Student Spotlight – Pat Gordon-Smith

Clothes Making Beginners Student

How long have you been a student at Morley? 

Just one term on the Beginners Plus sewing course. Although it’s not my first time as a Morley student. I’m a jazz singer and courses that I attended some years ago were helpful preparation. 

What’s your favourite part of studying at Morley? 

Morley is pretty local to me, so it’s great to be able to get there easily. Although sessions are focused and led by skilled tutors, they feel pretty comfortable and informal.
During lockdown the Beginners Plus sewing course was online, but it had the same feeling as the in-person classes. The tutor made the best of having to teach a practical course without any of the usual tools at her disposal, and I have learned a lot.

What have you learnt and taken away from your course? 

Although I have sewn quite a bit in the past, I had never made adjustments to a published pattern, and the course has enabled me to approach these effectively. I now feel confident in taking instruction on different adjustments from the many videos online and have had some success that way.

What have you enjoyed most about your course so far? 

I really enjoyed chatting with the tutor and other students as we worked on the Beginners Plus course. But mainly I’m incredibly happy to have new confidence and to be making so many garments. I doubt I would have done this without the course direction.

What are you currently working on? 

I have a few things on the go. I’m making a cocoon shape tunic top, and I’m using remnants to make a bag and a tailor’s ham, which will be stuffed with all the last scraps. I want to be as careful as possible to use all the fabric I acquire for making garments. It’s something we talked about during the course.

How do you think your course at Morley has supported your development? 

Back to the singing classes. It takes years to develop as a singer, and two or three pieces of advice have been key for me along the way. One of them – a simple trick for overcoming the ‘break’ between ‘chest’ and ‘head’ voice – was delivered at Morley 10 years ago. Many teachers had failed to help me through before, and the trick is now embedded in the voice that I use on stage to this day. 

How /why does you course at Morley contribute to your well being? 

Being able to find and attend courses that are tailored to precisely what I want to achieve is satisfying at the time. They are also the gift that keep on giving.