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Golden Shears 2013
A look at Jennie McWalter's entry for The Golden Shears 2013
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HRH The Prince of Wales
A visit to the Bespoke Shop by HRH The Prince of Wales
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The Bespoke Shop
A look at the Bespoke Shop and the ordering process
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Clifford Street
A look at our new Clifford Street Shop
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top 5 articles about the notebook
contributors
Finnan
Finnan is an apprentice trouser maker under Keith Smith and... More
Oliver
Oliver is a trouser cutter at Anderson & Sheppard -... More
Sunna
Sunna recently finished her apprentiship as a tailor under Derrick... More
James
James was Front of House at Anderson & Sheppard and... More
Ollie
Ollie joined Anderson & Sheppard from Newham College as an... More
Jennie
Jennie is a coat maker at Anderson & Sheppard. She... More
Mr Hitchcock
John Hitchcock retired as Managing Director and Head Cutter at... More
Anda
Anda is the Vice Chairman of Anderson & Sheppard and... More
Audie
Audie runs the Clifford Street store and has 30 years... More
Emily
Emily joined Anderson & Sheppard in December 2011 and works... More
Conor
Conor joined Anderson & Sheppard in 2012 and works in... More
Ashleigh
Ashleigh joined Anderson & Sheppard as an apprentice coatmaker early... More
Emily H
Emily joined Anderson & Sheppard as an apprentice coat maker... More
Max
Max works for Head Cutter Danny Hall and is learning... More
Matthew
Matthew joined us in December 2013 straight after his A-Levels.... More
Mike
Mike is the full time Trimmer at Anderson & Sheppard.... More
Colin Heywood
Colin joined the firm in 1990 and is now Managing... More
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DRAWING THE ARM HOLE

The past couple of weeks I’ve been striking out for the first time – marking the patterns onto the cloth, with chalk – under the supervision of Mr Hitchcock. I’ve been practising quite a lot in my spare time as well, taking a specific lay and marking it out, then rubbing the chalk off and trying again.

While the lays that I’ve already learnt give me a starting point, every customer’s pattern is different so I have to adjust each one to make the best lay on the cloth. One customer recently had particularly large trousers and that wasn’t something my book covered. So I asked Mr Hitchcock and he showed me another way, to incorporate that. The number in my book is growing all the time.

I’ve managed to strike out two patterns a day over the past few days – with Mr Hitchcock correcting little things each time and suggesting I redraw a bit. But I’m getting better: I’ve done two this morning already. It will be a while before I’m saving him time though!

The other difficult part is learning how to draw the parts that need to be done freehand, such as the shape of the armhole. They say it should be an egg-shape, which isn’t that easy to draw perfectly in one or two sweeps of the chalk.

It’s taken a lot of practice but I think it’s just a matter of repetition. I’m getting more at the moment because I’m striking out a lot of waistcoats, which means each suit requires two sets of armholes.