Today we had our interim presentations. We each had to prepare a 4 to 6 minute presentation regarding our work and what we have done so far. I decided that I would prepare myself for this by discussing each of my mood boards, talking through my theme, colour palette, client profile and market competitors and how I see my collection within these areas. After I discussed my mood boards, I then discussed what work I had done so far including sketchbook work and technical workshop samples for example, my digital stitch, dye baths and digital print samples. I explained how these different techniques will work together in my collection. I then discussed what I had planned to do next including incorporating my workshop samples and basic mark makings into actual designs using Photoshop and Illustrator.
I am glad I prepared myself for this presentation, I felt very confident and I hope this came across. I kept to a structured presentation which allowed me to keep in the time limit whilst also being able to say everything I wanted to. I did not feel very nervous for this presentation as I had prepared myself but I also felt that all I needed to say was things that I already knew 0 it was like I was expected to be discussing someone else work, I had to discuss my own work! I feel that I am getting better and better at presentations and feel that i have come a long way since my first presentations in first year.
I was over the moon with the oral feedback I was given by Helen and Jayne. They were both very positive about my work so far and future ideas. The only real negative which was discussed was how I had displayed my work. My space was quite chaotic which I told Helen was how I liked to work, with everything right infant of me. However, she stated that this was a presentation not a workspace for this day and I should have considered this a bit more. Looking back I can understand this and will make sure that my space is much better presented for next week for my External Examiner visit with Dr Melanie Miller.
I have been experimenting with business card and collection logo design again. I wanted to make my business card and logo relate more to this current project so decided to use my placement print design as the basis of the design. I like the business card design and may use it as the back of card but I am not sure of the collection logo. I will revisit this design.
I have researched a few different companies which I will outsource my digital printing to for my designs. I researched prices, turn around time and ordered samples from ‘Print me Pretty’, ‘Woven Monkey’ and ‘Bags of Love.’ I have had recommendations for ‘Bags of Love’ from my third year buddy last year, Ceris who I am still in contact with. This company also have the most amount of fabric options available for printing so I have decided I will outsource for them.
I have sent them samples of some design ideas with varying colour combinations. This is another reason I chose ‘Bags of Love’, you can get samples printed from them for as little as £4 for an A5 piece of fabric. This will enable me to get to know my fabric and how the colour works on my chosen fabric. I decided to get a sample print using 100% Sierra cotton 170gsm. I sent a few different sample off to test colours and overall design. Hopefully I will receive the samples in about 4 days time.
Here are a couple of the samples I sent out.. The larger design will be a placement print and I will be digitally stitching a motif of a sewing machine in the middle of the pink plain shape. The other samples will be background or appliqué designs. I wanted to test out colour combinations which is why I have tested 13 different options for this design. I wanted to test these before the external interim presentation so that I can verbalise my ideas more visually.
Today we had tutorials about our previous Consultancy project with International Greetings. We were encouraged to be prepared for the tutorial with ideas of what we wanted to improve on regarding the feedback of the last project. My feedback was in the high ‘Good’ section for skills, context and ideas. This would equate to a high 2:1, I would be happy with a 2:1 but I am aiming for a 1st overall. Therefore to improve my mark I re-read my feedback and discussed a few things I could change in my last project.
In my feedback it stated “It would be worth opening out the market to include a much wider demographic” – I will show this by changing my client profile mood board as the images of my target market revolves only around young couples. I will broaden this out by showing older couples, single people etc.
Also, “Inset is a very good idea but perhaps reduce the text contrast and fade everything back a little so they don’t overwhelm your drawings” – I actually did this before final hand in so was a bit confused about this but when I discussed this with Helen and Jayne they explained that I should actually change the inserts of the cards rather than show the experiments in my folder.
These were the only two things I decided I would change as I felt that I wanted to spend the majority of my time focussing on my Final Major Project. I had planned to do these changes in the first week of Easter however, it has been recommended that I do not leave it that late as I do not know what position I will be with my FMP. I believe these changes will not take me very long so will complete them on a weekend before Easter break.
Today I attended a Photoshop workshop held by Matt Leighfield. I was really pleased to have been able to sign up to the workshop as I did feel a little rusty on a few Photoshop techniques. I wanted digital design to be quite a big part of my collection to modernise my theme of vintage textiles. I want to incorporate my vintage motifs with the juxtaposition of a digital production of designs, be this with digital programming such as Illustrator and Photoshop thus leading to digital print and also digital stitch.
Matt went through a few different techniques including Displacement Mapping which will help when creating CADs, Scanning in our own imagery or technical samples in order to digitise them. Here, he then covered colour adjustments and cutting out certain areas which can be done in a few different ways; using the Marquee tool, Lasso tool and Quick selection tool. Then, Matt discussed how to create patterns from a single motif. And finally, how to get text to follow a path. I felt that this particularly technique could help when creating a logo for my business card when I come to produce this.
This refresher was incredibly helpful and I now feel that I can experiment using Photoshop with more knowledge of the programme in order to create professional designs.
Today I worked in the dye lab to create perfect matches to my colour palette using Direct Dyes. Steve helped me set up the dye labs as I hadn’t done it in quite a while and needed a little refresher. But he let me get on with it independently as soon as he’d given me a little direction.
I cut out little bits of my chosen fabric which was a heavy weight cotton poplin. I made up 5 colours which came from three separate dye baths. I started with a Mint Green, Lilac and Pink from my colour palette. The pink took 3 attempts.
I tested small samples of fabric at separate intervals for example, 1 minute, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 10 minutes and 20 minutes to see which would make perfect matches to my palette.
I wrote down the recipes for each colour and how long it took for the dye to match my colour palette so that I can recreate the correct colours every time.
This weekend I took a little trip to London. I planned to go to the Sewing Machine Museum and the V&A. Unfortunately it was just a short visit but I managed to get to both museums. The Sewing Machine Museum was full of old vintage sewing machines dating back to the 1800’s. I took lots of photos, as unfortunately there wasn’t much room to be able to draw inside the museum. My main focus of the museum was to research vintage sewing machines from the 1940s and 1950s which is where my focus is for this project. I did also take pictures of other eras though. After the Sewing Machine Museum I waded through the crowds at South Kensington to get to the Victoria and Albert Museum (note to self – don’t go to London when England are playing the 6 Nations at home). I looked in a few different parts of the V&A for inspiration including the Fashion and Textiles section which shows how fashion has changed and progressed throughout time – i focussed again on the 1940s and 50s sections and took photographs of textile prints. I also went to the modern section of the museum however I hadn’t realised how small it was. Though I am glad I visited the V&A, I wish I had planned into my journey to go to the Imperial War Museum as I feel that would have also been beneficial to my project. Hopefully, I can organise another trip to London during this project.