Month 1 of my internship year, over already how time flies.

For those of you who don’t know I’m working at Amanda Kelly which is a print design company in London, and am living here for 3 months. The month has flown by and I’ve learn an incredible amount that will be useful in my final year, as well as been able to put some of the skills I learnt in first and second year into practice. So 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.

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

  1. How to fill an area with a pattern quickly. In first year during our Photoshop classes we learnt how to create illustrator and Photoshop versions of  fabrics and then to fill them neatly into whatever garment you desired. Although this is a different skill the tools used in it have helped me to confirm pattern tiles repeat smoothly much faster than doing this manually.
  2. How to thread an Overlocker. In my second year we did a project where the only fabrics we were allowed to use were cotton jersey and fleece which involved a lot re-threading overlockers if they came undone or needed to colour swap.  I have found this skill so incredibly useful when we are overlocking mass amounts of fabrics because of the amount of times you are in a flow and don’t notice the thread run out or it unthreads itself. It saves so much time being able to re-thread the machine myself rather than having to ask a designer to help.
  3. How to design. When I first began university I didn’t really understand how to design, I used to think of what I wanted as an end product and work backwards but during first and second year I learnt how to design patterns and garments well and produce products that were well thought through and purchasable. This skill has been very useful for me to help the designers design patterns for commercial use swiftly and to a high quality.
  4. Time management for sewing. Sometimes we receive a lot of fabrics in that need to be cut out, over locked, mounted and photographed. From having speed sewing classes I have learnt how to complete sewing/overlocking tasks very swiftly to a high standard which is very useful in this job and makes the task go much faster.
  5. Presentation skills. During my second year we were set a live brief to design a print collection, as this project was textiles based we learnt how to present our designs in a more textiles manner which is very different to how we do in fashion. As I am working for a textiles company learning how to present print designs in a professional manner has been very useful to me and sped up many tasks we have on a daily basis.
Striped Pattern 
Striped Tile
Final Pattern

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

  1. How to transfer large Photoshop files. There is a website called ”We transfer”, as it is not always possible to get files to where you need by attaching them to an email or using a memory stick companies use ”We transfer”. By using ”We transfer” I will be able to transport files for marking and general viewing much easier than attempting to post all files or find a large enough storage device.
  2. How to create repeat pattern tiles that can be used to print large scale fabrics. If I want to use my own patterns on fabrics in my final year this will involve me needing to have it printing and in a large quantity in order to make a garment. Patterns tend to work much better when the pattern flows as a continuous repeat with no joining lines. In this job I have learnt how to take an initial pattern drawing , scale and edit them into repeats which will be useful if I choose to use my own patterns in my final year collection.
  3. Overlocking with speed. Although this is a skill I have learnt in my first and second year it is also one I have built upon. The fabrics we overlock on a weekly basis tend to be of 2 main fabrics, light cotton twill and chiffon. From having to overlock so much in a little amount of time I have learnt how to accurately overlock even more difficult materials like chiffon at a much faster speed than I was able to when I first began the internship and I’m sure it will be very useful when keeping to tight deadlines in my final year.
  4. How to use a graphics tablet. As I have a really awkward hand condition drawing is of great difficulty for me, a lot of the designers don’t use mice at all and therefore when using their computers you need to use a graphics tablet. Using a graphics tablet can be very disorientating however after a lot of practice I can now use one to draw in the same way I would on my own touchscreens. This will be useful for producing much higher quality products both digitally and physical in my final year as I will be able to use software I don’t own but in the same way I would on my touch screen laptop.
  5. How to combine hand drawn segments/other hand created patterns into a digital print. When we draw for the designers they encourage us to use paper and then they scan them in to create beautiful patterns. In the past when I have done similar things it’s always been clear that it is a scan and not all digitally created ruining the pattern or other piece. However I have learnt how to scan images smoothly and later combine them with other digital patterning to create beautiful patterns that you wouldn’t be able to guess has used several different artist techniques and multimedia. This skill will help me to greatly improve my design skills for my final year and help me to create more unique patterns.