Sunday, 23 April 2017



Presentation Day.  After practicing for a few days now, with everything and everyone ready to go, we all felt fully prepared for the presentation to the COS team.  We decided to pop into uni on the day before as well (as a group) to finalise what was being said to ensure everyone was comfortable and confident, because as tea leader I was eager for everyone to feel confident and knowledgable if any questions were asked or feedback given by the COS team.  After the difficult start to the morning with technical issues on the receiving end, we had a delayed start with the presentations, and in the end we had to film ourselves and thus send these videos to COS instead.  Not being affected by the pressure and nerves, we all clearly spoke - for about 10 minutes - about our group and our collection. Once we finished our tutors gave us positive feedback about how professional we spoke and discussed our collection, along with the precise and professional-looking images and content which supported our speech.  This was really nice to hear from or tutors, as I feel it definitely motivated me, and made me feel like we were on track with our work and our hard work so far had been noticed and appreciated.  Although we didn't receive immediate feedback regarding our collection, due to the technical issues, we carried on with our group work - mainly toile developments- straight away.


When we returned to the Lectra Suite, I digitised in my new trouser pattern pieces that I completed on the Tuesday session (see last blog post.) By using the digitising software and board, it allowed me to quickly and precisely replicate my pattern pieces, that were in calico, to create a pattern that I could edit and manipulate from it.  Once digitised, I also re-measured the waistband we made on the toile and made a pattern piece for this too.

I followed this up by putting these pattern pieces into a variant, creating a 'desk of stitches' plan and putting the pattern pieces into 3D fitting.

Using the pre-postioning tools, as well as curvature, rotation, and distancing elements, I put the trousers onto the model to see how they would generally fit (as I had to lower the crotch slightly.)  I used the elasticated tool on 3D Modaris to gather the waistband so it becomes more visually truthful, as the waistband is elasticated on the actual garment.

(the waistband will be half the size in the image, as the pattern is folded in half when stitched together.)

When I was happy with the fit, I tried and successfully achieved to put the fabric that I am using onto the trousers, so I can see what it is going to look like eventually.  I scanned in our fabric swatches that we are using in the collection and to a snapshot of the fabric I would ideally like to use for he trousers (saving this as a png file.)  Selecting the fabric and material drop-down option on 3D, I created a "new" fabric and when put on edit mode - I selected the image I took from the scanned image.  When agreed the fabric was allowed to be "dropped" into the desired pattern pieces; where I also scaled up and moved till it seemed aesthetically correct.

Thursday, 20 April 2017



After spending two weeks away from university timetable, today is the first day back.  We started by getting together in our group and discussing what had been done/achieved over the easter break, as even though we had stayed in contact with each other via messaging - none of us had actually seen other group members since.  According to our initial timetabled sessions, in todays class we were meant to have our mid-unit presentation to COS; discussing what he have created and designed.  However, as there are more members from the COS team available on Friday 21st, the presentation was re-scheduled to the Friday.  This benefitted our group as it allowed us to in todays session to organise and prepare for Friday so that we were 100% confident with what we were all explaining, expressing and discussing.

We decided that our key points of interest that we will talk about to the COS team are ...

Our concept and initial inspiration:

Explaining that we are an all menswear group, a collection that consists of 8 outfits (1 being a unisex outfit, and 1 being a teen outfit), based around street style and casual sports luxe vibes - bring the activewear to everyday wear making it appear a more 'thoughtful' outfit (as oppose to wearing tracksuit.), talking about our initial inspiration evolving around brutalist architecture, micro living and geometric shapes.

 Our customer:

Discussing on who we believe our customer is, what kind of man is he, what does he do for a living, what does he enjoy etc.  We will explain that we aim for our collection to be age neutral/ageless as we would like not only COS existing male customers to buy our collection but also not to forget about the elder generation in men (as discussed as part of a previous blog post - here.)  We also plan to talk about how that as we have a unisex outfit as part of our collection, and as we have learnt from Sarah Mole that COS womenswear is designed from the menswear garments, so we have taken the same approach to our unisex outfit and believe as future development this technique could be diffused into the rest of the collection to become entirely unisex.

Our final line up, with our features, line plan and range plan:

Due to the project being revolved round the collection itself, we plan to heavily discuss our lineup as well as key garments that not only stand out to us, as a team, but that have unique features and inspiration/development behind them that make the garments so interesting. For example, Sophie's shirt is based upon her initial development of a round chair cover that was draped over the stand giving her the shapes and drape seen in her shirt pattern.

Zero waste:

As the brief and Sarah's presentation to us explained the concept and idea about being sustainable and achieving maximum efficiency in lay plans and minimum fabric wastage, we decided to discuss this matter in detail too and how as a group we are planning on confining to these standards; creating pocket bags out of scraps, combining variants and lay plans for garments using the same fabric, using 3d fit to eliminate the need for initial toiles and fittings, etc.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017



This was the last session before we broke up for Easter so in today's session I wanted to get a lot of work done so I would feel confident continuing it alone whilst at home for easter, but also so that not only myself- but the rest of the group too didn't feel too stressed whilst we were away from each other for two weeks.

To be honest, Myself and Faye felt like we had hit a brick wall with this skinny trouser pattern, as it has taken longer than we expected to achieve the correct fit, but also due to the fact that we still haven't put in our panel seams, or figured out how we are going to create "zero waste".

I decided that I wanted to start on my coat pattern as I knew that I could make a start on Lectra by altering an existing pattern to get a rough idea of what shape silhouette I wanted, and place this on 3D before making a real toile.  Firstly, I imported an existing 'Mens Loose Fitting Jacket ' block into my file and placed this immediately into 3D fitting to see what shape and fit this block had.  To my realistaion it wasn't as 'loose-fitting' as imagined so i altered the blocks to be wider - by expanding each side seam by 1cm, and I also lengthened the hem to it came mid-thigh on the 3D digital model.

After I achieved my initial body shape of the coat, I created a storm flap, using the drawing tools on Lectra; such as - straight, and semi-circular.  Ensuring that all the points joined up, I cut this piece out - making sure that the seams remained on the newly cut pattern piece.  I also created the panels I wanted from my design.  My idea for the coat was to have no side seams (potentially no centre back seam as well) but just a seam that ran down the front of the coat, and angled towards the back; as you can see in the first picture below.  Within this seam, on the slant, I would like to place an in-seam pocket.

In order to achieve the minimal seams I joined the front bodice piece to the side panel and then the back bodice piece to this.  When i achieved the joined up pattern I again used the straight line tool to roughly draw where I wanted the seam, and afterwards cut this piece out so it became two separate pattern pieces.  For this toile process I kept the two-piece sleeve the same as i am undecided as to whether or not I am going to keep this or change it.  I wish to make a first toile up in calico and decide from that point on.  Below is a screenshot of my current pattern plan.  What I wish to do this Easer holiday is make up my 1st initial toile and make changes if need be, after this I would like to work out ways to improve fabric efficiency which will subsequently result in me altering certain pattern pieces to achieve the best.  I have already had thoughts that I could lower the sleeve seam to become a dropped sleeve - as this would reduce the curve in the sleeve seam and sleeve head; resulting in a boxier shape, and thus the more boxy shapes, the more likely they will slot together in a lay plan.

Saturday, 1 April 2017



As a group we decided to meet in university to work on our trouser toiles together, and additionally we decided to select fabrics for each garment so that Sarah can start on creating the range plan, which also meant we could get an idea of what the collection line up would look like as a whole.   Sophie showed us all her final illustrations of our outfits (see below) and we used these drawings to help select our final fabrics.

As a group, we initially decided that we wanted to us the majority of the pink toned colour palette, and therefore pull similar colours from the other two palettes that would sit well amongst the other fabrics. In the end, we decided on 10/11 fabrics that we would like to use in our collection.  Using Adobe photoshop and illustrator, we then scanned in these fabric swatches and applied them to our digital designs, which allowed us to visualise the line up as a whole.  This helped us make a few tweaks here and there to ensure that we all felt the collection sat cohesively when lined-up.

As for our trousers, on Thursday's afternoon session we collaboratively worked on the straight leg trouser and skinnier trouser to try and achieve the desired fit on both.  We seemed to of all had issues with getting the fit as once we both (Myself, Faye, Rachael and Alice) opened the waistband it totally altered the fit on the leg. We started by creating the toiles and putting in the waistbands with elastic to get a rough idea of what it would look like in person.  Then we tried them on our model; Charlie, who helped tell us how they felt - if they were tight in places, uncomfortable and even his personal opinion.  We then turned the toiles inside out and pinned together the side seams in paces where we felt we could take in the leg width to ensure they fitted a bit better.

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.