ABC LEVEL 3 IN BESPOKE TAILORING DIPLOMA
For the last 18 months Matthew, Max and I have been working on completing our ABC Level 3 diploma in bespoke tailoring.
The course consists of two main units:
Unit one deals mainly with various working practices such as health and safety laws and regulations, work and employment legislations and also gaining an understanding of the contextual history of tailoring and Savile row.
Unit two deals with the practical side of tailoring. The unit depends on what your training in, Matthew is an apprentice Trouser Cutter, Max is an apprentice Coat Cutter and I am a apprentice coat maker.
My unit was focused on making a coat from conception to finished product. This involved learning the basic principles of cutting coats, research into the various styles and types of coats, their historical development, and gaining a proficient understanding of all the stages of making.
Susan Fraser guided us through the course helping us gather evidence through voice recordings, written reports and practical observations. My favourite part of the course was definitely having the opportunity to research and quiz Leslie Haynes and Ollie Trenchard about cutting!
Sue is now checking over our work to ensure everything is there and then our portfolios will be sent to an external moderator.
I’m so excited its finished and that my work will be formally accredited. I’m so grateful to Sue Fraser for all her help and infinite patience with us!
TURN BACK CUFFS
When a job comes down to the workroom the first thing we do is look over the ticket. From time to time a customer might request a special detail on their jacket, such as turn back cuffs. Although turn back cuffs give the illusion of the edge of the sleeve being folded back, the cuffs are actually made up as a separate piece from the sleeve itself.
Before marking up and cutting out the turn back cuffs it is important to make sure that the grain of the cloth is laid exactly the same as that of the sleeve. If the cloth is a check, stripe or a herringbone then the cloth on the cuff must be a continuation of this.
The shape of the curve is chalked freehand and the width of the turn back is decided. This is usually judged by where the first cuff button begins and also what we think will be a suitable width aesthetically. Once the turn back is marked up and cut out we then cut some lining on the bias and make them up. The cuff is made up similarly to the way a pocket flap is done.
Once the cuffs are made up, turned through and pressed, they are basted in place to the job before attaching by hand. Doing this by hand allows a greater amount of manipulation to the cloth that you wouldn’t be able to achieve by using the machine and this is what adds beauty and charm to a bespoke piece.
We use hand silk on the reverse side of the sleeve to attach the cuff and when the sleeve is made up this is then covered with the lining. Hand silk is a lot stronger than machine silk and is used in a lot of the finishing of an Anderson and Sheppard jacket.
Although it can sometimes be a time consuming extra to a job, its nice to have a challenge and make something slightly different. It is quite a rarity that we get customers requesting turn back cuffs, but once the job is made up it definitely gives an added elegance to a jacket.
PACKING THE CARNET
Once again it’s that time of year for us at Anderson & Sheppard; preparation for this year’s Spring trip to the U.S has been under way for a few weeks now.
With around 120-130 customers being given appointments it’s essential that we ensure all garments whether fittings or finishers are ready to be sent in the Carnet.
Leon, Oliver, Matthew and I have been packing the trunks over the past week. We have a look through the American diary and then cross check the garments. Once we have checked over that we then bring them upstairs and pack them in order of appointment.
This equates to nearly three hundred suits that Danny Hall, John Malone and Mr Heywood will have to fit over their two weeks stay in the US. The guys will be visiting New York, Washington and Boston from 18th April – 29th April.
We all wish them a safe and successful trip.
MAKING THE CUT
Liberty, Max, Matthew and Finnan in the latest Telegraph Luxury Magazine Men’s Style Special. The piece focuses on one of the foundations of Anderson & Sheppard – our talented apprentices.
National Apprentice Week kicked off on Monday and is designed to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy.
Thank you to Telegraph Luxury, to Stephen Doig for the article and to Jake Curtis for the wonderful pictures.
OUR FIRST GERMAN TRIP.
Today marks the start of our first German trip; Leon Powell, Martin Crawford and I are in Frankfurt at The Frankfurter Hof to see customers. We will then travel to Hamburg tomorrow and set up at the Hotel Atlantic Kempinski on Thursday.
Getting the opportunity to travel and work is great and we’re excited to see our existing customers and to also welcome the new ones.
On this trip we will measure our customers and go through all our travel bunches with them, as you can see we brought as many as we could with us to ensure our customers have enough choice.
We will be back in Germany again later in the year for the fittings, and of course Danny Hall, John Malone and Colin Heywood will be visiting New York, Washington and Boston in October.