I will have been using the sea for rust which links to my theme of the navy.
In the technical session today we started to make the shorts, I found this quite confusing to start with but once they began to look like shorts I found it okay to get on with, I am looking forward to the next session so that I can learn how to complete a fly.
Today I began pattern cutting, I was exploring the pattern magic technique of the interlocking wave (the title is quite fitting I thought), I found this quite confusing but I think I might have cracked it, I will continue to work on it tomorrow, but it felt like a step in the right direction as I think I will be using it in my final design.
I also set my rust dyeing, I am really pleased with the end result I think that it will work really well for a lining, I would like to sample it on a different material to see if it has a better result, or just to see how the technique works on different materials.
As another sample today I completed a pocket, it has two different pockets in one, I got the idea from my research of the royal navy uniform as one of the decorative features looked like two pockets, it wasn’t two but it looked that way, I decided to try a patch pocket with a flap but also a welt pocket into the patch pocket, I was really pleased with this as It worked first time and it looked exactly how I had imagined it, tomorrow I will play around on the mannequin exploring placement of the pocket.
Todays tutorial went really well and gave me lots of ideas to think about, It was suggested that I explore my colour scheme a bit more to have a few more variations of shades, I will continue to explore my colours until I have the perfect colour palette that works with my collection.
When thinking about the other items in my collection I haven’t decided about what I want to do but after today it was suggested that I should think about dresses, shirts, wide trousers and oversized plackets and pockets, I will begin to explore these ideas over the next few days.
The tutorial made me think of ideas that I hadn’t thought of yet which was really helpful and allowed me to further my development.
Today I spent the morning doing research trying to build up my own archive about the Royal Navy, I made it my goal to actually get some answers today so that I am not still stuck in my rut of having nothing, so I emailed the castle study centre and the Royal Naval Association of Norwich. Both got back to me which was very helpful, the NRA are going to ask around in their branch meeting tonight to see if anyone has their old uniforms that I might be allowed to go and have a look at and take pictures, so hopefully this might be a lead, the man who I have been in contact with has also suggested that I go to the Royal Navy careers centre or the RAF base at Marham as they also have a Navy contingent there, but I will wait to hear from him after the meeting.
We also had a technical session today where we put the sleeve into hour half jacket, I am really enjoying this half jacket that we are making as it is quite technical and a little bit fiddly but its interesting seeing how it comes together as well as how many different pieces are needed to make a jacket, we also began stitching the lining together, I had forgotten quite how much linings move when you are trying to stitch them so that was quite fun trying to make sure that it was as neat as possible.
Today I had a technical session where we began lining the half jacket that we have been sampling, I found this quite difficult as it was really fiddly and although it looked easy to watch as soon as I started I found myself struggling to work out what section connected where and how, but I finished it and I am very happy with the end result, as soon as you can visualise what you are doing it becomes a lot easier.
We then had a lecture session on Craftivism (the art of activism with crafts), this was quite interesting and it has got me thinking about my essay I have to write. It was a different kind of session than I have had at uni this year, and allowed us to think of other things not just tailoring, which I feel might be taking over my brain at the moment.
We then had an industry lecture from Francis Dove from Inside Out, it was really interesting to see how they had made their name in the fashion industry.
Unfortunately it looks like I won’t be getting any help from the Royal Naval Association of Norwich as they are all over 70 and the man in charge said that it is quite hard to get them together at short notice, and the Castle also have two pieces that I can look at however they are going to be in an exhibition. Although I will not be able to use this now I think I will still follow up with my research from these different places to help my research file so that I have some first hand research.
Todays individual tutorial was really helpful, although I think I am going to have to change my ideas a bit I found it helpful to be given some direction, it also helped me to understand what I am already thinking but can’t explain. I was recommended a few designers to look at as well as how I can visualise the ideas in my head. I have found myself focussing too much on the military feel and moving away from the sculptural ideas that I prefer and enjoy, I need to do a lot of sampling into the way I can make these ideas. I like to work very sculpturally and I feel that I haven’t been doing it, which could be why I haven’t felt very passionate about what I have created, I think the more I work on the sculptural side the more interesting my design will come and it will help with my sketchbook.
Today I had a technical session where we began out half jacket, I think I am going to enjoy doing this a lot as it seems to be very technical and a little bit confusing here and there, we started by constructing the sleeve with a miter seam which helps give a more professional and bespoke finish to the jacket cuff, I found today really helpful as I had always wondered how to do the diagonal seam and now I know.
Today we had a safety and etiquette talk about the studio, this only lasted about 5 minutes so I was able to spend the rest of the morning going around Norwich trying to collect more research, I went to Anglian fabrics to have a look at the different wools they have there I bought a metre of one so that I can begin to play with it in the mannequin, I also went around all of the military shops to see if they had any navy uniforms or anything else navy related that could help me with my research but unfortunately they didn’t and they also told me that it will be very rare if I do find anything, but I will keep looking, I also went to the antiques shops to see if they had anything that might help. After I had done that I came home and worked on my sketchbook and research file.
Today we had our second technical session working on our ½ jacket, the tasks today were to complete the welt pocket and also begin to construct the main shell of the jacket. I found the welt pocket really difficult which really frustrated me as I have done them before but I had done them in another way and I found this way quite difficult but I plan to do another practice to try and perfect it. The rest of the construction was quite simple but it was interesting to see how the patterns are made to that you can get as much movement out of the jacket as possible and so that it doesn’t restrict you at all.
Today we had another group tutorial, I found this quite helpful as I got a lot of feedback some good and some about how to improve which is very useful and I will be taking this on board to help improve and direct my work to the best outcome that I can. I had been having some quite difficult days this week as I was really struggling with research on the royal navy, everything I found kept coming to a brick wall, so it was good to have a positive session to end the week.
We also had a talk about internships from the 3rd years telling us all about their experiences doing them, this was really helpful as it gave me an idea about what sort of thing is out there as well as what sort of things we might get up to if we were to do one.
Hello, Eleanor here, I am currently at Norwich University of the Arts studying Fashion, please join me along my adventure.