Here at Anderson & Sheppard as our customers will know, we have a wide variety of cloth choices from the various merchants in the trade. Our house cloths however are woven exclusively for us in mills based in Yorkshire to our high quality standards.
Our Mount Arden is most popular house cloth that we have provide, being an excellent 3 season weight; available in Navy Blue, Dark Grey and Mid Grey. With many customers being either a particular patron of Blue or Grey it allows them to keep to their own preference whilst still having access to our exclusive house cloths. Alongside the Mount Arden our A&S Triple Stripe Diamond Weave gives both a very classic and smart look with the Diamond Weave bordering on a vintage suit look.
Our in-house tweeds are also a mainstay of our business, with both a range in weights and colour to allow the more dashing country gentlemen to dress accordingly all year round. We are also in the process of re-launching our house tweeds collection, being in collaboration with mills to replicate the most popular tweeds of our past whilst also looking to add completely new variations for the future.
MAKING THE POCKETS
When a job comes down to the workroom wrapped in a bundle, there is a small amount of cloth left inside. This spare piece of cloth is what we use to cut the ‘fit ups’. These are all the components needed to make up the pockets (jettings, flaps, outbreast welt and facing). We cut these without a pattern, just using a ruler, chalk and the forepart as a guide.
Once they are cut we then go on to make the flaps. Every customer is different, so we judge the size of the pocket by the size of the jacket. It is essential to have a sharp piece of chalk and a ruler when marking up the flaps in order to get precise lines to follow. Getting the perfect round on the front of the flap is also important. We use a circle shaped disc to get this desired shape.
Not every tool we use in the workroom is what you would expect. Sometimes everyday objects can help with certain parts of the making. For example a plastic lid might have the perfect round for using to trace the front of the flap. Also we use a touch screen pen to help poke through the back corner of the flap. Some tailors use what is called a Bodkin, but these can be hard to come by nowadays!
When the jettings have been sewn they are then cut and pressed on an edge board using a dry iron. We also apply a small amount of water by dabbing it onto the back of the jetting and again apply the dry iron. Adding this small amount of water enables a really clean press. The jettings are then turned through, basted and we then go onto finish the pockets putting in the flaps and attaching the pocketing.
For me, putting in the pockets is one of the most rewarding aspects of the making. You can really see a jacket come to life once the pockets are in.
SOHO REVUE GALLERY
We had the opportunity to visit the Soho Revue Gallery in Greek Street where “Artists: Artisans”, the collaborative exhibition between Savile Row apprentices and recent fashion graduates from Central St Martins will be held.
It was great to see the space where our pieces will be displayed and to find out more about the Gallery itself. Soho Revue’s aim is to put the spotlight back on young emerging artists, so there is no better place for us showcase our designs.
The date of our exhibition has been moved from May 13th to June 2nd. The extra time allows all involved to get everything just right; and for us to exhibit the best pieces that we possibly can.
OUR DISPATCH DEPARTMENT
I have been working at Anderson and Sheppard for 22 years, and Alfie has been here for nearly 2 years. We work in the dispatch department downstairs in the bespoke shop. Our job here is to pack and arrange complete bag garments and send them out to customers.
We send packages to customers in the UK, and abroad to countries like the USA. Some customers may be visiting the city and are having their suits finished, so we deliver the bag garments ourselves to them if they are staying in nearby hotels or apartments.
We also know the importance of good maintenance when it comes to a bespoke Anderson and Sheppard suit. Customers send us their suits to be dry cleaned; and we send out garments twice a week to a reliable dry cleaning service close by to ensure that they are cared for and cleaned sufficiently. We get the clothes back and sometimes notice that they may need small alterations or repairs to the lining and such, so we get that handled, and then contact the customer about where they want it delivered too.
We keep a record of all things that are booked out for customers, and items we have sent out to be dry cleaned. Everything is indexed and cross checked to ensure all the garments are accounted for, to prevent any problems occurring during delivery. It’s an important job, everyone likes things they have ordered arriving in time and in good condition so we try to make sure that every customer is always satisfied.
BEST APPRENTICESHIP BLOGS
The Apprenticeships.gov website has featured the Anderson & Sheppard Notebook blog as one of the best online apprentice blogs.
The Notebook was created to allow us apprentices to document our development, training and the skills we are constantly learning. Best of all it gives visitors an insight into what happens at Anderson & Sheppard and the craft of an Anderson & Sheppard suit, through our eyes and occasionally a senior member of staff. It is also an amazing way of seeing how far we have come in the apprenticeship programme.
Thank you to the Apprenticeships website, it’s great to be recognised and it has definitely motivated us all to keep recording our growth throughout our time as apprentices.
Read more on the Apprenticeships website here.