The Mason Trust Bursary continues to support graduates of BSSC, long after their college journey has ended.

Amy Lawrance is a perfect example of how the bursary keeps on giving. Now completing and Honours Degree in Fashion Design at RMIT, the 2009 alumna is grateful for the support offered by the Mason Trust, enabling her to access the materials and equipment she needs to work effectively from home during what has been a tough year for tertiary students.

“Working entirely from home has been tough,” she says, “but creativity has really helped me maintain my sanity over the last few months.”

While working on a fashion collection, from design through to production, isn’t without its setbacks, Amy says it’s the troubleshooting and problem solving involved that makes it a really rewarding process.

“I have a particular passion for working with and manipulating the quality of textiles,” she says, “and I’ve found that by studying at RMIT I’ve been able to exhaustively explore this and a number of other things that are of particular interest to me… with the support and encouragement of my lecturers.”

This year, Amy has been working on a thesis and fashion collection that interrogates the history of home dressmaking, drawing from a number of objects that have long been lying dormant in her home, including a small suitcase full of children’s clothing patterns and a Vogue Home dressmaker’s manual from the 1960s.

“My collection explores silhouettes, colours and materiality inspired by these objects and the styles that were particular to this era of dress,” Amy says. “A particular focus of my project is the process of emulating vintage pattern paper through the hand dying and starching of silk habotai fabric.

“I’ve used laser cutting as a method of replicating the shapes and perforations specific to the paper patterns that were produced in the 1960s.”

Even the psychedelic prints of Barbie clothes that belonged to Amy’s mum as a little girl have found their way into her collection. Her garments require delicate hand sewing techniques, which Amy learnt through studying the Vogue Home Dressmakers manual.

“I have very fond memories of my time at Bendigo Senior,” Amy says. “It really helped to cement my love of art and design.