Brief Encounter

During the cohort meeting on Monday it was mentioned that we needed a hard copy of our brief for the hand in, which reminded me that my brief needed a slight tweaking. I made sure that there wasn’t anything in my brief that wasn’t also in my collection (basically I took outa few handy loopholes that I thought I might when I wrote the brief) and made sure that everything was in tip top shapes for hand in.

And now I present you with, The Finished Brief –

Courtney Suller Brief


Artificial Red

On Tuesday I spend the day creating some more gradient/ombre dye samples because I want happy with how dull the colours were on the first batch. I tried different bye baths, using a orange and purple to make a gradient from a light orange into a deep red, and also used a bright red dye bath to make the colours on the fabrics brighter, which I really loved. My favourite sample was from combining a pale brown colour, which I then created a gradient with in a bright red dye bath, before coming to a new gradient to create a lovely deep red from a dark purple dye bath.

I really love being able to know how to mix colours in a dye lab and how to combine the results to make new colours. I have really loved experimenting with dying this term, maybe a bit too much, but I’m so glad that I decided to create the colours for my garments myself.

Material Girl

Fabric choices. There’s only really one place to go when you want natural fabrics and that Whaley’s of Bradford.

I know I wanted fabrics that would be suitable for a jacket so I started looking at they had to offer and orders samples of Polyester Cotton, Cotton Canvas, Downproof Cotton, Moleskin Cotton, Bolton Twill, and Cotton Twill.

The Cotton Canvas was much too coarse to be suitable, the Cotton Twill and Bolton Twill would both have worked really nicely as jacket fabric but once I got my hands on the Moleskin there was no contest. The moleskin didn’t have a noticeable grain, and oh my was it soft on one side. So beautifully soft. I think I’ve fallen in love with a fabric it’s that gorgeous.

At first I thought the Downproof cotton was going to be much too thin for my other jacket, but then I was thinking about it and its actually pretty similar to fabrics found on anoraks and when speaking to Irene, she suggested when could use an iron on material that would thicken it up to the weight of parka material.

I plan to hand dye both of these materials, and then use a waterproof spray to emphasise the fact that my jackets would ideally be waterproof.

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.

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!