D & T Resource of the week 9

Ugly Dolls-Recycled Textiles

Resources: Design Technology/Secondary/KS4/Textiles

Textiles is a subject that I have very limited experience or knowledge of and so really enjoyed reviewing this project owing to its simplicity and well thought out theme. I found the written explanations to be clear, concise and logical with the general presentation of the Power Point to a decent standard. I am not someone who would normally feel confident delivering a Textiles scheme of work, but in this particular case would have no hesitation in undertaking the project.

  • The piece would no doubt be useful for both KS3 and KS4 Textiles students. It would be ideal for either staff or pupils with no prior experience of textiles and I believe in both cases would instill a real sense of achievement and fun.
  • What is it? - The project is delivered via a PowerPoint of only 6 slides, with the final slide being by far the most detailed of the set, illustrating superbly the manufacturing process. There are also two JPEG files containing exemplar practical pieces. The resource has been downloaded over 3600 times and viewed only slightly less, so is proving a very popular and obviously useful piece.
  • How could it be used? - As stated this is not a subject area which I am familiar with and as such have not yet trialled the project. Furthermore we do not offer a textiles option within my department but do find ourselves with extra time towards the later half of the final term and as a result I may well consider implementing this project or even introduce it as part of an “activity day” which we hold here at the school. The author informs us that the project was in fact designed as a Textiles “taster” for Product Design students with no previous textiles experience. The project is designed to run for approximately 4 weeks and is targeted almost entirely on making skills, with very limited designing. This is a great idea, most Product Design students will be more than familiar with idea creation or development and here we jump straight to the real objective. The students are encouraged to make the ‘Ugly dolls’ using recycled clothing and material off-cuts and I would guess that you could resource the project accordingly in order to ensure the use of 100% recycled fabrics. The use of the photographic exemplar material I feel would really set the tone and also illustrate what can and should be achievable. The Power Point sets out quite clearly the objectives for this lesson and supplies a relevant and simply written brief, so you do not have to. There follows an explanation of exactly what an Ugly Doll is and gives specific guidance on how to formulate a final design. The manufacture is shown on one slide by using 11 digital images and text to document and lead the process.
  • How have you used this resource? - So you know by now that I have not yet tried the project but will instead suggest how I could implement it, owing to the fact that I have absolutely no specific textiles resources in the department and even less textiles knowledge or skills. I find that a well laid out project to a certain extent runs itself and if put together properly provides simply a stepping stone approach which is hard to deviate from. Therefore I would stick to the plan; the design work would be very quick and simple. I could ask the pupils to do a swift product analysis of the exemplar dolls to see if they could pick out exactly what gives them their character, their DNA if you like. The biggest change however, would be the modification I would be forced to make. We do not have any sewing machines and budget wise would not be in a position to change that in the near future. Therefore I would be asking the pupils to hand stitch the dolls and would no doubt need to produce a quick explanation and add to one of the projects slides. I will leave you with some of the compliments left by those of you who have recently used this resource. “These are great! I have a rather challenging group of year 9 students to look forward to in the summer term- who have never had a textiles lesson before! Need to fill about 4 or 5 double lessons and think this will fit. I need a fun activity that they will all enjoy and engage in and I think this could be it! Thanks.”“Thanks so much. I needed something for year 8’s. Wouldn’t this make a great cross curricular activity for say some animation project in ICT?”
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