My career path
For ten years after graduating, I did numerous full time pattern cutting roles with suppliers and retailers. I now pattern cut for high street companies and also catwalk designers as a freelance pattern cutter. I became a designer maker at the same time as freelance pattern cutting and this has opened up so many other aspects to my career. I decided to retrain as a lecturer and began teaching pattern cutting, construction and for short time a small amount of design to16-19 year olds and adults. I am surrounded by other craft people who work with ceramics, jewellery and woodturning. I taught myself how to make bags and accessories which has evolved into leather craft work, which has resulted in me getting a leather craft award to further develop my leather craft skills.
- Choosing to do BTECs instead of A levels.
- Deciding I wanted to be pattern cutter instead of a designer. During my work experience I learnt about roles other than a fashion designer. I had the opportunity to spend one day with a pattern cutter, found her role more interesting and decided that was what I wanted to do.
- I decided not to accept my place on the HND at London College of Fashion and studied at Kent Institute of
- Art and Design instead. I have met a lot of fellow Kent alumni working in the trade and education, including some of my managers.
- I couldn’t decide if I wanted to accept my place on a degree course to top up my HND as it was more theory based and not creative. I took a year out and got a job as a design room assistant/pattern cutter, and never looked back. I worked my way up as a pattern cutter in various roles, and ended up training students from the degree course I rejected in one of my roles.
- Deciding to freelance after being made redundant led to me setting up my own business as a designer maker. It has opened up so many opportunities for me including teaching and developing new craft skills. I have generally made most of these choices on my own, but have always had support from my Mum and a few close friends. I learnt very early on that if I want something I will have to be really determined as there are always lots of barriers to reaching my goals.
School trying to force me down an academic route.
Learning to sew and pattern cut — when I first started I was scared of the sewing machines!
Being an introvert in an industry that prefers extroverts.
Being rejected so many times — more than I can remember — and having to find another route to achieve my goals.
People make assumptions about me based on my appearance.