First week at Fashion Design & Technology school at MSIT... A little strange for me as I'm so much older than most students! Lots are recent school leavers - mostly aspiring fashion designers. Our Industry Awareness class was a bit of an eye opener - designers' jobs are pretty scarce, but there's work going for sample machinists (who sew a prototype garment that is sent overseas for manufacturing) and patternmakers (the area I'd like to move into) are sought after too.
But aspiring designers don't despair - some do just fine. Metropolitan South TAFE's most famous ex-student is Leigh Buchannan, runner up on first season of Project Runway Australia. Juli Grbac (the winner) studied in Brisbane too, at Gateway TAFE.
Show me the money!
Studying through TAFE can get expensive as there's no HECS scheme where you can defer payment (fees are around $5000 per annum.) So start saving, and get ready for some hard work! This semester we're tackling patternmaking, drawing and design, fabrics, industry awareness, computing (Photoshop and Illustrator) and sewing on industrial machines.
Enjoyed our fabric identifying class this week...
Everyone loves to cut and paste things, not just kindergarteners! Learned lots about how fibres are twisted together to form yarns. How tightly twisted the fibres are contribute to how the fabric feels. For instance, flannelette and satin are made from gently twisted yarns. Crisp, firm fabrics like voile and chiffon result from twisting the yarns they're woven from very tightly.
This exercise would be great for teachers to introduce students to different fibres.
Also fun is looking at fabrics under a magnifying glass. You can clearly see the knitted structure of stretch fabrics in T-shirts and the diagonal patterns of twill weaves on denim.