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Improving knowledge of garment construction: Drapers’ x UKFT Bursary programme


Lydia Matthews, a second-year BA (Hons) Fashion Design student at Winchester School of Art, is interning at fashion brand Calm Amongst the Chaos in Ringwood in the New Forest, with support from the Drapers’ x UKFT Bursary programme.

The Hampshire-based business specialises in considered, handmade womenswear which is designed and sewn to order.

Lydia Matthews at Calm Amongst the Chaos

Lydia said the experience has exceeded her expectations, explaining that she has been sewing every day, which has boosted her technical ability and improved her skills.

Lydia said: “One of my key aims in securing an industrial placement was to improve my knowledge of garment construction and this will help me significantly in my final year at Winchester School of Art, starting next September.

Lydia Matthews at Calm Amongst the Chaos

“I have learnt a lot from the team at Chaos and I can now confidently be left to complete tasks on my own, such as pattern cutting orders and constructing garments, while knowing someone is always about to help if needed and answer any questions I have.  I have also been given more responsibility than I thought as a placement student. I’m starting to feel part of the team and this has reassured me that I have chosen the right professional path.”

She added: “As it is a small team of five, we all dip in and out of roles. I’ve had a chance to try out a lot! For example, I have made sample garments for the limited edition drops and I have sampled some machine embroidery. My main departments are pattern cutting, checking fabric meterage, and sewing, but I have experienced packing and customer service too.”

UKFT and The Drapers’ Company are working together to support fashion and textile students across the UK to achieve good quality internships through the scheme.

Financial support from the Drapers’ Company is available to ten students annually to take up internship opportunities they may otherwise struggle to afford.

UKFT is providing mentoring, guidance, and networking opportunities to each student to ensure their internships are safe, enjoyable and valuable.

The scheme is part of UKFT’s work to increase the industry knowledge and experience of graduates, as well as opening up new routes into the sector.

Find out more about the bursary scheme here.