One way we do this throughout the year is to send our "spare" fabrics and threads up to the school to add to the range and choice of materials available for students to work with. Even if you don't have any formal links with schools in your area you could find out if their textiles departments could make good use of donated fabrics and threads!
The students brought their three project sketchbooks and the practical realisation pieces to display and, following their teacher's introduction to the course and details of Advanced Level expectations, students spoke about their work. their inspiration, the research and experimentation and issues that they encountered in the process. Their confidence, in presentation and with the work was impressive and it was so good to see their willingness to approach technique without fear and with "what if..." As as key part of the process.
I was particularly impressed with their sketchbooks, stunning artworks in their own right, they demonstrated the degree of research and experimentation that underpinned every piece of work on display. Earlier in the year the students had joined us for a monthly meeting when Ruth Singer was our speaker and it was fascinating to see how they had used that, and her workshop with them in their work. They were a breath of fresh air because they had not yet been told or persuaded that "you can't do that....."
Many of us were very envious of these student's access to a course like this as most of us had had a dressmaking focus to any needlework classes as school.
Here are some images of the evening.