Wednesday, 29 March 2017



Tuesday morning, we had another visit from Karl (one of our visiting tutors), where we were invited to have a workshop teaching us about Adobe Illustrator, and how to use it for drawing technical flats and applying fabrics and textures to our illustrations.  Even though, I am not the group member who is drawing our CAD technical flats, I thought it was still vitally important for me to engage in the workshop session and learn about how to use illustrator confidently as I feel I don't have that much knowledge of the software.  Learning about these tools in the software will greatly benefit me in the future; when I come to do technical drawings for my final year at university, but will also help my chances of getting a job as we are frequently told by tutors; that knowing how to use Adobe software, such as; Illustrator and Photoshop, is widely recognised amongst fashion graduates in their CV's.

After the workshop, Myself and Faye returned to our trouser pattern that we had been working on, on the Monday session (see previous blog post.)  We started by digitising the trouser pattern that we altered into Modaris, as we wanted to put the pattern into 3d on Lectra so we could get an idea of shape and silhouette.  Once we digitised the pattern in, we created a variant to select the pattern pieces we wanted, and used the 'desk of stitches' tool to digitally stitch together the pattern, so that a digital 3d toile would be created. Once we opened 3d fitting, I used the pre-positioning tool to place the garments to the male mannequin on the system.  To ensure that the 3d fitting worked effectively, I used the curve tool and manipulation tool so that the pattern pieces were 'sat' on the body correctly, which ensured that when I clicked 'assemble' the pattern pieces fitted together correctly in the right places.

After this initial fitting on the 3d mannequin, we added a waistband to the Lectra pattern so that we could use the elastic tool on 3d fitting.  This would allow us to get a good representation of what the waist area would look like once elastic has been applied, since we opened up the pattern.  So, I used the 'length measure' tool to measure the distance from the side seam to crotch seam on the front and back pieces.  I added these two lengths together and doubled this, as I only measured one leg of the trouser.  Afterwards, I added a new sheet to the pattern template where i drew a rectangle that had a length of the entire waist, and a width of 4cm.

 I then added the waistband to the existing variant, and also re-stitched it into the desk of stitches.  After this I placed it onto the mannequin using the pre-positioning tool again, and ensured the pattern has a strong curvature on the cross-line so that it effectively curved around the body.

By changing the fabric type of the waistband only to elastic, on 3d modaris, it cinched in the waist to fit the waist size of the digital mannequin (which we set to 32cm.)  After the trousers 'relaxed' on screen we realised that because we had to open up the waist this then added extra width onto the hips and leg, so that they now do not appear as tailored as we wanted.  We decided to print off this new pattern and re-toile so that we could manually adjust the fit of the trouser whilst on a model.

Monday, 27 March 2017



New Week, New Ideas.  We started off our morning with a group discussion of what we would like to complete by the end of the week - as we are having a 3 week break from university timetable for the Easter holidays, therefore we all agreed that we would like to complete a few of the trouser toiles (as discussed in the previous post), but also the technical drawings, illustrated drawings, line plan, range plan and our A2 inspiration boards all to be completed as well as.  Seeing as we have a mid-unit presentation to the COS team on the first day we come back after Easter (Tuesday 18th April) we thought that amongst ourselves it would be best to organise and finish as much as we possibly can; so that not only we have more to present to COS, but also to get ourselves a head start on the toile process for when we return.

So, we collated our research and design work that we set as a group on Friday to complete over the weekend, and complied these images into categories of finishings, fastenings, design details, and potential suppliers.  We then narrowed these design ideas down to select a few which we would all incorporate into a few of our designs - where appropriate. As a group, we chose Sophie to illustrate all the final designs, incorporating these features previously discussed, so that we could have a consistent line up of all of our outfits, which will look the same.

Our visiting tutor; Karl, gave a brief presentation on line plans, and range plans as well as a refresher on technical drawings.  He suggested that it was advised in each group that 2 people we delegated the task of completing the line plan and range plan so that you ensure all the technical drawings look the same, due to everyone having different styles.  Therefore, being team leader I chose Leona and Sarah, as having seen their technical flats before in previous projects I thought they would be suitable for this role.

Myself and Faye started working on one of the trouser patterns so that we could pass this on to other team members at a later date.  Within our group, we decided that for all of our trousers we are only going to have 2 trouser styles; tapered/loosely fitted and straight leg.  Therefore, as Faye and I wish to do the tapered style for our individual outfits we agreed that if we managed to get the fit of the trouser correct the we could use this as the 'master' pattern that we could then use to mark out where we are going to each have our own panels for our own trouser. So, we started by importing a basic mens trouser block into the Lectra system, and began altering the shape slightly to narrow the leg width to appear more tapered and fitted.  When reasonably happy we printed off this pattern, and mocked up an initial toile....

As you can see from the image above, the crotch area around the behind was not fitting as well as we hoped, looking baggy but once tried on a model it seemed the opposite - as if it was being pulled (the mannequin didn't have a realistic curve on the bottom like a person would.)  Once we tried this initial toile on our model; Charlie, we realised this was due to the fact that the pattern wasn't wide enough on the hip area and seemed to stretch out the bum area. So we made note and added 1.5cm to the hip on the front and back pattern piece.  We also didn't like the fit of the lower leg, and imagine it to be "skinnier" so we took in 1cm form each side, again on the front and back pattern pieces, thus making the ankle/ calf area 4cm smaller, but we ensured that even by taking off 4cm that the ankle hole would still be able to fit over the foot when garment tried on (even if it was made in a woven fabric as its final.)  We made these alterations to our pattern pieces and then toiled the trousers up again and were much happier with the result and fit...

As 4 people in our group will be using this initial style/silhouette of trousers we kept the master pattern untouched so we could all refer back to it when we wished.  Myself and faye wish to use this pattern and apply an elasticated waistband with drawstring where as the other two people wish to use a fly as a fastening.  Therefore myself and faye, then had to open up the waistband to allow for the gathering that would happen once the drawstring and elastic is applied.  After that we could then each work separately to add our panels but first we needed to work on the waist of the updated trousers.  What we did was slash into the pattern 3 times, from the waistband to just above the ankle hem.  This then allowed for four sections to be opened up to add the volume we needed (3cm each slit.) We taped these into place and re cut them out, making sure the 1cm seam allowance was added too.

Friday, 24 March 2017



As this week we have been focusing on our design process and development, today we had a visit from Sarah Mole; head pattern cutter for womenswear at COS. She spoke to us about the newest 10 piece collection that COS have created for their 10 year anniversary, as well as how they created the collection and why they felt the idea behind it is important.

So, COS have created this 10 piece collection which consists of women's, men's and children's garments, which have all been made using a unique ethos of pattern cutting.  With rising trends of sustainability and being environmentally friendly within the fashion industry, COS and the pattern cutting team thought it would be great to research into 'zero-waste' pattern cutting methods and see how they could implement this into their work/collection.

images taken from COS website

Sarah explained that by COS using the Lectra system, they felt they had an advantage due to the technology and being able to start pattern cutting and altering patterns at a quicker pace (compared to manual pattern cutters.)  She also discussed methods, ideas and ways that she found that helped her to overcome fabric usage/efficiency to create garments that were as minimal waste as possible.  For example, on the men's jacket, and the kids shirt - they have curved hemlines, and this was so that on the lay plan the sleeve head slotted into the curvature of the hemline.  This then eliminated odd shaped space which they initially found a struggle to create solutions for.  Listening to Sarah talk, I found it very interesting in the ways they used the pattern pieces logically to fit next to one another so that none of the area within the outline of the entire lay plan was wasted. This is definitely something that I would like to replicate in my work, as I too believe that in order to keep up with the demand of societies desires, it is very important to make people/consumers change the way they buy and shop.  I think that creating an entire 8 outfit menswear collection that is entirely minimal waste it would be very unique to the market, especially being an on-trend collection to be styled in many ways.

After Sarah's presentation, we were lucky enough to talk to her within our group and gain some feedback from what she felt about our designs, and how we should next approach our development.  We spoke about it can be harder to be more creative in menswear fashion, as we believe that it can't be too 'out-there' as men typically will not wear the garment.  Therefore, we explained how we are interested in looking at moved seams, panel features, and concealed fastenings and pockets - and making a feature of these key details throughout the collection.  We agreed that the best place to start actual toile development is to focus on the fit on trousers and fitted areas of garments such as collars and cuffs.  This was because the majority of men find it crucial to have a comfortably fitted garment that sits well on their body- and as Sarah explained to us, she and her team found it difficult when creating the fit of the shorts for the 10 piece COS collection, due to creating the right shape but also to fit it into the restraint of minimal waste.

From this, we agreed that in our next group session we would focus on these key areas so that we can find and workout suitable patterns to work from, but also to play around with 'zero-waste' and see how we can achieve the minimal waste without compromising the fit and style we desire to have.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017



We began our session today by presenting our development progress to the rest of the class, so that we could be categorised into groups where we will then work together to create our COS collections.  When it was my turn to speak I ensured that I not only spoke about my designs, but my concept, ideas of design direction, as well as key garments that I would like to focus on.  These points were crucial to me as I think it was helpful for my fellow peers to understand what I am interested in designing and making, but also for them relate their own designs and concept to mine.  I mentioned and spoke about how I am more interested in a street-style collection, with sporty influences for men and that I quite like oversized, and relaxed silhouettes.

After everyone had spoken, we decided amongst ourselves who's work and designs fitted in with each other, and who's styles, silhouettes complimented others and ultimately which designs would sit well together in a collection line-up.  We chose to be a group of 6 menswear outfits, with 1 unisex outfit, and 1 boys teenager outfit.  We felt that the unisex and kids wear sat well with the rest of the chosen designs from the menswear outfits, ad they equally complimented each other too.  To finalise our session on Tuesday - we discussed how we could make our individual garments and outfits coherent to ensure they flow as a collection.

We chose to focus on details in each garment that would relate our pieces together; for example, we said that we would be creative with our seams by moving them in ways that aren't standard for that pattern.  We also discussed about concealing our fastenings, such as button bands, zips, plackets etc, and in addition, we thought it would be innovative to 'hide' our pockets within the seams created. We all went away from this session and worked on our designs to create a visual idea of what outfits will look like.  Here are our initial designs.

In our outfits we have created some pieces that are quite draped, however we have ensured they aren't too 'baggy' as we also do have key garments in the collection that are to a more fitted style, but have constraints on the 'oversizing' of designs.  This may be something that we consider more in our next team meeting as we could number each outfit in the collection so that we have the more fitted outfits at the beginning which progress as the collection is revealed on the catwalk, where they become more draped the further along.

We briefly discussed colour palette ideas as well - selecting our favourites from the 3 colour schemes provided, and with talking with Veronica and Penny as well as amongst ourselves; we decided that we would 'mix and match' between the pinky toned colour scheme and the grey colour scheme too.

Monday, 20 March 2017



I started to draw up designs for Tuesday's (tomorrow's) presentation session where we will be presenting our ideas and development in order to be categorised into our groups.  I used my mood boards, sketchbook work and inspiration on my Pinterest board -  - to create these initial designs.  Below are a few images I collected to help with the process of designing.

Im quite interested in including small details and features in the garments that add interest instead of going with crazy styles and silhouettes, as I believe this wouldn't fit with the current COS aesthetic.  As I am looking into architecture, concrete structures, and specifically into the work of architect; David Chipperfield, I like the use of straight lines and seam detail.  I would like to incorporate obscure panelling or moved seams to create the effect of architectural influences without the garments themselves being 'sculptural'.  I think this will work as I plan to create menswear/genderless pieces and the collection cannot be too 'loud' as men typically are not as experimental with clothing as women.

Friday, 17 March 2017



In today's session, I developed some previous stand work that I found quite interesting to create a potential design from.  It incorporated some weaving panels that I thought that if enlarged on the body would look effective as creates surface detail and interest, however the overall garment could still be kept minimalistic and classic to suit the COS aesthetic - working it into a shirt design, coat panel or even a trouser pocket.

Below are some scanned-in images from my sketchbook to show my development from the first inspiration to a potential start of a pattern piece.

I started to create a pattern from this initial inspiration, using this technique I found when researching  about zero-waste garments (illustrated in below image).  I made up this basic top from this pattern block using my own measurements then cut into the sleeve to create the slits that can be woven into - see below.

I then done a few quick design ideas of how i could take this idea forward an develop into an outfit or garment - using a mens shirt as a starting point.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017


These sessions consisted on developing our pattern work from the previous Monday, using the mini mannequin again, but this time incorporating fabric and seeing how the shapes out of the packaging would create drape and silhouettes.  I found myself at a bit of a block with the initial shapes that I created the previous week, so I decided to pick another style of packaging and work on this one instead.  I deconstructed the 3d box to its flat net form, where i initially manipulated it onto the body of the mannequin.  I didn't feel inspired but the way it looked on the mannequin however I was drawn to the outline of the geometric shapes of the edge of the packaging (created by the unfolded tabs.)  I thought these geometric sharp lines looked similar to some architecture that I researched (David Chipperfield's work) and also to the buildings I saw on my London trip (see previous blog post.)

After this, I cut the same net out of some lightweight fabric and decided to stitch some edges together; that necessarily wouldn't be next to each other when folded to create its original 3 dimensional form.  This created gaps and shape in the fabric manipulation, so when placed on the mannequin it appeared more realistic in 'garment' form.  This technique inspired me more than the paper prototypes, as I visually and mentally began to see more from what I had created, and began to think of the process in a more design aspect.  With these shapes created I don't think I will necessarily take the entire image as inspo but aspects which will create detail to garment to ensure the collection fits in with the existing COS aesthetic.

Friday, 10 March 2017



We headed to Central London in search of inspiration.  Having previously researched (a few days before) into Scandinavian interiors, and thus moving onto architecture, I found myself inspired by the work of concrete structures and buildings.  I discovered David Chipperfield; an architect who creates buildings with distinctive style, using squared shapes and straight lines with protruding sections/elements to create 3d effect.

In London, we first stopped off at the Victoria Miro Gallery to view the 'Do Ho Suh: Passage' Exhibition.  The Korean artist Do Ho Suh references the different places he has lived and worked with this colourful installation, which explores ideas about identity and migration.  The Passage/s exhibition gives physical form to Suh's idea of life as a journey – his installation is designed as a sequence of passageways that each represent a different place he has occupied.  I found the exhibition interesting due to its sculptural nature, however immediatley didn't become inspired by it.  But I appriciated the small detail included in each of the installations which made me consider that attention to finishing the installation, or in my case a garment, will be crucial.  As COS can often be described as simplistic, it is important that small details and finishing are considered to add interest to the garment (this is what COS do, but usually can be noticed when garments are closely studied by consumers.)

We thought it was thoroughly important for us to visit a COS store to see the garments up close, details and fabrics, as well as get a better idea about consumers, store layout and aesthetics of the brand.  I initally felt that the store had a clean cut style, with minimalistic features, which replicated the designs and style of the garments themselves.  Even though the store itself was relatively busy, it maintained a calm and atmospheric environment which helped emphasise the more mature nature of the brand and store.  

In the Design Museum, we visited the Fear and Love Exhibition which explored a diverse selection of issues that define our era. "The exhibition asserts that design is deeply connected not just to commerce and culture but to urgent underlying issues – issues that inspire fear and love. This is a bold, multidisciplinary and global exhibition that aims to capture the mood of the present and establish the Design Museum as the home of design debate." To be honest, I didn't really get inspired by this exhibition, however I did enjoy the work displayed.

Whilst leaving the Design Museum, I noticed the surrounding buildings and they caught my eye.  I thought they looked similar to the work of David Chipperfield, with square and geometric shapes, with use of cut out sections and protruding elements.  I would like to work into these photographs and experiment by replicating similar shapes into pattern cutting and designing.

Thursday, 9 March 2017



This was the first of many design sessions that was included within this unit.  To start off the session we were breifed in class, and were introduced to our visiting tutor; Veronica, who was assisting us in this live project with her expertise.  With her past work experience being in trend forecasting and future colour trends, I found it incredibly interesting learning about her specialisms in the fashion industry, and I look forward to her working alongside ourselves.

As a class we discussed and thought about the importance of trends and colours - assessing how it works in the industry, especially in relation to COS.  Veronica explained that she believes and follows in three sub-catergories within trend forecasting, which we should majorly consider when thinking about starting our design process, and how these 3 catergories may help influence a creative collection;

Target market is an obvious thought when researching a brand or creating a collection.  We all know that COS themselves have a very distinctive consumer who shops in their store, who has a particular outlook on life and who has a certain lifestyle.  However, with the increase in emerging generations and tribes, could this consumer profile begin to change, depending on todays ever-evolving society?  Veronica briefly spoke about the 'growing older' generation and how they are often overlooked as a consumer, yet they have a huge spending power.  With icons such as Iris Apfel and Nick Wooster making their mark in the industry - is age nothing but a number??

I think that this quote is very true to the outlook on todays fashion industry. Knowing that the industry is one of the worlds largest polluters, in recent years it has become incredibly popular, and even fashionable to produce, sell and buy eco-friendly products.  Whether that ranges from naturally dyed fabrics, to sustainably sourced materials or specially designed garments using technological advantages such as Lectra, and lay-planning software.  But what is my stand point for this project?  I recently discovered that COS aim to have an 80% efficiency when cutting out their fabrics for garments, so there is minimal wastage.  In recent projects I have managed to meet this standard ;creating outfits that hit 70-85% efficiency levels.  However, for this project I would ideally like to increase this efficiency to as high as possible (90% and above), and potentially even produce garments that are zero waste.  Therefore I will have to ensure that every bit of the fabric is utilised in the production of the garment.  I plan to research more into designers who already implement this creating cutting technique in their work; such as Holly McQuillan and David Telfer, to explore and learn about methods and ideas of how to achieve this innovative way of pattern cutting. I also plan to use the Lectra system to organise my lay plans (Marker Manager) which will aid in the calculation of fabric efficiency.

This is about bringing something new to what COS currently create. To challenge the 'norm' it needs to be understood that the next 30 years will be fundamentally different in comparison to the 30 years that has just past. Veronica discussed that there could be 4 big things that will alter what already exists and what will help influence fashion and society...
1. Rise of the merging markets
2. Urban population growing at a phenomenal rate - 9 x city of Milan a year 
3. Industrial revolution
4. The pace of technology 

- Do more with less : zero waste pattern cutting, minimal seams, small and effective detailing
- Genderless clothing : menswear and womenswear, can be masculine, can be feminine
- Finding an influence what we may not necessarily pay attention to but is shaping society?



Briefing commenced at 10am, where we were all gathered together in the studio to be told what this unit was going to entail.  Being eager and anxious to see what we was going to be told, we listened and took notes.  Our 8 week live project was with UK-based brand; COS.  We were informed that we would design and make a collection in celebration of their 10th year anniversary.  Whilst COS aim for an 80% efficiency in fabric (20% being wastage) in the design process of their garments, our aim is to meet this target set by the brand, or to beat it and aim for a zero waste collection.

As for our first session, we gathered packaging - from shoe boxes, to sandwich boxes to Lush product packaging and flower delivery parcels.  We deconstructed these to flat net shapes, where we then traced out the silhouette - understanding that by folding at different angles and ways you can create 3d shapes which could thus be replicated into fabric manipulation or even surface design. Using mini (half-scale) mannequins we placed and experimented with these shapes to see how we could take inspiration and use this to develop our design process. See images below for what I created.