Sarah Lindop

Fashion Intern

Month: December 2018

London – Week 11

Hi everyone,

Week 11, my final week in London at Amanda Kelly how time has flown by. Despite being the final week for interns before Christmas we were still reasonably busy. The designers decided to try a new ”shape” this week and made a jumpsuit, they were unsure about how to go about making trousers with all but one never having made any before. However in my first year I learnt how to make jean at university and as these are trousers that aren’t going to be worn they are much simpler to make. My sewing skills were very useful to the designers and reassured me that after so many weeks of not sewing I haven’t lost my skills.

We also got some more time to draw this week however not until close to he end which was not enough time for me to design anymore patterns so instead I decided to get in the festive mood by drawing some Christmas cards for my friends and family. Over the past 11 weeks my digital drawing skills have visibly improved and my ease of using a graphic’s tablet has increased. My time in London has been great and I’ve learnt so much that I know will be useful not only in my final year but other internships during the year and later my career. Below is a picture I drew for my godmother for Christmas using all the photoshop and drawing skills I have learnt over this internship and personally I believe it shows my skill increase already. I have also gotten to put my skills into practice creating my own repeat pattern for a gift for my godmother for Christmas.

Venice Drawing

As it was my final week I also moved back home again ready for Christmas, fortunately my lovely boyfriend came and picked me up and drove me home otherwise it would’ve been a struggle. For this year this is my final post, in the new year I start my next internship with a festival wear company and I’m excited to see what new skills I can learn there but for now, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

London – Week 10

Hi again,

This week was rather a slow one as Amanda Kelly herself flew off to New York for our final 2 weeks before Christmas not as much work came in as it was already too late for it to go on any big trips. Instead this week we got to learn more about the techniques the designers use, styles of patterns and the organisation of the office. 

As my hands don’t function particularly well when it comes to the idea of drawing small pictures on paper and scanning them in for patterns my mood drops, as I know I can’t do this on paper losing some of the beauty in the design.  However the designers showed us how they also do some more abstract textures and such on paper to scan which I am able to do. Using my illustration skills I learnt in my first year I was able to create some interesting brush marks and textures that could be turned into skins and other patterns digitally. Despite the fact most of the designers purely work digitally, when they do use physical design methods and combine the techniques I have learnt it can enhance certain designs depending on what you are drawing of course.

As the tye dyes were so popular we got to make some more, using random knots and tying weird things into them to see how they would turn out. I have mentioned before one of the other interns has a masters and knows a lot about dying, so because we had more time we decided to try and get some items to rust into the fabrics leaving interesting colours and patterns and it worked! The metal objects left behind orange and brown marks into the fabrics which made beautiful patterns when further dyed. I have learnt that not all fabric patterning techniques are necessarily expensive, rusting random household objects into fabric can also produce unique patterns. 

We also had an unusual request this week of a client wanting the texture removing from a pattern. As the print was originally done by hand in watercolour on a special paper they wanted the paper texture removing from the pattern presumably because they intend to screen print the pattern. As both the other interns were busy this task was left to me. I tried several techniques and photoshop features to attempt to remove it however most made the pattern either look childish or too blurry. Then one of the designers showed me how she used to remove similar things at her previous job and it did amazing work removing the texture without destroying the pattern. She showed me how on photoshop the element I’m attempting to remove is called ”Noise” and there is a feature where you can increase the amount of noise you’d like to remove, this feature did 95% of my job and still kept the pattern looking great. Then to further this you can add a median which overall smooths it further evenly. This technique I’m sure will be helpful in my final year if not for designing but giving a more professional look to my sketchbook, portfolio and final photoshoot images. 

Finally in my personal life as it’s coming up to Christmas I am preparing presents and adding final touches. For the first time in a long time I have been glass painting for a couple people’s gifts. It has taken a couple of tries however I’m rather proud of the results, although it’s very much a Pinterest nailed it failure when in comparison to the professional. I love to add little elements of personal thought to gifts like this and I hope the receivers will be happy with their gifts. 

Month 2

2 Months gone already, soon it shall be Christmas.

Somehow 2 months in I haven’t stopped learning or putting my skills into practice. I’ve also gotten to use other skills I never thought I’d use generally in my life however this internship has made me realize how they could be useful to me again beyond my degree in my future career. Here are my top 5 skills I’ve learnt from uni I’ve been able to put into practice and my top 5 I’ve learnt on the job that will be useful in my final year from the past month.

Top 5 skills I have learnt and now gotten to put into practice –

  1. Trend research; Throughout my degree so far we have been introduced to trend research and from now having experience in designing my own patterns I understand quite how important this is as it can give a print a longer lifespan than designing for the right here and now. I have also been able to use the skills I have learnt of trend research to adapt my own interests and skills into sellable products for my internship.
  2. Importance of knowing an understanding your target market; On many occasions during my first and second year we have needed to design to a specific clientele, this has been useful for picking out prints for sales meetings and print requests by clients. At university I have been taught how to swiftly pick out key parts of a brand that make up their identity which is very useful in trying to sell them prints and embroideries, as if you don’t understand the company you are less likely to pick out pieces that work with their company style and who those brands sell to meaning loss of sales.
  3. Most sewing mistakes are fixable; On a couple of incidents me and the other interns have have mishaps when sewing or overlocking the styling designs. However a skill I have learnt from my degree is that although these incidents are frustrating and time consuming you shouldn’t stress or panic as in most cases it is fixable. I have used this mindset that the lecturers have given me to help other interns and even designers amend many mistakes in a way that no one would guess that anything went wrong in the first place. This skill even though it is not physical is very useful in the workplace especially when you can end up doing the same task for hours on end which is when mistakes happen.
  4. Digital Illustration; When designing because of my hand condition I have to keep any detailed work to my computer. When we have been drawing small sections for the designers I have drawn on my laptop or their computers and this skill has been very useful. As all the prints are digital when completed, my digital illustration skills have been very useful as it allows the designers to edit the drawings more easily as well as layer them into patterns without them looking out of place.
  5. Microsoft excel mathematical functions; Now this skill isn’t one I have learnt at university however one I did learn many years ago that for the first time in my life I have managed to put into practice.

Top 5 skills I have learnt on the job that will be useful in final year –

  1. Colour separation; On the job I have learnt how to colour separate, this tends to be used for when a design needs to be screen printed. In my final year this will be useful for if I decide to screen print any of my own prints, whether that be on paper for promotional material or fabric for garments.
  2. Colour reducing; Sometimes when colour separating you need to reduce the number of colours in the print as it would cost a significant amount to produce a print with 100 different colours. So with the help of the designers for print just like this that needed reducing from 64 to 9, I learnt how to use the colour table and several other features to reduce the colours of the pattern down without changing the design so dramatically that it would look awful and unprintable.
  3. Commercial pattern design; When designing patterns I have learnt there is 3 main styles, commercial fashion print design, bespoke fashion print design and interior print design. As the company I am working for does commercial prints designed to sell to high street retailers I’ve learnt how to design patterns that can be used in mass market garments, this sounds as though it should be simple. However many of the prints the designers produce are quite complex and it is really a skill understanding how to layout the patterns to appear beautiful as they are encouraging clients to purchase them. Learning this skill will be useful in my final year for advertising my skills in my collections to help me get a great job after I graduate.
  4. Multi-directional patterns; Until a client requested we edited a print to make it multi-directional it never occurred to me how important this was as a fashion student. With so any companies working with fast fashion as the next generation we are taught more and encouraged more to be eco fashion designers. By using multi-directional patterns you can use the fabric more economically reducing wastage as well as reducing cost of how much fabric needed. This will be a useful skill in my final year when it comes to choosing prints if I do not design any myself, as it could potentially save a significant amount of money when making my final collection.  
  5. Avoid Chiffon at all costs; A very very key thing I have learnt so far during my internship is that I hate working with chiffon. I do not have the hand functionality in order to work with such a delicate material. Although this is not a skill I can definitely take forward to my final year the top tip of if I wish to personally sew my entire collection I physically will struggle more than it is worth with chiffon.  

London – Week 9

Hi everyone,

This week has been rather busy with lots of work needing sewing up however despite that we have managed to get time to draw some of our own patterns this week. The designers at Amanda Kelly looked at some of our drawings and talked through with us how to arrange them into professional patterns which was very interesting and has helped me understand how to create a professional commercial pattern for future reference. Unfortunately I am unable to show you any of these patterns as otherwise the company will be unable to sell them, however here is an extra pattern I drew purely for my blog as I have been doing lots of animal prints this week I decided to draw some flamingos. I also practiced some of the skills I have learnt using this document however that is rather difficult to show you via my blog.

Flamingo’s

For the first time this week I got to experience a sales meeting however there was a catch, I had to go by myself. My sales meeting was with Hobbs at their head office, they were looking for a couple final patterns to add to a collection they already had. Although there were plenty of stunning prints to show them in the case I had been given to take with non suited the collection they wanted to add to. Once I returned back to the office I discussed with the designers what has been said in my meeting and they explained to me at the majority of sales meetings little to non tend to be sold. For example the previous week they had a meeting with ASOS where another intern accompanied as there were 2 cases of prints and embroideries to show them which is rather difficult to shift alone since they are large 4 wheel cases. In the ASOS meeting they sold 6 embroideries which according to the designers was a very good sale. It was interesting getting this experience as I gained an understanding of how working with the catwalk rather than the direct trends themselves impacted a business and their sales, although this is my personal opinion coming from a fashion degree and I cannot confirm they would make more sales if the designed to a different reference.

As I’m starting to near to the end of my time in London my spending on such as food is decreasing as I have a good amount of food remaining that I would prefer to have gone before I leave. This week I also discovered that when one tube line crashes so does 1/3 of London, with the Victoria line suffering several malfunctions several other lines and one whole station proceeded to crash also and I don’t believe I will ever see such chaos with a public transport malfunction outside of London. 

Finally this week in my personal life I was very lucky to have another visit from my boyfriend and we went to Winter wonderland in Hyde park. There are several attractions you can pre-book to see as well as lots of small rides, prize games, Christmas market stalls and of course food stalls. We chose to book to go into ”The Magical Ice Kingdom, The secret forest” which was simply amazing, the creatures and sculptures they made from ice and snow were beautiful and I would highly recommend going and seeing them if they get the opportunity. As well as this there is attractions such as ”The Ice Bar”, Ice skating, Peter Pan theater show, Circus and more. Winter wonderland goes on until the 6th of January so if you get the opportunity I would recommend going.

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