From Trouser Cutter to Coat Cutter

By Matthew on 1st June, 2017

Matthew Borkowski coat cutting (6)

Since August of  2016 I have been training as a Coat Cutting Apprentice under Leslie Haynes. I moved over from the trouser department where I had spent the past two and half years working as a trouser cutting apprentice under John Malone. Leslie Haynes needed assistance and I was lucky enough to be chosen to work with him as his apprentice.

The transition has been amazing, when I first started Leslie taught me how to draft a waistcoat, I practised that for several months and then when he was happy with my progress he then showed me how to cut a coat. From there we started discussing figure variations, how a person stands and all the other intricacies that come with making a bespoke jacket for somebody. I am involved in the fittings a lot of the times with Leslie and every day I have been getting to practice my pattern cutting and striking out.Matthew Borkowski coat cutting (1)

The things I learnt from John Malone as an apprentice trouser cutter was invaluable and it was such a great experience. I have not moved very far but it still feels like a whole new journey and with only a year into it I still have so much to learn. It has been great to be involved in projects like Craft Week, I helped cut the midnight velvet jacket used for the Jimmy Beaumont Series which turned out wonderful.

Being involved with the fittings is probably the most exciting part for me; it is great to see a customer’s reaction once they try on their jacket.  You spend an hour or so cutting out a pattern and see it come alive when it is made by a tailor but it is not yet perfect till you have a fitting. That is when you can strive for perfection.

Matthew Borkowski coat cutting (3)

Much like in the trouser department, organisation is still a big part of my job. It may not be the most enthralling  aspect but it is so essential, it teaches discipline and management skills that you have to posses as a Cutter.

I am looking forward to learning all I need to know from Leslie and the whole team to be the best that I can be.

Matthew Borkowski coat cutting (2)

Matthew Borkowski coat cutting (4)