About last year...

As I'm currently updating my website with my second year portfolio, I decided to take a look back at my first year at Birmingham City University and the work that I produced.

Although I feel like I have improved quite a bit since I produced my first year portfolio, I enjoy seeing how far I have come as a designer and look forward to seeing what I become. You can view all of my work in the 'Portfolio' section of my website.

Size Zero

The first project I ever completed at University was a daunting one - The Shirt Project. It sounded simple when we were given the brief: an essay, 3 boards, a toile, a shirt of our own design, a record of make and an evaluation, but when faced with the task and learning all of the new equipment, it was unbelievable. Ten weeks to complete the entire thing sounds like ages compared to the three weeks we get in some of our Level 5 projects. Considering I had to learn how to use an industrial machine, overlocker, button hole maker, Mac, Illustrator (and so much more), I am quite pleased with the quality of work that I produced but if I were to improve now I would apply more illustration to liven up my pages but we were told not to for this project.

Making Waves

For our second brief we were asked to produce a toile and finished commercial dress along with a full market report, pattern and a sketchbook including a minimum of 16 pages research and 60 designs. Considering I came from a sixth form class of 5 students, I was somewhat taken a back. From this project, it is safe to say my weakness is physically producing my ideas on the machines however, I am still improving. I really enjoyed the design process but had never produced anywhere near this amount of work and designs so the quality really suffered. When it came to producing portfolio pages, however, I had a chance to touch up flats and spend time on my line up. If I were to do this project now, I would better illustrate and shade my ideas (given enough time) and of course remake the dress to a higher standard now I have a better understanding of zips and stretch fabric.

Lone Frequency

By far my favourite project of the first year, the Magpie Project (White Project). Despite given quite broad concepts, we were tasked with linking the three (Otis Redding, Brazil (film) and Sculpture (Tara Donovan) and creating a concept that married them perfectly. I loved how my quality of make wasn't as crucial as it was a bespoke, sculptural piece that was the most wacky idea I had ever had. It was worth carrying hula hoops around Birmingham everyday to produce something so close to how I had envisioned it. The requirements were to confidently present my garment on a model as well as a professional lookbook and a sketchbook including extensive research and 50 designs minimum front and back. If I were to complete this again, I would have to spend more time on my sketchbook and choose a simpler idea with less hand sewing! With a huge family incident really knocking me back half way through this project, I really am proud to have completed and handed in what I did and my photoshoot, despite multiple knock-backs is my favourite shoot that I have ever done (many thanks to my beautiful model and friend, Becky Macey!).


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