Keith Gray is, without doubt, a success story - a Creative Director who has worked with the likes of Toma...
- Design and make one-off suits, jackets and coats
- You'll need excellent hand-sewing and machining skills & creativity
- You could become a senior tailor or supervisor, or set up your own business
- Taking customers' measurements
- Discussing styles and fabric
- Working out how much the clothing will cost and how long it will take to make
- Creating a design by hand or using computer software
- Creating a new pattern or adapting an existing one
- Making a mock-up garment using cheaper fabrics
- Fitting the mock-up to the customer and making alterations
- Cutting out fabric pieces to make the garment
- Fitting the garment to the customer and marking final adjustments
- Stitching clothes by hand or machine
- Carrying out repairs and alterations to clothing
You could be in a sewing room, attached to a shop or small factory. You may need to work evenings and weekends and you'll spend a lot of time doing close-up work.
This role would be ideal for someone with excellent hand-sewing and machining skills, creativity and the ability to visualise designs, IT skills, pattern making and cutting skills, accuracy and attention to detail, budgeting skills.
There are no set entry requirements, but you could start by working as an assistant to a master tailor. You may be able to arrange this yourself, if you can show you have a keen interest in making clothes and have sewing skills.
Alternatively you could complete an advanced apprenticeship in fashion and textiles: tailoring and move on to a bespoke tailor and cutter higher apprenticeship, as your experience grows. The Savile Row Bespoke Association (SRBA) apprenticeship programme can take between 2 and 6 years to complete. You would apply directly to SRBA member tailoring companies. Competition for places is strong and entry requirements vary.
You could take a college course to develop your sewing, pattern cutting and design skills. Courses include Level 2 Certificate in Sewing and Textiles, Level 2 Certificate in Pattern Cutting and Level 3 Diploma in Handcraft Tailoring.
You could also start by doing a degree in fashion or fashion and textiles and specialise in tailoring. You can do a BA (Hons) in Bespoke Tailoring at the London College of Fashion.
With experience, you could become a senior tailor or supervisor, or you could set up your own business.