Digitally Printed Swimsuit Designs

As part of one of my outfits I have chosen to design a printed piece which will be worn with the knitted top I am also making. I am glad I decided to re-shoot the liquids on waterproof fabric as I think these new images look more clean and professional, and I was able to find print designs that I like. Using editing tools on photoshop I played around with the exposure and shadows to brighten the photos that I would potentially have digitally printed onto fabric. I decided on using the milk droplets on waterproof nylon fabric rather than the water as I felt that the colours and textures worked better with the milk. The photos using water were interesting but there was either not enough contrast in the images or too much, as shown in the bottom left image. I had to think about how the photo would look on an actual garment and if it would work well with the other garment it will be worn with.

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I used the design tools on the website; Contrado.com, and uploaded a number of my photos to visualise how the prints would look on a garment. It was also useful to experiment with zooming/cropping images and using a mirror tool before finalising the design. Due to time constraints and my skills in sewing lycra being limited, I had the swimsuit piece constructed by the company after sending off my design and patterns. As the work will be worn by models in my photoshoot as well as in a catwalk setting for The Festival of Making, I wanted to ensure the garment was finished to a high standard and fit properly, which is why I made the decision to have the garment made.

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Pattern Making and Planning of Garments

As I have been developing my design sketches and deciding on what I want to produce by the end of my Final Major Project, I’m beginning to draw out some pattern pieces for one of the cropped jumpers I am planning to create. Using an existing jumper I outlined some simple shapes and enlarged them slightly to allow for seam allowance and a more oversized fit.

I think the difficulty I might come across when making this jumper is that I am knitting all or part of the pieces so that’s why I have tried to keep the pattern shapes relatively simple so that its actually feasible for me to make the garment with the fabrics I have chosen to work with.

When making the toile, I chose to work with this crinkle jersey rather than calico because it is heavier than the calico and will hang in a similar way to the scuba fabric I have been sampling with.

The top had to be pinned onto the mannequin as the neckline is so wide- this is something I may have to be aware of when constructing the jumper, to make sure the model will be able to wear the top. I also folded the hem to  create a cropped jumper.

To improve the pattern I have widened the sleeve and lengthened them, as well as creating a more cropped front piece. My next steps for this is to decide if I want to make the jumper completely out of knitted strips of scuba or include another material, before beginning to make the pattern pieces.

Re-shoot of Designs for Digitally printed fabric

After deciding that I wanted to create some digitally printed fabric swatches using the photographs I had taken of waterproof fabric with water droplets on it, I found that the initial photos taken could be improved by ironing the pieces of fabric before placing anything on them. I also thought of other liquids I could use, and decided on testing droplets of milk as this gave more of an opaque finish, but also tied in well with the bridal colour palette.

Also, as some of the previous photos I had taken were out of focus, I made sure that the lens was focussed before taking the photo. I experimented with a range of angles and distances from the material, as well as testing using flash/ no flash.

My next steps in developing this work is to get some small samples digitally printed onto fabric such as neoprene, to allow me to see how the photos turn out once printed.

Material Research & Costing of Fabrics

After identifying that I need to be creating more samples and testing the more unconventional, man-made fibres, I visited another fabric and craft shop to source some materials to work with, and potentially use in the final garment piece or accessories that I am planning on producing in my Final Major Project.

An initial issue that I outlined in my proposal was the costs that I may face as I  am working with modern fabrics like plastics and scuba. Fortunately, until this point I have been able to use spare fabric that I have had myself; organza, cotton, and some scuba fabric, as well as using remnants found in the college fabric bins. I also worked a lot with yarns and knitting plastic bags which has allowed me to make work without creating a lot of costs for myself.The issues surrounding where designers source fabrics and the amount of waste often created from the process of making clothes is something I am becoming increasingly aware of and is something I am trying to be aware of in my work. I am pleased that I have been able to make use of second hand fabrics and this is something that I will continue to do when I progress onto studying fashion at degree level.

When looking for potential fabrics to work with I knew that I wanted to use plastic, as I think it has many properties; it can be melted, knitted,woven, painted on- which would be useful in allowing me to create the ideas I have. I decided on buying clear and white tablecloth PVC as I want to work within the bridal colour scheme and also as it could be interesting to layer over other fabrics. I also found some off-cuts of white waterproof fabric which links very well to my idea of mixing surf and sportswear with bridal wear, and hope to use this in my final designs.

 

Weaving with Fabric & Yarns

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As part of this weeks negotiated practice I chose to continue working on the weave I began making during the textiles pathway. I wanted to produce a large woven piece containing many different samples to allow me to see which materials worked best and could be used in future work. After using the hook tool to pull through all the threads as shown in the photos below, I was ready to begin weaving.

I found weaving to be a fast process once the loom was set up and it is a useful way to test a range of different fabrics including strips of delicate organza, mesh, and organza. At the beginning of the piece I felt that sticking to the bridal colour palette of white and creams may have limited the amount of different materials I could work into the weave, but this was not the case. I found a number of yarns and string of different widths as well as fabric such as calico and Lycra which all reacted differently when woven, and so I feel I have created a piece which will have varying textures and could even be worked into later. In order to finish this piece I need to continue weaving next week until the piece is approximately 1.2 metres and then remove the piece from the loom.

Tutorial & Discussion with Textiles Tutor

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Since the previous tutorial I feel like I have achieved what I set out to do; I introduced weaving to my skills and developed knitting techniques using materials including plastic and lycra strips of fabric. I have also researched further into the concept of wedding dresses and the traditional idea of what a wedding dress should be, using bridal magazines and first-hand discussions with people.

The potential issue outlined was that I had initially specified the exact materials I wanted to work with, however the samples that I have been producing feature other materials such as cut up plastic bags and different yarns. To solve this issue I could edit my proposal to explain that I intend to work with a range of man made fibres rather than limiting myself to a couple of materials.