I have found this project very interesting and I have enjoyed being able to develop my style as a textile designer. Designing for children’s clothes has been a fun and exciting challenge for me, and I would definitely be interested in taking this further in my textiles career. I was interested and motivated with my brief throughout both terms, and I think I gained a lot from doing this project.
Through experimentation in my sketchbook and using digital skills I have found collage to be the most successful technique for me, which I didn’t expect as I haven’t done much collage work before. I especially enjoyed creating designs on paper and then scanning them and using Photoshop and Illustrator to edit them and create patterns. I think this technique created professional and exciting designs.
In my final collection I am happy with each design but on reflection I think some of the designs don’t quite fit in with the rest. For example the blue raindrop print is very bold and dark compared to the rest of my designs, which I think makes it stand out as too different from the others. I think for summative I would like to slightly tweak some colours and layouts for the designs to ensure the whole collection works together. For example, potentially making a few motifs on patterns smaller and more spaced out, as a lot of my designs are quite large and busy. I realised this once I considered how large the motifs on my digital designs would actually be once printed onto A3 paper. I think this might help to create a bit more variation in my samples, as it could do with some more simple designs. I found it hard to decide on background colours for my designs. For each design I always tested variations of colours to use as a background but I always felt that a white background looked best. In the end I decided to put a grey texture behind some of my designs as I thought it would be odd for all of my designs to have plain white backgrounds. I like the texture but the grey has printed a bit dark and distracts from the rest of the design. I think the backgrounds of my designs is definitely something that could improve, so I would like to experiment more with this next term. I also think I could add some small areas of hand stitching to a few of my designs in order for them to be more tactile. I didn’t have time to do this by the deadline but it would finish off some designs nicely. I think my collection suits my chosen company Mini Boden’s style, as they are fun and bold prints. I found in my research that Mini Boden has a quirky and imaginative style, which my gardening theme captures. Most of their clothing involves bright colours and repeat prints, which I have tried to create in my work.
The collection successfully captures my ‘Garden & Grow’ theme, although I didn’t include all of the initial imagery that I was planning to. I was considering including monsters in the garden as part of my theme, but decided against it and felt that gardening animals might work better. I did try some drawings of gardening badgers and other animals but I didn’t end up with any that I thought would actually work in a final print. I think this was because I was using collage style motifs for all of my designs, but the gardening animals looked much better drawn with colour pencils than collaged. I found this when I tried a heat press collage of a badger, it just looked a bit awkward and clunky. I decided the imagery for my final samples based on what worked best in my style and what was most successful in patterns and repeats.
I am happy with my chosen colour palette as it reflects the colours you would see in the garden in summertime, but it isn’t too garish. It is relevant that the colours I have used are linked to summer, as my collection is for Spring/Summer 2019. I also chose my colour palette based on upcoming trends on WGSN. As the collection is gender neutral I have tried to avoid using large amounts of heavily gendered colours like pink and blue. In the second term I decided to slightly alter my colours as I felt that some were slightly too dull when I was using them in my digital designs. I also added in a navy blue colour as I ended up using more blue than originally planned in my designs. My designs have a clear flow due to the similar colour palettes, especially my three coordinating samples. The colour palette links the whole collection together and creates a professional look to my designs.
My collection is gender neutral for 2-4 year olds and for S/S 19. I think the collection works as gender neutral, the prints could be suitable for either girls or boys and I think parents would enjoy having more options to choose from for their child when shopping. I have chosen fabrics that are soft, comfortable and washable as this is important for children’s clothing. For example: polyester suede, bamboo jersey, cotton jersey, poly-cotton and cotton satin. I have done this as parents will be more interested in buying clothes made from fabrics with these characteristics as they know that children will be playing and getting messy in them. I have designed my prints based on the age range of 2-4 year old children, so I have made them fun, bright and cute so that it would be the kind of clothing a parent would like their child to wear.
I have chosen to put small headers on my final samples and have printed them A3 size. I chose A3 as I thought this would be most suitable to view my designs with a vision of them being put onto clothing. In order to be professional with my presentation I have printed small labels which I have stuck onto the back of each sample. The labels contain my name, theme name, fabric choice for the design and the name of the design. For my paper prints, I have stuck a small sample of the fabric I would print it onto on the back above the label. This has worked well as the information is there but not distracting from the appearance of my final 12 samples. Unfortunately although I emailed my final digital designs to the Print Studio on Wednesday night, they were not printed for the deadline today. This was frustrating as I ensured I had everything ready by Thursday at the latest so that I knew it would all be ready for today. In the end I printed the designs myself in the library and they came out better quality than I expected. Luckily I was prepared for the deadline and had everything else completed, so it ended up not being too much of a problem. This has taught me to always be prepared for not everything to go to plan!
Overall I am pleased with my final collection and proud of the work I have done. Apart from a few changes I think I have successfully followed my set brief and created a fun collection of designs for children’s clothing that would fit well into Mini Boden’s aesthetic.