Seamstress Job Description, Skills, and Salary
Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a seamstress. Feel free to use our job description template to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a seamstress.
Who is a Seamstress?
In the world of fashion, seamstresses are indispensable personalities in this industry because they contribute greatly to the fashion industry. A seamstress can also be called a female fashion designer who constructs, modifies, amends, and alters other articles, clothes, or accessories according to a customer’s desires, preferences, specifications, or needs. A seamstress can be self-employed or they can work in boutiques and other departmental stores. The responsibilities of a seamstress depend on the organization she works. In ancient times, seamstresses are often employed by rich or influential families to mend their clothes but in recent times, seamstresses are professional fashion designers who work for great organizations. They spend most of their time studying textiles, fabrics, and fashion and they do this by training under those that have advanced in the profession. Seamstress performs different responsibilities such as hemming pants to replace stained sleeves to sewing a different outfit or costume. There are occasions when seamstresses have to design a garment from the scratch and they achieve this by brainstorming and then sketching the ideas on paper and drafting patterns. They can also get inspiration for designs from pictures they post in their working environment.
A seamstress who works in a departmental store usually focuses on altering clothes sold at the store to fit a customer’s desire and body structure while those who work for an alteration shop or dry cleaner not only alter clothes but also repair damaged or worn-out clothes. They achieve this by removing or adding embellishments such as beads, cuffs, and ribbons. They also design costumes or other garments to meet a customer’s specifications. The seamstress who works in a fashion house or costume department makes some special items under the tutoring of a designer and repairs some pieces if necessary. Many live theatres do not have enough budget to make new costumes for every show, so they rely on seamstresses to make specific alterations to costumes they rented and also update their stock of reusable ones. The work schedule of a seamstress is 40 hours per week and they usually work full-time. One of the skills they channel into their work is time management; they must be able to meet up with deadlines at all times. For instance, if a seamstress is designing a cloth for a client’s special event; they must make sure that the cloth is ready before the special event. Seamstress needs to make sure that they don’t disappoint clients because it can spell doom for their career.
Difference Between a Seamstress and a Tailor
One of the evident differences between a seamstress and a tailor is that; the word “tailor” is used for male fashion designers while “seamstress” is used for female fashion designers. In this modern society, the differences still exist to some extent; someone who works in a men’s clothing store will be called a “Tailor” and someone who works in a bridal store will be called a “seamstress”. Although there are differences both seamstresses and tailors can work in both men’s and women’s clothing stores. Many job vacancies or postings may use both titles or can generically use a tailor. The term “semester” has been used in the past years to refer to both men and women but it is not rampant presently.
Seamstress Job Description
Below are the seamstress job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a seamstress job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.
The following are the duties of a seamstress:
A seamstress’s major responsibility is the work of alterations. People have different shapes and sizes and mostly the clothes they buy will not fit; the clothes can be too big or too small and they are often altered by a seamstress to get the perfect shape and fit. Alteration can also be very essential when customizing a garment. A seamstress can also enhance the beauty of the garment by adding flourishes like sashes, sleeves, ribbons, and belts to give the ordinary cloth a peculiar look
Mending is also one of the core aspects of a seamstress’s bulk work. When people’s favorite clothes start to wear out. It often takes someone with a lot of dexterity to revive and beautify the cloth. Some clothes may have some problems after a couple of years of using them such problems can be minor holes, fallen hems which can be fixed by a seamstress other issues can be threadbare, rips, stains and other sections which professional help. The best person to call is a seamstress.
- Special Events and Bridal Services
Many modern seamstresses make a lot of money from designing bridal clothes and other garments for special events. For instance, seamstresses make a lot of money by designing wedding gowns and celebrity clothes for red carpet events. Most wedding gowns may need some alteration touch for them to fit in properly but if the material is very thick and layered; it will not be easy to alter it. Most wedding stores employ seamstresses to specifically work as customer’s fashion designers for them to make clothes that will fit customers as appropriate.
There is also a trend of creating special clothing for special events. The seamstress who works for a fashion house or major designer often specializes in designing clothes for special events. They create a peculiar look for a model structure or body. Some influential people in society such as celebrities or aristocrats seek out seamstresses when they have a formal event function. People who have a lot of money can order a cloth to be specially made for them so that their outfits can fit perfectly.
Other duties of a Seamstress are;
- Maintaining sewing machines to ensure they are in perfect working order
- Communicating with customers to ascertain their needs, desires, and preferences
- Using irons and pressing machines to remove the ceases on garments and other articles
- Dyeing fabrics using, such as candle dyeing and dip-dyeing to create color
- Recommending style patterns to customers
- A high school diploma or GED
- A bachelor’s degree in Fashion and Textile
- Proven sewing experience
- Excellent knowledge of various fabrics both local and international
- Sound knowledge of diverse sewing techniques
- The ability to work under pressure and meet up with deadlines
- The ability to use different types of sewing machines both electrical and manual
- Good hand-eye coordination
- Effective communication skills
- Exceptional customer service skills
- Inventory Management
- Bookkeeping and Marketing Skills
- Time- Management Skills
A seamstress must possess the following essential skills to be highly successful. Technical skills are more important than soft skills to a seamstress although both are essential. Below are the following skills a seamstress should possess:
- Sewing: this is a core skill that the work of a seamstress is built upon. Sewing simply means the procedure of joining fabrics together to create a finished product which is a clothing garment. A seamstress needs to have a perfect understanding of diverse sewing techniques, such as how to cut the fabric into different designs, how to use a sewing machine and how to design fabric with the aid of a sewing machine. This process will bring about the finished product of unique clothing.
- Cutting Fabric: Cutting fabric is known as a process of measuring an individual, marking the pattern on the fabric, and cutting it into smaller shapes to harmonize it into a finished product. This is a very important skill for seamstress because designs cannot be made if fabrics are not cut. Cutting fabric requires expertise, no wonder amateur seamstresses are not given fabrics to cut in some fashion houses because of their lack of experience. Cutting fabrics need more focus to avoid mistakes. Seamstresses need to have skills and special awareness to do their work successfully.
- Pattern Reading: A seamstress needs to be able to read patterns to comprehend instructions for making garments. They need this skill to ensure that a fits a customer’s body shape appropriately. This skill is very essential to checkmate when a garment is not fitting properly.
- Machine Operation: a seamstress needs to be able to operate a sewing machine correctly for them to do their work. They need to have knowledge of different parts of the machine and also how to operate it. The first thing a seamstress needs to know about a machine is how to paddle a sewing machine for them to work effectively. Asa good seamstress, you need to also know how to use different types of sewing machines such as manual, industrial, and embroidery machines to complete a task.
- Paying Attention to Detail: This is very important to a seamstress because it helps them give prompt and rapid attention to their work. When working for a client, the seamstress should pay rapt attention when taking a client’s measurement. The client’s measurement should be recorded in a particular book with the name of the client to avoid switching with different client measurements. After they have finished working on the garment; they must ensure that the client is satisfied with the final product. Paying attention to details can also ensure that a seamstress’s work is free from error and mistakes.
- Customer Service: Seamstress need to possess this skill to be able to interact with customers and retain their patronage. Customer service is very important, especially for seamstresses working in departmental stores and retail stores; they can also retain the customers by giving them discounts when they bring a bulk of fabrics.
How to Become a Seamstress
An individual considered to be a seamstress does not need a college degree or a formal education. Although a high school certificate may be demanded by some employees. To become a seamstress, you must do the following:
- Enroll in a Training
The first step to becoming a seamstress is to enroll in training in a fashion store, retail store, or a small tailoring shop in your locality. This training is usually spearheaded by an expert in the field of sewing; the expert can be a male or a female. You should select an expert in sewing female garments to coach you in the profession. The training can take six months, one year, or more; this solely depends on the agreement you have with your tutor. The training will groom you in aspects like cutting fabric, sewing, mending, alterations, and pattern reading. The training expert will also teach you different parts of a sewing machine and their names and also how to paddle a machine. Some formalized training offers certification to you when you are due for graduation and other training centers may not.
In addition, there are courses in the university or polytechnics that are vocational. Some of these vocational programs offer certifications such as master’s sewing and Design Professional or the Master Alterations Specialist.
- Undergo Apprenticeship
Apprenticeships simply mean when an accomplished worker with an amateur teaches some essential skills. A seamstress can undergo an apprenticeship with an independent seamstress or a business. This will help them to harness new skills. Seamstress undergoing apprenticeship may rarely make money but they can gain new skills that will help them in the future. Seamstress must develop an interest and passion for sewing to have a successful career and they should also get a mentor that will give them advice.
- Build a Portfolio
This is highly relevant to attract customers to your business; you can take pictures of the fabrics you sew or the finished product of a fabric you made and post it on social media. You can also buy fabrics and sew and post them on social media for your clients to see and order. Once they place an order; you can get a delivery man or deliver the product yourself.
- Be Updated About the Latest Trend in the Fashion Industry
The fashion industry is highly dynamic and new designs of fabrics emerge day to day. You should not be an outdated seamstress sewing outdated clothes for your customer but you should keep up with the trend in the industry to remain relevant. Focus on quality of work and not quantity. As much as it depends on you, you can also continue to acquire more training to boost your skills.
Where Can a Seamstress Work?
- Departmental Sores
- Retail Sores
- Fashion Houses
- Dry Cleaner
- Individual Practice
- In the United States, a seamstress earns $45,077 annually and $21.67 per hour. The salary varies based on the skills and experience of the seamstress.
- In Nigeria, a Seamstress earns 133,000 NGN per month. Most seamstresses in Nigeria are self-employed and they can make 5000 NGN by sewing a garment for a client.