A COURSE that teaches young parents how to sew could become a feeder to the fashion and textile industry after one its first students landed work with a Scottish fashion house.
Dundee mum Chelsie Bruce was one of the first 10 students to complete the online pilot “Kindred Clothing” course run by Tayside charity Front Lounge.
She has now landed a job as a production assistant with Isolated Heroes in Dundee.
Bruce said: “I hadn’t sewn on a button before I joined the Kindred Clothing programme.
“Now we’re almost at the point of gaining a qualification and I’ve secured work with a local fashion designer.
“I’m learning so much industry experience while still having the flexibility I need as a busy mum.”
Samantha Paton, owner of Isolated Heroes, has been involved with the project from the outset and believes the course can help fill a skills gap across the industry.
She said: “We have been extremely busy since the start of lockdown.
“With shops closed for such a long time, more people were buying clothes online and keen to support independent businesses.
“As a result, our level of orders can no longer managed in our premises so we decided to recruit a ‘work from home’ team while we seek larger premises.
“We received a staggering 60 applications, mainly from fashion and textiles graduates, but we chose Chelsie due to the skills she’s gained through Kindred Clothing, her love of the brand and her sheer determination.
“A degree isn’t everything – we also look for hands-on industry experience and a raw passion – Chelsie ticked all the boxes because of the course.”
The course takes students through the key stages of the garment production process, from setting up and using a sewing machine through to mood boards, pattern making and construction.
Participants also gain practical fashion photography skills and techniques to present themselves, their stories and their clothes.
The course, which is currently awaiting Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) accreditation, was due to be taught in person but moved online at the start of lockdown.
Read more stories on Scottish Field’s fashion pages.