North West Regional College (NWRC) graduate Aoife Harvey has triumphed in the Doubleband BBC TV show ‘A Stitch Through Time.’
Aoife said she couldn’t be prouder after she was finally revealed as the winner on Monday night after four weeks of competing against three other designers.
“I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “It didn't register until I called my mum and told her I had won. It all felt real, and from that point, I couldn't stop crying. Taking part in the show was way out of my comfort zone. I had always posted and shared my work online as Ah Designs, but I had never shown the face behind the brand. This experience did so much for my confidence.”
Monday’s announcement ended almost a year of secrecy in which Aoife couldn’t tell anyone about her success.
She said: “Keeping the secret for a year was challenging, but it made for great TV once it was aired. It was worth keeping it a secret, and now I feel relieved that I can finally talk about it.
“I almost convinced myself that I hadn't won, and I kept checking beside my bed where I had hidden the trophy in a box, thinking, ‘Yes, I did win that show.’
“The standard of the competition was incredible. The three designers I was up against each brought something unique: from embroidery to 3D design patterns on CAD, and of course, Aj and his extensive knowledge of TikTok and social media. I learned so much from these designers, and every week, it felt like we were learning from one another, gaining confidence in our abilities.”
For Aoife the best thing about winning is that it allowed designers of all abilities to showcase their skills to a wider audience and promote themselves.
She said: “Learning to sew is becoming increasingly popular; everyone I speak to wants to learn. It's amazing to witness and shows like this are definitely making an impact. On A Stitch Through Time this year and The Sewing Bee I have noticed a greater focus on sustainable design. This is also a massive part of my practice, and it's incredible to see it highlighted on our TV screens.”
For Aoife the future looks bright and she’s determined to take every opportunity that comes her way.
She said: “My current aim is to focus on producing more sustainable clothing collections and demonstrating what can be done with textile waste. I hope to launch my website soon and include a section where people can rent my clothing, which I believe is a shopping avenue that will only grow in popularity. Additionally, I am participating in Project Fashion on the 13th of August at the Culloden Estate, where I will be showcasing my clothing on the runway to promote slow fashion.”
Aoife previously studied the BTEC Level 3 in Art and Design and the UAL Foundation Diploma at NWRC Limavady and graduated from Ulster University with a first-class honours degree in Fashion and Textiles.
NWRC offers a full range of courses in Art and Design at Strand Road and Limavady campus. For more information go to www.nwrc.ac.uk/apply