Tag Archives: Fashion

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!


Final Fashion Show 2011….

Wow, I’m so tired. I just got home after the last fashion show; the sixth one in three days! It’s been very stressful, I was a dresser and the model I was looking after had 9 outfit changes. You would never know just how manically busy it is behind the scenes. My collection was the finale and after getting the girls into their outfits I just had enough time to run around to see them come onto the catwalk. I felt so proud, I almost cried at how beautiful all of the girls looked in my dresses. The child models were brilliant, when Lexie lifted her arms at the end of the catwalk she looked like a little angel and the whole audience just went “aaawwwwwww”. Dave came to three of the shows and so I have got plenty of photos, here’s just a couple of my favourites:

This last picture is me and Kayley, (the model I was dressing) after the last show. She’s wearing my friend Emily’s dress. I got lots of compliments for my outfit today, I’d wanted the purple blazer for months and it finally came back into stock last week. The whole outfit is from River Island.

After the last show, I put the dresses into garment bags and took them home. It feels strange that I’ll never go back there again now. Good though!

On the way home on Thursday evening we stopped so that Dave could take my photo in this poppy field. The poppies have been out for a few weeks but Dave has been teaching in Stoke and so I haven’t had a photographer. Luckily the poppies are still in full bloom:

Dress: Kate Moss for Topshop

Waistcoat: Topshop

Daisy Headband: Primark


Just realised I’ve not long featured this outfit…ooops!!

Final Collection Exhibition….

My exhibition opened on Friday evening and will be open until Wednesday. Most of the other exhibitions will be up until Thursday but all Fashion exhibits are taken down early for the fashion shows which begin on Thursday. I tried to take a photo of my exhibition space to show you, the picture isn’t great sorry but it gives you an idea:

My Dad came to the private view, it was the first time he’d seen all my work in real life. I think he was pretty proud! There was a lot of people there, it felt a bit strange knowing they were looking at my work and judging it completely at face value. Not knowing the extent of the work that went into it. The response seemed very positive, I hovered around for a while eavesdropping on what people were saying! I had to be there again this afternoon as we have to take it in turns to watch the room but now I won’t have to go in again until the dress rehearsal for the fashion show on Thursday.

I’ve been feeling poorly since I got home so no outfit post but here’s what I wore yesterday. This is currently my favourite outfit, not sure how it’s managed to escape being posted before. Probably because I was to busy with deadlines the past few times I wore it. They may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I am in love with my pineapple print cropped jeans:

Shirt: Topshop (from years ago)

Cropped print jeans: River Island



I spent most of my morning driving around this morning, but by lunchtime Dave’s (TimeToShoot)  first exhibition was up. I’ve written before about how talented he is, but must say I was rather proud to see it all framed and there for everyone to see.

I seem to have really settled into relaxation mode today and we spent the rest of the day drinking coffee, walking Bracken in the wood and then several hours chilling in the beer garden of the local pub. I needed a chill out but have been thinking of what outfit to make for Deva Dubs n’ Rods next weekend, theme is Rockabilly and Burlesque for the Saturday night 🙂 Best get practising my victory rolls in my hair too.

Here’s a few pics summing up our afternoon exploring the wood and hanging out in the beer garden:


Dress: River Island

Sandals: New Look













So I’m finished! I submitted all my work on Friday, I have a week off and then have to go back and set up my exhibition. I thought it would feel like such a release, freedom! But it feels kind of weird, I got home and chucked away all the rubbish that has been collecting in my room for the past few months but then I didn’t know what to do with myself! I’ve got so used to doing uni work every minute of everyday that I just felt kind of empty. Did anyone else feel like this when finishing their degree?

I’ve never been any good at having nothing to do, I’ve spent my whole day yesterday gardening and brain storming with Dave what project I can start on next!

It was my friend Emily’s 21st birthday on Tuesday but we were all so busy with our FMPs that we had to put off celebrating until Saturday. It was so good to have a night out and actually enjoy myself without worrying about what work I should be doing. Bought this dress about 2 months ago and have been saving it for a suitable occassion. I think it’s pretty fierce, what do you think?

Dress: Topshop

Shoes: New Look


Today seems a good day for reflection……

As I reach the end of this course, it seems appropriate to reflect on my entire learning experience over the past two years. So I’m sitting here this morning surrounded by my old learning journals; it feels really strange to go back and read the very first ones. It’s clear that to begin with I had no idea what a reflective learning journal was or how I could use it as a tool for my personal progression!

Looking at my journal dated 22nd February 2010 to 28th May 2010 it’s clear this was a turning point for me. During my first semester the journal seems very immature and naive; an “I did this and then I did that” document. It doesn’t discuss how anything I did could benefit my work in the future, how it made me feel and barely contains any imagery.  I don’t remember what it was that made the purpose of the journal click for me but now I don’t know why I ever found the concept so difficult to understand! I look at the second journal and I’m instantly transported back to that time; all the things I tried and how they worked or didn’t work. The designers and artists that were influencing my work at the time.

At the beginning of year 2 I set up this blog and I feel that this has enabled me to take my reflective learning to the next level, some people questioned how effective keeping my journal in this way would be from a creative point of view. I don’t feel that keeping my journal in this way has made it any less reflective! If anything I’ve found it much easier to put in photos of techniques that I’ve sampled, other designers works I’m looking at etc. I remember spending hours and hours at the end of the first year printing out what felt like millions of photos and photocopies to cut out and stick into gaps in my journal. Now I just upload the photos straight away and they’re there; no glue or scissors required!

I’ve also really enjoyed the feedback I get from people reading my blog; people seem fascinated to read about my learning experience as a fashion student. I think this is testament in itself that my learning journal/blog is an effective tool to give an incite into my thoughts and feelings about what I’m doing. I feel that the blog has been a fantastic tool for reflection and I plan to continue using it for this purpose even after graduation from this course.

I wish that I had begun my journal in this form a lot earlier, I didn’t keep it up over the summer break last year and I feel this was a mistake. It was during the summer months that I undertook two fantastic work placements; the first at Anna Scholz Ltd in London and the second at Damselfly Boutique in Shropshire. Perhaps keeping a journal of my time at these businesses in such a publicly visible format would not have been appropriate but I wish that I had kept it for my own record. The reflective learning journal is something that I feel will be with me for life in one way or another now! I just wish that the idea of it had been more clearly explained to me from day 1 but then I think that if it had been to prescribed then I wouldn’t have developed it into what it is today; something that I find truly useful.

I look at the work I am submitting for this Final Major Project and am filled with pride. Particularly because I don’t feel that any of my learning experience has been spoon fed  to me, there are odd occasions where I have felt the lack of support has been inappropriate even for a degree level course. But on the whole, any problems that I’ve encountered I have investigated and resolved on my own and feel that my learning experience and understanding of fashion design and manufacture is stronger than ever and continues to grow.

One down, One to go…..

All work for start-up planning and promotion is now submittted!!! I wish that meant that I could rest as I am completely shattered, but instead I’ve come home and made a to do list of things left to do for my FMP! Before I get started on the list, I thought I should take the time to write an overall reflection and evaluation of my womenswear final garments.

Dress one, pintucks and pleats:

I adore this dress, the pleats and the pintucks work so well together. It has caused me so much heartache and tears, but I think the above photo shows that it’s been worth it. I’ve talked about the problems I had constructing this dress before: joining the skirt panels whilst still keeping the pleats hanging correctly, it just isn’t possible to join all the panels with french seams as I had wanted to do because of the width of the panels, I could have joined one side of a pleated panel with a french seam but not the other. To even join one side I would have needed double the amount of the blue chiffon, which would have made the costs of this dress sky rocket. I am also unable press these skirt panel seams open as it would destroy the pleats; I hope that I don’t get marked down for this or the fact that the seams are not all the same. I shouldn’t do because it isn’t as though I’ve just joined it together any old way, I’ve had to do it this way to make sure that it looks right. I have finished the bottom edge of the dress using fray stop, even a tiny little rolled hem spoils the line of the pleats.

Dress 2, the ruffle and pintucked dress:

This is the dress that I started first and finished last!!! Mainly due to the fact that I had to fray stop every raw edge on the skirt, and as you can see there is a lot! It’s my own fault, I could have used a fabric that didn’t fray so easily as chiffon or cut the edges with pinking shears but I don’t think that anything else would have been as effective as this. I didn’t want pinked edges, they don’t look as fragile and natural as the raw cut edges do and that was the whole point of it: fragility and nature. Fastening this and the first dress with clear plastic press studs was definitely the best option: they are so light you can’t even tell they’re there once the dresses are fastened. The only problem is that they aren’t very strong and on this dress one or two did pop open, not what you want to happen on the catwalk!!! So I will  need to add a couple more to try to reduce this risk.

Dress 3, Dragonfly print and pintucked dress:

I’ve talked about the construction of this dress in quite a lot of detail previously but hadn’t photographed it on a mannequin. I am pleased with the construction and I love the colour. I used the same method from Fashion Incubator to join the lining to the dress as I used on the child’s dragonfly dress. This website is an excellent resource, it’s enabled me to give the dress a much more professional finish around the neck and armholes than catching it in by hand around the armholes would have done. Because of the pintucked sections on this dress, I had to manipulate the basic block to remove the darts. It has worked well, although it isn’t as close fitting as I would like; it’s just not possible to contour it to the body perfectly without darts. But it still looks beautiful.

Now to crack on with my list!!