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25 In college/ DIY/ knitting

a level textiles | how I’m getting on

Embroidered sample for AQA Textiles A level workbook


Some of you seem to like my artsy craftsy posts, so here’s a bit of a step away from my usual ones!  I mentioned on twitter a while ago about sharing how I’m getting on with AS textiles so far, and a few people said they’d be interested in reading.  Most of these pages pictured are unfinished, so I know they’re looking kinda blank!  There’s always gonna be some works-in-progress though until the minute before the deadline so no point hanging fire til it’s ‘done’.

My journal doesn’t look particularly scrapbook-y, I know!  Before I started I’d assumed that we’d be going all out arty with our books – doodles everywhere, fancy handwriting, jaunty angles, that kind of thing.  Nope!  We have to be super precise about everything and keep our pages fairly ‘clean’ looking.  We’re supposed to use word processing for all titles and annotations and whatnot, but I basically nagged my teacher enough until she let me handwrite them instead.  I ensured her it would take me twice as long to mess around achieving exactly the perfect sized text boxes, and that I promised I’d write neat enough. 😛  The shades of white paper didn’t match otherwise and that seriously bothered me haha!  Ok so that maybe makes me sound OCD but I think it looks better handwritten anyway.

Now that we’ve been working in our books a little while I’m really thankful we’re not going OTT arty on every page (I can’t think of a better word than arty but you know what I mean, right?) because the whole thing takes enough time as it is already.  Much easier to have a finished looking page this way.


This one’s probably my favourite sample page so far; we’re working on corsets now and my front panel will be something like this.  It’s not too obvious in the photo that the lines are wire couched into place, which was actually pretty quick and easy to do.  I like how it looks and it holds the whole thing together well, which is always a bonues.  In my final piece I’ll maybe do it in a different colour palette though, seeing as I’m sensing too many Laura Ashley curtains circa 1999 similarities with the middle greens.  Not too sure.  I’m always gonna be picking holes, never satisfied.


One of my first samples!  Can see how much I’ve improved already.  We just kind of got stuck in without any planning or thought, so it’s a bit all over the place, going back to different sections here and there.  Yeah that’s not technically how you’re meant to do it, but unless the examiner reads my blog (if so, please be generous) then they’re never gonna know.


Need more drawings in my book definitely.  Our course is an Art Textiles one, so it’s not all about the fabric stuff, which is what I’m best at.  Our current theme is ‘pattern in nature’ and mine’s focused on garden, forest, leaves, trees and that kind of thing, if you hadn’t noticed already!  It’s been quite an easy brief to work with for my first one, but I’m hoping for something a bit more edgy for our next unit.


Some pages I wouldn’t consider my best work, but they’re good for showing a starting point at least.  Not a mega fan of this painted bondaweb one. :/  I’m making the most of already knowing how to knit and crochet and using it where I can, knitted wire leaves for example.  They’re quite effective for the amount of time they take, and it’s something different that I can bring to my book.  Examiners like that stuff. 😛  Beady eyed knitters might recognise the Norah Gaughan pictures in the top right – I’m using designers that I’ve already heard of as inspirations as well as ones that I find on Google.


Plenty yarn around in our house for this kind of thing.  Handstitch/counching looks good but takes bloody ages to do!  This one’s meant to be inspired by closeup images of dandelions, hence the fluffy stuff.

Today’s post might not interest everyone, but I hope one or two of you liked seeing what other crafty stuff I’ve been up to!  Anybody who’s studied textiles or any other art subject and has any advice – especially anything you wish you knew at this point – give me a shout!  Will be much appreciated. 🙂

lily kate x
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  • Reply
    8th January 2015 at 9:22 pm

    Your sample book looks gorgeous Lily! Takes be back to when I did my Textiles GCSE many moons ago… *Sigh* Love the knitted wire technique. Keep up the good work!

    • Reply
      lily kate
      9th January 2015 at 7:35 pm

      Thank you Melissa! I did textiles GCSE too but I prefer the style of A level loads. I’m trying my best! Glad you liked the post 😀

  • Reply
    Molly W
    8th January 2015 at 9:30 pm

    Lily, these are absolutely insane, you’re so talented. I did product design at A Level and the amount of work that goes portfolio things is unbelievable. Every page looks brilliant, no doubt you’ll get a great mark for it all! xx

    • Reply
      lily kate
      9th January 2015 at 7:41 pm

      Aw thank you Molly! I don’t think we have product design at my college, is it the same as 3D design A level? Art subjects are so much work aren’t they! Thank you, I hope so!

  • Reply
    8th January 2015 at 10:15 pm

    Ohhh my god, I love your sketchbook! those samples are so gorgeous, I love seeing the transformation from the inspiration images to samples. the batik piece is without a doubt my favorite 🙂
    I finished my A Level Fashion and Textiles course last year and I’ve been missing it terribly since, only problem with doing it two years early is that I have a torturous two years without it now. I’d love to see more posts of how you’re getting on with your course in the future! x

    • Reply
      lily kate
      9th January 2015 at 7:43 pm

      Thank youuuu! Some are quite obvious but some I kinda went more abstract with. It’s my favourite too:D I know I’m gonna miss it loads when I finish too! It’s the only subject that I could really drop for second year but it’s the one I enjoy most, so I think I’m just gonna do 4 A levels.

  • Reply
    8th January 2015 at 10:28 pm

    This is all really impressive, you seem to be very good at textiles! Looks like fun!
    Hannah x

    • Reply
      lily kate
      9th January 2015 at 7:48 pm

      Thank you Hannah! It’s a subject I’ve always really liked and I think it just shows when you enjoy what you’re doing!

  • Reply
    Lucy @ La Lingua
    8th January 2015 at 10:55 pm

    Oh it’s all so beautiful! I love the first one, I can kind of see what you mean about the greens now that you’ve pointed it out but it’s just so beautiful anyway – I love the mix of colours and the way they go from limes and yellows to almost turquoise. It makes me so sad to think that when your career kicks off I won’t be able to afford any of your creations :p xxx

    • Reply
      lily kate
      9th January 2015 at 7:51 pm

      Thank you so much Lucy! I’m going for a much darker, more gothic look in my final piece – I think it’ll be more interesting! Haha I hope that would never happen but I honestly have no idea what my career is even going to be at this point!

  • Reply
    8th January 2015 at 11:40 pm

    This brings back memories of a level art. We had to have our art books similar to this, a full book of each theme, trying out different colours, media, patterns all leading up to our final project. I did textiles at GSCE and that was pretty cool, but I wasn’t too great at it! I made a unisex doll that was a boy on one side and a girl on the other for my project. Everyone laughed at it. I still have it at my parents house 😀

    It had a sunflower head too.

    Corinne x

    • Reply
      lily kate
      9th January 2015 at 7:55 pm

      The art students’ books are so impressive! I love how our whole art department mingle with each other. Your doll sounds really creative haha! At least no one was stealing your ideas 😛 My jabberwocky I made in year 7 is still on the shelf in my old high school!

  • Reply
    9th January 2015 at 6:42 pm

    You book looks brilliant! 🙂 When I did Alevel art we were told to go crazy, any ‘artistic’ thought process we had to whack in there, including doodles, lift the flaps and other ‘interesting ways to view’ the work etc. I thought this was great because I loved planning and designing, but then after a few weeks my brain just flopped with alevel stress and I couldn’t think of anything new really!

    I’m interested to see your final piece anyway! 😀 x

    • Reply
      lily kate
      9th January 2015 at 8:00 pm

      Thank you Alice! That’s what I thought textiles would be like too, but I suppose it’s more than enough work as it is!
      I’ll be sure to share my corset when it’s done!

  • Reply
    Emma 5foot10
    9th January 2015 at 7:46 pm

    Loved reading this. Your sample book and ideas are really beautiful and interesting. I’m not sure I’m much help, but a good tip is to make sure your sewing machine is in good condition. Mine had a few issues and getting access to another was a bit of an issue :/ You look like you’re doing really well. I’m sure you’ll be fine 🙂

    • Reply
      lily kate
      9th January 2015 at 8:04 pm

      Thank you Emma! I’m just trying to bring all the ideas together now. I only use the sewing machines at college, so if one is playing up I just move to another! We have about 20 between 10 of us usually so we manage fine :p

  • Reply
    9th January 2015 at 9:23 pm

    I’ve taken A level textiles next year & I loved reading this! I’ve been doing textiles since year 10, the first year I wasn’t so interested as I hated being on my own in the class, now it’s one of my favourite subjects and I can’t wait to carry it on next year!
    infinity of fashion// Lucy Jane

    • Reply
      lily kate
      9th January 2015 at 9:30 pm

      Ahh you’ll love it Lucy! Textiles is so much better at A level I think. I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

  • Reply
    10th January 2015 at 2:36 pm

    These pages are absolutely beautiful, Lily! I wish that I had an ounce of your creativity. I did higher art which I think is the Scottish equivalent to an A Level but my work was never even half as beautiful as what you’ve created here!
    Debi x

    • Reply
      lily kate
      11th January 2015 at 6:10 pm

      Thank you so much Debi! Highers are the same as A levels yeah. I’m sure your work was stunning!

  • Reply
    Holly Priestley
    10th January 2015 at 3:45 pm

    Looks great! Textiles was not a class that was offered in High school or college for me so I think it’s awesome that you’re getting this opportunity!

    • Reply
      lily kate
      11th January 2015 at 6:33 pm

      That’s a shame! It wasn’t that great tbh at GCSE but A level is really fun!

  • Reply
    21st January 2015 at 10:38 am

    This is such an amazing book, you can tell how talented you are just from looking at the page. We never had textiles at my school but I’m sure I wouldn’t have been very good at it 😛 It sounds so creative!

    hellomissjordan.blogspot.co.uk xx

    • Reply
      lily kate
      21st January 2015 at 10:45 am

      Aw thank you Jordan! I’m sure you’d have been great 😉 It’s so much more creative at A level than GCSE!

  • Reply
    AS textiles | nearly done! - Joli House
    1st September 2015 at 11:04 pm

    […] post not to everybody’s taste, but a few people quite liked the last batch of textile-y stuff I shared so here’s another!  Our deadline for everythingggg is this […]

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