Saturday, December 27, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

Finished Jacket

So after a manic three days of sewing machine rushes and iron queeing, I finally got my jacket finished! The lining cost more than double the wool, but took less than half the time to construct. Lining the draped pockets was the most complicated part, because until I actually sat down to sew I hadn't thought about it methodically. I'm going to make this jacket up in some nicer fabric and hopefully learn how to make a bra out of the lining fabric!
Inspiration pictures: Miss Selfridges and

I absolutely love my course (fda fashion) because I can do projects that help my self development as well as working towards my BA qualification.
The next and final unit is called Professional Project. I will be making a Summer collection for Beales to sell in July. I'm also looking into doing a project running alongside it where I will be creating convertible luggage/ jackets !

Friday, December 5, 2008

Back to Brushos

If there's one thing Gloscat college did teach me, it's how to use brushos.
For my Jacket illustration I decided the best way to communicate the wool texture would be through brushos (also watercolours are waay too hard)

Brushos are like powder paints, but more like an ink than a paint. It creates a dye when dissolved in water, and when sprinkled onto wet paper bleeds colour out. After a year or so I have seen the purple fade a bit, but while it lasts it looks fantastic. The results vary alot, sometimes the colours are too dull, this tends to be linked to the amount of water applied, so you have to use quite thick paper to avoid rippling.
Heres my first attempt illustration before putting it onto a mood board.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Trendsetting Chicken Legs!?

Well I'm not on about fashion models having the skinniest legs ever - I'm talking about leather. I went to a presentation at Uni yesterday and saw all kinds of leather. It started off with sheep, sheep fur -Spanish, Italian and British. The British sheep skin is extremely popular in Russia where they make thick warm coats from it.
Then we saw pig suede in pink ad blue, then Goat's suede which was considerably finer and smaller.
The cow hide was huge! It was thicker and tougher than all the others. When the skin is removed from the meat (most leather is a bi product - the animal was bred for meat) it goes to a tannery. At the tannery they have to treat it to put in artificial oils and other substances that got lost when the skin died, otherwise the skin would fall apart within days. 70% of leather is dyed black. This process can take up to 3 weeks because you have to dry the leather naturally which in itself can take up to 3 days. When leather is dyed, the napped side has to go through a different treatment in order to keep it from scratching and soaking in water. You often see leather that is shinny, patent, metallic or foiled. This has been created by sealing a film over the napped side of the leather.

We then saw leather made from ostrich - one skin costing a massive £300! Alligator skins - apparently not illegal when it was bred for meat. This skin had a special tag on it to tell you everything you need to know about the particular animal to ensure you it is not an endangered species. 

The bottom left skin in the above photo is a sting ray skin. The bubble looking texture is actually hundreds of bone. The bright yellow skin is made from ostrich legs! This in the past has been used by students to make coat panels. The brown skin in the background is cow hide.

Above: Eel skins! Sewn together in panels.
Below: Clockwise from top left brown skin eel skin, black and white python skin, black python,brown eel skin, brown cow hide, brown ostrich leg and yellow chicken leg leather! 

W also saw cow stomach leather and skunk fur. All extremely fascinating but by the end of the session I became slowly aware of all of the dead animals lying on the table...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Jacket - Update

Today I started to cut out my jacket in final fabric. At the beginning I was optimistic about the colour change (from blue to purple) but 12 hours of staring at it has driven me crazy - it now looks like carpet to me and I can't wait to breathe fresh air away from it - it even Smells purple!

The lining pattern was printed parallel to the selvage. It was also available printed at a 90 degree angle, meaning that the patten had a stop and start point at every metre. (almost like a portrait and landscape option on fabric) This may have been a better option as to get the printed pattern facing the correct way for my pattern piece I had to line the straight grain up at a 90 degree angle so the grain runs horizontally rather than vertically. 

Just need to put he should pads in and sew the lining in tomorrow and I'm done. Photoshoot time!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

T W I L I G H T - Textiles and fashion collaboration wins highly commended and asos pitch

Me, (fashion) Suphattra (fashion and modeling), Fran (model), Charlotte (textiles), (model) and Aisha (model)


Three weeks ago, textiles student Charlotte Jenkin was given a brief to collaborate with fashion students to create a range of t-shirts and a business plan for the brand.

Having seen her gorgeous work (everything she touches becomes beautiful) I was really excited to be working with her.

Suphattra and I started drawing up shapes, designs and researched well into beading and draping to work alongside Charlotte's vision. We wanted very much to facilitate her, and not 'contain' the project within any trend ideas, but inside let Charlottes textile ideas flow into the design development of the actual shapes too.

After the fabrics were created; beautiful dyed and screen printed nylons and lycra, we set to work drafting and pattern cutting in the last week, running up to the presentation.

The presentation was very much like dragons den! A panel of judges (most of whom I had no idea who they were) a big camera from the BBC and some complicated questions about mass production manufacturing.

All lack of sleep and overlocking unpicking was well worth it! T W I L I G H T came Highly recommended, and our work will be presented to the buyers of ASOS ( next week!

Our models before a shoot for the newspaper

Fran in the printed poncho
Us lot! 
The hangers and tags for the range

Monday, November 24, 2008

Jacket Project

Here's my toile before adding the draping pockets at the sides. I've got two weeks until the final deadline, and will be recreating it in purple wool fabric and printing my workbook by then.

I'm loving the fact that I have done something unlike me - its more commercial than what I usually design. Unfortunately the colour I was assigned (blue / bright teal that I fell in love with and  will definitely use it for a future project) was swapped to purple, which is waaay too me-like! Changing it to purple makes the whole collection look tighter - altho I'm still convinced that we should have all used the same texture/ type of wool fabric to pull the collection together more.

Oh well! Check out the gorgeous digitally printed linning that I got from GoldHawk, London.

Fitted Jacket with a grown on collar and seaming details on the empire line. Vents on sleeves and draped pockets to follow.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Brelli !

So now we have a solution for those parasol lovers who don't wana hide from the sun - but shelter from the rain! Chuck your poncey material parasol and replace it with this 100% biodegradable brelli. Nope it's not made from dissolvable fabric, but a new kind that will last as long as you look after it, yet is careful to the environment. Personally I think this large size, for two people is awesome, spesh for when your trip to the arboretum turns out to be a rainy one.

Available from american websites $32 - $50

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Hengistbury Head

We took a walk along to Hengistbury Head the other day - I saw a sign post that said 4.5 miles, but thought hmm thats not much. Ha! oh dear What a walk!

It was a beautiful day - a bit of sun and mostly warm-ish.
I much prefer the rustic countryside than the tarmac fronted beach that Bournemouth has. We found a cafe and onwards some more was a nature reserve that then reaches to the head. We walked all the way to the top.
Definitely recommend going - but don't get excited about the cafe... Bring a thermos of hot chocolate instead and don't wear flip flops.

We went to the New forest the following day and had a lunch in Brockenhurst. I don't know how the wild horses don't get stolen or run over!

Then on to Christchurch harbor. We wanted to go rowing, but 630pm was a little late in the day to begin another adventure. They have a paint it yourself pottery place in Christchurch too!


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Church Day

Chocolate and marshmallow topped marble cake with a glass of whole milk. A perfect way to round off a fabulous dream filled evening and a full day of manic fun.

We went to the late Church service today, all four of us walked in together. I wore my DMs... and subsequently got 2 new blisters (after already having 2 from a walk to the station in flat indian shoes) The heels I had packed in my bag would have been more comfortable in the first place!

We had lunch at the Southey's house to celebrate Andy's birthday - pretty good turn out. Then we trekked off to the beach for some crazy immature fun (well for us girls anyways!)
Tonight consisted of lots of bolognese being cooked up quickly before a good hour of God time. It's definitely the start of something amazing.

Meez xX

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Painting without thinking

My remedy for lowness this week was watching 'the notebook' twice a day and painting without a care. Now I'm feeling happy I'm going to attempt to fix up the painting and get the light angles looking better. Need to learn how to get my brain into gear again!

Perhaps the painting was a little healthier for the soul than the continuous film watching, specially as I am really missing my Jonathan!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

New House!

Well the new place is amazing, what with all the girls, our dreams for the future, the baking and the film watching (I've become addicted to 'the notebook' which is hopelessly romantic) I'm the most organized I've ever been, thanks to my new unit that my material is in... A little different to last year which consisted of a large mound of overflowing material in a big lime green bin. 
Not too happy about the colourful magazine letters I used to label the boxes but I figured your only young once so I might as well have it funky before I end up making it in boring black pen.

We're located 2 mins away from the shops (including Charity shop city) which is great for self discipline - ha! But seriously, its a wonderful location. Only down side is the trafic, for a small roads it's surprising how much drives and wanders by, and as my room is downstairs at the front I have to be a little careful about having the blinds open.

Still - the landlord built us a nice new gate the other day (so decent of him) so we are feeling safe and happy.

Should be visiting my course leader again tomorrow as I may be switching course. Must get some sleep - and Alice, hope your school is fun! xX Meez 

Friday, September 5, 2008

Vic and Richard's wedding!

Victoria's wedding was undoubtedly the best weathered day in august. The ceremony was beautifully emotional - gorgeous music was played when she walked up the isle in a specially made satin and lace gown. The train on the dress was the perfect length and the buttons down her back complimented her figurer gracefully :) 

The night before was hectic - organizing teapots filled with flowers for the dinner tables and last minute nail painting for the bridesmaids.

Richard wore a fantastic textured jacket and Reuben became instantly popular with the girlies in his pin stripe suit.

More on this later - I've just moved in with 4 Christian girlies and we're chatting about angels :) xX Meez 

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What we didn't tell you!

We had a bit of a tumble but help came in about 10mins and we wernt even hurt. We got another cars in a couple of days and continued our journey.

In the morning we had prayed for our safety - pretty amazing as the Sheriff had never seen a flipped car with unhurt people climbing out ok!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Zion: Gold, Silver and green flowing plushness!

We reached Zion as our final park, unfortunately we didn't make it to the grand canyon this time because we got held up some days previous.

Zion has a shuttle service to save on using gas, so J got a break and we decided to take the bus all the way up to the top to make our way back down.
Some of the popular hikes and walks include:

The weeping rock - a rock that drips with water which seeped into it 800 years ago
The narrows - a walk through the canyon that becomes a river walk - the river banks disappear and the canyon cliffs get narrower as the water gets deeper!

The Mormons discovered Zion, hence all the mountains and interesting points have biblical references. The three patriots, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are three massive mountains in a row. Angels landing, Altar of Sacrifice and The Great White Throne are others along the way.

We decided to walk the narrows, and were forewarned to take a walking stick and be prepared to get wet up to our waists! And I was dressed for horse riding!

Stepping into the water was quite surprising. You see people of all ages daring to try it, but none are prepared for the current! A surfer dude was clinging onto the edge of the rock laughing at me: 'like your really dressed for hiking' Ha yeah so are you mate - you ok clinging on there?!

Eventually I decided that, yes, a walking stick would help so I managed to find a suiter, much to the envy of the Americans walking by 'Oh my! Thats a goood stick!'

We spent the rest of the day working out how to dry off - but the sun pretty much did the job in 30mins or so.

This is the seeping water that looks like gold in the sunset light.

We also saw the weeping rock and emerald pools before it was time to head off - lots of miles to cover now we are journeying Home.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

We're Home!

We might update this soon anyways to show you what we did on our last 4 days or so - plus the stuff we DIDNT tell you at the time!
But for now we are trying to anti-jetlag ourselves :)

Blessings xX

Thanks for prayers and stuff


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Humming Birds, Rocks and Tings!

After driving late and seeing the storms we awoke to some gorgeous birds fluttering around our doorway. Humming birds! There were at least 3 different colours, grey, green and black and purple. They moved SO fast that photography could easily become a mission and an obsession! 

(click on all photos to enlarge)

Rock Shop - we stumbled across he coolest rock shop full of colours and patterns collected from Utah, Colorado and Montana.

Horse-Deer ! Please someone enlighten me on the name of these creatures.

Old Bryce Town
Time to get a train now so I'm sure Jonathan will chat to you more soon! I prefer the pretty pictures.

Meez xX