What do you enjoy most about working at RP?

How much everyone seems to love what they are doing.

Can you tell us a little bit about how you got into your line of work that lead you to RP?

Learnt to pattern cut and sew at the age of 6.  Mum was a tailoress so always making things.  Learnt everything in the industry from programming knitting machines to setting sewing machines up.  Designed for 20 years working with worldwide companies, life’s changes made traveling too difficult so decide to do more technical area of the job that involved less travel.  Met Jo in the trade about 5yrs ago and we got on straight away.  She asked if I would do a couple of grades for Rebecca and now here I am. Loving it.

What qualifications do you have/ courses completed?

HNC/ HND in Fashion & Technology.

Degree in Fashion

Base and Higher level courses in Garment Computerized Grading.

What is your favourite RP pattern?

At the moment I would have to say the Andie Anorak as it has made my brain work overtime. Love a challenge.

Describe a typical day in your life.

Up at 5.45am, walk the dog for an hour.  Sort daughter out for school. Train for an hour. Start work in my office at home.  When finished I am either making wedding dresses, doing massages (qualified masseuse) or waxing. Teach Zumba and Strong twice a week in the evenings.

Tell us a bit about your style.

I’m a bit of a workaholic but love anything sporty.  Love to have fun and enjoy outdoor life.  To help make others better or happy, it makes me happy.  Love being around my girls and family.

Where are you from? And where do you currently live?

From a small village called Stoke Golding. Lived in London for 9 years but came back to Stoke Golding. It is in the country and I love where I live.

How long have you been sewing and how did you start?

Started at 6yrs old when my mum taught me.

If you had one wish (not necessarily sewing related) what would it be?

For my children to always be happy and enjoy the beauty of life.

What’s your superpower? Other than turning a piece of material into something awesome?

My hands

What’s the superpower you really want? 

To be totally honest I wouldn’t change what I have.

Can you please share some go-to fail-safe tips for beginner sewistas?

Never look at a garment and say it’s impossible.  Sit, break it down stage by stage and go for it.  We all love a challenge.

Describe your perfect Sunday.

Bike ride and a long walk with my family and dog.

If you were stranded on a desert island, which historical figure would you want with you, and why?

Albert Einstein….. an amazing opportunity it would be to learn something from him.

What’s the sound of your favourite colour?

ORANGE… I’m here, I’m bright and I speak volume

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?

Spend added time with my family

If you could turn any activity into an Olympic sport, what would you have a good chance at winning a medal for?


What do you wish you knew more about?

The Stock Exchange (lol)

Claire Ashley
Pattern Grader