You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2008.

Week 23 already! This week we continued looking at garment construction and detailing including:

  1. Button holes
  2. Rouleaux and using these as button loops or as ties between 2 edges of fabric
  3. Gathers – longest stitch on machine & hand embroidery
  4. Pleats – box pleats and pleats to one side

The next task was to create mood boards for our shirts based on a combination of architecture and one of the 6 Autumn/Winter trends for 2008. My theme of choice was Makershifters which came with ‘paper architecture’ as one of the key words.


A quick search on Google quickly brought up some amazing origamic architectural models of buildings such as Notre Dame.


I was then attracted to money origami which people use for leaving cash tips – this included this beautiful 3 dollar origami flower and a 1 dollar shirt – should definitely fit in with overall consumerist theme running through my first project too.

dollar-shirt.jpg dollar-flower.jpg

I have also been looking at architecture at Telford College itself and in the surrounding neighbourhood. I was especially taken with these images of peeling paint:

pinkpaint.jpg green-paint.jpg

Final mood board looking at origami and folded fabric inspiration:



This week focused on sewing construction techniques including:

  1. Seams of different widths
  2. Top stitching & edge stitching
  3. Insertion seams – trapping lace into the seam for decorative effect
  4. Bagging corners
  5. Double ended darts
  6. Patch pockets
  7. A variety of hems
  8. Bias binding

I am particularly taken with the bias binding, especially with all the possibilities of making your own bias trim through printing etc.


It also takes some of the mystery out of adding bias binding to clothes as a decorative detail. I just love the detail on this Avoca Anthology jacket:


We also looked at English (trapping wadding between two sheets of cloth), Italian (raising channels within the cloth) and Trapunto (creating individual raised sections) quilting which provide lots of scope for creating interesting and architectural textures:


I really want to start improving my drawing skills and am really enjoying life drawing at college. As a top up I have started going to the drop in life drawing sessions at Out of the Blue on Dalmeny Street in Leith, Edinburgh.

 The class is really relaxed and I couldn’t think of a nicer way to spend a Sunday afternoon. The class costs £7 for two hours and £10 for three hours. The model starts with a few short poses and moves onto longer 45minutes poses. If you are interested in going along contact Leigh at

As a result of our classes at Telford, one of the things I am trying to force myself to do is not to go straight into the outline of the figure (which is oh so tempting) but to focus on the main axis points along the shoulders, spin and hips before drawing in the tone to give a far more solid and three dimensional result.


The key for me is to really observe the unique figure in front of me and not to be lazy – for example not assuming that I know what an arm or a leg look like, but really looking at the arm or leg in front of me.


I find foreshortening really forces me to draw what I see rather than what I think I see although it can be really frustrating…


Life drawing also complements my meditation class where we are encouraged to be in the present moment and really see and look at things as they are, seeing and appreciating their natural beauty. It is suggested that it is only in the present moment that we can be at peace, especially when we can set our egos and worry aside. I know that when I focus all my attention on the model and observing and worry less about the end result that I really am at peace and learning to see the world differently. And this is perhaps what art and creativity should be all about…

This week we started pattern cutting in preparation for our shirt project:

  1. Drafting a classic shirt block and sleeves
  2. Drafting a range of collars (mandarin and classic shirt) and cuffs
  3. Adding darts and shaping, pockets and shirt tails

All patterns were taken from Winifred Aldrich’s Metric Pattern Cutting.


Definitely a left brain exercise, which I enjoyed when I treated it like a crossword or logic puzzle.

We started off the week by deconstructing and reconstructing 2 charity shop shirts, inspired by some of our fashion research the week before.


Ruffles are clearly going to be a thing for me…

shirtruffles.jpg tie.jpg

Bringing shirt and ‘tie’ together…


We spent the rest of the week drawing our own and other people’s shirts – both quick illustrations and longer more observed drawings.

drawing.jpg drawing2.jpg

Thursday we were sent around the new Telford building with digital camera’s to capture architectural details which could inspire garment construction and print patterns.