Dissertation Tutorial

Over the past few weeks I’ve been so focused on my subject deadline I’ve been avoiding my reading for my dissertation. Today I had a tutorial with Ashley and I’ve regretted that I haven’t managed to balance my work better. Though I made a start on the dissertation proposal form, it definitely needs more work and thought put into it and I most definitely need to do more reading! I feel annoyed with myself as I’ve got all the books out from the library that I need and also found some really interesting journal articles but I just can’t seem to focus. I think it being the end of term is a factor, I’m taking all my books home with me over Easter and I’m not letting this poor work ethic carry on. Ashley gave me some advice and pointers regarding my dissertation proposal form, this was very helpful to work towards.


Self-Reflective Statement

I have really enjoyed this module for subject, creating my own hypothetical design brief and seeing my work progress into designs and then finally seeing them as CAD Visuals made me feel really fulfilled and proud. I have tried to act in a very professional way throughout the process in order to produce high quality work and final samples. I have tried to complete work on self-set deadlines so that none of my work was rushed and I got everything completed on time to the best of my ability.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to work with screen printing as much as I had wished, I managed to create some designs in part one of the project but didn’t think they were good enough for my final collection. I had wished to create another design on a screen to print in part two but due to time restrictions I ended up not being able to. With this in mind I decided to focus on digital stitch for this collection – another technique highly used within the companies designs. I loved working with digital stitch as I felt it gave a really professional finish, I found the digital programme easy to get the hang of and enjoyed that there were many ways you could improve designs with a few tweaks including stitch type or direction. These are a few examples of suggestions Maggie gave me in order to improve my designs. The other set back I had in this project was that I had originally wanted to dye my own fabric to create my own colour palette with fabric, however again due to time restraints I decided that this was not a main focus for my designs and so decided to purchase some fabric instead. The colours are exactly what I wanted so I did not feel that this inhibited my designs at all.

I wanted to design my collection for the home interiors market focussing predominantly on designs for the bedroom. Thus my designs were created for wallpaper, bedding, pillows, throws and curtains; I portrayed this in my CAD visuals. I found this technique really helpful in that it showed what my designs would look like in a real life environment. This made me consider the colours and overall design of the samples – if I did not like how they looked I would’ve changed my designs, luckily I was very happy with my designs. I particularly liked the ability to show my repeat border design on the bedding; it looked exactly how I had envisaged the design. Though I designed for bedroom interiors I feel the designs could be used in other areas of the home and even a stationery collection if some changes were made.

I decided to design for Harlequin after being inspired by their Jardin Boheme collection brochure, this particular collection was full of ethnic patterns and designs incorporating techniques such as screen printing and digital stitch – both techniques I wanted to explore and experiment with in order to create a final collection. After researching the company I came to realise a lot of their collections have inspiration from this area so I decided it would be the perfect combination for my own designs.

My final twelve samples have all been inspired by my theme of geometric patterns from Northern African countries. I gained inspiration for this project from my travels to countries such as Tunisia and also Morocco when we visited for our Field Cultural Collaboration. These trips gave me a huge amount of primary research; I took a lot of photographs and drawings which enabled me to create designs based on this theme. My main areas of inspiration came from the tiles and stucco work in the countries I visited. I wanted to create my own patterns inspired by what I saw; I created basic line drawings which were quite stylised. I then used these drawings and added colour using digital processes such as Photoshop or Digital Stitch. I also experimented with painting with gouache which I have never used before – it is a media I really enjoyed using and one that I would like to experiment with more in the future.

I have loved exploring my drawing skills using the theme of geometric patterns; my drawings in this project have been very stylised and precise. I have come to realise this is a style of drawing that I really enjoy and would like to take further. I understand that I need to experiment with different techniques and sometimes it is good to be messy and experimental but I didn’t feel that this style worked with my chosen company or theme for this project. I have also really enjoyed the studio workshops and exercises we were set, in particular the accurate repeat patterns created by hand. I feel this is a very important technique to learn and explore. Throughout field I expressed my desire to explore more hand crafted techniques instead of relying on machines and digital processes, though I did not complete any textiles techniques by hand in this project I really enjoyed the repeat pattern exercises.

At points in my project I was quite apprehensive about creating twelve designs so to make it seem more manageable I decided to create three families of designs after some advice from Helen. To do this each of the three family of designs are focussed on one motif, so they also co-ordinate well together. I was a little worried when looking at my designs that because of these three families overall the designs might not of worked as well together as they could of due to a lack of cohesion.

Overall I feel this project has been a great indication of what I will be expected to do in third year by creating my own brief and having the freedom to do what I wanted. I feel that though certain things maybe held me back in this project I am becoming an independent designer. I have been very dedicated throughout the project going into university nearly every day to experiment with techniques I may want to use next year.

CAD Visual Attempt Two

CAD Visual Border wallpaper design

CAD Visual Tile design CAD Visual 3 1

Creating my Final Samples

Over the past few days I have been in the stitch room creating my final samples for my collection. The final outcome of all the designs was very successful and I’m really pleased with what I’ve produced.


    IMG_5030With this design I had to make a few adjustments to my design because of the sheer amount of stitches, Maggie advised me that I should consider using applique for a few parts of my design to relieve some of the stitches otherwise the piece would just be too heavy. This was a new process for me to try out but it definitely improved my design, I may have even used more applique on the design if I had completed it again as it is still quite heavy.IMG_5035 IMG_5036

Digital Stitch

This week is the last week before the deadline so I began it by making myself a list of this I needed to do each day in order to complete all the deliverables. Over the next few days I willbe stitching out my fabric Croquis using digital stitch – this is a technique I have grown to really enjoy using as I feel it gives a great proffessional appearance to the designs and there is a lot to learn when using the programme, you can create very simple or very detailed pieces as long as you know what will work and what will not. I saw a lot of designs with digital stitch in at the Chelsea harbour design centre when we visited for design week, which is one of the reasons I have decided to focus on this technique for my Croquis.

Today I began designing one of my final Croquis on the programme Easy Design. There were a lot of layers of stitch and Maggie was a little worried that it would become to stiff to work with, so she gave me some advice on how to change my design in order for it to be more successful. One of the things she suggested I changed was to add some appliqué to the piece instead of all just solid stitch. She also suggested I changed the type of stitch I used on certain aspects of the design. All these adjustments would lead to a much more proffessional looking design. The design will take two hours so I will be spreading it out and stitching it across two days.

Dissertation Planning

At the moment I should be starting to think about my dissertation and begin my research and reading for it. I know my subject and I’m very happy with my tutorials I have been having with Ashley but I’m really struggling to fit the time in to actually do my reading. I have all my books out from the library but with my subject project drawing to a close and with only a week and two days till the deadline I’m focussing all my attention to work for this and not making time for dissertation. I know this is a mistake and I will regret leaving things to last minute. From now on I will try to take even just half an hour each day to do a bit of reading and make notes or even saving one day for dissertation day.

From the reading I’ve done already I’m really interested into my topic, I just need to get my teeth stuck into it now!

Sample Development and Production

Unfortunately I’ve come to the conclusion that I will not be able to be using print in my samples. I have left it a little too late to produce a screen for screen printing my designs by hand but may still be able to use digital. I am happy to continue producing samples with digital stitch as I feel it is a relevant technique to my chosen company Harlequin, a lot of their designs use digital stitch. I will also be using hand embroidery on top of the digital designs to add a little more embellishment. I will be using some of my designs from the Photoshop workshop as paper samples as I feel they are strong designs. 

I am a little stressed in that I feel I haven’t had long enough for this project, I’m really enjoying working to my own brief and for my own chosen company but feel a little held back in that I cannot use some of the techniques which I wanted to use due to third years having priority. I feel that if I had more time and been able to indulge into samples fully I would be happier with where I a and the samples I am able to produce.