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.