We are Amy Millar and Amy McCue - more commonly known on our course as “The Amy’s”. Both being 20, we are currently studying Costume Design and Construction at Queen Margaret University. Having both completed a HND in Costume Design Interpretation at Edinburgh College, we were lucky enough to gain entry into the second year of our course at QMU. Upon starting our course we were anxious that we might not be able to keep up with the rest of our class but our worries soon withered away when we realised that we were more than capable of managing the workload.
After overcoming our fears, we decided to use our time at QMU to not only further develop our skills but to seize more opportunities. One of these opportunities was ‘Spark Something Good’, which is an M&S charity helping raise awareness of voluntary organisations around the UK and looking at what they need in order to deliver services to their communities. ‘Spark Something Good’ put a call out to encourage volunteers to help the local charity ‘Making for Charity’ create enough pillows and bags to meet their target of 50. After receiving this email we decided that we could put our sewing skills to good use and help people who are suffering from an illness which has affected both of our families. The syringe driver bags, which were constructed using fabric from M&S, are known to make a real difference to the lives of people with cancer. The finished bags were donated to local hospitals and hospices.
Looking forward to the rest of our time at QMU, we both hope to take on more voluntary work which will see us put our needlework skills to good use. Furthermore, we will also be involved in industry placements as part of our 3rd year and hope to form connections within the industry and create good working relationships with potential employers.
We have both up to this point had the opportunity to go on a work placement through our college course. I (Amy McCue) decided to contact the Edinburgh Dungeons to ask if I could carry out my college placement with them; thankfully they accepted my request. During my time at the Dungeons, I formed a close professional relationship with the company and they decided to keep me on as their seamstress. Having loved this opportunity, I jumped at the chance to continue working with the company and I’m still currently employed by The Edinburgh Dungeon outside of university hours. I have chosen to do my third year university placement with the Dungeons and hope that this will continue to strengthen the relationship I have with the company.
However, I (Amy Millar) was given the opportunity to work at Dundee Rep Theatre, a theatre which I often visited when I was younger. I enjoyed the experience greatly and have used the skills I gained working in a theatre to better my time on QMU productions which form part of our professional practice modules. These modules, which we complete throughout the first three years, are a great way to train us to be professional and able costume assistants. In my third year, I hope to gain experience in film, to compliment my previous experience in theatre.
All in all, the opportunities and experiences given to us at QMU are appropriate to the industry and are very rewarding both in a personal and professional way. We look forward to future opportunities and are very much enjoying our time at QMU.