All this current Olympic malarky has reminded me of the final project I did for my A-level in Dress (which I think is now extinct as a qualification) many moons ago.
As Sheffield had hosted the World Student Games that year, it became the focus for my project.
Well even though I was only 18 it wasn’t just drawing pretty pictures, we had to make the damn things too – including drafting our own patterns, after learning pattern cutting for only two years.
Speaking of students and teachers, I believe I owe a lot of where I am now to two very influential teachers of mine.
The first was Miss Cross, my textiles teacher at secondary school. She was an inspiration to me, allowing her pupils to make such a varied range of things in our classes from Care Bears to knitted wall hangings! She had incredibly high standards and expectations and ‘good enough’, was never enough for her. A great grounding for any student. Watching her work always amazed me; fabrics seemed to be under a spell at her finger tips and she made the most fiddly things look easy. She then did me a massive favour by finding me the ideal A-level to enable me to continue in textiles and handed me over to Mary Braddock at Granville College in Sheffield. Mary introduced me to pattern cutting and taught it in such a way that anything seemed possible. I’ve loved it ever since and never come across a better teacher.