Posts from the ‘Extended Practice’ Category

Testing website


After publishing my site i wanted to make sure my contact form worked correctly so that i could be sure i would get any messages through.
So i sent the link to someone to try out and they sent me a test to confirm it works.



I also had them go through the website on their phone and computer and test each page and just to confirm that everything appeared as it should and it functioned on different devices.


Statement of intent & Timeplan

Initially i think id had been a little ambitious and tried to set myself the goal of creating 5 patterns for this project however i soon realised that i simply didnt have the time to produce that amount of drawing along with the amount of other things i hoped to achieve through this project.

My initial statement of intent was: For this project I intend to create five patterns, while also trying to incorporate more colour into my work. I will then make these patterns into marketable items for the home. I also intend to make a website to promote myself and my work and sell these items.

It is my intention after graduating to set myself up as an independent designer, specialising in surface pattern design and homemade craft. For this for this project I intend to create a wider variety of patterns, while also trying to incorporate more colour into my work.
I will then make these patterns into marketable items, predominantly for the home.
I also intend to brand myself in order to present professionally, and create a website to promote myself, my work and eventually have a platform to sell these items upon.

Initial Time plan:

this was my initial timeplan, though after going through it with marianne i realised i would need more time allocated for drawing and making things and less time allocated for making my website.
and so i amended my time plan to this:

though i had amended my timeplan, so many things happened that i couldn’t have anticipated, such as having to wait for a print slow, having to wait for my online prints to arrive, which meant i couldn’t commence making my items until they had arrived which held me back and so i wasnt able to keep to this plan so there was more of a mad rush towards the end than i had hoped for. Though in the time waiting for my designs to be printed i was able to move forward things like self branding and making my website.

Making a Website

before making my website i had a little look at what web building sites i could use, having previously used wiz and wordpress and finding that these didnt allow to do all the things i wanted to i decided id check a few out this time before settling on a site to go with.

first i tried

this site initially seemed perfect, everything was really simple and easy and professional looking, though after doing so much i found out why it was so good, the cost to keep the site was pretty ridiculous so i continued to look elsewhere…

until i came across weebly,

before singing up i checked out some tutorials and it seemed to be really simple to build a site from scratch. With their simple build tab, you can simply drag on text boxes, image boxes, slideshows, galleries etc, straight on to where you want it. This feature also makes it really easy to edit exist items and shuffle my work around.

This has also allowed me to do things that other sites would not, which is why it appealed so much. It allows me to create a link from an image, that will open up an entirely separate page where i can include information about my designs and have additional galleries of images such as the different components to my pattern.

Hidden pages linkingadding imagesdesign pages

It also allowed me to incorporate an online store which was exactly what i was looking for, and the packages should i choose to upgrade to one are pretty reasonably priced.
I bought a starter package with them as this allows me to have up to ten products on my page, and i’m able to customise my website as much as is needed, i’m also able to have as many pages as i like and it links straight up to my email account, so anyone that goes on my site and wants to get in touch can do so there and then on my contact page


adding products is a simple process too, theres a special tab specifically for the store which allows me to add and remove products as and when i want to. I am also able to add more than one image for each product and when hovering over these images they enlarge so they can get an closer look.

PRODUCTS productsaddproductpageprductsprd

though i havent currently got any of my products for sale on the site and so arent visible by the public i have put up a slideshow on the products page which will appear above my products so there is a constant reel of products visible.SlideshowPRODUCTSspped
i am able to customise my slideshow, there are a few transitions to pick from such as “slide” or “fold”. I opted for slide as i feel it was the smoothest out of the options. And i’m also able to adjust the speed between transitions, size and shape of my slideshow. as well as which image it begins on, i’ve left this as random so that my page is different every time it loads.

i added an about page and wrote up a bit about myself so that people know who i am, what i do and what i stand for.



on each of my design pages, which are only visible when you click on the designs, i first added the title for my design, followed by a set of three images from my product shoot to show my designs in context. Followed by a description about my design and its different components. Then finally another gallery, this time showing the completed design and individual illustrations.


adding images  design pages

across my site i had a header image along with my header title and navigation menu. As this runs throughout my site i used one of my professional shoot images. I tried and tested a few different images before deciding that my rolls image was the best as it allowed me to show all my designs in one image without losing the menu within it. Though i did have the edit options available including the blur tool i felt these edits applied heavier changes than i had wanted, so i took my rolls image into Photoshop and blurred it ever so slightly so that my menu stood out even more. Previous to this the “design” page link was a little less clear than the other options due to the black tones in the print on the image behind it.



headerediting header

EDiting menus  TEXT

originally the Nav bar had been white text, there was no simple way to change this, the colour seems dependent on the theme. but i was able to open up the coding, scroll myself down to the nav section. Copy the colour hex value that i wanted into the colour section and apply my changes and the font was now black.


I also added a bespoke page. I have done this as i would like to continue to make and sell reupholstered chairs, but am aware that these arent exactly products i can simply sell online and post away. So i have added this page so that should anyone be interested they know that i offer this as a service and can enquire within.
Also i had wanted to make and sell my designs as wallpaper, though this costs a lot to print, and i didnt want to produce a load that may never be bought and go to waste as this is also uneconomical and the last thing i want is to be a hypocrite. So in order to avoid waste and keep costs down i will only print wallpaper to order as i have stated on my bespoke page.


To make myself appear more professional i bought my own domain through godaddy so that i had a nice clean url rather that a site and applied this to my site.



I published my website and its now available to view

Cropping images For Website

After receiving my finished edits i took it upon myself to crop out any little areas in Photoshop that i didn’t like that i felt needed cleaning up. I also cropped some images down into a more suitable size for my site, or in the case of images where i’m showing more than one designs, so that one design was more of a focus than another so that i could use the same image but for two separate design pages.

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i feel these cropped images look a lot cleaner and nicer than before.

Product shoot – Edited Images


I sat down with the photographer after the shoot and went through the unedited shots we had and picked out some images that i really liked and wanted to use on my site. We then had a little play about with the images, taking down the vibrance of the back ground so that the products would stand out more, taking down the brightness so they didn’t seem too exposed and just generally tidying them up a bit. After deciding upon a general style and getting an idea of how i wanted my images to look Dave allowed me to head home with the promise he’d get the ready and sent over to me by the next day.

These are the final edited images:

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Initially i was a little worried as to how these images might turn out, id chosen the photographers house for the location of the shoot because of the large windows allowing natural light, and the exposed floorboards as i felt this would give a nice natural aesthetic to the photos that would link well with the natural aesthetics in my work. Though i hadn’t noticed previously how dirty the window edges had looked and i was concerned that this would look really tatty in my images. But for most of these images the window edges weren’t in the shot or in focus, and for the ones that it is visible in,most of them aren’t too bad and for the ones its really visible there’s always the option of cropping these bits out.
I had chosen the home environment as my backdrop as opposed to a studio as this is where i intend my designs and products to end up, so felt it necessary to show how they might look in a home environment. I felt a studio back drop might not really convey the style im going for with my work and might take away some character from my work.

Though  by using dave house we were also somewhat limited to space due to walls and fixed furnishings. I was worried that this might make my images seem a bit narrow but i feel the photographer worked well with the space.
I definitely intend to have another go at a photoshoot and really set up a full front room scene at a later stage when i’m able to find a better location to do this.
Overall though for a first attempt at a professional shoot I’m really happy with how these images turned out.

Product Shoot Original images

The orginial images form my Product shoot with Dave:

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Making Products

When making my products i laid my fabric out flat on the floor so i could flatten out all the folds.
For the apron i had made a template for half the size so that i could fold my fabric over and cut it in one shape so i knew it was symmetrical. I carefully thought out my placement of the template so that pattern was mirrored from the centre fold. i also took into account that i wanted at least one of the trees to be fully visible.

I proceeded to cut out my fabric, and then iron it out flat. I measured out six 2 inch width lengths of fabric for the binding. allowing myself 0.5 either end to fold and stitch in so there are no tatty edges. And for the binding lengths that become the ties i tripled the value of the underarm edge.

once i had everything ironed i pinned everything in place before tacking it. Once i had everything in place i used my sewing machine to stitch it together.

IMG_0678 IMG_0682


for the cushions i measured out 17 x 17 inch squares, i marked the fabric with a border 1.5cm, as this is where i would stitch. I cut my fabric specifically so that one side didn’t require any sewing. having the fabric turned inside out i sewed down the two sides and a third of the way in at the opening, i then cut the excess on the corners so that when i turned it inside out it would have nice pointy corners and turned my fabric inside out and using my scissors pushed the corners out so they were now pointy. i then filled it with a cushion insert and using some fabric glue sealed the opening . I used fabric glue as this way i can seal it without having any exposed stitching.


for the tote bags i measure out 17″ by 15″ and marked a border of 1.5cm again.
i then measured out two 26″ lengths that would form the straps. For comfort i made these 4 inchs in width so that they would be fairly thick when sewn.

once again i ironed all my fabric flat and ironed in my folds keeping the fabric turned inside out.  I folded the top edges twice over while keeping the straps beneath it, and pinned these in place before tacking them together. I sewed the top edges and straps together before sewing down the sides.
I then trimmed all my threads, turned it inside out and ironed it once more.

Unfortunately i didn’t get many pictures of this process, its all quite a fiddly process so most of the time i had my hands full. But the process i found fairly simple to follow, the most important thing is to keep ironing the fabric and ensuring there’s no creases, because that’s what makes an item look untidy and unprofessional.

I had a bit of trouble with my sewing machine, i had noticed while making my mock ups that my tension was slightly askew, i had tried to rectify this by adjusting the tension and testing the stitches out but this didn’t seem to work and only made it worse. I think my machine may be in need of some maintenance so this is something i will have to look into.
the needle also broke at one point, though this was annoying, its things like this that have forced me to get to know my machine better, which i think is vital if I’m to be using it as much as i intend. Each machine is different in its own way and you have to be able to read it and know the sounds and tell when something isn’t right with it much of the time. through this process I’ve certainly gotten to know my machine a lot better and i think that’s helping with my confidence when it comes to sewing.