The sample machinist
Friday, July 9th, 2010
For our third team profile we pay a visit to Jasper’s busy sample room - where Lisa, his machinist of twenty years, is in the midst of preparations for Spring/Summer 2011.
With just ten weeks until London Fashion Week, the womenswear team are at an advanced stage of sampling - each toile has already been remade several times and will continue to evolve as Jasper edits the collection.
Lisa’s first approach to a toile is to talk to the patternmaker. It is crucial that she fully understands the look and feel expected. She will then work out the order of construction, stitch technique and pressing required. The result must be flawless and her workmanship - almost invisible.
Over two decades Lisa has seen Jasper’s design business expand enormously but she says the line and fit of his garments has remained consistent throughout. She finds her role ‘constantly challenging and interesting’ and loves the transition from monochromatic sampling to colour and print – when the decisions have been made and the final garments are pieced together for the catwalk.
Inspired by her grandmothers who taught her to sew and embroider, Lisa discovered her craft at a young age. She was given her first Singer sewing machine (operated by a hand wheel) at eight years old. By eleven, she had graduated to an electric model and began creating clothes for her family. She went on to become a professional seamstress, a career she balances with her passion for Opera singing.