Category Archives: Reflective Learning Journal

A beautiful spot…

We drove a different route on our way home from the gym last weekend and stopped after seeing this lovely stone archway to do a quick outfit shot:

Extreme Dip Back Top: ASOS

This top has just gone into the sale on ASOS and I’m so tempted to buy it in Nude, it doesn’t look nude to me; more of an pastel peach (bang on trend for SS12 ice cream shades).

Body Chain: Topshop

Leggings: Urban Outfitters

The whole place seems the ideal location for the photo-shoot, I didn’t want to take any pictures of the gardens without getting permission. I’ve been in contact with them and they have agreed I can do the shoot there which is one thing off my list, I hadn’t scheduled to organise the location for a few weeks yet but after stumbling upon the perfect spot I thought I would get in there as soon as possible!!

I spent a bit more time in the print room last week to add the final layer to my first repeat design.

Just as a trial and a first attempt I’m quite happy with it but I’ve got a lot that I will need to put into action when developing the final prints; lines on the screen need to be much finer as even with just one pull on the screen the lacey print has lost its definition. I’m also going to need someone to hold the screen still when I print the real thing; my screen moved ever so slightly on the final layer, you can barely tell but I can’t risk anything going wrong on the end product so I will need to secure the screen. I’ve come a long way but still learning.


And So It Starts….

A quick warning, this post may go on a while so you may want to make a cup of tea!

Let’s start with a little outfit post, this is what I wore to work yesterday. The skirt has been a bit of a staple of late, it seems to go with everything and you don’t have to iron it which is always a bonus.

 

Jersey Blouse: Topshop

Pleather Skirt: H&M

Boots: H&M

Today was the start of my final semester at university. Unfortunately I didn’t get to go in because I got stopped by the police driving home from work last night. It’s not as bad as it sounds; they stopped me to tell me I had a brake light out and then after checking the rest of the car told me that two of my tyres were illegal. So I can’t drive it until the garage change the tyres for me on Thursday which is a bit of a pain but at least it will be all sorted. As I wrote my project proposal last semester I’ve just spent the day working anyway.

In a couple of my most recent posts, I had said that I was aiming to do more outfit posts. I’ve basically failed at that and to be honest I can’t see it becoming a daily thing for quite some time. It’s difficult at the moment; I’m at uni, I work two days a week and have more family responsibilities than I used to. Plus Dave is a student teacher; teaching 5 days a week and studying all hours around that, we barely see each other at the moment without trying to take outfit photos. I’m sad but my studies have to take priority, I’ll try and fit in the odd outfit post here and there but I’m going back to focusing my blog on my experience as a fashion student. I have a lot of respect to all you bloggers out there, I love doing it but at the moment I just have so much on my plate.

Anyway, as I said today was the start of my last semester. When I wrote my proposal I had the option of writing a dissertation or a live project. I’m carrying out a live project; designing and manufacturing a childrenswear print collection, there are a lot of other aspects that are included and I have a huge amount of work to fit into 12 weeks! Although I’m fully aware of how much work there is to do, I feel quite positive at the moment; I’ve set out a week by week plan so I can just get straight into it. I’ve bought a day-a-page diary so that I can keep record of my time; it’s recommended we spend 400 hours working on this module which I’ve worked out to be 33 hours a week. There will be another module, which I think will be about 11 hours a week and so I’m hoping that keeping a diary will enable me to manage my time more effectively. Basically fitting everything in is going to be really tough, but if I start as I mean to go on it should make things easier.

The shape is to be inspired by 1920s-30s and the print taking inspiration from hares and lace. I’ve already been back in the print room working on my first repeat print:

It’s an appalling picture I know, but it gives you an idea. It was designed as a practice but I really love it and think that it would make a really beautiful border on a dress. Matching the print up was actually much easier than I’d anticipated but I only had four hares on the screen and so ideally I would use a larger screen so that I could print more in one go; in the long rung it would be more time effective and therefore more cost effective.

Spending time on the design element is really key to me; I’m aiming to study post graduate pattern cutting at London College of Fashion and so I need my design portfolio to be as strong as possible. I’m booked to go to the post graduate open day on February 4th, really looking forward to having a proper look around and having a proper chat with the course leader.

I have a million other things that I could write about but I’ll save some for tomorrow!


Ready???

Top: Topshop

Denim Hotpants: Topshop

Tights: Falke

Headscarf: Vivienne Westwood

Bought this Vivienne Westwood scarf off Ebay a few weeks ago, thanks to the wonderful ebay skills of VIPXO! I love it and have been wearing it loads lately. I bought the top in London in November, Dave had given me 10 minutes in Topshop so I literally had to run around but managed to find this little beauty. I couldn’t resist it because it reminded me of something I used to have when I was about 5 years old.

So I’ve had one of those “one week till deadline” weeks, i.e. mad panic. I don’t know what it is about me, no matter how organised and prepared I am; I still worry….a lot. But I think I’m ready, all my assignments are printed and I have my presentation ready for 10.40am on Friday…….eeeeek. Feel like I’ve learnt a lot about my learning style this semester, this course is so different to my foundation degree and it’s been a real challenge. I’ve become increasingly aware of my obsessive list writing!! Dave teases me but it really helps me to make sure I’m not forgetting anything and also to make a plan of how to tackle a work load. I’m hoping that next semester will be a bit more enjoyable as I’ll actually get to make the collection that I’m proposing, I’ve really missed the hands on creativity of making clothes. I’ve also included a timeline in my proposal so I shouldn’t have that first couple of weeks feeling lost at the start of a semester.

Feel like I’ve been locked away for years, cannot wait till Friday lunchtime when I’ll be able to relax and start getting into the Christmas spirit!


Pulling everything together……

This is the dress that I wore when I went to London on Tuesday, I bought it when ASOS had 25% student discount recently. I absolutely love it, I think the colour combination is unusual but it works fantastically (in my opinion any way). It was dark (never seem to get to shoot in the daylight atm) so the colour hasn’t come out that well:

Dress: ASOS

Boots: H&M

So I haven’t managed to blog much lately, I’ve just had a lot on my plate to be honest. But I have so much to write about uni stuff.

The past few weeks have been a real turning point for me; I had been really struggling with my project proposal. I have done a huge amount of research into setting up my own business but the more research I did the more I did not feel that I was on the right path. Early on in the semester we carried out a personal SWOT analysis; one of my strengths that I identified was my pattern cutting skills and after a minor melt down I decided that this was an area that I wanted to focus on.

I decided to aim my project towards the application to study post graduate pattern cutting at London College of Fashion. I popped in there on Tuesday when I was in London for a chat and was SO glad that I did. I got some really useful information which I don’t think would have been so easy to get by email or telephone. It showed to me that just putting yourself out there face to face really works sometimes, I’ve sent so many emails to people in the past and not got any response. I left LCF feeling truly inspired and excited for the possibility of studying there.

My proposal just seems to be falling into place now, all the research that I’ve done is coming together. I am doing my usual thing of writing list after list to ensure that I don’t miss anything out, I’d never thought much about why I do this before; it just really helps me! But now I am thinking more about my learning techniques, I also looked back at the VARK questionnaire I did at the beginning of the semester. It showed that I am a multi-modal learner but with a slight emphasis on read-write learning, I guess this is why my endless list writing helps me!


The Brownie Guide…

I wore this outfit to work on Tuesday but didn’t get a chance to photograph it as I didn’t get home till late. It seemed a shame to waste a cute outfit so I wore it again today, although I didn’t wear the glasses on Tuesday. I work in an office full of middle aged men and they rarely get my dress sense as it is. It was whilst wearing it at work that I got told I looked like I was in the Brownies! Completely accidental but it does a bit, I had to remind myself of the Brownie Guide Law:

“A Brownie Guide thinks of others before herself and does a good turn every day.”

It’s a pretty good rule to live your life by I’d say, don’t you agree? Oh, and yes I am wearing my H&M boots again…

Blouse: River Island

Skirt: Topshop

Tights: Accessorize

Boots: H&M

Had a good day at uni today, I had to give a presentation this morning on my Creative Entrepreneurship proposal. I felt really happy with how it went, quite difficult to reflect on something when it went so well to be honest. It would have been easier if I’d reached this point sooner so I had more time to pull the proposal together, should be ok though. The only comment my lecturer made was to suggest that I enter the Fashion Fringe competition and use this as part of my work, I’ve had a look at the website since I’ve got home and it looks like a good idea. Feel like it would fit in with what I’m aiming to achieve.

I spent another couple of hours in the print room again today, I feel like I’ve taken some giant leaps forward since last week:

I think because I had thought about the layout and colours etc and done a few sketches of what I wanted to get done. So when I went in there it was just a case of setting up and doing it. Colour mixing is proving a bit tricky, Sue the technician had told me that the inks dry a lot lighter than they look when mixed but it still surprised me just how much lighter. This will come with practice though, I’m still very pleased with the progress I’ve made in such a short space of time. Back in there on Tuesday morning before I head off to London, I’m hoping to try out foiling; I want to try as many different techniques before submitting my proposal on the 16th December.


Stargazer……

Today was Ed’s (my sister’s husband) funeral, it’s been a very hard, very sad day. I was incredibly moved by the number of people that came to pay their respects and say goodbye to someone who was taken from us so unexpectedly. As I’m sure you will understand I didn’t feel like an outfit post today but, I did photograph my outfit on Monday. So here it is……

My dark purple pout is a favourite at the moment, the cheapest lipstick I own and it’s fantastic. I am by no means a beauty blogger but it has excellent staying power and the intensity of the colour is brilliant. This is the outfit that I wore to uni on Monday, when I had a bit of a revelation.

I’m sorry the images are so poor, it’s dark when I leave the house and when I get home these days so it’s hard to get any decent shots. Plus, we shot them in JPEG rather than RAW so I couldn’t even pull them back much.

Black Satin Vest: Topshop

Leopard Print Pleated Skirt: River Island

Boots: H&M

My black H&M ankle boots have been such a staple item in my wardrobe this autumn, so when Gem Fatale blogged a discount code I took the opportunity to get the tan pair 🙂

So a uni update; one of my modules this semester is called “Creative Entrepreneurship Preparation”  the purpose of this module is to write the proposal of what I will do for my major “Creative Entrepreneurship” module next semester. I’ve been working hard for this module, I’ve pulled together so much research. But I think I had got a bit hung up on the link between “Entrepreneurship” and setting up a business. But it doesn’t have to mean that, so after feeling overwhelmed at the thought of applying for funding for a business that I don’t want to set up; I’ve changed my proposal slightly.

I’ve often talked about my passion for pattern cutting and have been thinking for a long time about pursuing this as a career. I’ve done a lot of research since Monday; primarily using Drapers online (couldn’t be more relieved that I have a student subscription right now) which has enabled me to prove that pattern cutters are highly sought after within the fashion industry. I have made a few phone calls today and have had a couple of exciting conversations with London College of Fashion regarding their Post Graduate Creative Pattern Cutting Certificate. Basically what I am proposing to do next semester is to work on one or two design and manufacturing briefs to expand my portfolio and to apply for the post graduate course. I intend to include fabric print in one of the briefs so that all the research I have already done will not go to waste. I’ve got a lot of things to organise in the next few days but I’m feeling so much calmer and more confident that I am on the right path.


A lot to say….

So I haven’t blogged for a couple of weeks now, I’ve been a bit off radar to be honest. We had some really sad news last week when my sister’s husband passed away unexpectedly at the young age of 28. It’s been a huge shock to all of us and so uni work, blogging and even tweeting have taken a back seat lately. Bethany amazes me everyday, she’s incredibly brave. I’ll be there whenever I can, whatever she needs.

So I have much to catch up on. I’ll probably do a couple of posts over the next few days to try and get back on track.

I’ve spent a lot of time in the surface decoration department this week, all the possibilities are so exciting it almost made me wish I was doing it as a degree! I met with the technician (Sue) on Tuesday and we agreed that it would  be better for me to come in for a morning or afternoon at a time and we would just work through doing the techniques that I wanted to try, I spent the whole day there on Friday and worked through what would have been several modulettes. I’m fairly pleased with what I’ve achieved but it is going to take quite a lot of practice to get my printing to a standard that I will be happy to use in my Creative Entrepreneurship module next semester. But I have time and I’m going back to do some more next week, once I’ve had a little time to think more about layouts and overlaying prints and colours etc. It is going to be more of a challenge and definitely more time consuming than I imagined it would be to improve my printing, I knew it was going to be a challenge; I’m trying to learn something that you can do an entire degree in a short space of time. But I’m fairly confident that with hard work I’ll be able to do it and he technician seemed to agree too. Screen printing creates some really beautiful fabrics and though the initial development is time consuming, once a print design is finalised the actual process should be fairly quick. Especially in comparison to the hand painting I did for my Final Major Project!

It’s going to take a lot of practice but I’m happy to be developing some new skills and making the most of the opportunities available to me. I asked the technician if she could give me any advice on what I would do in the future, obviously I have access to the facilities and equipment at the university at the moment but what will happen once I’ve graduated? Sue is going to give me a list of contact details for companies that can produce screens so that I can research this. I’ll also need to research the cost of inks, foils etc. She told me that the university to hire out studio space which would enable me to use  the facilities even after I’ve graduated, this costs somewhere in the region of £10 an hour. I would hope to be able to set up my own makeshift studio at home but it is good to have other options so I’ll need to look into this further too.