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Mar 03, 2021
@Kunsthandwerk I used to read that too! It is a big shame that its not updated anymore. I did level 1 & 2 "pre-apprenticeship" in 2012 course at Newham College in east London. It was pretty much a introductory course to bespoke tailoring, teaching all the basic hand techniques, how to use industrial sewing machines & to make a waistcoat. (Level 2) Was on drafting trouser patterns and making them. Before doing the course I had never picked up a needle. Looking back on the first day, I remember looking at loads of patterns & drafting books and thinking WTF I do not understand any of this. I wanted to learn making before cutting, reason was that it would give me a better understanding when eventually I take the time to learn cutting. Most cutters can't make, they are just cutters, previously they would do their coat making apprenticeship and then go on to be a undercutter. I choose what I wanted. Think I was quite lucky because the guy who taught me was quite old. I was his last apprentice, I pretty much hassled him everyday he took a chance on me, saw how eager I was, but I was not getting much luck anywhere else in finding an apprenticeship. Some people in order to get their foot in the door will start out just doing alterations, finishing, trouser / waistcoat making and wait till a position opens up. Pretty much what the shop needs at the time. The Hierarchy usually is the Cutter, Coat maker, Trouser maker, Waistcoat maker, Finisher/Alterations tailor. But I find that quite an outdated view... I think finishers are undervalued. I work with 1 finisher, her button holes are just sublime and the finishing all around the jacket is immaculate. If you asked the coat maker who taught me he would say "Cutters don't know what they want" which is The age old cutter vs tailor disagreement! Always happy to answer questions 🙂