New Patterns

After receiving my feedback I wanted to continue with my project by creating some new prints and using my plastics in a different way to give me more interesting things to hang for my end of year show. I started looking back at some of my old drawings and I became really confused as to what new motifs I could use. I thought about continuing with this circuit board theme and started messing around with some small patterns on photoshop. Initially as a tester I created the basic pattern, and then separated it into the four sections, moved them around and added more patterns in order to create the repeat. As you can see I started with this one, and made it into a repeat, but I thought there was to much white space, so I left this one and continued with the new pattern.

But before I did this, I started looking at different colour ways for this design. personally I really like the original in white, blue and green because it looks clean and precise. But as you can see I have continued to look at more which also work.

This is the second design I created, starting with the same original piece but this time I added lots more into the design, including new squares and circles to fill the square more, leaving less white space. These three images show how i created the design, adding more to the initial pattern, and then taking it into four squares, moving them to the opposite corner and adding more pattern to fill the space. Doing this on photoshop instead of paper makes creating repeat patterns easy.

I used this finalised pattern and created a few different colours ways using my original colour scheme. My favourite was is the blue, with the pink and green on top. It looks really futuristic and clean, but the colours are bright and quirky. I want to test this pattern onto plastic but unfortunately I don’t own any blue plastic because thats the only colour I didn’t buy.

These are some CAD visuals I created looking at garments, instead of stationery. After talking with Irene, the fashion teacher a few weeks ago, I decided I’m really interested in incorporating more fashion into my textiles work, and I think this pattern works really nicely onto these clothes as CAD visuals. Although I can’t now go back and complete a fashion course because I’m in second year, I will try my best next year to work along side the fashion teacher more and learn as much as possible in order to gain more skills to try get a job in the fashion industry in the future.

Going back to my stationery, I have created a mock up book with a similar pattern to this one. Take a look: The first one is just the repeating pattern, which looks fine, but just slightly boring. The second one I made took me ages, creating a pattern using all the pieces of the old patterns I had created, but it doesn’t repeat and I also included a title with the font I have been using for this project. I think this looks much more interesting, with less white space and more different shapes.

With this second mock up book, I’ve tested some alternative colour ways, which I think although don’t go so well with the theme. I think the overall style looks great. Especially the pastel colour scheme. Its subtle and cute for my target market, although it could be argued that the orange is funky and also is good for my target market.


Screen Printing

During todays workshop day I attempted to get lots done in terms of final pieces, because I have  realised I haven’t got much time left till hand in and its making me really nervous. I started straight away mixing colours ready to screen print. and got stuck in using my two screens with my four layers of pattern to make my yellow printed design.

This was my first attempt at a layered pattern which I think worked well considering I haven’t been in the print room in so long however, there are a few issues with this print. Because the first layer is a plain square of paint, the other paint on top, although the first layer was dry, it just didn’t sit right and made the top layers bleed which I don’t like. Also because the design is so intricate on the third layer a lot of it hasn’t come out which is again disappointing, but Steve had warned me of this.

My next idea was to attempt to dye some fabric in order for it to be my background colour instead of using paint, because this should then hopefully allow the paint to sit nicely on top and not bleed. But with little time and equipment, Steve said I could only have one dye, I chose red in order to do this design.

This is pretty gutting, because I don’t think I can use this first yellow printed piece because it is of low quality. And the whole point of me putting this design on the screen was to create the colour ways for my final pieces. At this rate I think the best Idea is to print them off because the designs themselves look really good quality from Photoshop.

I also tested some foils on fabric to see if they were any better quality then the paper ones I had tested previously. I think this first blue one I don’t looks really nice (even better in person). The fabric is cotton which gives it a really nice clean finish with the dye. But the foils came out patchy, and it like light I think this looks really nice. Although this pink one is done on a very thin material and I think the paint wasn’t complely dry when I printed the glue on top making it very patchy. I think this Pink doesn’t work well as a background because its so bright.

When I got home from this disappointing day. I decided to continue drawing and creating motifs for more patterns, because this is what Keireirene said to me in my last tutorial. I went onto the website for Cyber Dog and took ideas and designs from there range of fashion and accessories. thinking about new fashion designs and patterns for new prints. Heres some of what I came up with.

WechatIMG5I became infatuated with this circuit board print which looks really edgy in different colours after seeing it on a pair of pants on there website. I started drawing more and more in my book and creating background patterns for other motifs on Photoshop which I think is a really interesting idea.


Here are a few designs I created:

In particular my favourites are the one with the layers, especially this blue spaceship motif  behind the circuit boards, because only some patterns how up making it interesting to the eye. I also love this the two with the body motif’s because they work so well with the theme. the contrast with the colours and opacity on the second I think works very well. I look forward to seeing how I can use these designs in print and stitch.



Final Day’s at BIFT

Today was my final day at BIFT, and before I left I wanted to finish Macy’s project, in my research and development class and I wanted to make a mask to go with my skirt keeping with the theme of space age fashion. I had already made a template for my first mask, and cut out the fabric, all I needed to do was stitch it together. After making the first one, I had the rest of the day so I started doodling some more ideas and ended up creating three more different masks, with different shapes colours and patterns. I made some people in the class try them on. I think its a challenge to use them because it is such thin plastic, they stick to your face and its very hard to blink. However, with the resources I have I am very pleased with them, as I think they look interesting and match the theme and my skirt. When we got home, Alice tried them on, but it seemed her head was a tiny bit too big for the small bands I had made. Lets hope they fit the model.


This in the final page in mu sketch book, showing the final design ideas, looking at masks and the skirt panels and brace straps. I want to complete the straps perhaps when I get home but will leave it for now because I would like to use a guillotine to cut the stars straight which I don’t have access to here at BIFT.

Considering this in my finished product for this project I want time to evaluate this project as a whole. I want to start of saying, I have really struggled to find the balance between attempting fashion techniques without the knowledge and textiles techniques without the resources. So I am glad I have gone down the fashion route with this project, I have learnt many new techniques and experienced many problems along the way, but think this has all been part of the experience. I am glad I chose such an interesting era to study as I find it fascinating to look at fashion, fabrics and patterns during this era. But also I like the chance to work with some more unusual fabrics I wouldn’t normally chose to work with. If I was to spend more time on this project of go back and change things, I wish I had researched into more 60’s artists and designers from the beginning, and I would make WGSN forecast a bigger priority in my work. If I was to re create my final piece I would change the colours to go with the forecasted trends, perhaps red and purple. But I think it has opened my eyes to the ideas of using unusual fabrics to cover the body, and ways to look at the body. It has also made me more aware of different techniques I want to test out when I return home like pleating, fabric manipulation and laser cutting (testing this plastic). I think this would all benefit this project, which I hope to continue when I return home with more textile techniques. I am very glad to be returning home with a new point of interest and many new interesting fashion designers to influence me into new direction.




Experience at BIFT


Studying at the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology for three months has been an amazing experience. We experienced many challenges along the way, however, I feel we have grown to overcome this as a group (Alice, Rosie and I) and have gone on to learn many new and interesting things which I don’t think I would have got the chance to learn if I continued to study textiles. This time here at BIFT has really opened my eyes to differences between education in China compared to education at Cardiff Metropolitan University, and has made me very thankful.

Before travelling, I assumed all my classes would be taught in English. However, to my surprise very few teachers spoke any English at all. So this was a major challenge to understand my teachers. I was lucky enough to have many students help me to translate, which I think has benefited them as well, as I can see an improvement in there English since first starting at BIFT. The teaching style at BIFT I have struggled with as I feel it is very old fashioned and not very creative. It seems most classes are taught from text books, which doesn’t appeal to me. I prefer a more creative environment to work in, which has made me realise how much freedom we receive at Cardiff Met to be our own person and support from the teachers to try new things.

Nevertheless, I think I have learnt many fashion skills during my time here at BIFT. I have learnt how to draw the human body, which I am very pleased with as before I was very uninterested in drawing. I think this is a huge accomplishment as before I thought the body was very complicated to draw but this is now become an interest of mine, looking at the shapes of the human body. I have also learnt how to draw many different clothing patterns, and how to construct two types of skirts using an industrial sewing machine. I think this is a huge accomplishment in such a short space of time, I’m very pleased I stuck with my garment construction class, as I was really struggling with the language barrier from my teacher because she spoke no English, however, I overcome this with the help of my friends and have tried becoming more creative with the choices of fabrics. I really struggled using an industrial sewing machine at first because I had never seen anything like it, and it took time to practice becoming steady but now I have learnt I don’t mind these machines at all.

The university its self has many new and exciting thing happening each week, including exhibitions, textiles, fashion and jewellery based. Sports events, shows and markets. This has been a fantastic resource for inspiration and buying equipment and fabrics. The university also has its own Ethnic costume museum which although opening times have been a struggle to get to, what’s inside I have found to very inspirational specifically looking at patterns and marks.

This school is a complete contrast to Cardiff met, I feel as if they have very few resources like computers, printers and Wi-Fi. But saying this, my education here has been an experience in its self and I am so thankful for my teachers and in particular Richard, from the Erasmus office who has helped us meet people and I am pleased to have a whole new friendship group here at BIFT, which will make it a very emotional experience to leave.Ex

Shanghai Architecture

While I was in Shanghai I was really inspired by all the different geometric shapes in the architecture. And I started thinking about ideas of fabrics creating similar shapes. I’ve decided I want to learn how to pleat fabrics and I think this would be a great idea with some of the new fabrics I have discover including the plastics and TBU. The picture quality is terrible because I was in a taxi when I took these. The last photo is a building in Beijing.

I have decided to try get work experience with a pleating expert in London. I have already been in contact with matt from Ciment Pleating and am excited to say he has offered me a weeks 1 weeks internship in April. Very Excited to think about the possibility.

Garment Making Class- New Skirt

Today, after kinda completing my PVC skirt, I decided I wanted to try make a different type of skirt so that I could learn new techniques before going back to England. And me being me I chose another super awkward material. My teacher was not impressed. I wanted to attempt to make an A-Line skirt using my metallic Leather.

my teacher quickly draw a rough pattern for me and I then copied it on a 1:1 scale. However it did need some adjusting. This pattern was a mis between the skirt and the trousers patterns I had previously learnt to do, I think this is because of the darts. I completed this skirt in a similar order to my other two, however I first started off by creating the darts. I then stitched the half seam and attached the zip, but loosely this time so that it wouldn’t break. I then stitched the other seam. Created the waist band and started to stitch this on before the day was finished. I still have some work to do, but as you can see in the bottom photo i’m basically finished. However it is so long, I need to cut it down. I hope I can finish all three skirts to a good quality before I go back to the UK. And perhaps try these techniques again but with something less awkward. Who knows how far I will get though. But now I am finding it much easier because I understand how to complete all the steps without assistance. Still don’t think I’m ready to attempt trousers yet.

Garment Making Class-PVC Skirt

Today I tried my luck at making a skirt alk my self out of pvc. I thought this would be an interesting challenge considering the previous fabric I had used was thin and stretchy, but this was thick and sticky. I first all off tested out some difficult parts of the method on a sample piece. First of all I stitched a zip, but my teacher came and told me I hasn’t stitched close enough to the zip, so I was aware and prepared to stitch the zip onto my skirt closer to the zip itself. I also attempted a seem and neatining the edge with a 0.5cm edge and a 1cm edge. I decided to use the 1cm edge because the pvc looked ripped with such a short fold and stitch.
When I cut my fabric I didn’t account for the seem at the back of the skirt to allow for the zip, so straight away I thought I’d messed up but I continues anyway. My design for this skirt was to make it half red and half yellow with pvc and opposite coloured waistbands!
My first attempt at the zip I thought went really well. I kept super close to the zip like my teacher told me but because of the awkwardness of the fabric being tough the zip broke within seconds because it didn’t have the stretch in the fabric to allow it to move properly. I unpicked it and really done it making it slightly looser but this zip was also very sensitive.
This fabric is very awkward to work with because if you stitch into it, you can’t undo the marks made by the needle so it realistically needed to be perfect first time around.
I then started to attach the waistband which was a complete mess but somehow has turned out okaii. Measuring out how big it needed to be so I could stitch the red and yellow together to then iron was very awkward. I wanted the seams to match up perfectly so I got the third year to help me measure out the waist band against the skirt length. I then attempted to iron the pvc so that it would have a neat crease across it, but pvc really shouldn’t be ironed. It became thin and sticky when it became hot, but luckily didn’t stick to the iron or melt. I quickly stopped and once it became cold, it went back to normal. I just settled knowing it wouldn’t be perfect.
Afterward I started stitching down the first side of the waist band to the skirt length. I started at the seem to make sure it was perfectly matching. Things got a little awkward at both ends where I had forgotten to stitch both ends right sides together and turn it inside out, but luckily I started at the seem so this wasn’t to big of an issue.
Unfortunately cm’s before I had finished stitching the first part of the waist band down the zip broke again so I quickly unpicked it and stitched down a new zip but a lot further way from the zip giving it more room to move. I’m clearly now a master at stitching this type of zip now.
Lastly I then attempt to fold over the last piece of the waist band and tuck it in leaving 0.1 extra in comparison to the front of the skirt. I started stitching using the sewing machine and measuring the fabric by eye and touch piece by piece. This was maybe to challenging for a non fashion student who was using an fabric that couldn’t be ironed. I somehow managed to change the crease making the fabric ruffle and ended up hand stitching the rest. Although it doesn’t look 100% perfect I am really impressed I completed it myself with this choice of fabrics and got the seams to match perfectly. I think this I a huge accompaniment for ah textiles student who before this trip really disliked the idea of fashion.
But maybe if I was to do it again I might add embellishment to the design before stitching it together, make it more interesting. I think now I feel comfortable creating another skirt like this for my research and development class with with a different fabric.