One of the great things about the Costume and Design Construction course at QMU is that, while it covers a broad range of topics and areas, it also encourages students to focus on more specialised skills.

For my dissertation, I was interested in researching the topic of embellishment and how embroidery and beading can enhance couture and bespoke garments.  The course did not cover this area in depth; however, I realised there was the opportunity through this fund, to attend an 8-week online Haute Couture Embroidery course run by Hand and Lock.

I applied for the Student and Vice-Chancellor Development Fund, a donor-based fund designed to enhance the student experience and help students achieve their academic, personal, or vocational goals. In my case, the money from the fund would cover the fees and materials required to complete the embroidery course, which would ultimately give me the knowledge I was lacking to complete the research for my dissertation.

Model wearing white dress with floral pattern with trees and a tower in the background.

Seasonal inspired dress. One of several pieces Keira worked on during her time at QMU.

The short course offered teaching of tambour embroidery and hand sewing techniques used in the haute couture industry, which is something I had been keen to learn since my time in college. The course was an incredible experience and, although it was online, the tutor walked through the steps with a lot of patience, care, and attention towards the students. This allowed for all of the students to have as much time as was possible to grasp the techniques. The course being online also helped me to balance my academic workload during this time, as the classes took one evening a week and the rest of the work was done in our own time. Over the course, we worked on one embroidery piece and we completed the work section by section, learning new techniques to apply as we went.

tambour embroidery  tambour embroidery

Tambour embroidery technique which Keira learned on the 8-week course.

The Vice-Chancellor’s & Student Development Fund provided me with the invaluable opportunity to complete this course, enabling me to acquire skills that I otherwise would not have had the chance to learn. This experience transformed my fourth year and dissertation experience for the better and I cannot recommend the Fund enough because of this. I would strongly encourage future students to take advantage of the Fund in order to enhance their learning and overall student experience.

Keira Dunnett

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