Silver Arts Award: Day 1 Summer Fashion School London

For my Silver Arts award I am challenging myself to design and make an item of clothing.  Over the next 7 days I am attending an intensive Summer Fashion School in London with other girls aged 11-14.

Silver Arts Award: Day 1 Summer Fashion School London

I love drawing animals and enjoy painting and working with pastels but I have never tried any type of fashion drawing or making clothes.
I am looking forward to learning how to drawing people in proportion because this is quite tricky. I enjoy sewing by hand and have made a pencil case and soft toys, but I have never used a sewing machine so this is a skill I am looking to learn over the next week.

For my Silver Arts Award I am challenging myself to design and make an item of clothing. My strengths include: 

  • Drawing 
  • An interest in clothes and fashion 
  • Working with different materials  
  • Sewing by hand  
  • A desire to try new things.  

My weaknesses include: 

  • Using a sewing machine (I really don’t have a clue - and I don’t own one) 
  • Drawing bodies in proportion 
  • I don’t know much about high end fashion 
  • I have no experience in making or cutting a pattern 
  • I have little understanding of the fashion industry and the career and training opportunities 
  • I have never had to do any budgeting. 

Why I chose this challenge?

I chose this challenge because I have been thinking about a future career in fashion but know very little about the industry, so I was really excited about the thought of going on a fashion course to learn with other people my age. I have also been doing a lot of hand sewing at school and often thought how wonderful it would be to have a sewing machine. Going on this course will allow me to see if sewing with a machine is something I enjoy; if I really can make my own clothes and if I now want to start saving up for a sewing machine. 


My Action Plan

Sat 4 Aug 

Day 1 

  • Learn how to draw a body in proportion. 

  • Learn about famous people in fashion. 

  • Visit the Victoria and Albert museum. 

  • Visit Frida Kahlo exhibition. 

  • Start my sketchbook. 

  • Keep a diary and photos of every day. 

  • Develop my own sketches inspired by my museum visits. 

  • Review photos and notes and write up blog. 

Sun 5 Aug 

Day 2 

  • Write up review of my visit to the Frida Kahlo exhibition. 

  • Start developing my own designs. 

  • Learn about Haute Couture. 

  • Visit the design museum and Azzedine Alaia exhibition. 

  • Develop drawing skills focusing on adding contrast and fine detail. 

  • Review photos and notes and write up blog. 

Mon 6 Aug 

Day 3 

  • Learn about careers and training opportunities. 

  • Visit Central St Martins, tour university and talk to librarian. 

  • Meet Head of Admissions. 

  • Learn about courses and how to apply. 

  • Visit Kensington and Chelsea college. 

  • Learn how to thread and set up a sewing machine. 

  • Complete 10 different sketches showing the front and back. 

  • Review photos and notes and write up blog. 

Tue 7 Aug 

Day 4 

  • Trace the pattern onto pattern paper and cut to make my own pattern. 

  • Match paper pattern onto fabric. 

  • Use pattern to cut out fabric. 

  • Experiment with embroidery stiches on a sewing machine. 

  • Sew trim onto fabric. 

  • Practice draping on a manakin. 

  • Review photos and notes and write up blog. 

Wed 8 Aug 

Day 5 

  • Visit Chelsea library and learn about databases (not available on google). 

  • Interview librarian. 

  • Learnt how to insert a zip. 

  • Learn how to use overlocker. 

  • Fit a waistband. 

  • Sew a pocket. 

  • Review photos and notes and write up blog. 

Thu 9 Aug 

Day 6 

  • Learning about the industry. 

  • Visit Sienna Couture. 

  • Learn how samples are made fir shops like Harrods. 

  • Learn about merchandising. 

  • Continue to work on my design. 

  • Review photos and notes and write up blog. 

Fri 10 Aug 

Day 7 

  • Finish my sketchbook. 

  • Learn about costing and how to budget. 

  • Prepare my own cost sheet. 

  • Prepare for finale lunchtime show.  

  • Review photos and notes and write up blog. 

  • Ask teacher to leave comment on my blog. 

Challenge: Learn how to draw a body in proportion.

I attended an Illustration Workshop and learned the secret of 9 heads!  First we traced 9 evenly spaced oval shapes one of top of each other and then our tutor Caroline, talked us through how to develop each head.  The first was the head, then a letter box shape, followed by a coat hanger another letterbox followed by big pants.  Soon I had drawn my first model.  We then practised on our own, each one looking better than the last.  Really pleased with how they turned out.

Challenge: Learn about a famous fashion icon and develop my own sketches inspired by their style.

I visited the V&A Museum.  Firstly, Caroline gave us a tour through the history of fashion looking at the static exhibition.  We then had to choose an item and sketch it.  I liked the long Edwardian dresses with their puffy sleeves so this is what I did.  Next stop was the Frida Kahlo exhibition.  I have previously done some pastel drawings of Frida Kahlo with a parrot on her shoulder and was looking forward to seeing all her brightly coloured clothes.  Then Caroline said not to look at the colour but to focus on the detail.  I thought this was very strange as Frida is known for her bright colours, but having studied her tops and skirts at the exhibition it made me realise just how much detail went in to her clothes.  I don't think I would have noticed if I had not been asked to do this, so was very grateful.  

Caroline also set a quiz with questions based on Frida's life and her clothes.  I found out Frida was a strong, independent Mexican woman. She wore traditional Tehuana mexican clothes, which became a bit of a uniform for Frida.  It is made up of 3 parts: a headpiece (F loved to wear coloured fabric and flowers in her hair); a huipil (this is a square-cut, loose-fitting blouse) and a enagua (a long lace underskirt which showed under her main skirt).  I chose to sketch some of her huipils.

 A fun and interesting first day - even if it has been really hot!


Evie Wildish

Evie Wildish

I've completed my Bronze and Silver Awards and am now working towards my Gold. I enjoy art, writing, fashion and would like to become a designer in the future.

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  • Luke Taylor

    On 6 August 2018, 10:09 Luke Taylor Contributor commented:

    Sounds like you had a fantastic day! Do you have any pictures of your drawings to share?

  • Melanie Evans

    On 6 August 2018, 11:47 Melanie Evans commented:

    Great first day of your Summer School Evie.

    Learning how to draw a body in proportion is a great first step in achieving your challenge to 'Design and Make an Item of Clothing' as this is fundamental in demonstrating your concept effectively and thinking about how clothes will fit on the body.

    I look forward to reading about the rest of the Summer School and the skills you are developing to complete your challenge.

    Great work!

  • Evie Wildish

    On 6 August 2018, 21:26 Evie Wildish commented:

    Luke Taylor I am very new to this. How do I add more photos to my blog?

    Melanie Evans Thank you

  • Evie Wildish

    On 6 August 2018, 21:28 Evie Wildish commented:

    How do I reply to a post? Do I just post another comment? This is another skill I am learning for the first time.

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