Formative Assessment

On Monday, we had our deadline for our formative assessment, and we were put into small groups to present our work to, as well as a tutor. Below are photos of all my work in my space at uni.


We had to mount and put up six samples from the stitch workshops and six samples from the dye workshops, as well as bringing spare samples, drawings, our research and technical files and sketchbook.

On some of the samples, I combined both dye and stitch. For example, the above leaf with the pink background. The material was dyed and then I used stitch techniques to create the leaf image. I think my presentation went well, and I am very pleased with how I presented my work. I am looking forward to hearing my feedback so I know what can be improved.



Before doing this technique, I saw some of the other group’s samples, and I was not sure what I thought of it. But after doing it myself, I discovered that I really like it. Below are a few samples I made.

This was made using one pence coins. I dyed it in a yellow bath first, then dipped one end into a green bath. I am really pleased with this sample, I really like how the green didn’t cover the whole area that I dipped into the dye and how the coins left a copper colour in places.
tie dye
This sample is a long thin piece of fabric that I tied three knots in, and I like how unpredictable the pattern is. I also really like the blue, as it is close to the colour that shibori is traditionally dyed, indigo.

These two images are from the same sample, which I cut in half and ironed one half. I liked the un-ironed but was intrigued to see what it would look like ironed and I was lucky to have enough to have both simultaneously. The ironed half is my favourite as you can see all the lines where the fabric was tied and areas that have less dye on them. I’m not sure where the blue areas came from but they contrast well with the pink and I am very happy with this sample.

Using The Dye Baths For The First Time

I was excited to use the dye baths, and see what results would come from them. The first technique we were taught was blocking out dye from certain areas. To do this, you have to fold the fabric up, then use two blocks of the same shape either side of the fabric and clamp them. When the fabric is taken out of the bath and the blocks taken off, the area that was blocked remains the original colour. Below is a photo of one of the samples I made using this technique.

After the fabric had dried, I decided I wanted to stitch into it to add detail. I simply stitched inside the squares using different stitches on the machine. It looks good, and I am pleased with the colours that I chose. However I think it would have worked better on a different fabric, as this one is very thin and stretched when I put it in an embroidery hoop, causing the squares to be slightly misshapen.

Heat Transfer

In one of the dye workshops that we did, we learnt the technique of heat transfer. It is a very simple but effective technique, all you have to do is paint a design on paper with heat transfer inks, wait for it to dry and then use the heat press to transfer the design onto fabric. Below are photos of two samples I created that I think are the best of all the samples I did for this technique.

heat transfer 2
Here, the design was created with berries that I painted in various colours and dabbed onto the paper. I then blocked out a part of the design using some leaves while it was in the heat press. I am very pleased with the outcome of this design, the photo doesn’t show how effective it really was.
heat transfer
This fabric was dyed before I transferred the design. I dyed it yellow, then dipped one end of it into a green dye bath for a dip dye effect. The design was created with painted leaves being pressed onto the paper. I really like this sample, as the colours work well together. However, the transferred design is a little faint, I think this is because it was the second time transferring this design.

Botanical Stitch

After doing botanical drawing, we did free machine embroidery in the stitch workshop. I have done this before but never been taught properly, I just taught myself. I feel that after being shown how to free machine properly, my samples are much better than those I have done previously. Below I have inserted photos of two samples I stitched based on flowers that I drew.

Free Machine Embroidery (and hand threads on the bobbin) on Dissolvable Fabric – I found this quite difficult to stitch because of the small flowers, but I think the detail I tried to include has worked well.
Free Machine Embroidery (and hand threads on the bobbin) based on a drawing from our time in the National Museum of Wales – I am really pleased with this sample, I really like the change in colour on the petals, and the gold stamen are the perfect colour to go with both the pink thread and the blue fabric. I think it needs a little bit more stitch on it as there are quite a few gaps in the stitches.

Botanical Drawing

When drawing flowers, it is very important to pay attention to detail. The first exercise we did when doing botanical drawing was focusing on four different areas of the flower to increase the detail of our drawings and to focus on the technicality of the flowers.

After this, we did drawings of more flowers, adding colour to some of them. Below are a couple of the drawings I added colour to.

Drawing With Watercolour – I am really impressed with myself on this drawing, I think it is structurally correct and I think the colour adds life to the drawing.
Drawing With Watercolour – This drawing is not as detailed or structurally correct but I enjoyed making a little pattern with the petals around the main flower. I did this because some of the petals had fallen off some of the other flowers and wanted to include them.

Life Drawing and Stitch

Although I am not a huge fan of life drawing, I know that it is an essential part of drawing and textiles. To be able to draw the body in its most natural form is very important. The reason I don’t enjoy it is because I do not feel particularly confident while drawing literally, I prefer doodles and cartoon-like imagery. I know that I need to work on proportions, and gain more confidence, not only in life drawing but all aspects of drawing.

Below are two drawing exercises that we did at the beginning of the session.

We also did other drawing exercises such as drawing with our opposite hand. I think the exercises helped me relax my hand and draw more freely after completing them.

In the afternoon we draped fabric over the model to create more interesting drawings. My favourite drawing is pictured below.


I am very proud of this drawing, in fact I think this is the best life drawing I have ever done, the proportions are very well done. I thought I would really struggle drawing the model with the drapes over her, and I did have to put a lot of concentration into it while I was drawing but the outcome is vastly better than I expected. In the future I think I need to continue working on proportions and drawing the hands, feet and the face.

The next day in the stitch workshop we used our life drawings to free machine embroider the model onto fabric, and ‘dress’ her using appliqué. I have previously done both of these techniques, but it had been a while since I had done appliqué. Below is a photo of one of my samples, I based it on my continuous line drawing.


I really like the idea of this sample, but it didn’t go as well as I had hoped. The thread outlining her body is very thin and quite difficult to see because it is glittery, I would use a matte thread if I were to do it again. Also the skirt did not gather very well, I think I needed to leave more thread to pull. However, I really like how I created her hair and the pink leotard is perfect. I think I will do more samples to improve on this in the near future.