Second year has started, time to prepare myself for mass amounts of work.
This week was my first week back in university back to study my second year of textiles at Cardiff Met and let me tell you, i’m so happy its finally back! after such a long summer break i’m so ready to come back and get some textiles going.
On Tuesday I had my introduction onto Level 5 textiles, and all the opportunities and possibilities that lay ahead. Having had the brief and timetable emailed in advance of our first day, I started to read through what I could expect of this year and boy does it sound great, scary and a bit daunting, but great. This year is all about Making Connections. Working from companies on commissions, finding actual work placements with real companies in the textiles business, and creating work that is based on trend and upcoming styles, so that its relevant. The most important thing is to find out what sort of designer I want to be, what sector of textiles I want to focus on, what media and techniques I prefer to work with, what style. All these things are essential tools for the creation of great work.
Trying to help myself a bit, I started to do some company/designer research the week leading up to Level 5. Having read the brief I knew how sort a time I’d have to fins so many different designers and companies across the three different areas of textiles; interior, fashion and stationery. I’m trying to organize my time so I don’t start getting behind on work, I want everything to be done in time to move onto the next stage of work, which means, that I needed to start doing my research ASAP. I’m enjoying it so far, I’ve been able to find designers and companies that are completely different from each other, had a change to look through their work, read what they have written about their creation, and have also been able to contact a few and ask then about their inspiration and the driving force behind what they are putting forward.
Knowing how much work I have to do and what is expected of me, I’m amazed at the students who are now in third year, last year I looked through their work and was inspiring to see how professional and put together their portfolios and moodboards etc. were.
On Thursday I has my first digital stich workshop of the year, starting with a quick refresher of some of the techniques that we learn last year. I was able to start getting back into the swing of using different sewing techniques as well as being able to use load of different thread and materials. After the quick refresh we moved on to learning the basics of use the digital programs which are required for the digital stitch machines. Learning the different buttons and the different tools available, the different type of stitches and different fill types (weave, satin etc.) as well as learning how to rotate the actual design or just the stitch direction. I t was all really useful knowledge, which will help me to narrow down the types of techniques and processes I will want to use during this project.
With the same principal as last week, this week’s speed dating session showed us even more different sewing techniques that could made on a sewing machine using different feet.
This week I started on the needle punch machine; this machine knits different fibres together creating very expressive pieces of work. I really liked that with this machine, almost any fibres/fabrics and threads can be used to make wonderfully textured and tactile creations.
I then moved on to the 3-way cording foot. Like the cording foot last week’s cording foot, I was able to layer different threads and materials together; this time I could have the choice of using three threads at a time or equally I could use one, again I really loved the results produced by this foot. In also experimented by using the 3-way cording foot on the fibres I had created from the needle punch machine.
The tripe needle was the next foot I experimented with, I really liked the very delicate quality these stitches produced, they’re very decorative and I really liked using this machine, I experimenting with a few different stitches before then using the machine on the layers of fabric I had created onto the cording machine. I liked mixing the different styles of stitches that can be produced with the different feet.
The last two machines that I had to experiment with was the Fringing foot and the Pintuck foot. Both of these machines produced very decorative outcomes; the fringing foot stitches could either be left as they were or cut to produce little tufts of thread on the fabric. The piping foot, creates little paths on top of the fabric, which are again very decorative, I liked the pintuck foot and its outcomes, they’re quite noticeable raised lines on the fabric, without being over bearing or distracting, think they’re a really nice addition.
Having finished experimenting with the machines with enough time I went back to the triple needle foot and started to experiment on one of the prints that I had made during our printing workshops in the previous weeks.
Again I really enjoyed this workshop, I liked all the machine I experimented with and again I wish I had more time to experiment further.
Today was the third week of the Stitch workshop, and we were working with dissolvable, which is almost a clear plastic sheet of PVA glue, which dissolves when placed in water. We were given a run through of how to sew onto the dissolvable sheets, which stitches would have to be used together to make sure the sewing kept its shape when dissolved. I still have difficulty using a sewing machine, in particular when trying to understand when the stitches are too loose, and also remembering to thread the machine when the foot is up. I found the process of stitching quite tricky because I had to make sure that all the stitches overlapped and that there were no loose ends, because otherwise all the stitching would unravel.
I chose to do quite a large area of stitching, using different thread, and adding some material, but this was quite time consuming. When I was using textured thread, my machine kept jamming, so I switched to using different coloured thread and adding material into the embroidery. After lunch we were shown an example of cut-away. This is where you use a sheet of fabric, and dissolvable together, so that when you cut the fabric, the dissolvable will still keep the fabric sturdy. I really like this technique, it’s kind of like having a window within the fabric. I love learning these different techniques, because once you know enough, you can start experimenting and mixing the different stitches and techniques.