I have been working under Les as a coat cutter for over a year now and one of my favourite parts of the bespoke process it striking in. Les has spent a lot of time showing me how to strike in correctly, when I was first learning he was right by my side giving me instructions as I went. I am now able to do most of it on my own with Leslie checking each stage as I go. I am striking out a checked cloth today which is slightly more complicated as the checks need to match, so I would always get Les to help me with this.
When striking a job one always has to consider how much cloth they would need for any inlays, the top collar and other extras that a customer may have requested like patch pockets, half belt or turn backs. It is all about saving the cloth and being as economical and sustainable as possible when you are cutting it out.
I love the striking in and cutting process because it’s just me and my shears getting to work. The sound and the feel of the shears going through the cloth is extremely calming to me and once I start, it has my full concentration. At first I was very nervous because it was daunting to know that if I cut something wrong then I could be wasting both time and expensive cloth but thankfully Les has always been there to guide me through.
I am looking forward to gaining more experience inside the fitting room and focusing on my speed. The bespoke process is not about rushing but an apprentice should always try to improve their speed as they learn whilst also keeping the same quality of work.