In the past couple of years, I've received more than a few messages, comments or emails from folks interested in becoming a bench tailor, i.e. someone who can cut and sew garments. More specifically, they're interested in becoming an apprentice to a working tailor. I don't have much original advice except to approach the best tailors in your city about your enthusiasm, experience and perhaps most of all your dedication in putting in the time and effort to become a tailor.
Obviously it will pay to do your homework too. I recently came across this AskAndy thread that does a great job of assembling recommendations and references from working tailors and cutters. The thread also touches on an interesting distinction in patternmaking between industry or factory production v. bench tailors.
Let me also post another useful thread on the soft tailoring exponents of the English tailoring firm of Anderson & Sheppard. Too often it seems we have tailors who work only in the structured shoulder / stiff chest paradigm or the soft, drapey shoulder / soft chest paradigm. I personally think that a bench tailor who can inhabit both worlds and understand when to apply which paradigm will stand apart from most tailors working today and quite possibly take the next big step in bespoke tailoring. Innovations often come from hybrid milieus in which someone who knows a specific tradition or practice extremely well is then able to pivot and take a different slant on received wisdom.
- The next generation of tailors: Mutually assured succession