‘Small things, nicely done’ final collection

‘Small things, nicely done’ is an interactive knitwear project exploring the celebration of the small moments of joy and visual interest found in the ‘everyday’. Seeking inspiration from a series of film photos taken during lockdown in January 2021 and a poem, orally recited on Instagram by Elizabeth Gilbert, ‘Small things, nicely done’ elevates mundane characteristics of ordinary life.

Focusing on visuals of creasing, disruptions and distortions (whether that through clothing, food packaging or cracked pavements) the project shows the possibilities of finding little flickers of joy, hope or simply intrigue everywhere…if only you take the time to look. The project and its surrounding research do not attempt to suggest these are grand moments of joy and happiness but rather a positive reframing of our everyday, particularly at a time where the usual bigger joys of life have been put on pause.

While much of the knit patterning and textile development is explored through the representation of creases, the relationship between the mundane and the elaborate is further expanded through references to children’s fancy dress. The lack of self-consciousness and self-censoring involved in children’s fancy dress (an elaborate, joy provoking activity contained within a mundane environment) is represented in the collection’s big, playful skirts and oversized t-shirt.

This child-like, unregulated expression of self is brought to adults through the knitted panels -which make up the collection- that can be tied, clipped and threaded together in whatever way the wearer sees fit. Just as children manipulate and experiment with the purpose of fancy dress items (as an adult blouse becomes a dress and a dress becomes a trailing ball gown), ‘Small things, nicely done’ gives wearer’s autonomy over the formation of their garment, allowing freedom in how this is done and then worn.

Through a collection centred on knitted panels connected by the wearer, ‘Small things, nicely done’ encompasses open-source design and communal making, encouraging emotional attachment and facilitating a space in which the wearer is an active participant in the assembly of their clothing. The project recognises and revels in the mundane, facilitating a space for everyday celebration and transformation as you get dressed.


Final collection photoshoot credits:

Shot by Rachel Shnapp, modelled by Shanine Gallagher and Rebs Moore, creatively assisted by Katie Ross and Mairi Paterson.

With thanks to Hilary Jane Keyes for producing the digital knits.

Shot at Box Hub, Glasgow.