A passion for fashion

Mum first taught me to sew clothes for my Barbie dolls when I was little. And I remember being so happy when I got my first sewing machine for my 16th birthday

Q: What do you do if you're having doubts that your course of study is right for you?

A: Do the TAFE NSW Career Quiz

Hunter TAFE student Sally Paull certainly found this to be a good idea. With a few simple clicks of the mouse, she experienced a profound shift in her mindset. And her career path.

"I was always good at maths and science so I thought engineering would be ideal," she said. "But after studying engineering for two years, I still wasn't sure about it. So I took a year off to decide that I wanted to do."

It was only when Sally took the TAFE NSW Career Quiz that she realized she had a passion for fashion. "I found out about the Diploma of Fashion Design," she said. "After looking into the course I found that it really excited me and I applied as soon as I could."

The discovery of this latent passion was something that took Sally completely by surprise, especially after two years of engineering. But the TAFE NSW Career Quiz doesn't lie. "I wouldn't say I've really been attracted to the world of fashion, I never read magazines or follow fashion trends," she said. "But I've always had a passion for making and sewing. Mum first taught me to sew clothes for my Barbie dolls when I was little. And I remember being so happy when I got my first sewing machine for my 16th birthday."

In her relatively short time in the fashion world, studying at Newcastle Campus in Tighes Hill, Sally's simmering talents and skills have already been recognized. In June she won the wearable art section of the Tamworth Australian Fashion Awards (TAWFA) with her 90% Merino woolen outfit. With a theme of ‘tribal', Sally drew inspiration from Princess Mononoke, a 1997 Japanese anime film about the spirit of the forest.

"The main character in the film goes on a spiritual journey to save his community and that was my aim to capture that journey in the coat and pants," she said.

The principal purpose of TAWFA is to showcase the use of merino wool by fashion designers and students, both national and international, while educating them on the qualities of wool as a fashion material. "Really quite eye opening" was how Sally described the experience of working with wool, something she'd never even considered before. "It didn't seem like a very versatile material and I'd only ever thought of it as being used for jumpers and suits," she said. "Throughout my project I learned how many different types of wool fabrics there are now. I've ended up with quite a collection of them as a result of all the different fabrics that went into my coat."

Sally would like to stay in the fashion industry and reports that she's loving every aspect of her studies with Newcastle TAFE. "I'd be happy with any career in the industry," she said. "Ideally I'd love to work locally in the Newcastle/Hunter area. A friend and I are working on plans to possibly start our own business."

Kick start your career in fashion design by studying a Diploma of Applied Fashion Design and Technology