Tag Archives: Photography

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!!


Womenswear Photoshoots….

We did the womenswear photoshoots yesterday, I couldn’t be happier with how it went:

A couple of the models were only available in the morning and as I was at work I had to make sure the photographer (Dave from TimeToShoot) and the models knew exactly what shots I was looking for. I’m really happy to have used professional models, I really want it to look like a student collection. I had already created a photoshoot inspiration board to submit as part of this module and so emailed it to them all:

I also sent them this photo I had found, I thought this would be perfect to recreate in the shoot and as you can see from the contact sheet I was right!

I asked them all to keep hair and make up very simple and natural as I wanted the main focus to be on the dresses and the lighting. Thankfully we were extremely lucky with the weather once again, we finished up at 4pm and just as we were loading everything into the car it started to rain!

It was a good experience, I enjoyed being there to direct the models in the afternoon. It was also useful to not be at the shoots in the morning though, it meant I had to create a really clear brief for the models and the photographer to ensure the end result was exactly as I wanted.


Childrenswear Photoshoots….

On Thursday and Friday, we did the photoshoots for the childrenswear and I’m so pleased with the results. Here are a few just to give you an idea:

Planning a photoshoot outdoors is always a bit risky, you can plan everything down to the last detail but then if it starts to rain all that planning goes out the window!! It looked like that was going to happen yesterday, it kept trying to rain all afternoon but as we pulled up to the nature reserve where we did the first shoot the sun broke through. Working with children can be very risky too, particularly very little ones but they were all very well behaved. In fact, they performed impeccably  As I said, I’m so incredibly happy with the results of all 3 shoots, the images and the garments look exactly as I had imagined!! A very big thank you to Dave from TimeToShoot, he’s a truly talented photographer.

I would love to hear what you think.


So Close…..

Blog/learning journal posts have been rather sporadic lately, I’ve just been working flat out to get everything finished. I’m almost there now though, particularly with my Start Up Planning and Promotions module. All I have left to do is to write a commentary and get the photoshoots done so that I can load all my images into place before printing. I’m still waiting for my business cards to arrive though which is something that’s concerning me, I ordered them on the 5th of May and they should have arrived by now, think I’m going to have to chase them up today.

I’ve really enjoyed this module, particulary as we’ve go into the promotional side, this week I’ve been putting finishing touches to my Look Book and have designed my invitation for my exhibition. So close now, I just can’t wait to get the photoshoots done. We’re doing one of the children’s dresses today, this one had me rather stressed out last night as it was supposed to be a friend’s niece modelling for me and she has cancelled twice now. I really started to panic as I want to get the children’s dresses all shot by Friday so that I can put all the images onto my website etc. to print on Saturday. I’ve have another model now but she’s the daughter of a friend in Shrewsbury and so have quite a lot of driving to do today to go into uni and then off to Shrewsbury.

I think I’ve finished my Look Book though, I wanted to use my illustration in it and some product shots as the backgrounds are pastel colours I wanted to keep it quite simple:

Just realised this is the first picture I’ve uploaded of the finished dresses, I will write a more detailed post about them later but I’m so happy with what I’ve achieved. They look better than I could have hoped for, fingers crossed the photoshoots all go well!


Pastel Pop….

Dress: Vintage

Shoes: Irregular Choice

Nails: Numerous shades of Barry M

The past week I think I’ve worked harder than I’ve ever worked before. Hence the lack of blog posts. I’m pretty much surviving on coffee at the moment but I finally feel like it’s paying off, things are really starting to come together. As I haven’t done a post for a whole week I have a huge amount to write about, so make yourself a coffee and settle in for a while…..

Firstly here’s a picture of the pintucked and pleated women’s dress that I recently blogged about, I’ve made the bias-cut slip to go underneath it and it really finishes it off. I used a silk twill for the lining, it’s a bit thicker than the ponge I was going to use and so I don’t feel concerned that the dress would still be too sheer. It was quite strange putting it together, as it is a 1920s pattern the seam allowance on it was 1/2″. I’m used to sewing 1cm seam allowances and to sew such a wide one seemed more difficult!! It also didn’t look as neat once I’d pressed it open to have such a wide seam so I have overlocked the extra off to make it look neater on the inside.

This has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done but I am really pleased with it. The only thing left to do is to sew in the press studs and finish the hem. I’ve decided that the best way to do this is to just use fray stop on the edge, I think that anything else I do to the pleated edge will spoil the line of it and look to bulky.

This is the pintucked bodice for the second ladies dress:

Again, I am immensely proud of the construction of this. The silk chiffon I have used for both these dresses has been very challenging to work with as it is so slippy and stretchy. I’ve french seamed the armholes, neckline and all side seams. It looks perfect and I feel that it is made to professional standard. I’ve tried to take a photograph of one of the french seams but I’m not sure if you can really tell what it is:

This bodice is ready to be sewn onto the ruffle skirt, I have been fray stopping the raw edges every evening for the past week! I’m almost there, if I were to make this again I would probably have used something that wouldn’t fray so badly so that I wouldn’t have had this extra labourious task. But then on the other hand I don’t think anything else would have the same effect, it falls so beautifully and feels so light and delicate. Here’s a little close up to give you an idea:

This week I’ve also been working on the final ladies dress, I thought this one was going to be really straight forward but as per usual it was harder and took longer than I expected!!! It was the pintucked panels that caused me the problems…again! I had thought that as the silk linen is much crisper they would be easier to keep even, but I stitched the first three and they just didn’t look quite right. They weren’t perfectly straight or the perfect distance apart even though I had notched and pressed the tucks first. The only way I could overcome this was to unpick them and draw on the lines with a vanishing pen. This kept them the right distance apart and lovely and straight:

I’ve also hand painted the wing design onto the other panels:

This technique has been really effective, the wing is obviously very stylized. If I had done it exactly it would have taken me even longer, each little section would also have been much larger and I just don’t think that it would have had the same impact. I think that it has as much of an impact as printing the image would have done and the lines still look beautifully crisp. On the bottom panel I did have to extend the wing a little further across than I had originally planned, just as I was putting everything away I got a spot of the fabric paint about 8cm away from where I had finished the wing. I wanted to cry, but I have managed to extend it so that it doesn’t just look like I’ve stuck a bit extra on. On my original drawing I had planned to put a small painted section on the bottom left hand corner of the skirt too, but after I had done all the right hand side I have decided that any more on it would be a bit overwhelming and take away from the impact that it has. So this dress is all ready to be joined together too. That means the womenswear designs are almost complete.

Today I’ve also fitted the last two of the childrenswear toiles to the models.  I need to shorten the sleeve length on the dandelion pintucked dress by about 7cm as I want it to be just below the elbow but other than that it fits her perfectly. The child’s dragonfly dress also fitted well although the little girl is small for her age and I have had to shorten the dress length by approximately 5cm. I’ve got these cut out and overlocked now and so am planning on get the hand painting done on them tomorrow and then fully constructed on Sunday. I’m hoping to photograph the dragonfly dress on Monday afternoon and the Dandelion one next Friday. I’ve found a location just down the road from uni so I’m hoping it won’t be too much hassle for the children’s parents to get them there:

I have also completely finished the pleated wing sleeved child’s dress so this is ready to be photographed too. However, I need to speak to my lecturer Lindsay (it’s her daughter modelling this dress) to see whether she might be available for a photoshoot next Friday too. I haven’t taken a photo of it but it looks really beautiful, simple yet striking. The pleated fabric did actually make it rather more difficult to put together than I had expected though!! As with the ladies dress with the pleated panels, I had cut the wings out whilst still between its special layers of paper and then stitched across the top edge to hold the pleats in place before carefully tearing the paper out. I don’t know if it was because they were much larger pieces and not just a straight edge but the paper was much, much more difficult to remove from inside the pleats. In fact it was a total nightmare and although I was ridiculously careful when removing the little remnant of paper it did pull the pleats out of line ever so slightly. Even with the line of stitching holding them in place, it was really difficult to keep them perfect when putting them into the side seams of the dress. I was worried about this, particularly because the pleated fabric is silk georgette that frays even more so than the chiffon of the ladies dresses and so I really didn’t want to risk having to unpick it. The only way I could eliminate this risk was to tack them in by hand and notch where the sleeve should end on the side seam, ensuring they were level. Another time consuming task! I will write more about this dress tomorrow once I’ve taken some photos of it, the light in here is too bad to get decent pictures of it.


Squirrel Nutkin…..

The wood seemed the perfect place to photograph this dress. I love the squirrel print but it’s a big and I spent all day pulling it up! I’ve had such a lovely day, it’s so nice to not be freezing cold. I feel like I’ve got a lot achieved too; yoga, uni, dog walk, gardening, more  uni work and cooking!

The water in the ponds was so still and clear it created a perfect mirror image !! Squirrel Dress: Riko for Topshop Tights: Falke Cardigan: Topshop Brogues: Topshop Bracken had a wonderful time too:

This morning was interesting at uni; I had Start-Up Planning and Promotion and we were looking at brand identities. I chose three companies that I aspire to be like; looking at there logos, colour schemes, websites and photoshoots etc. I then had to present back to the group to explain why I liked these brands. The three I chose all had the following in common: pastel/natural colour schemes, clear crisp fonts and beautifully styled photoshoots. These are things that will be key to identifying my brand identity and so over the next week I will trial different fonts and colour palettes to try to decide which I feel suits my brand best.

I’ve very almost finished toiling the first of the womenswear dresses; lots and lots of pintucks. I’m a little annoyed with myself though as I’ve made such a basic mistake; I extended the waistband straight up 3cm and then removed 3cm from the bottom edge of the bodice so that each piece was the right length but should have also measured the width of these too. Instead of just extending the waistband straight up I should have measured the bottom edge of the bodice to make sure that the edges matched together. The front is 0.5cm short (on the half) and the back is 1cm short (on the half), it’s a very small difference but it makes a huge difference. I’ve adjusted the paper pattern so just need to re-toile the waistband pieces tomorrow. Then I’m off to London on Wednesday where I’ll hopefully get some fabrics.


My Tea Dress Again and Trying to De-Stress…

Normally I try not to post the exact same outfit too close together but I knew we were going to look around Berrington Hall and I thought that my 1930s dress would look best in the dairy of this neo-classical mansion. Dave took this lovely picture of me, I think the coral colour of the dress stands out beautifully against the colour of the tiles.

Dress: 1930s vintage from Tea Gowns and Textiles

Cardigan: Topshop

Tights: Falke

Brogues: Topshop

Berrington Hall is only 10 minutes away from Tea Gowns and Textiles which is where I bought the dress from several years ago. It seemed the perfect opportunity to pay another visit! I didn’t buy anything as I’m trying to save money but there was a beautiful red velvet 1920s turban that I was covetting!

I’ve been getting myself a bit stressed out this afternoon, as I’ve mentioned before I have to write a business plan for my module “Start Up Planning and Promotion” and so have been doing a lot of research into living costs, business start up costs etc and just generally thinking about where I want to be in 5 years time. I have so much that I want to achieve and am so determined to be successful in the fashion industry, but it is hard. Don’t get me wrong I absolutely love it, if I won the lottery I’d still be doing what I’m doing. Come to think about it, winning the lottery would take away the things that are worrying me, fingers crossed for Saturday night eh?!!

I got myself so het up that I wasn’t actually getting any proper work done, so I did what I always do when I get stressed out: closed my laptop, wrote a list of everything I need to get done and then made a timetable hour by hour for the next severn days. It alway calms me down and also means that I put my time to best use.

Once I had calmed down, I created two surveys for research for my business plan. One for potential customers, Click here to take survey and one for potential suppliers (boutique owners) Click here to take survey. I’ve emailed this to various companies and posted it on blogs too, hopefully I’ll get lots of replies.