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UKFT Apprenticeship Spotlight: Bespoke Tailor and Cutter


Quentin Félix is currently a Level 5 Bespoke Tailor and Cutter apprentice at Hirsch Tailoring.

In his words

I am an apprentice studying for the level 5 in Bespoke tailoring. I am registered at Macclesfield College but I am studying at the Tailoring Academy in Macclesfield, where I have been training for the last year.

I am a 27 year-old Frenchman. Before being an apprentice tailor, I was a robotics engineer. I studied six years, in both France and Germany to achieve this master’s degree title, and worked for two-and-a-half years in Switzerland.

For the past four years my interest for sewing has grown I was learning sewing techniques online and met Brita [Hirsch, founder of Hirsch Tailoring] through Instagram. After seeing Brita in person in July 2017 for a two-week-long tailoring workshop, she offered me to be her apprentice. This was the opportunity I was waiting for to try and change career. I thought it would be better to have given it a try and realised I didn’t like it than never knowing whether I would have enjoyed it or not.

It turned out that I love this. I have been working on actual commissioned garment from day one, and Brita trusts me to meet her standards of perfection. This is a great feeling. I enjoy learning all the processes and techniques involved in the making of the garments.

I enjoy being in charge of the drafting of small features such as pockets flaps, patch pockets shapes or straps. It is a great feeling to see these details on the finished garments before sending them away.

I didn’t expect this year to be flying so quickly. This was a big change in my life and I also have learned a lot but, in the meantime, enjoying every day spent in the workshop has made this year go so fast.

Once I complete my training, I want to continue working in this field. Before starting my apprenticeship I wasn’t sure if I wanted to change career. This opportunity has let me set a foot in this universe and I am glad I took it. I want to keep working in a workshop. I love to make garments with my hands, from A to Z. We will see how far this takes me, and if I get to open my own workshop one day.

Find out more

Bespoke tailors and cutters produce tailored garments that are cut and made to a unique pattern for an individual. Many of the skills are carried out by hand in order to produce a garment that fits precisely to a customer’s requirements. Bespoke tailoring forms the heart of the British menswear and womenswear industry and has an international and iconic reputation.

Bespoke tailors and cutters have practical skills in bespoke garment manufacture and pattern construction. This Apprenticeship Standard is comprised of mandatory core skills and knowledge with a choice of specialising in either tailoring or cutting as a career path.

The skills involved in bespoke tailoring cover a wide area of expertise that includes craft, technical, creative and design. These skills are fundamental to the bespoke tailoring industry and ultimately have to be employed with great precision, to high standards of excellence and within realistic time constraints.

Apprenticeship details

Employers involved in creating the standard: Henry Poole, Anderson & Sheppard, Dege and Skinner, Gieves and Hawkes, Chittleborough and Morgan, Norton and sons, Welsh and Jeffries, Richard Anderson, Meyer and Mortimer, Kathryn Sargent, Davies & Son, Lutwyche

Training providers offering the standard: Bridgwater & Taunton College, Fashion Enter, Newham College, Macclesfield College

Maximum funding: £15,000

Duration: 24 months

End Point Assessment Organisation: ABC Awards

External Quality Assurance Provider: UKFT

Link: https://www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/apprenticeship-standards/bespoke-tailor-and-cutter/

More information

UKFT is working to raise the skills and productivity of the people who work in our industry to the highest level, ensuring the UK fashion and textile sector remains competitive against global competition. During National Apprenticeship Week, we will be profiling some of the new apprenticeship standards that we have co-ordinated since UKFT became Sector Skills Body for the Fashion & Textiles industry. Read more here.