Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Textile class - mood board in progress!

These days, I seem to be constantly out of my comfort zone! That’s okay - keeps the brain alert.
Abstract created from oldest daughter's reception

I’ve never been ‘artistic’, partly because I didn’t get the chance at school as I was always in the pure science classes. Later, I took up knitting Aran jumpers while I was sitting around on call. I also did some paintings which were more or less paintings by number! I had various other tries at different things - card making, stamping etc. Later I took up machine knitting and that lasted until a move of house, a need for massive renovations and somehow it got forgotten about. I started my sewing journey with the intention in there of machine knitting fabric and making it into a garment. That’s a way ahead yet, though. So apart from photography and music, which are recurring themes, our house wasn’t artistic - though all three daughters did art at school and went on to do non-science subjects.

Onto sewing. I quickly discovered that I couldn’t just take a pattern out of a packet and make it. It wouldn’t fit, for one. If you’re altering size, you may as well alter - the sleeve length and style or whatever. Is this the beginnings of design? Okay, not yet. I took up pattern cutting - mainly on the flat but with an element of draping and now that element of design was expected. I’ve struggled.

We’re in the process of making a mood board and continuing (!) our sketchbook. Originally we had been set a remit of creating a signature garment for an on-line company catering to the over 40s. I found I did have some ideas as I could relate to this. After all, 60 is the new 40! The younger ones in class couldn't relate, though. As we were falling very far behind schedule - people missing and having to catch up later etc - our tutor changed the remit. We had already spent some time gathering images but that time won’t be wasted. Now this task would coincide with our final project rather than there being two separate projects.

Now my task is to create a mood board around my mother of the bride outfit. My sketchbook will show development of ideas. My final project will be designing and making up my MOB outfit. The timing is just right! Originally my remit was too wide - I had included the whole wedding, so this narrower scope is more comfortable.
Donna Karan

I have been gathering images. Our tutor advises going to the work of the designer - if we go to high street incarnations, then the design is diluted and we will produce something that is even further diluted. I think I can see that.
Donna Karan

Donna Karan

When I heard what some of the others were going to do, I thought an MOB outfit was too boring - however, my tutor advises me that that’s not the case. I need to focus on simplicity of design, good cut, good materials - there is nowhere to hide bad workmanship!
Diane von Fursternberg

Roberto Cavalli

Okay, there is a bit of a theme going on here! Our tutor says that she can tell when one of her friends moves as buyer to another store as she can recognise her signature. I'm not going to be attracted to things I don't like or can't wear. Though I'm not sure if these styles are quite right! My intention is to go shopping with my camera - the things in the shops don't fit (too short on the whole - waist height - hem length - sleeve length etc) but will give me a better idea of suitable styles. Oh, and none of the above show any lace - there might be some!

My mood board needs to show feeling, mood as well as inspirational photos. I can feel it - but can I show it?

Wish me luck!!

On another note, I’ve had a diagnosis of a systemic inflammatory arthritis - affecting my hands and wrists mainly at present although other parts of my body are also affected. I’ve been started on medication which could take 3 months to work but yesterday had a steroid injection which may relieve things a bit in a couple of days. Fingers crossed. My GP started me on new medication and I’m having a few side effects, so I’m not a happy bunny at present. The diagnosis is not brilliant news but at least the disorder is treatable as in being kept under control not cured - and it could have been far worse.


  1. Oh you poor thing. I can relate to your upset at the diagnosis - I received my diagnosis, mixed connective tissue disorder, in my 40's - after years of telling people something was wrong and being told I was depressed! There is light at the end of the tunnel for you, I hope, although it is likely you will have to get used to flares and fatigue from time to time. Oh dear, I haven't talked about your mood board - it looks like it is quite intense, but you will certainly be much closer to finding an outfit to make for yourself. And your tutor is right, there is nowhere to hide when sewing a classic dress in a good fabric. I have forgotten when the wedding is.

    1. Thank you, Sarah Liz. I've had problems for many years but this particular flare up is the worst I've had and the first that met the criteria for urgent rheumatology referral and appropriate full assessment. So I sympathise with you, too.
      The wedding is on 4 June. Which is 6 months today! Argh! Sounds a while but isn't with all I have to do. I need to feel better soon!
      For my MOB images from designers I seem to have gone for asymmetrical tucks so I need to try a dress like this on PDQ to see if I even suit it.

    2. Sorry to hear you have progressed down the track..

      Just try and pace yourself during this time - a break in the afternoon does wonders. That's when I sit down and play with blogs and so on. Sort of like a nap! And earlier nights help as well. You will get more done by doing less, so to speak. Otherwise stress may aggravate the aches and pains.

    3. Thank you. Good advice.


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