Careers in Sewing: Bespoke Alterations at Harrods
Have you ever considered a Career in Sewing? Do you dream of ditching the 9-5 and pursuing your creative dreams? In this blog series we will be posting interviews for a range of different sewing jobs to give you a taste of what possibilities are out there.
Today we interview Christina who has a fascinating job as a fitter in Harrods bespoke alterations department. Alongside this Christina has a super inspiring blog Gussets and Godetsthat you all must go and have a look at!
What is your background and how you have ended up working where you are?
I am a self confessed craft addict! Since childhood I was always making and crafting things and that was where I discovered my love of sewing. I studied fashion through college and university because it was something that I loved. I wanted to work in an environment full of creativity where I would always learn new things and be challenged. I have always been best at the technical side of fashion with the pattern cutting and sewing. The design side was lost on me because I just wanted to use my hands to make something. After university I accidentally fell into the alterations industry, working in bridal boutiques. It was fun but I didn’t want to stay in such a narrow field, so I looked for something covering a broader spectrum of fashion. That was when I started my current job.
Can you tell us about your job and where you work?
What do you do in a typical day?
What are the best and worst bits?
Did you always want a creative career?
What qualifications, skills or experience did you need to get your job? Have you continued to train since starting?
All of the members of my team have taken completely different career paths. Some have academic qualifications from college or university, some have done apprenticeships and learnt on the job. There isn’t a specific set of qualifications that are necessary. Of course technical skills in pattern cutting and tailoring are a must, in order to understand the construction of garments, but it takes a special sort of person to build relationships with customers and understands their needs. To walk into a room with a complete stranger and spark a connection with them. For me, that is the most important part of my role. I am constantly learning new things at work. Garments change, season to season and so do the fabrics and finishes used. As a team we are always finding new ways to do things, brainstorming ideas together to find a new solution. I am incredibly lucky to work in a team full of such talented people and am constantly learning from them
Do you have any tips for someone looking to get into the same thing as you?
If you could do anything else what would it be?
What is your favourite sewing tool and why?
What are you sewing right now/will be your next project?
I do a lot of home sewing and usually have a few projects on the go. At the moment I’m working on a fitted grey suit jacket from a vintage 1950s pattern, Simplicity 3343. This has been a long term project as I have only used sew in canvas and interfacing, with a lot of pad stitching involved to give the jacket structure. It is coming together quite well so far, and I can’t wait to finish it so that I can finally wear it! I share pictures of my most recent makes on my blog Gussets and Godets.