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Final Collection

The final collection has gone through a lot of drafts and alterations, I think I am finally at a place where I am happy with it and fully planned out everything, down to what colour the bottom of the giftbag is and the greeting inside the card.

finished collection 2

I swapped the flat wrap sheet with the other side of the double sided roll, as the feedback was to make the flat sheet a little busier, and I thought the other side of the roll should be a little calmer due to the boldness of the pink side, so I think this was probably a good decision. I also muted the colour of the ladybird green a little. There was feedback about the differing colours in the backgrounds, but I decided to keep things as they were in this sense, because the pink background may look a little stand out and odd here, but the sides of the gift bag are also pink so I think this works. I suppose the yellow of the card is a little different but I think it ties in with the slight yellow in the hero, and gives quite a nice effect on the card, I do not think the envelope being pink or green would have the same effect because the yellow border is so dominant on the card.


I was advised in my latest tutorial to do this flat mock up sheet of everything, this shows the entire collection and every detail of it which I think would be great to show someone who hasn’t seen any of the collection, because this makes it very clear with every detail. Especially with something like the gift bag that shows it all around.


This updated pattern board shows all the patterns used in the final collection, with the addition of the gift tag motif and the placement design on the front of the card. I chose this card in the end because I think the layout worked the best, I did like some other card designs I did but they would not have gone that well with this particular set of patterns, as they were influenced more from the Dragonfly or Beetle collections.

Next I want to show the final design of the fabric collection in a similar way to this, to make sure it is clear what each piece is and that they go together well.


More Sewing Experiments

I wanted to work further on sewing samples to try and create some interesting motifs that I could play around with and edit maybe.

These samples were much more focused on the stitch, without the paint or applique behind it. I wanted to create bright and interesting motifs purely using stitch and seeing what I could do. The thick lily pad I think is interesting with the different colours that it uses, I also used thick stitch to show the squiggles on the fabrics, and the dragonfly trail marks across the fabric. I would like to try and edit these and see what I can do with them, and then make them into patterns.

Work Experience with Corgi

I started looking early on in second year for work experience but was having trouble around Cardiff finding places to go to, I inquired in a lot of places but as time went on, I began to think about going home for summer and what I could do in my own local area. I thought back to my time as a teaching assistant with the textiles department in my old school, where we visited a sock factory not far away, where they design, manufacture, package and send the products to various companies globally.

Corgi Hosiery produces a high quality of knitwear, namely socks, but also expanding to jumpers, cardigans, jackets, scarves, and many customised orders. I got in touch and they were happy to have me for two weeks during the summer.

I began my first day at 9AM, I was introduced to Penny, who had recently graduated herself and worked in the design office. I also met Lisa who owned the company with her brother, she again was in the design room that I spent a great deal of time in during the two weeks. I began with some admin office jobs, such as sorting out labels and scanning in some of the knitwear patterns that were being made digital, rather than having the two large filling cabinets full of them. I was amazed at how many different patterns they had for various products, literally into the thousands.

In the afternoon, I went down to the storeroom and began sorting through socks for Lisa to take to the Royal Welsh show the following week, the storeroom was full of a variety of mens, womens and childrens socks and a variety of patterns and colours were needed for variety. The prices were quite good for the show as they know they can sell such a large quantity of them. Overall the first day was really interesting getting to know the building and the various tasks that people do, it was a very friendly environment and catching glimpses of the making process as I walked around was amazing to see. There was sections where someone would just do a few final handstitches and seal the sock, there was a large section for steaming the socks before they are punched with a label and packaged. I finished my day at 4, as I was in a different area to my usual home, I took advantage and went on a couple of research trips into nature this week too.

The second day started early for me again, as I had to be there by 9AM, I would leave my house at around half 7 in the morning for the hour drive with enough time for traffic and ten minutes spare before I got in there. I was asked to bring some paint clothes with me today, and worked on painting the stand for the Royal Welsh which was made from a few palettes with bolts through it. After this I worked on some filing, which is something I have never done before in an office, and I thought was actually a good thing to learn about for business reasons. They use physical records to store knitting patterns so they can be easily passed around the knitting machines for the ladies to follow, although digitalizing them is a good idea to print new or multiple copies when they are needed. The other use of filing was for customer orders, upcoming ones and completed ones, this is useful as it allows them to look back over the previous orders if there is confusion with a style number or colour, and there is often something similar ordered before that means queries can be answered without bothering the Company. It also made me realise just how many large companies they work for in the UK and around the world, they had orders from many countries but I think the most notable was here in the UK, from the Royal palace. Corgi is known as the suppliers of Prince Charles’s personal socks, but the palace shop also make very large orders for socks with a corgi pattern on them, which apparently sell in thousands every week to the many tourists in London.

In the afternoon I went down the factory shop and arranged the children’s socks as the shop had not been sorted for a little while and needed restocking. I also then went to the storeroom again and continued packing for the Royal Welsh setup.

During the third day I started out by putting all the bolts into the palettes to allow the socks to be hung on them when they were needed at the show next week, again then I continued with some setup for the show, sorting the socks, in particular the welsh socks that we found were packed by the boxful, meeting a definite demand with the Welsh audience. I then went on to help with the packaging area, adding the stickers to the labels before they were added to the pair of socks.

On the fourth day I was shown into the boardroom, where potential clients and companies can come and discuss their needs, so the room is quite full of examples of projects as well as the histories of the family and great work they have produced in the past for TV and film. The room had a couple of messy boxes in a corner, which it turns out are all fabric samples that are used to show clients what the products will look and feel like in different colours and textures. These needed sorting through into thick and thin weaves, and then bordered to make them a little neater. This is of course something that we are asked to do with our own samples while in Uni so I was happy to do this task. I am not a weaver, so do not work with wool very often, but handling these samples it gave me more of an appreciation for texture that wool can produce and how versatile of a medium that it actually is.

After completing this and sorting them out, I spent some time looking around the room at some of the products and what they had done recently, including an outfit for Doctor Who’s Jodie Whittaker, including socks, a jumper and a scarf.

After this I helped to fill out some order cards, these show the ladies making the products how many of the items and in what wools to complete these in. I also did some filing and helped out with photographs of the Rugby socks they had currently in production, but needed photographs to put into the brochures.

The photography with the socks was fun as I do have experience in product photography from other jobs, after the flash photograph was taken, it is taken into Photoshop where I adjusted the colour until it appeared as a true colour match to the socks, cut around it and resized it to fit a template so all the socks look the same in the brochure. This completed my first week as I was working for four days a week, giving me the Friday and the weekend to myself, I had enjoyed my first week there a lot as it had been really informative and a chance to look into the small business world in a place very close to my own home.

My second week began quiet, Lisa was at the Royal Welsh, so this week I generally assisted Penny, James and Katie (the two designers) with whatever tasks needed doing. I started out Monday morning doing some filing until I was asked to help out on the factory floor with the sock pressing. This involved firstly sorting piles of socks straight from the washing machines into sized piles, then making sure if they were left and right socks specifically because of pattern that these were sorted as well. Then the socks were placed onto metal holders that were shaped like the right sized feet which were then run through the giant steamer, once they slowly came back out, I took the two socks off and Cian put two more on for the whole process to repeat. It was quite relaxing and rewarding to see the piles mounting up as there were hundreds of them to go through. I then spent some time back in the office putting stickers on the labels for the products again, something else that was repetitive and relaxing, I was glad to work in a few of the departments to see how many small jobs actually go into the process.

My next task was to take the customer orders and find the colours in the right material that the customer wants the socks to be completed in. It amazed me how many different shades they have in the wools, as well as cashmere. They were labelled rows with giant ladders, so I gathered up the correct shades of colours and boxed them up so there was definitely enough put away to complete the order. Finally, with the completed jumpers and jackets, I helped Katie to add tags onto them and we packaged them up to send to the right suppliers, such as Thom Browne.

Tuesday I spent the day on the sock press, which I have described previously, the whole day was spent getting through an order from the London palace shop, literally thousands of pairs of corgi patterned socks for children in a few different sizes.

Wednesday I continued working on the sock press for awhile, and while in the storeroom I found some boxes full of socks that basically were created as extras to large orders. I sorted through these and if I found six matching pairs in the same size I bagged them and these could be sold to companies. This was very time consuming but cleared out quite a few boxes, I also took notes on what styles and sizes were there.

My final day of work experience began with some sorting in the storeroom and some filing, tasks I was confident in doing independently at this point. This was also one of the hottest days of the year so the factory was incredibly hot, I spent my nights after work going on walks in nature for research photos, as well as regularly swimming. One of my final tasks was to take a order sample drawing from a company and try and best colour match it to the current colours that we had, some companies who use Corgi regularly send the exact colour names they want, and others like to allow Corgi to choose for them.

This is something I found very useful in terms of choosing colour palettes for my own work too, and learning more about industry and how they do it was interesting. I ended the day by tidying up and finishing little tasks I had done throughout the two weeks, just crushing and sorting some boxes finally before I was told to go and choose some socks as a thank you for my work.

Overall I really enjoyed my time here and I felt like I got a lot out of it in terms of working in a real design room as well as seeing the inside of a functioning small business.