Unit X

After evaluating the Practice unit and getting feedback, I knew I wanted to continue with the same project, but weren’t sure how I would re start it to give me new ideas and different ways to push it. Looking through my sketchbook and all the work I had submitted with a fresh mind after handing in really helped me see new potentials for my work and I how I had ignored a lot of my initial research to start the project off. I had blocked out a lot of the colours, going off how I thought I wanted my project to look, but this ended up making it hard to bring multiple colours into my samples which resulted in a lot of block colours that didn’t compliment each other.

I used my initial collages as starting points to continue my concept, paying more attention to the colours, textures and shapes within them. I used collage as a way of drawing directly from my images, making it easier to translate my sketchbook work into samples. Colour proportion was important for me as I wanted to make my samples look like they worked together and experiment with how the proportion could change the whole look of samples. From focussing on the colours and textures, I started to sway from the functional aspect that I wanted from my samples. They had become more decorative and I was suggested to visit a hard wear store and looking at hinges and other ways of attaching two things together that wouldn’t be associated with knitting. I also have an upcoming laser cutting session which I will create my own fastenings experimenting with materials such as perspex, wood and leather.

Designer Christopher Esber uses resin buttons to connect one side of the garment to the other, and being able to undo parts of it making it functional in an interesting way. I have began experimenting with mixed media such as resin in hoop shapes, setting more hardwearing materials into it. I will use experiment with these in different ways to create new ways of fastening and joining pieces together. These will also work well with the ropes and cords within my samples.


Christopher Esber SS16 Ready To Wear

I plan on completing Unit X with a collection of 2 – 3 outfits that contain functional aspects. I want to push my concept to the limits and really step over the boundaries. I will display my garments in the degree show with styling and a professional quality photoshoot including a Lookbook.



New York

Visiting New York was an exciting opportunity to see a range of different textiles based companies first hand and learning about the different ways companies work and exactly what they do.

Maharam, Stoll and WGSN were all completely different types of companies from fabric designing, electrical industrial knitting machines and trend forecasting. Each giving an insight of the different roles they consist of and what their businesses have to offer. Each spoke about the type of skills required for some of their job roles such CAD, and in-house designers who produce flats. This made me see how important some skills can be for getting jobs within these types of companies, which I intend to work on my own skills should these opportunities arise.

Practitioner Florence Spurling also gave a talk of her career path after leaving university, which was interesting to know the different types of jobs people get after a textiles based degree.


Throughout this unit, I have learnt a lot about my style of working and where I would like to be within the design industry. I have revealed strengths, weaknesses and things that need building on. Through exploring the concept that I have, it has allowed me to work in a different way than I previously had and push the boundaries of knitting and the different ways of attaching. Although I wasn’t satisfied with my final collection of samples for this unit with the range of techniques and colour palette I plan to expand on this in Unit X and push my ideas to get the most out of this project that I can.

The two tutor presentations proved to be a vital learning curve of the Practice unit. The feedback from other students as well as the tutors gave multiple views, making it more visible of what I lacked in, what weren’t working and what I could have done better. My illustrations needed a lot of work as they are a vital part of communicating the ideas of how samples become a wearable piece, and seeing other students presentations shown how important image quality and lay out can be. It was also a good opportunity to work on my confidence which is something I struggle with. The prompt cards helped a little during the first presentation, and in the second I decided to write down more in depth what I was going to say, but ended up reading from the sheet resulting in speaking too quickly and being way under the time we were given. Regardless of this, my feedback was positive and I was given good ideas to push my project further.

Overall in the Practice unit I have been faced with many challenges, from confidence to creating garments. With wanting to make my first garment simple, it didn’t really bring through the ‘function’ concept which I had hoped. The choice of colour and yarn also didn’t seem to work out so I won’t be carrying this garment through into Unit X. My second garment carried more potential for what I wanted from my degree work and is able to be continuously changed and manipulated with being two separate pieces. I feel like there is more experimenting to do before I get on with garments as I feel they are lacking excitement from the Practice unit and need a lot more going on to bring them to life.



Working towards a fashion context I was excited for the processes of learning to make garments. There was a lot more involved than I had first imagined; from taking the patterns of existing garments, making toiles, measuring any curved edges, design a knit and linking. It was a long process which took up a lot more time than I expected.

I decided to keep the structure of my first garment simple and make a drop sleeve jumper which required no shaping other than the neckline. I wanted to stick with boxy simple garments that were pulled in by the fastenings. I experimented with where I would stop the box pleats as they didn’t sit quite right on the sample I had previously done and noted this down for when I started the first panel of my garment. I was also suggested to try another technique within this as from the waist up, I was planning on just continuing to the neckline in plain knit. So i decided to sample a similar piece including ripples and the neckline to give a true indication of the kind of silhouette my garment would have in the more heavyweight fabric it will be.

My first garment was very problematic in the making from the yarn not knitting well with certain techniques,  knots in the yarn which caused it to snap, and not linking well.  With the difficulties of making my first garment, I chosen a different yarn quality to make my second one which made it much easier to make in every way. The yarn knitted more smoothly with no problems, and linked perfectly on the first attempt. I had been put off using the linker from the first garment, which set me back as I wanted to use it for a lot of sample ideas I had; but I soon built confidence back up after linking my second garment.

Bradford Textiles Society

Thinking back to previous work in L5, I had used a marbling technique onto some of my samples and knew it was something I wanted to revisit as I hadn’t had chance to push it further. I decided to base my live project on ‘Effusion’, looking into the spreading and flow of colour into water. This gave me chance to be more free with my drawing style and work in a completely different way. I wanted more structure from my knitted samples allowing me to create some diverse for my portfolio. I also wanted to make sure my colours were bold to create a contrast to my self initiated project.

I decided on The Bradford Textiles Society for my live brief, I wanted to enter into the A1 The Wool Mark Company Award, which was to make a knitted fabric for fashion or interiors consisting of a minimum of 60% Merino wool. I decided to work with merino wool and elastic with thicker inlayed elastic to create the movement effect I wanted. The 4ply merino was too thick and gave a bulky look to the knit which was going against the delicateness I wanted from my samples. I tested out 1ply merino instead but it still didn’t give the desired effect I wanted, it looked too wooly and lacked in the smoothness that the elastic gave. I then tried marbling onto these sample to see which yarns worked best with the print. The thicker merino didn’t take the marbling well as it was too chunky whereas the elastic being much finer closed knit worked a lot better. From trying this out, I decided to stick to just elastic and similar finer yarns and enter into the K1 Clothworkers’ Foundation Award instead.

I looked into accessory contextual research for this project, refining it down to simple drawstring bags as I felt that’s where my project fit best. Although the time I spent on this project was short, I enjoyed using the processes I did and would have liked to made a bag based on this collection if time management was handled more appropriately.


Contextual reasearch has been a crutial part in developing on my project. Garments showing different ways of connecting, maniupulating and gathering have been very influential and proved that some things I didn’t think were possible, are. Christopher Esber is a designer who uses simple knots as a way of attaching, a fairly simple technique that can be made to look very effective.


christopher eclipse

Christopher Esber


During a PDP I was suggested to play with multiple and interlocking shapes, which is how I had gone on to develop my drawings by picking out shapes and repeating them. I tested out ways of knitting strips on the domestic machine and hooking back on to create an interlocking hoop sample which worked well and was much different to anything I had ever knitted before. I started to look into ropes, cords and ribbons and how I could bring them into my project as they had cropped up in a lot of designers work I had researched. The ropes fit in well with my concept and uncovered more ideas of attaching things together and being functional using inlay, and being able to pull in and loosen the knit. I also began looking into macrame as a way of fully bringing the ropes into my project and experimented with different techniques, I used ribbon to create a 3D form which worked well but was time consuming and required a lot of length to create a small piece.

Mannequin work has been a regular part of Practice for me, using samples on the body to communicate different ways they can be used in garments, and pinning pieces together to discover new ways of attatching.

Developing Self Initiated

During the summer, I had been working from a concept of ‘Recollection’, meaning ‘the act or power of recollecting, or recalling to mind; remembrance.’ I used childhood photos to collage with, collecting distant memories. I then used macro photography of items that withheld these childhood memories within the home to add to the photos. These gave me some interesting compositions and textures which are what I wanted but I didn’t really know how to move this project further. I felt that my boards gave off a finished collection feel rather than the start of a project.


I knew I wanted to move away from the bright, distinctive colour palette I had created from my summer work, and took some interesting macro photos of more neutral coloured objects which I much preferred the colours of. In my tutorial I was suggested to add in another word with macro to create a stronger concept, and I weren’t giving myself much to work from other than textures, which I was struggling to draw from.


Macro photography

I decided to gather contextual research looking into the kind of fashion that I really took an interest to. This really helped define what I wanted from my Practice and I decided to base my concept on ‘Function’. Collage became a big part of the start of my project, taking functional objects such as switches, sockets, chairs and lights which I put together to create new images to work from.  I like the cut outs rather than using the whole image as it really focussed on what I was looking at and made it much cleaner and easier to work from. I then traced over the shapes to break them up and make it more clear that I was looking at the shapes and certain textures from the images. Then adding colour into some of my drawings.


Function collage

From my initial contextual research and developing my concept, I wanted shaping to be a feature of my knitting, as well as a range of different fastenings. I was interested in different ways of attaching two pieces together and how my concept could be brought through to create ‘functional’ knitting. I tested out knitted strips of different yarns to see how they hung and which would hold the metal fastenings the best, as well as experimenting with bigger plain pieces of knitted fabric which I manipulated afterwards by belts, knotting and other ways of moving the fabric around. This lead me to a slight concept change of ‘function manipulation’ which gave a whole new life to my project. I focussed on attaching pieces together using knitted knots, strips and chrome metal rings. Designers such as Balenciaga was a main source of inspiration for the type of fashion in relation to the shaping, and ways of attaching pieces together whether they are functional or dysfunctional.


Balenciaga Resort 2016