Pat Sews-up 42 Years at David Nieper

Expert seamstress retires from Made in Britain fashion house after 42 fashionable years

Pat Foddy, 76, a highly skilled seamstress from Alfreton in Derbyshire, is retiring after a lifetime in fashion, mostly at the British fashion house David Nieper.  She first joined the company in 1973 and has worked for the company almost continuously ever since – sewing up 42 years.

Pat Foddy pictured with Molly Atkinson from Codnor Primary School, Gold Award winner Fashion for Free!

Pat Foddy pictured with Molly Atkinson from Codnor Primary School, Gold Award winner Fashion for Free!

Commenting on Pat’s retirement, managing director Christopher Nieper, said: “Pat is an incredible example of loyalty to a family company.  Pat has worked with David Nieper for 42 years with an occasional career break in the earlier years.  She is a fantastic sewing machinist who has led the way and developed the techniques to make some of our most challenging and difficult styles.

“There must be very few people with as much experience, talent and sewing expertise as Pat.  She specialises in luxurious silk and satin styles with applique lace – our most glamorous and sought after garments.  We wish her all the very best for a wonderful retirement.”

As shown in a recent episode of the Great British Sewing Bee, sewing silk and lace is one of the biggest sewing challenges.  Silk is a delicate fabric which is ‘fluid’ to handle under a sewing machine making it very difficult to sew.  The stitch must be at a perfect tension and a special ball point needle is used to prevent the natural fibres in silk being cut and the stitch line ruffling.  Often the lace is even more valuable than the silk itself and each piece of lace is painstakingly cut not only to fit but also cut in matching pairs so the garment looks balanced.  It’s then pinned into place and stitched with a zigzag stitch which both holds the lace and allows it to move with the fabric.

At her leaving presentation, in front of 200 friends and colleagues at the Alfreton-based company, Pat was presented with presents, including gift vouchers which Pat is hoping to spend on lots of new clothes.