Tailors, Dressmakers, and Custom Sewers Job Description video

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Many steps come together to form the clothes on your back. Most styles have made their way down a factory assembly line, being cut, sewn, and pressed by many hands…followed by other garments made from the same pattern. But the most highly skilled of apparel workers, Custom Tailors and Sewers, master each phase of the apparel process to produce made-to-measure garments for their clients. Manual dexterity and good hand-eye coordination are essential qualities for success. Some Custom Tailors are “soup to nuts” professionals. They take measurements, create a design, make a pattern, cut the fabric to optimize beauty and avoid defects, and sew the pieces together by hand or machine. Others specialize in one function, like hemming pants, or pressing. They may also take measurements. Many Custom Tailors and Sewers are employed by dry cleaning establishments and department stores. Others are self-employed. The work environment in retail stores is comfortable. Dry-cleaning establishments can be noisy and hot. In either case, these employees must be willing to work evenings and weekends. Custom Sewers create clothing and non-clothing garments such as draperies and pillow cushions based on specifications from their clients. They may specialize. For instance, they may only make baby bibs or draperies. Retail stores mainly hire experienced Custom Tailors and Sewers. They want them to understand fabrics, construction and design. This training can be obtained in vocational school or on the job. Dry cleaning establishments will often hire inexperienced workers. Unfortunately the wages for custom tailors and sewers are relatively low. Also, positions are expected to decrease, as mass-produced styles continue to gain popularity. This is a job that provides opportunity, however, for people with skills that translate across language barriers.

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