Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Fragmented Connection: Trend Forecast

This time last year I was working on a trend forecast for S/S 15, the trend looked at the impact of the internet on our lives and suggested that glitch like imagery, soft focus colours with hints of bright, almost neon tones would form part of the trend. I've shared the inspiration booklet here now because by the time it was finished last year, I was well into final major project and never got around to posting! 

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Scarves Live!

Over the past couple of months I've been working on a little series of scarves, I'm so proud to say that they are now available to buy online AND at Hat Therapy, in Hebden Bridge.
At the moment there are 3 designs, carefully developed from the best of my graduate collection. I'm still working on creating gorgeous silk shift dresses which will hopefully get under way in the new year!
fingers crossed all goes well!

An important part of the collection for me was for it to be inspired by Britain and be made in Britain.
Designs are printed on 100% silk by the lovely BeFab in Edinburgh and finished with a hand rolled edge in sunny Bolton.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Lucky Pennies

This week I have been taking it back to basics, creating simple photoshop drawings which I then turned into repeats intended for gift wrap.
I used the photographs from my final Uni projects as inspiration and picked out shapes I found interesting to develop some more potentially commercial designs.
This was a challenge for me as I normally work with lots of texture and techniques layering up images and drawings to create a story, however, here I was stripped bare!
I'm quite happy with the results, particularly the bells image and of course I can incorporate these simple lines into my layered pieces…

Visualisations courtesy of Spoonflower.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Small Collection

Recently I have been working on a small collection of scarves based on my final major project "Ephemeral Folk", fingers crossed you should be able to see the range in Hat Therapy at the end of the month and on my website! I'm excited, are you excited?

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

BeFab and Foxy

During my final University project, most of my printing was done using the digital printers at Uni, however I was desperate for an excuse to use BeFab Be Creative for a couple of large samples and I'm so glad I did.
I have used spoonflower in the past and found they were O.K. but the ladies at BeFab were a real pleasure to deal with and I can't wait to use them again!
The samples I created with them didn't end up being in my final collection… but they were valuable developmental pieces, one of which I liked so much I didn't dare ruin it with natural dye!

Hand painted fox turned into huge digital print… and a peak of the naturally dyed print.

Not the best photo of my strange man, a very simple digital print of a line drawing which I
then naturally dyed and printed with berries to give it some depth.

I have now put the fox design up on my bespo, if you want to get a better look at it on some products and I'm considering turning my man into a shift dress...

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Louvolite Moodboard

During my time at Louvolite, I had the privilege of working on mood boards for the next season's catalogue, here is a little snippet of one of them taken from the company website.
This project ended up inspiring the way I completed the mood board for my FMP, which can be seen in this post.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Where to Start?

I haven't posted in a long time, my FMP is all handed in, the show is over and I have graduated with 1st Class Honours in Textile Design for Fashion and Interiors.
I'm now back at hoping and onto the next, I'm job hunting and keeping my motivation by entering competitions, drawing and working on my portfolio...

But back to the show..
In the end I created my own wire hangers for the fabrics, they reflect the blind drawings that make up some of my designs and I think really lent themselves to the project.

And because I know you all want to see my ridiculously happy, cheese fest graduation picture…

Friday, 16 May 2014

Ephemeral Folk

Final mood board and CAD visualisations for my FMP, detailing colour inspirations, all developed from WGSN predictions for S/S 15 which were then develop to reflect what was achievable with natural dyes. A couple of designers who inspired my work including David Longshaw and Marimekko, as well as Tim Walker and and one of my own drawings from a tile that forms part of the Cleveley's Coastal walk.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014


We're now in the final weeks of our project, everything is pulling together and the finishing touches are being added.
Last week I photographed my samples on a model, I'm still in two minds as to whether to photograph my fabrics again without the model. Just to get some different views of my samples for my portfolio.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Sneak Peak

Sandwashed silk with osage orange liquid, safflower, red cabbage and logwood with scrap metal

Monday, 21 April 2014

London Research

This weekend I took a visit to London, I was doing market research for the ever ongoing FMP.
The trip was really successful, I found some of what I expected and lots of what I didn't, mainly the BoxPark in Shoreditch. I'm glad I went because this trip has really boosted my motivation and concreted my ideas.
Not long left until the end!

Friday, 11 April 2014

Rivington Morris

Last week I emailed Rivington Morris because my folky research was distinctly lacking in traditional dance, one of the first things that comes to my mind when I think of British folk.

Rivington Morris are my local team, practicing just round the corner from my house, however I travelled to Todmordon to see them perform with a host of other teams. I photographed and talked to some of them, doing quick sketches and later transforming my photographs into blind contour drawings which were made into digital prints and put onto screens to create some interesting textiles.

The lovely Rivington Morris ladies
Thieving Magpie

Thieving Magpie

If you happen to know the names of teams I haven't named, please feel free to let me know!

Thursday, 10 April 2014


Tutorials with staff have been a great help throughout this process, in this past week I have had two…. with very different opinions.

In my first tutorial I was advised to rethink my market, looking at more boutique items, maybe sold through Etsy or similar.
This was something I disagreed with and lucky for me in my second tutorial I was backed up, carry on going as I am but make sure my justifications are strong.
At the Easter weekend I will be going to London to do some market research, I went to Hebden Bridge and Manchester's Northern Quarter to no avail. The market isn't right there, I need something more high end that hopefully London will provide… I will be visiting Shoreditch, Browns Fashion and Dover Street Market.
I feel my market research is very important, it was something that was lacking in the last project that I hope to improve here.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014


Just a quick screenshot from my Optitex animation, starting to get the hang of it but have a big problem with "jumpy cloth"

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Playing with Digital Prints

A large portion of my final project has been based around digital prints, I was struggling to get some prints that reflected my trend in the way I was hoping… I remedied this by doing some quick visualisations, putting some of my designs onto fashion and street style images. None of these photographs are mine, I have just edited them to contain my work, where possible original sources have been linked.

I found that scale was key in manipulating designs and often when I took my small floral repeats into a large scale is where the best results were achieved.

Frustratingly I can't find the source for this image!
If anyone knows where its from please let me know.


Macclesfield Silk Museum

This  weekend I took a trip to Macclesfield to visit the Silk Museum, local history plays a part in this project and as I working mainly with silk, what better place to visit?

The highlight for me was the small section on how the silks were originally dyed - naturally - the board stated something about madder which I had forgotten, alum pre-mordant makes it red….
this explains all the trouble I'd had this week getting purple silk instead of red! I'd been making an alkaline solution with madder and sodium bicarbonate but I had pre-treated  my silk with alum.
But I can now go back and further experiment with my digital prints.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

3D software

This year a number of final years were given the opportunity to learn a new software that allows to imagine our designs on a 3D model and/or garment.

These stills only show some of what can be done, the images can be animated, simulating the fabric's drape and movement on the model, or saved as 3D documents so that you can see the garment from all angles.
It has been interesting inputting early designs and sketchbook pages onto the garments.
I think it would be really interesting to use this with my final designs - the only problem being that finding the right pattern from the ready made one is hard! If only I were a pattern cutter.

In terms of the rest of my project, things have turned around. After tutorials I have more focus and better direction than in my last post - developing some digital prints and combining with natural dyes, which 'm sure you will see soon.

Quarry Bank Mill

On the suggestion on one of the tutors, this weekend I set out to visit a stately home - unfortunately most don't open until Easter, so I settled on Quarry Bank Mill which, at the moment has some recreation period costumes.

It wasn't necessarily what I was look for but it made for an interesting day out and more research can't hurt.

Luckily for us there was an unusual nice day in northern England so the gardens were lovely, with flowers just starting to bloom.

The most inspiring thing I found on my visit was this toile based on the history of the area and the mill. It would be interesting to create something like this combining my research on folk events and local landmarks.

Friday, 7 March 2014

First Samples

This week I got my first session on the digital printer, most of the samples I plan to work into with natural dyes, discharge and possibly printing over them.
Here they are drying in the print room (along side other student's work).
The prints were taken from sketchbook pages, manipulated in CAD, I'm looking forward to the next digital print session as my ideas have moved on already.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Museum of British Folklore

A website that has been of great interest to me during this project has been the Museum of British Folklore, last month I missed the opportunity to attend a talk by museum director, Simon Costin in London by one day! (more fool me for not joining the mailing list).

I find this idea so fascinating, and was shocked when I first learnt that there is no one dedicated museum for folklore, this website lead me to attend events like the Marsden Imbolc and search for more I can visit.

Below is their call to arms, a video that has driven me further in my interest for this area.

Friday, 28 February 2014

Digital Samples - Quick Post

This week I've been working on some digital prints for my first sample session, which I uploaded to the server today. I chosen a mixture of sketchbook pages, and simple repeats using my work so far, folk heads and simple patterns that I can play with in the print room and hopefully dye over using the samples I already have as reference.
One thing I have done in preparation of this print session is to match all my naturally dyed fabrics to the digital print sampler, which can be referenced in AVA to create the same shade. This has taken time and patience, after my first colour palette was printed I had to go back and re-evaluate my colour choices, picking ones closer to my natural dyes which this time will hopefully be much more accurate!

Monday, 24 February 2014

A Week in Review

So far on this project I haven't been as productive as I would like, I've struggled with my source material, I'm stuck in a creative rut and I've had my mind on other projects. I can't use that excuse anymore, everything else is handed in. Now I just have the big project… no pressure.
My aims for the next week are to get more productive.
  • Expose a screen and get some samples done
  • Do some eco prints with the red cabbage that is taking up valuable fridge space.
  • Get some nice repeats ready to digital print.
  • Do a sketchbook page every night, or at least start or finish a page
On top of this I need to organise all the other bits I have floating around like my dye and print research, market research and the rest. 

So not a very exciting post this week, just more of a to do list and a moan about feeling un-creative.