Saturday, 27 March 2010

Making the final sample.

After testing and experimenting with two differnt techniques this lead us to develop our final design. I collaborated with my team mate both of us taking ideas from our designs. We altered the first experiment by changing the bodice shape to an oval tube (half scale).

Panelling was introduced in order to add structure to the garment, by using bigger geometric shapes. This helped to make the pattern aspect cutting of the garment more visually appealing. The front bodice shows the two armholes and cuffs which we kept from the original experiment. On the sides of the bodice the panel interlinks to the armhole because the top of the panel curves to the armhole. The cuff is within the Panel. Over the cuff the stitch line goes upward at an angle, the stitch is connected to the panel attached to the armhole. Under the cuff is a long dart that goes all the way down to the hem. The neck is shaped like a half circle.

By cutting and separating the panels to add seam allowances create structure to the garment. The Panels will be stitched back together by a French seam. The Image above is the centre panel this was separated from the side panels; we added a 0.5cm seam allowance (half scale). The armhole is dismantled because a part of it is on a different panel.

The image above shows the side panels, they are separated from central panel within the bodice, and again we added 0.5 allowances (half scale). The Darts starts with a 0.5 seam allowances at the hem and ends without any seam allowance at the top of the garment. 0.5 seam allowances are also put on the cuffs.

The sleeve keeps the same shape from the original experiment but is elongated to produce a ruche effect when the garment is worn; a 0.5 seam allowance was added.

The Back bodice has a box pleat sewn into the back yoke in a v-shape. The side panels are separated from the box pleat panel to add a seam allowance. The box pleat has hidden fabric within, thereby the fabric will expand more, when worn and showcased in certain positions, i.e. stretching and bending over. The v-shape yoke has seam allowance added and also the back of the neck.

The fabric we used to make the garment was white transparent Organdie and Silk Chiffon (half scale). The organdie fabric was used to stitch the panels together for the front bodice. Silk Chiffon fabric acted like pockets because it was stitched within the side panels under the cuffs, adding drape and contrast because the pattern was three times bigger than the space of the panel to maximise drape. The sleeves were made out of organdie.

The back bodice panels was made out of oragandie except from the silk chiffon pleate within the box pleate. The weightlessness of the silk chiffon pleat contrasts with the structure of the oragandie panels.

The final sample garment on mannequin front view.

The final sample garment on mannequin back view.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Testing new techniques for the sleeve.

My team Mate tested out another of her designs following the same theme of restriction. She designed features a sleeve which bends at an angle at the elbow. Holding the arm in awkward position.

A pattern was created and cut so that the shape sustains when the garment is worn.The pattern for the angled sleeve was made by tracing a half scale block sleeve and then stopping half way to go out at an angle both sides. 0.5cm allowance was added.

The sleeve was made out of white fabric to test if the effect worked. The sleeve pattern appeared not to be successful because the angle for the elbow was too long; this prevents the arm fitting correctly into the sleeve.

We then redrew the pattern by slashing up the sleeve to the elbow point and then pivating, the sleeve pattern onto the underarm area to create an angle both sides of the sleeve. 0.5cm allowance was added to the pattern.

After completing the sleeve pattern we cut the shape into fabric and then sewed the sleeve together. This time it was more successful than the first attempt because the angle was in the correct position for the arm to fit comfortably and bend at the elbow.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Experimentation: Stage One

Collaborating the making process
Having been inspired by the Julian Roberts Subtraction Technique I collaborated with my team mate on ideas and designs by experimenting with an unconventional bodice.

My designs are mostly panelled with different forms geometric shapes this is because my research was structured around the premise of shapes and angles. Geometric shapes and lines from Sebastian Jansson and Keith Sonnier are my inspiration. Having that in mind we changed the bodice to a round shape. My team mates theme was about restriction. We decided to include her restriction of the arm movements because the sleeves are attached to the bodice.



We achieved the new pattern for the bodice by tracing the original neck and shoulder bodice (Half scale). I then changed the shape of the shoulder line to be circler shape. To make the circle accurate we measured 17cm from the centre point of the bodice. We then extended the circler shape to the hipline; this process was repeated on the other side of the bodice. 0.5cm seam allowance was added within the circumference of the circle.


The same process that was used to construct the front pattern was repeated for the back but using an original back bodice (Half scale).

The ideas for the sleeve restriction came from my team mate. The image shows her revision. The position of the sleeve is attached to the front bodice, restricting the movement of the arms.

Having worked out where the armholes should be placed on the bodice. The next step was to create an oval shaped armhole because we didn’t want a conventional armhole. The armhole had a 25cm circumference this is the right size for a half scale bodice.

The cuff holes measured at 14cm half scale. The cuffs were positioned near the hip line.

This diagram shows the first armhole pattern. The armhole is near the top edge of the front bodice. The challenge was to achieve the right measurement when the armhole was changed to an oval shape. I did this by taking a measuring tape, making a circle shape of 25cm and then pressing it from the side to create and oval shape. I took a pen and drew the shape. This process was repeated on other side of the bodice.

This digrams show all the armholes and cuffs drawn on the front bodice. The cuffs are postioned near the waist line. I drew the cuff circle by taking a measurign tape and making a circle of 14cm. The same process was repeated on other side of the bodice. With scissors I cut through the armholes and cuffs to leave a hollow shape.

This sleeve pattern would be sewn onto the front bodice. We had to readjust from the convectional sleeve because the top sleeve had to fit the armhole circumference of 25cm and the bottom of the sleeve had to fit the cuff circumference of 25cm. The sleeve length is the same as the sleeve block (half scale).

This image shows the finished garment. The main feather is the sleeves which are sewn at the armhole down to the cuff hole on the front bodice. The fabric used was velveteen fabric. The reason for using this fabric was to experiment with a heavier fabric and how the garment hangs and forms.

An opening was left at the hip line so that the garment can be worn.

The inside of the garment. 0.5 cm allowance was used to sew sleeves to the armhole and cuff.

The finished garment hangs on a mannequin. On my left is the front view, on my right the back view.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Using the Julian Roberts Subtraction Technique

The requirements are:
                                  2 Meters of plain fabric
                                  2 Meters of printed fabric (Woven) Light/Medium.
                                  1 Meter of lining fabric
                                  Pattern master
                                  Fabric Scissor & Paper Scissor
                                  Pattern cutting Paper

In a pair of two I started the step by step Subtraction technique.

The first thing we did was to find the hip measurement of an average woman, which was 96-98cm. We increased the measurement to 100cm full scale. Because full scale is so big we changed the measurement to half scale which is 50cm.
The next step was to draw a circle with a 50cm circumference. To find the radius we used the sum of 50÷6.28=7.9

I used my pattern master to draw a cross on pattern cutting paper. From the middle cross there the two lines meet we used the 7.9 radius to draw the circumference accurately. My class mate used the pattern master to create 0.5 seam allowance to go inside the circle. The circle was then cut to be left with 7.2 radius.

The image on the left is print fabric. The measurements are 40cm wide half scale and 120cm long (half scale). The image on the right is plain fabric. The measurements are 40cm (half scale) and 120cm long half scale. The two fabrics are sewn together using a 0.5cm seam allowance to create a pillow case appearance leaving one opening on the width. My team mate then pressed the seams flat with a steam iron to stop any creasing in the fabric for the next transformation.

The subtraction technique is taking place in the images above. There is a front & Back bodice, me and my team mate traced and cut out bodices making sure to finish at the waist. We then placed the bodices on the fabric. To do the subtraction technique we placed the front and back neckline facing each other with chalk I drew around the bodices. We used chalk to draw a line starting from the back waistline to the front waistline this was done to the other side as well. The negative area marked x was cut with fabric scissors to leave holes in the print fabric.

We did the same technique with a circle pattern this time tracing it 4 times. With chalk I marked two circles (A) and two circles (B) I cut them out with fabric scissors to be left with holes in the print fabric. After that me and my team mate sewed the front and back side fabric together to leave a seam of 0.5cm, we used the steam iron to press the seams flat. We then moved on to join the two circles marked (A) wrong sides together leaving a 0.5cm seam allowance, this was then sewn together, the same was done for the circles (B). Once the circles were sewn I turned the garment through so see the effect that was created from the circles. I then turned my attention back to the bodice but first I had to do a tracing of the garment from the bodice and then hem back and front. Tracing was used for the lining fabric.

Once the lining fabric was cut and I sewed the parts together I then attached the lining using pins to the armhole fabric, wrong side together then sewed the fabric together using a 0.5cm seam allowance. This process was done on the other side armhole. To finish the bodice I turned the garment inside out to join the shoulder of the fabric to the shoulder of the lining fabric. This was done by slipping through the shoulder of the lining into the shoulder of the fabric I then sewed them together with a 0.5cm seam allowance across. After I pulled through the lining and the garment onto the right side so that the stitches could be hidden on the inside leaving the hems to be overlocked to finish the entire garment.

These are the images of the garment finished. The images on the left shows the side view detail of the garment which is the printed fabric on the top of the garment and plain fabric has been manipulated to create wonderful folds. The image on the left shows a front view of the garment on a manikin. The lining is not seen because it is on the inside of the garment.

My garment is hanging with other garments to feature a display of our achievements in subtraction pattern cutting in one day.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Visual Exploration

This book displays images taken by young people using photography and new media tools to reinterpret Birmingham’s Bull Ring Market and their own personal photos. Roz Hall worked with the young people to produce a five year participatory action research project.

Book cover by Cathleen

Cathleen photographs were chosen to be the front cover to attract the viewer into visual exploration. Her Photos display peaches piled above each other and one squashed peach on the concrete.

I think the pile of peaches represent cramped space in the Birmingham bull ring market, the squashed fallen peach on the concrete represents observation in the distraction of the peach. But the peach also has a human connection to Cathleen she tries to get the “resolution to a dilemma” on representing the bull ring market and her “perceptions of the space”.

17 August 2000
Cory was eleven when he experimented in using a scanner to scan himself. There idea came about when he ran out of camera batteries, but he still wanted to make more images. He turned his attention to the scanner. He stood “over the scanner” to start the process of changing the contrast of brightness the hue and saturation. Having a good result the first time, he decide to lay one hand on the scanner to tried again and again until he achieved the desired effect. I like the use of his hand because the hand print is highlighted using different levels of hue, saturation, contrast and brightness.

This picture is not very clear of facial recognition, the notion of movement and the use of negative light makes it so. The story behind the picture has a lot to do with Chris, he describe himself as having a “negative image of myself. This is reflected by the negative light forcing on the prevailing blue on his face. Blue can also be seen as having depression or low self esteem this is express by the text at the bottom of the picture “Don’t look too close”. Chris has a problem with people looking at him because they make judgements “just from the way you look”. This picture addresses his issue of not getting the full picture on looking once or thousand times because we do not know the person behind the face and you may never know.

This picture was taken by Danya Defraytus but Chris ‘wanted to say something about’ his ‘own identity and about identity in general’. He chose the theme masks as a mechanism to protect yourself from others because there is always something hidden like emotions. You only see what is shown to you. Chris used the magic wand tool to fill sections of his face with different colours acting like “range of emotions”. To me the colours act like masks with different layers of emotions. This also relates to people and how far you are willing to let people under the different layers of your mask.

This image has been digitally enhanced. Rebecca named the image ‘Alien’. She modifies herself using Photo shop software to suggest being an alien in a busy landscape standing uncomfortably in front of the indoor bull ring market. This raises issues of her not belonging in the environment because she is not ‘traditionally defined’ in the community, I think that is the perception she is trying to give out “culture differences”.

This image was made by Danya to be produced as a postcard. In promoting young, queer, and safe website. This image was chosen to engage with the audience to have an interest in the website, but at the same time it has ‘The sense of being forced into virtual spaces in order to remain safe’. I like the way the hand is shown because it suggests taking his/her hand.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Julian Roberts (subtraction Pattern Cutting)

Julian Roberts is the inventor of a pattern cutting technique called ‘Subtraction Cutting’. This basically means doing the opposite of traditional methods of garment construction. This is done by cutting huge negative holes through the sheets of fabric, after construction this should allow the body to move freely in the hollow space.
The subtraction technique was publically introduced in 2004, under Julian AND Sophie label for spring/summer 2004. For this collection Julian & Sophie used their creativity making together 10 dresses in one day by using subtraction cutting technique. There were no drawings or designs to take inspiration from. All they had were long tubes of bright red cotton, which they cut and manipulated to create beautiful garments.
Instead of taking ownership of his new invention to pattern cutting Julian has demonstrated is subtraction cutting technique to fashion and textile students internationally. Julian states ‘You could easily learn in twenty minutes, and have an elaborate finished dress to wear by teatime!’ because the technique is simple enough for everybody to learn, you do not have to deal with lots of fraction and measurements that get in the way of being free to experiment and make mistakes. You can be surprised with the outcome of the shapes created as its only reveal after construction.
Julian has so much enthusiasm for teaching the subtraction pattern cutting he expresses this by saying:

‘What’s important to me is that I pass on the excitement of pattern cutting alongside the products I make: not just the dusty academic rules and regulations or health and safety, but the playfulness of hazarding a guess and risking mistake. To future generations, as far as imagination, craft skills and traditions go, it’s important to pass on the fire, not the ashes.’

This quote can be found on his website: under the heading to wrongs make a right PDF File.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Digital Design Interaction

I attended an exhibition called Decode at the Victoria & Albert Museum South Kensington in London. The duration of this exhibition is from 8 December 2009- 11 April 2010.


The Decode exhibition is about displaying digital expansion from “interactive designs to small screen based graphics to large scale interactive installations.”
There are three main themes that are explored in the whole exhibition. The first themes is Code, this is used in computers to create the vertical data to run a computer programme. This exhibition shows Code as an important element in the form of a design tool and material that artist can use as a source of inspiration to introduce their topic.

The second theme, Interactivity is being able to engage with the digital artwork as viewer. By Interacting with the digital artworks this creates a contribution by the viewer. Some Digital artworks use ‘human gesture’ by sensory imaging, using cameras and tracking the viewer to translating it back into the digital installation.
The third theme is Network and this is linked to many human activities that relate to technology. Mobile Network allows us to connect with other mobile user instantly. The internet is the biggest Network provider because it gives us the chance to communicate by emails, Websites, Network sites, video and audio, leaving the internet saturated with traces of our lives. This has left an opening for artist & designer to translate digital activities as a form of art display.

I took videos of digital installation that I found the most interesting in the decode exhibition.

Title Light Rain 2007
By Sendai and Florence who are based in Tokyo. Like the motion graphic in the visual short film installation because it doesn’t look like light rain but white fireworks the best thing is that you can interact using your movements. By moving my hands towards the installation the artwork made spectacular fireworks effects.

Title Body Paint 2009
By Mehmet Akten. Body paint is a very interaction installation. I was fascinated when I saw the colours move by any sudden movement this was a fun & playful experience. Whenever my body moved in any direction the installation changed colour to suit my body movements. This has potential to be used in NHS wards when dealing with young children who are unable to speak.

Title Dandelion 2009
By a company called Sennep based in Copenhagen YOKE Denmark. The animation is amazing it is like a cartoon. The main focus is on one dandelion. The animation is connected to a digital dryer. A person can use the dryer to blow the leaves away.

Title House of Cards Video 2008.
By James Frost. House of Cards is a video created for a band called Radiohead 2008. House of cards installation is a lot different than the actual video because you can move and change the direction of the video. The Video is made by using different computer aided design and motion codes.

Title Dune 2007
By Studio Practice in the Netherlands. Dune is a responsive piece that reads you when walk through it. When you are read the LED lights flash on to the responses of your motion and touch. The environment is dark making the installation more effective. The installation is made out of “LED, microphones, sensors, speakers, software and other media running on an interactive embedded microchip system and firmware”. The Dune was a almost spiritual like experience as I was transformed from the darkness to the light.

Title Digital Zoetrope 2008
By Troika. This installation is based in code, different code that makes the zoetrope go round and round really fast changing words in each row. The ‘approach focuses on the interplay between technology, design and the arts. I was fascinated by the word play of the zoetrope because different words were created at high speed which is a challenge of visual co ordination and an insight into how quick the brain operates.

Title the Bit.Code 2009.
By Julius Popp 2009. Combine ‘art and science converge’. The bit.Code is a good example because ‘Popp has created bit. Code, a large-scale installation in the Grand Entrance of the Museum. Bit.Code consists of a large bank of spinning black and white moving energy chains. The energy chains represent the vast quantity of data we receive in our daily lives. As the chains spin they create a confusing image of unreadable information. At certain points, the energy chains align and words become readable.’ The way the installation stops moving for one minute until it starts going again to form a word reminds me about life you, sleep for eight hours and wake to begin our day. The installation was restless and in a whirl of activity, much like us, and then was able to rest.
For more information Visit

Monday, 15 March 2010

Fabric manipulation

Front cover of book

Top, left Isabel Toledo, Packing dress, spring 1998 (front view).
Top, right (back view, with hood pulled up).
Bottom (laid flat)
Photographed by William Palmer.

Yeohlee, Fall 2009 runway presentation, model wearing the four-layers silk cascading triangles dress.
Photograph courtesy Yeohlee.

Isabel Toledo
Right Cocoon Sleeve gown.
Taupe silk taffeta, spring 1998, USA
Left Hermaphrodite dress.
Garment silk taffeta, 2005, USA
Photographed by William Palmer.

I am interested in the fabric manipulation displayed in the (American Beauty) Book by Patricia Mears. Her book has innovative American fashion designs from the 1930s to 2009. Every design is unique, offering different techniques, fabric choice and construction.