Thursday, 15 December 2011

Future Developments and Creative Block

I know it's been a while since my last post, but in the next coming weeks you should expect to see a bit more on here. Especially January when I officially start back at uni for my final major project!

Today's the day of our new brief, and I'm really stuck on which direction to go in. Last year I stupidly chose the Mayans to base my research on, but their clothing was not much to get inspired by: just a piece of fabric wrapped around the body. Their jewellery and colour was what caught my eye, but I ended up with lots of embellishment ideas and no actual ideas for design.

For now I have 2 ideas in  mind, but I'm worried I'll choose something too complicated.
Its so hard to come up with a simple idea that isn't overdone, and can inspire hundreds of different design ideas. I'm not sure if the ideas I've come up with fit that! The trouble with complicated ideas is that, although they're very inspiring, you will probably need 6 months to fully explore it and get the most you can from it. Unfortunately we only have the Christmas holidays to research our topics before we need to start designing and making. A complicated topic means lots of random design ideas, and a messy collection that doesn't fit together.

So this is my dilemma.
Though once I finally come up with something I will make sure I post any updates on my work, along with inspiration posts.

Apologies for the wordy post! I can't wait to start working on this project asap.
Carrie x

p.s Any project suggestions would be much appreciated! ;D

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Primark Haul

I LOVE the box bag, I'd seen it in there a few times, but obviously this time I couldn't resist buying it!

Big rings are a big love of mine too, and I seem to have added stud earrings to my list of favourites too. I always think that even subtle earrings make such a big difference to an outfit.

Initially I picked up a lot of black knitwear, and was promptly told to put them pack by my boyfriend. He hates that I don't wear much colour, and always seem to opt for my 'safety' colour - black. I like that he pushes me to be bolder with my colour choices, so I picked these to up instead!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

DIY Mannequin....Attempt 1

I know I promised a post documenting my DIY mannequin of myself with instructions on how to make it.... BUT my first attempt all went a bit pair shaped... So I've decided this is how NOT to make your own mannequin!

-It started off well, I had all of the necessary tools:
-Cling Film
-Mod Rock
-Bowl of water

Then it all went down-hill from there....
My one roll of Mod Rock
Ensure you have enough mod rock: I would say get more than you think you'll need as it's better to be safe than sorry. You need to do about 2 coats of mod rock to make the structure strong enough, and as you can see from the photo's, 1 roll wasn't even enough for one layer!

Posture is everything: As it takes a while to dry, there's a big temptation to slouch while you wait. Try and make it in front of a mirror so you can see if you're standing properly. Or you'll end up with a distorted shape like below!

Attention to detail: Pay attention to the bust. Unless you are making a mannequin to make lingerie from, do not attempt to get the 'cleavage' part of the bust.
-You should also ensure you wear a bra (unless you never wear one). This is because when you're fully dressed you will most likely be wearing a bra, so you want your bust to sit in the right place on the mannequin for when you're drafting up a clothes pattern.
-Concentrate on the contours of the waist and the small of the back.

Protect your skin: Before covering yourself in mod rock you will need to protect your skin. I wrapped myself in cling-film first. BUT I did not use it to protect my neck. Yet I still applied the mod rock there, so by the time it had dried it had completely stuck to my skin. This made it very difficult and painful to remove, and I'm not going to lie - there were a few tears!

I will be attempting another one, hopefully soon. And hopefully this once will go right, especially after this one went so drastically wrong!

And I will 100% be doing a 'how-to' post on it.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

First Post Back & Update

It's been nearly 5 months since I last posted on here, and I've decided it's time to come back!

With everything that went on I felt I needed a complete break from fashion to help my mind focus better, and now I feel I'm there.

Catch Up:

I haven't been completely gone from the blogging scene: I've been following my other passion in Beauty over on my new blog 'Not Just Skin Deep'.

But have decided it's time to start this one up again and have both. My main goal in life is still fashion-related, and will be updating this blog with my current projects as I start getting back into fashion properly before I go back to uni in January.

During my time off I went away for a week to Ayia Napa (not such a relaxing break!). You can see more about it here.

Up & Coming Projects:

I have a huge roll of MOD ROCK ready and waiting as this weekend (with the assistance of my OH) I will be using it to mould myself a bespoke mannequin so I can start making my own clothes for Autumn/Winter!

I will be documenting the whole process, so expect a blog post on it sometime next week!

I'm so excited to be coming back to the fashion world again. It really was a much needed break as just the thought of getting into fashion again filled me with dread, which is such a sad way to feel about something that has always been your passion.

But now I feel so positive and inspired, and so happy to be back!

Watch This Space

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Hitting the Pause Button

Just before Christmas I became very ill from some kind of exhaustion virus which made me very run down, lethargic and unable to even think about work, let alone physically move to do it. This lasted for over a month and as a result put me very far behind with my studies.
This is a very crucial stage in my degree, what with is being my final collection, I will admit I was struggling and had chosen to base my collection on a topic that didn't inspire me, and because of this (and trying to catch up) it resulted in me producing designs I didn't even like, and also I became more stressed and ill again.

I don't want to throw everything away over a stubbourness to finish, so I have reluctantly decided to take a year out to gain my health back and come back this time next year to start my collection again.
HOWEVER, in the meantime I want to continue designing and making in my own time, and as a result of this time off it will give me more time to blog :) It will be interesting working to my own brief and timetable, and I'm really looking forwards to seeing how this freer way of working compares with the results from working in a more structured and intense way.

I will also continue to visit my university to keep up to date with everyones progress, and I've spoken to a few people about being featured on here and they're very happy for that to happen :) I'm going to use this time off as a positive thing, and use it to my full advantage. 
I'm really looking forwards to seeing what this year brings!

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Final Collections

I'm so amazed at the standard of work amongst my course mates as it gets closer and closer to the selections for Graduate Fashion week.
Everyone's working really hard on their final collections, and its looking so amazing already.
I always love to see how peoples minds work, and so seeing their individual take on their chosen subject is absolutely fascinating to me.

Over the next few weeks I'm hoping to (with their permission) feature some of their work on here to share it with everyone, as it deserves to be seen. I am taking into account how stressed everyone is at the moment though, so I'm not holding out too much hope on how soon I'll be able to post about them! But for the moment its really inspiring to see everyone so hard at work.

More to come soon!


I wanted this 1st post to be dedicated to the people of Japan, who have had to face 3 awful disasters all at the same time, and are still having to deal with the devastation left. 

It has been all over the news since the 1st disaster struck last week, and it is truly heartbreaking to watch, and impossible to imagine what they must be going through. 
Many people have since been heading over to japan to help look for survivors, and to help in any way possible. But for the majority of us who are unable to physically go over there to help help, there are other ways you can show your support, and heres how you can do it:

Japan Tsunami Appeal: Ganbare Nippon

One blogger caught my eye recently who is trying to do their bit in showing the people of Japan not to give up hope by organising an illustration rally, asking for creative people to submit their digital art/ illustrations with the message 

'Don't Give Up Japan!'

More details, and submission guideline can be found here: Illustration Rally

You can even donate clothing to Japan at some fashion retailers, like Uniqlo. All of Uniqlo's stores are planning to house donation boxes where customers can donate clothing to help the victims of the disaster.  You can find more information here: UNIQLO

Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga has designed 'we pray for japan' bracelets to raise money for the japan relief efforts. These can be purchased HERE.

Map Action
You can help by donating a small amount to help provide up to date maps of japan to those searching for survivors reach them sooner. More information can be found HERE.

You can also donate money at the following charities:

Wednesday, 16 March 2011


I know its been a while since my last post, and I've really missed writing on here. Life's been really hectic at the moment. But it's so good to come back :)

First thing's first: I want to thank everyone who helped with my dissertation survey. It did help a lot and it was very interesting to get different perspectives on the subject. I really appreciate it.

Secondly: There will be a lot more posts to come as I have lots to update on! (London Fashion Weekend, current projects etc.

I'm really looking forwards to coming back, it's been too long!

Friday, 21 January 2011

Fashion Dissertation Survey

Thank you so much to those who contributed, I'm truly grateful. It was also good to see everyones individual take on the subject, and its nice to see that although everyone can see that there are pressures to be a certain way, individuality is not lost. Thank you again.

Original Post:
I'm currently in the middle of writing up my fashion dissertation, and would love it if you could help me out by anonymously filling out my dissertation survey on the pressures of 'perfection'.
I would really appreciate the help :)

Looking forwards to hearing your views:


Monday, 17 January 2011


One iphone app I'm in love with right now is Instagram.

Its perfect for fashion bloggers to take quick shots of outfits, or anything of inspiration. 
You can add a variety of different filters to your photos and it uploads your chosen photos to its mobile community to share with friends. 
You can also choose to automatically post the photos to twitter, tumblr, flickr, posterous, foursquare and facebook as you upload them onto Instagram.

Bad news: Not available on android/blackberry
Good news: Its free!

Thursday, 13 January 2011

London Fashion Weekend!

I've finally booked tickets to London Fashion Weekend this February. 
(£5 off silver and gold tickets until Monday)
I seriously cannot wait! 
Will try to save money this time round though: Last time I went I took virtually no money, and it was so heartbreaking walking past all the designer stands knowing I couldn't buy any of it..! 

I ordered Gold Tickets for the fashion show and show bag. I'm such a sucker for freebies (though technically I paid for the show bag, I'm going to pretend it was free to make myself feel better..)
I just wish I could see London Fashion Week too. Hopefully (depending on my workload) I can see if I help a designer backstage. 
That would be amazing! 

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Design Development

As promised, here are some photos from my current project:

Ive put in a collage of some of my research so far, and my initial lineup.
The designs after that are developments of my lineup, where I'm trying to make the garments more wearable and more appealing as I feel this lineup is a little ameteur.

The fabrics are a mixture of textures, opaque and transparent, and its an all grey collection (based on total colour blindness). The shapes and draping are inspired by a distorted photo I took from my everyday life.

(Sorry for the bad lighting, my scanner is broken so I'm having to photograph them in poor lighting)

Collage of Concept:
 Initial Lineup:
 Design Development:

Need to pick one outfit to fully make in final fabric, and another outfit to mock up in a toille.
The final outfit will be styled and photographed in 2 different styles.
Hopefully I can do it all!

Not Forgotten

I haven't posted anything new in about a week, which has been so hard (I'm at that point where I think I may be 'slightly' addicted to it...).
I've been away AND attempting to fight my way through the current workload.
But I haven't forgotten about my little blog, and will be updating regularly again once I've got settled back in.

In the meatime I will be posting up a few pages of my current design development, which will go up in the next hour or so. :)
Watch this space..

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Current Design Project: Pre Collection

For my pre collection I am working around the subject of blindness.
Im looking at it from the perspective of how i'd react to designing with either no or little sight.
So I've been trying to focus on interesting fabric textures, mixing smooth with rough, opaque with transparent etc.
Ive also been looking at distorted everyday images. Taking photos from my everyday life and distorting them to the point where it is unrecognisable, and getting my shapes that way.

While doing research I came across an amazing fashion designer from Ukraine.
Sergey Ermakov creates exquisite Haute Couture garments, with such attention to detail.
Yet he does this with only 5% of his vision. He is virtually blind, to the point where if hes up close to a garment, all he can see is its colour.

Therefore he relies on touch and memories to design his collections.
Personally I think what he does is amazing, even by the standards of a fully sighted couturier.
Here are a few examples of his work:

Monday, 3 January 2011


This garment was Designed, Created and Photographed in the 1st year of my course. Its not part of the above 'Photography & Styling' shoot. Its based on experimentations with sleeves, shirts, jackets, fastenings etc and is pretty ameture in design, but im still proud of it as it was the 1st thing I'd ever made.
Styled by me, and modelled by Nina Watford.

Still in love with the shoes in this shoot, from

Photography & Styling

I thought I'd include photoshoots of 2 previous garments I have made.

The two shoots are laid out in a magazine layout for a 'photography and styling' project during the 2nd year of my course.

This is a magazine spread of a dress I designed and made for a 'Draping & Contouring' project, and is inspired by the trees themselves, hence the woodland setting.
The dress is made of silk and chiffon, and is modelled by Chloe Henderson.

This next photoshoot is of a jacket I designed and made for a 'Tailoring' project, and is inspired by the concept of androdgyny, and based on a mixture between womens and mens jackets.
The outfit was styled by me, and is modelled by Hannah Munford.


Saturday, 1 January 2011

Stockman Mannequin

Finally, after all the snow causing delays in deliveries, my Stockman Mannequin arrived today!

I absolutely love it, and I cant wait to get designing on it!

Dress Form Review

I figured while im here I'd write a mini review on mannequins and dress forms for UK fashion designers/students as personally I found it hard to come across a good quality dress form.

The main problem is that theres loads of display mannequins out there, as well as adjustable dress forms.
-Display mannequins tend to be plastic or polystyrene, which are obviously completely unsuitable for dressmaking.
-Adjustable dress forms are all very well if you're flat pattern cutting and you're just using it to make sure it fits the specific measurement of a customer/client, however its not really suitable for draping/contouring/drafting a pattern from the stand as you really need a solid form, whereas these have gaps where they've been adjusted.

1.The obvious choice for a dress form is Kennett and Lindsell.

Their mannequins are widely used across the UK, and come in many shapes and sizes. The main problem is the price. A full size dress form will take you very close to £700, and a miniature one costs roughly £400 from morplan. As a student there is no way I could ever afford that, and its near impossible finding one on ebay, let alone winning it in a bid. I tried and failed 3 times!

2. Morplan Tailors Dummy are a cheaper alternative to Kennet and Lindsell, selling at £379 plus VAT

As this was still more than I could afford, I carried on searching and came across this gem of a site:


Inspired by Vintage mannequins, Julie's main focus is on creating ansolutely stunning display mannequins made to suit anyones taste, and they have such care and attention to detail. Again, these are intended for display, however there is also a section on her site dedicated to vintage dress forms, in this section youll find rare mannequins in beautiful condition, some even dating as far back as edwardian times.
If you're lucky you may stumble across a K&L mannequin, or (even more likely) the american version Wolf Form (in my opinion wolf forms dress forms are beautiful and very unique looking). In my case I came across a Stockman from the 40s. Stockman is a brand used by french couturiers, and I am absolutely in love with her!

The amount of pride Julie takes in her business is rarely seen in other sellers. She makes sure all mannequins arrive in the same condition they left her in, and so makes sure they're thoroughly packaged.
I highly recommend her for both her products and customer service.