St Cecilia’s Girls complete Derry Fashion & Textile Design Centre’s Digital Programme

Year 13 and 14 girls in St Cecilia’s College held a fashion show on Friday to showcase the garments they designed and made themselves.

The girls participated in a joint project with the Fashion and Textile Design Centre (FTDC), funded by the North West Learning Fund, through The Community Foundation NI.

The pupils were tasked with designing and making their own tops following eight video tutorial created by the FTDC. To create the garments, the students were also given a domestic sewing machine, Chrome book and all tools required to complete the task. The girls then presented their tops at the school and explained why they chose the designs they did and how they dyed the fabric and made the

garment, which year 8 pupils were modelling.

Mayor Graham Warke pictured with students from St Cecilia’s College who recently participated in the Fashion and Textile Design Centre’s Digital Programme. Included in the photograph from left are Leslie-Ann McGrory, Art Teacher, Deirdre Williams, TFTDC, Rachel Kelly, TFTDC, Catherine McGlinchey, Head of Art Department and Elaine Duffy, TFTDC. Photo: George Sweeney. DER2220GS – 056

Lesleyanne McGrory, Art Teacher and Head of Year 8, was delighted that the girls were given the opportunity to complete the programme and is so proud of what they have achieved.

She said: “I am a textiles worker so I have experience of working with these techniques and materials but the girls haven’t so for them to be able watch a video and pause and start again as they needed to, it was great. We were there to help them but we tried to encourage them to do as much of it as possible by themselves. We did make it slightly more complicated by having them make their own fabric but that ties in with their coursework for their exams so it all helps.

“These girls have missed out on so much because of Covid and being at home. When they came back to school, they weren’t allowed to touch a sewing machine so we couldn’t do any sewing or batiking because it involves a lot of moving around and they would have been facing each other so that wasn’t possible. 
“This project created a bridge for what they missed and what they had yet to do because they had to figure out how to create a pattern from a drawing, they had to be able to repeat it and flip it over and use different half drops or quarter drops and make symmetrical and asymmetrical designs. It was trial and error for them and it was quite time consuming. There were mistakes and they had to rip things out and start again but they’re all finished and they all look amazing now.

“They all loved it and it was great to see the girls back doing something again after Covid.

Mayor Graham Warke pictured with students from St Cecilia’s College who recently modelled garments designed and created by students at the school who participated in the Fashion and Textile Design Centre’s Digital Programme. Included in the photograph from left are Leslie-Ann McGrory, Art Teacher, Deirdre Williams, TFTDC, Rachel Kelly, TFTDC, Catherine McGlinchey, Head of Art Department and Elaine Duffy, TFTDC. Photo: George Sweeney. DER2220GS – 055

Deirdre Williams, Business Development Manager of the Inner City Trust’s Fashion and Textile Design Centre said: “It’s so uplifting to see how hard the girls have worked. Not only did they follow the brief, but also went above and beyond what was required. We set the students a task of following eight tutorials and making a garment, from laying the pattern, cutting the pieces, assembling and finishing. They have all really enjoyed it but also found it wasn’t an easy task.

“The girls did themselves and the school proud. This project was funded by the North West Learning Fund through the Community Foundation Northern Ireland and it was driven by the Fashion and Textile Design Centre. We’ve really enjoyed integrating with the school and working with the pupils and staff to help where we can. We hope to roll it out to many more schools as a result!”

Deirdre Williams, Business Development Manager, Fashion & Textile Design Centre, speaking at a Fashion Show held in St Cecilia’s College recently showcasing the work of students from the college who participated in the Fashion and Textile Design Centre’s Digital Programme. Pupils from the school modelled the garments designed and created by fellow students. Photo: George Sweeney. DER2220GS – 057
A student from St Cecilia’s College takes part in a Fashion Show at the school recently showcasing the work of students from the college who participated in the Fashion and Textile Design Centre’s Digital Programme. Photo: George Sweeney. DER2220GS – 058
A student from St Cecilia’s College takes part in a Fashion Show at the school recently showcasing the work of students from the college who participated in the Fashion and Textile Design Centre’s Digital Programme. Photo: George Sweeney. DER2220GS – 059
A student from St Cecilia’s College takes part in a Fashion Show at the school recently showcasing the work of students from the college who participated in the Fashion and Textile Design Centre’s Digital Programme. Photo: George Sweeney. DER2220GS – 060