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Develop your textiles practice with a short course

Student work by Jen Place
  • Written byCarys Thomas
  • Published date 07 June 2022
Student work by Jen Place
Student work by Jen Place

Jen Place’s passion for textiles and knitwear recently brought her to Central Saint Martins to join our Patternmaking Level 1 Short Course. Designed to introduce students to the art of patternmaking, this week-long short course is a great choice for beginners looking to get stuck in. Students learn how to use specialist equipment, pattern terminology and how to draw accurate patterns.

Read more about how a pattern cutting short course can help you build your foundation in fashion design.

We caught up with Jen to find out more about her work and hear about her recent short course experience.

I'm looking forward to using all the new skills I learned to make garments for myself and my friends.

— Jen Place, Designer and UAL Short Course Student

Originally from California, Jen first moved to London with her partner, who is currently working towards a Master’s degree in Design at Central Saint Martins. She now works as a professional architectural lighting designer in South Bank and enjoys working on a range of textile projects in her free time. “I love working with hand knits, sewing and garment repair and modification,” she tells us.

Experimenting with patchwork

Jen is particularly interested in the art of quilting and is currently working on a unique patchwork project. “I’m incredibly inspired by quilting and reusing textiles,” she says, “at the moment I’m collecting English printed tea towels and plan on sewing them together for patchwork dress fabric.”

Jen is looking forward to using the skills she developed while on the Patternmaking Short Course to complete this project. “It will be my first self-drafted pattern,” she explains, “I’m very excited for a chance to apply all I learned from my short course to create the pattern.”

Building confidence

For Jen, the Patternmaking Short Course was a great way to build confidence and expand her existing textile practice. She now has a clearer idea of how garments are constructed and feels inspired to take on new projects in the future.

“The patternmaking course greatly expanded my understanding of how garments are constructed and gave me an entirely new confidence to back my existing sewing skills,” she tell us. “I’m excited to take that understanding and also apply it to my passion surrounding handknits and altering clothes.”

Practical experience

The Patternmaking course is designed to give students a practical introduction to the subject, allowing students to try things for themselves and see what works best. This practical, hands-on approach appealed to Jen, who enjoyed the opportunity to experiment in class. “I enjoyed the practical, hands-on nature of the lessons. There would be a demonstration to start us off, followed by some time for us to try it out. After we got to ask Maddalena (course tutor) all our questions and finally nail down the pattern we were given some muslin so we could try sewing the pieces together ourselves.”

Jen also enjoyed working with course tutor, Maddalena Amato. Maddalena has been an Assoicate Lecturer for 16 years, working at Central Saint Martins, London College of Fashion, University of the Creative Arts and University of West London. Maddalena has all the knowledge and passion needed to inspire sewing beginners. “Not only was she obviously an expert in her field but she always had funny little asides about what her experience was in the industry,” says Jen.

Jen has lots of exciting textile projects in the pipeline and often shares her work on social media. Follow her on Instagram to find out more about her work.

Are you interested in textiles and patternmaking? Our range of textiles and materials short courses cover everything from concept to catwalk – textile design, fabrics and fibres, surface design, textile print, and more. Take a look at our upcoming short courses for more information.

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