My theme for my project was to tell my grandads life story through fashion and textiles. I feel that I did this but in a different way to what I originally imagined. I originally wanted to make a wall hanging made up of embroidery but as I researched more artists and techniques my idea changed. I then chose to do a garment going off the research I had done. I tried out different techniques that I could have used. I tried out screenprinting, tea staining, transfers and digital printing. The transferring didn’t work. I did them by using a photo printed out on paper and PVA glue. I did them on to some cotton. The transfer ripped and you couldn’t tell what the photo was. I tried screenprinting on to lace and on to digital printed photos. Even though I liked the technique, I didn’t like what I chose to screenprint. The tea staining worked well. I tested 2 different types of tea for different times based on previous results. I liked the results but wasn’t sure if I would use that technique for my final piece. Harriet Popham inspired me to try this technique. The digital printing worked really well and was my favourite out of all techniques I tried. Throughout doing this project, my digital skills have improved as I have spent a lot of time creating patterns and designs on illustrator. The designs I made were based off my research on Jamaican style patterns and colours. I found out a lot doing this research which helped me to create the best designs I could to get across my point. Through the designs I made, you can see what I was inspired by. For my final pieces, I created 2 skirts and a top. I used white cotton for all of the pieces. I made a white pleated skirt. This skirt was plain so I didn’t use any techniques that I previously tried. For the top I used screenprinting. I made a mood board on the computer of photos of my grandad but also famous people and events from different eras that he was alive. I chose to do my screenprinting in pink because I wanted a bright colour as my inspiration was Jamaica. This worked well because the screenprinting was neat and everything came out clear. I am happy with the way the printing turned out. For the second skirt, I carried on making designs based on previous research. I made a geometric style pattern. I also used rastafarian colours with bits of pink in so that it would go with the top that I made to go with the other skirt. I got this digitally printed on to cotton. It didn’t work so well as it was smudged slightly and some of it had marks all over it. Because of this I didn’t have as much fabric as I would have liked to work with. Out of the fabric I could use, I made a pencil/a line skirt. I wasn’t too happy with the result of it as it is really small because of the limited amount of fabric I had but after doing a photoshoot with it my opinion changed and I am now happy with it. I think the colours I chose helped to get across that I was inspired by a warm country but I’m not sure that it gets across I was inspired by Jamaica. My photoshoot had a slow start as the flash wasn’t working. By the time it was working, I had half an hour left to do my shoot. Even though I had a limited amount of time left, I am happy with a few of the photos. I only got 5 photos that I could use. I am happy with the lighting and coloured gels I chose to use as they helped me to keep a focus on the garments. If I was to do this shoot again, I would start earlier so that I had more time and I would try different modifiers so I had a range of different types of lighting. If I was to redo my project, I would make sure that all my seams on my final pieces were even and I would also add a long zip to the front of the patterned skirt. Overall my project has slightly changed to my original proposal as I have shown what my grandad has lived through and where he came from but not so much his life story and what he’s done. Overall I am happy with the final pieces that I made.
I plan to do a photoshoot on the 24th May at 10am. I will shoot my model in the pink crop top, the white pleated skirt and the skirt made with printed fabric. I plan to style the white pleated skirt with the pink crop top and white converse. I will style the other skirt with a white vest top. I chose a white vest top as I think it would work well with the skirt colour wise but also because it is supposed to represent a hot country and warm weather. I will also have her wear white converse with this outfit. I want her to have her hair down and straight and natural makeup. I decided on natural makeup as the garments are casual everyday outfits and they are bright. If she was to have bright makeup it wouldn’t work. I have decided to use gels to add extra colour in the background. I am thinking about using yellow/orange ones so that it doesn’t end up too dark.
I did this photoshoot. There was a few problems at the beginning with the flash. It wasn’t working so left me with less than an hour to get some good photographs. I tried out different coloured gels to see what would work well and what wouldn’t. I started with green over a honeycomb modifier and a beauty dish on the other side. I used green as I wanted to try having a cooler colour to contrast the bright warmer colours in the clothing. I think the colour worked well but wanted to try other cool colours so I also tried blue with a red gel as I thought about mixing warm colours with a cool colour. I ended up having the cool colour in the background and the warm colour on my model. I changed my modifiers to a snoot and an open light.
I don’t think the blue and red/yellow gels worked well together in this way. I thought that the blue was too cool for my work and decided to switch the gels over so that the warm colour was in the background and blue was just on my model.
I liked it a lot more this way and think the warmer colours work best with my garments.
I tried using the warm colours together without cool colours. I tried this with the other skirt that I made.
I am happy with the way these photos came out. I think the red and yellow gels worked well together. They helped bring the bright colours out of the skirt. As these were the only 5 photos I got that I was happy with, I am hoping to use 2 of these in my exhibition. I would like to use the warmer photos. If I was to shoot again, I would use a different modifier to the snoot. Even though the snoot helps to draw attention to the garments, I would have gone back to the honeycomb or beauty dish as these would have given a brighter overall look.
My model got the date mixed up so couldn’t come in to do the photoshoot. I asked Neil if I could use the studio another day but my model can’t come in any other day. At the time, I was disappointed about not being able to photograph my work but I am now glad that I couldn’t as I had more time to look at my garment and have decided that I’m not happy with it. I wouldn’t have been happy to present this in the exhibition.
I had a tutorial with Pete. He looked at my proposal and my blog. He suggested that I am more confident in my work and also suggested that I use more positive language when writing about my work. I agree with what he said as I do tend to write more about what didn’t go so well and what I need to change. I need to look at what went well and what I could do again. He told me that it can be good that I think like that sometimes as he could see my work getting stronger as I realise what I need to improve and change. From this tutorial, I have learnt to look at the good in my work instead of the bad.
This week I planned to do a photo shoot. The photo shoot didn’t go ahead as my model got the dates mixed up. I tried to rearrange to a day she could do but she couldn’t do a different day. This was okay as I decided that I wasn’t happy with my work and needed to change it. Because of this my workplan has changed for this week. I needed to remake my garment which I have done. I am now happy with my work.
This week I planned to research, digital print my final piece and construct the skirt. I managed to do this as this week I had my final design done and the digital printer was available to use. The printing didn’t work as well as I hoped. I had to come up with a new plan so that I had something to shoot on Tuesday. I decided to make a dress which I constructed over the weekend. This didn’t work well as it came out smaller than I planned. Other than this it went well.
I started by printing on my fabric using my screen. I printed a mood board I made using photos of my grandad and famous people/events he has lived through and would remember. I chose to use bright pink as I wanted to use bright colours to show the Jamaican side of my project.
Thinking about the research I did on modern fashion I started to create the top. I wrapped the fabric around the mannequin. I put in the darts in the front. I made them quite small but the fabric didn’t go as tight around the mannequin as I wanted so I made the darts bigger so that the fabric was tighter. I left a small gap in the back as I will put a white zip in the back for a fastening. I will choose white as the top is quite bright and a black one wouldn’t look right in the back. I think white would be the best option for it.
After looking back at the research I did on modern fashion, I changed the front to a more popular v neck style. I liked the top I did before but I think a v neck is probably more modern and would be more popular. Now that I changed the neckline, the top doesn’t have darts. The straps now match the rest of the top with the screen printed design on.
After putting the zip in, the top wouldn’t go back on to the mannequin as it was a bit small. I needed to take the zip out and come up with a different way to fasten the back. I tried tying the straps together into a bow at the back which I think works well. I also came up with the idea of tying the back with ribbon like a corset style. I think this is better as it is different and also still modern.
I started sewing the top together by sewing the darts. After sewing the darts in, I realised that the hem wasn’t level with the darts that I made so I had to make the hem a little bit longer. I then went on to sew the top hem and the neckline. I had to resew the neckline as it wasn’t straight. After resewing it, it was straight. I then started sewing the straps. I sewed them inside out and then pulled it through.
I started the skirt by making a design on illustrator. The design that I chose to use is bright and goes well with my top. I planned to digitally print my design on to a metre of fabric but decided I wouldn’t have enough to create a pleated skirt so I decided to print 2 metres of fabric. The printer didn’t work so well meaning I was just short of a metre. Some of the fabric that printed smudged so I couldn’t use all of the fabric. I used what I could and made a dress instead. I decided to make a dress because the pattern choice didn’t work well with my top on a bigger scale.
To make the dress, I put thick strips of white fabric onto a mannequin. These strips are the front part of the dress. It creates a deep v neck. I then attached a full back part. I then attached the skirt to the bottom.
This worked well on the mannequin so I started sewing it together. I sewed the front to the back first so that I had the top together. I then started to sew the hems on all the edges of the top. This didn’t take long as the top is only basic. I then sewed the skirt pieces together. I cut the excess fabric off and pinned the top to the skirt. I stitched the back and the front pieces to the skirt. When I finished sewing it together, I noticed that it is really short and quite small. The white top works well with the vibrant pattern of the skirt. I am going to add flowers made out of fabric to the top. I am thinking white flowers so that the attention isn’t taken away from the skirt. I want to add flowers as I remember him doing the gardening in the summer and I think this would a nice way to show what he loved to do. I’m not too sure where I want to add flowers so I will make flowers and try them out in different areas and see what works. The colours in the skirt work well as they are bright colours which make you think about the sun. This is good because he loved the summer so the skirt represents this as well as representing his Jamaican background.
I tried making flowers with the fabric but it didn’t stay so well and looked a bit messy. I already did some floral embroidery and thought I could use that but I couldn’t cut it out neatly. I then decided to embroider the outlines of flowers in black. I chose black as I didn’t want to have loads of colour all over it. After adding the flowers I decided that the top part didn’t work well and have taken it off.
I am going to use the pink top again as this worked out really well apart from the size. I will add plackets to the back of the top so that the size is bigger. A zip will be attached to the plackets.
I made a skirt around a mannequin.
I made this skirt out of soft cotton. I did this as I wanted the skirt to have movement. I stitched around the top first so that the pleats were in. I then stitched the seam in the back. I did this next so that it looked more like a skirt. After this I stitched the hem at the bottom. I found this difficult to get it the same all the way round. I started to make the waistband. I used a stiffer cotton to make the waistband as it doesn’t need as much movement as the skirt itself. I also thought it would be nicer to have a stiff waistband. When I finished this part, I stitched in a zip and ironed the pleats in.
I went back to adjust the top, I needed to bring the hem up as on the mannequin the top was long and went over the skirt which isn’t what I planned. I stitched the end of the strap to the top. I stitched the zip onto the placket pieces and then attached the plackets to the top.
Overall I am happy with the way my garments have turned out and would be happy to present it in the exhibition.