The first year of my degree so far has been as fulfilling, exciting and as full of learning as I had hoped it would be. I have always loved art and being creative, but it was only after completing a two-year Art and Design course at Colchester Institute that I decided textiles was the area that I wanted to specialise in. After college I had a year out, working. Knowing that I wanted to carry on with my education after that year, in my spare time I began building up my own portfolio. I was so apprehensive when applying for the degree and even at the interview. Having made my portfolio without any help and not having much knowledge on the fashion construction side of things, I wasn’t sure if I would be suitable. So the relief and joy when I was successful was overwhelming!

13152763_10209702878348152_1096195017_n < My entry portfolio.

I am pleased with my choice of course, as I have gained so much knowledge in both fashion and textiles and have had to push myself into becoming more confident with sewing and construction. At the beginning of the year I was sure that I would be solely textiles based, but as things continue, I find the prospect of combining my own prints with my own garments really exciting.

In addition to developing the practical side of things, this course has also enabled me to improve my essay writing, blogging and presentation skills. I have surprised myself in some areas, for example in my presentation as I didn’t realise I had as much confidence in myself as I did. As I have got older I have learnt to be less self-conscious about what other people are thinking, as we are all in the same boat! Also for my presentation to be acknowledged but it’s subject herself in my blog comments, was really special to me. Hopefully, if I continue to devote as much time and effort to my studies as I possibly can, I will be able to achieve my goals.

Short term goals:

  • Finish my garment for the fashion show and present a successful group presentation.
  • Hand in a sketchbook full of research and annotation.
  • Pass my first year of University with a grade that I can be proud of.
  • Use all the feedback I have received this year and take all the lessons I’ve learnt and use them to inform my second year.

Medium term goals:

  • Keep up to date with work, sessions and deadlines.
  • Continue to refine my skills in fashion and textiles and build up a body of technical information that I can refer to in the future.
  • Make contacts in the industry and look for possible work placements/internships. (Design a CV that reflects my creativity).
  • Develop my work to create a personal style and image, whilst still being open to different techniques and ways of working.

Long term goals:

  • Create a portfolio of work that will enable me move onto my next step.
  • Graduate and possibly move onto a MA in a relevant specialism.
  • Have a successful career in textiles, textile design or within the art industry.



As I work weekends at local department store, Williams & Griffin, I aim to catch up with  my coursework on Wednesday’s, Thursday’s and Friday’s. However, this does not always go according to plan and I often end up trying to do everything on Sunday night! This is definitely something I will be improving on next year, by sticking to the schedule I have pinned up on my wall and in my diary.



About darcieoliviaolley

I am currently studying a BA HONS in Fashion & Textiles at the Colchester School of Art. This blog is being used as a diary, to document my creative journey and record my responses throughout the course.

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