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Details for Sewing Machine Operators


Description

Operate or tend sewing machines to join, reinforce, decorate, or perform related sewing operations in the manufacture of garment or nongarment products.

Tasks

  • Match cloth pieces in correct sequences prior to sewing them, and verify that dye lots and patterns match.
  • Position and mark patterns on materials to prepare for sewing.
  • Monitor machine operation to detect problems such as defective stitching, breaks in thread, or machine malfunctions.
  • Mount attachments, such as needles, cutting blades, or pattern plates, and adjust machine guides according to specifications.
  • Place spools of thread, cord, or other materials on spindles, insert bobbins, and thread ends through machine guides and components.
  • Position items under needles, using marks on machines, clamps, templates, or cloth as guides.
  • Position material or articles in clamps, templates, or hoop frames prior to automatic operation of machines.
  • Remove holding devices and finished items from machines.
  • Select supplies such as fasteners and thread, according to job requirements.
  • Attach buttons, hooks, zippers, fasteners, or other accessories to fabric, using feeding hoppers or clamp holders.
  • Baste edges of material to align and temporarily secure parts for final assembly.
  • Cut excess material or thread from finished products.
  • Cut materials according to specifications, using blades, scissors, or electric knives.
  • Examine and measure finished articles to verify conformance to standards, using rulers.
  • Fold or stretch edges or lengths of items while sewing, in order to facilitate forming specified sections.
  • Guide garments or garment parts under machine needles and presser feet to sew parts together.
  • Inspect garments, and examine repair tags and markings on garments to locate defects or damage, and mark errors as necessary.
  • Start and operate or tend machines, such as single or double needle serging and flat-bed felling machines, to automatically join, reinforce, or decorate material or articles.
  • Turn knobs, screws, and dials to adjust settings of machines, according to garment styles and equipment performance.
  • Attach tape, trim, appliques, or elastic to specified garments or garment parts, according to item specifications.
  • Draw markings or pin appliques on fabric to obtain variations in design.
  • Perform equipment maintenance tasks such as replacing needles, sanding rough areas of needles, or cleaning and oiling sewing machines.
  • Perform specialized or automatic sewing machine functions, such as buttonhole making or tacking.
  • Record quantities of materials processed.
  • Repair or alter items by adding replacement parts or missing stitches.
  • Tape or twist together thread or cord to repair breaks.

Interests

  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - Some of these occupations may require a high school diploma or GED certificate.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few days to a few months of training. Usually, an experienced worker could show you how to do the job.
  • Experience - Little or no previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, a person can become a waiter or waitress even if he/she has never worked before.

Knowledge

Skills

Related Careers

  • Coil Winders, Tapers, and Finishers
  • Etchers and Engravers
  • Extruding and Forming Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Synthetic and Glass Fibers
  • Fabric Menders, Except Garment
  • Molding, Coremaking, and Casting Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
  • Prepress Technicians and Workers
  • Printing Machine Operators
  • Shoe and Leather Workers and Repairers
  • Shoe Machine Operators and Tenders
Wages for this career
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