In My Time of Dying, Part 9 (I’ll stop soon, promise!)

It seems that I have an unending supply of fabric that needs to be dyed. That may have sounded like I was complaining but I’m really not, for some reason – maybe because I get to make the colours that I’ll be using? Or simply because I feel like a witch brewing her cauldron – I really love dying fabrics. And this time, I have denim!

After having made all the components for my jackets, I started to experiment with different materials; it may have seemed a bit late in the game but what the heck not! I’ve got time in which I can explore ideas for the other jackets I designed, but won’t be able to make, and I really love fabric dying, so I’m going to be doing some of that!

Cotton drill sateen, cotton sateen arian, serge wool, poly viscose hazelwood, (not forgetting down proof cotton and moleskin cotton) and now cotton denim! So many different fabrics, some for outers, some for lining, all beautiful!

I don’t know if I’ve gone of my original point of this post? Feels like it. Anyway, I successfully dyed bright and beautiful (and handmade!) colours, except for a mishap with some yellow and purple that made a lovely gross brown! And after all that dying and those beautiful colours, I put the sample on the radiator to dry, except the box radiator was taken so I used the older ones that are point at the top, well didn’t that just pretty much ruin my samples! The dye collected on the line of fabric that was draped over the top of the radiator, result in thick dark limes right across my samples pieces. Yay Courtney! Wait to think that one through.

However, I believe I may be able to salvage them with some amazingly lined up screen printing!


What Comes Next Part 2

With one colour way completed, I then moved onto the next. I had a brilliant idea of swapping colour palettes with the friend (not so subtly name dropped in the last post) to create a completely different look. The new colour palette was brights! having never worked with brights it took me a while before I would find a combination that didn’t make my eyes bleed, but at long last I got there.

Once my designs were altered, I made up a CAD visual of another sub collection, this one being women sportswear.

I’m really happy with my alternative colours ways. I don’t think I’ve every made alternative colour ways that worked as well as these do!

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Pretty Grids

Where I’m at right now is trying to decide where I want the laser-cut piece to sit on my jacket. My plan is to have a piece of laser-cut fabric, representing one part of my original image, laid over the jacket as this attached but really organic and moving piece. So I need a fabric that is waterproof, is strong and moveable but not breakable, laser-cuts well and goes with my colour scheme and the overall feel of my jacket design.

Irene found me some open weave hessian to drape over my jacket toile so that I would be able to visual what I’m thinking about but I don’t know if that actually helped me or I just got scissor happy hacking into the hessian. What I’m planning to do is play with the technical drawing I created of this jacket, and layer over my grid pattern in the hopes of finding what I want, and then maybe ill have a better idea to take to Irene.

Paige’s Mom

Last week was a busy one. Not in that I had loads I needed to do, just that I did a lot.

Now I cannot for the life of me remember what I did on Monday, which is really crazy right? I’ve just checked and I still can’t find evidence of what I was doing. Wait, I’ve found it! (this is just evidence of all I’ve done this week). On both Monday and Tuesday, I was experimenting with dye baths (I can’t believe that was only Monday, it feels like I did that months ago!), and creating colour swatches for my collection. Ok I was trying to make grey but that was covered in another post. Wednesday was filled with professional practice and brain storming and then Thursday came around. The day of the IG prize giving, but more on that later. Thursday morning brought a rush of activities, meetings and tutorials but the best part is that I managed to fit in time to laser-cut!

Earlier that week, Paige’s parents were coming up to Cardiff to drop off the leathers her dad brought back from Columbia (cool right) but not only that, her mum decided to be supremely epic, and bring me cuttings from quite a few different waterproof fabrics from their local fabric shop! Who else would do that?! She’s amazing! So with my fabrics in tow, I hot footed it to the laser-cutter and set about mixing designs and fabrics to get a range of small laser-cutting samples. I wanted to use a variety of materials (I still have latex and neoprene that hasn’t been cut) so that I could decide which one would work with the overall design of one of my jackets.

The design was pretty simple, taken from a photograph of some brick flooring in town, and I’m trying to recreate that image in my jacket, with fabric dying techniques to get the colours, and then laser-cutting for the mesh pattern that had been embedded into the bricks.

London trip itinerary


Next week, Tuesday to be precise. Tuesday at 11.10am to be precisely precise.

It’s the fabric recon mission! In London. Oh yeah. But not only that, it’s the super cultural day of inspiration. Ok so I made that up but I do plan to visit loads of places and gather loads of ideas and inspiration so it’s not that far out.

Amazingly, super fashion tech dem Beth has offered to make a list of the best fabrics places to visit for my collection. I also plan to google any streetwear brands that are in and around London because it’s so much nicer to see things in person than looking online.

I’m hoping that this trip will be a really great idea gathering trip which will really help to propel my collection to the next level.

Best Laid Plans

Irene is great. She manages to get me excited about my collection, not that I’m not already, but just even more so. My mind goes into overdrive with ideas that I just want to start doing straight away!

This week it was excitement about my fabrics. I want to make waterproof outwear but once a fabric has been coated, there not many techniques that you can use onto. Then Irene starts talking and suddenly ideas bloom! I don’t have to use waterproof fabrics because they can be coated after I’ve done my thing! FIST PUMP EXPLOSION. I’m so happy that this idea popped into my head, I was totally floundering a bit on what I was going to do to my fabrics but now I can do anything. ANYTHING! Thankfully I have inspiration for what I want to do. On Monday Paige and I went to town to take photographs and while there I managed to get some really good ones of the floor and man hole covers which where zoomed in on a particular area. I plan to use these images as the base idea for my fabrics. One example is some red brick that had this grid pattern etched into it. For that I’m thinking of experimenting with ice dying to get the floor colours, which where mottled reds and browns, but then experiment with ways in which to maybe bond some gridded or mesh fabrics over the top.

It sounds amazing and super exciting and I cant wait!

The Tag In Blue

One of the suggestions that Keireine give me to think about was the fact that my tag was black, and that not everyone had white pens, meaning the tag isn’t really that practical.

With this in mind, I then started to think about how I could bring this practice element into my tag. My swing tag has two layers already, the black front with the laser cut design, and a separate film-work layer all held to other by black and blue foil ribbon.

What I needed was another layer that I could insert between these two, which would work really well with the rest of the tag, and also have a surface which is a much more practical writing area.

I tried a grey insert which I didn’t think worked very well; I also tried white but that was a bit too plain; I then experimented with a insert that was white on one side and blue foil on the other. There was just too much blue for it to be classed as a coloured pop, I think.

I left one tag with the blue foil insert, and started to experiment with another insert, a white one that had blue foil strips on it. I felt like this insert could be the one, but when I attached it to the rest of the tag, there was just still too much white. It looked really lovely on its own, but I don’t think it added anything to the tag itself.

So I was looking at these two tags with their different inserts and decide that the fully blue foiled insert was better, but when I added it onto the other tag, I noticed that when the holes lined up, the blue was hanging over the edge of the black tag, thanks to my terrible cutting/hole-punching skills. However, I actually really liked this mistake!

(I feel like half of this project has come about from mistakes and happy accidents!)

What I was left with was a thin sliver of blue foil above the top and right hand side of the black tag, and I love it. There not too much blue; it makes the black look blacker and it helps to accentuate the blue in the ribbon; it also, gives me suitable writing surface because the reverse side of the blue foil is white card!

So I glued the foil insert to the back of the black tag, making sure I had those slivers of silver and that white backing, which really just bring the tag onto another level. It also mirrors the small slivers of purple foil that I added into my roll wrapping paper. I love having small elements that are repeated in more than one project, it just helps to knit the whole collection together more.