CareerShip Home
About CareerShip
Contact Us
Mapping Your Future
Visit the Featured Career Match My Career Interests
Review Careers by Clusters Career Search

Details for Tailors, Dressmakers, and Custom Sewers


Design, make, alter, repair, or fit garments.


  • Assemble garment parts and join parts with basting stitches, using needles and thread or sewing machines.
  • Confer with customers to determine types of material and garment styles desired.
  • Develop, copy, or adapt designs for garments, and design patterns to fit measurements, applying knowledge of garment design, construction, styling, and fabric.
  • Fit, alter, repair, and make made-to-measure clothing, according to customers' and clothing manufacturers' specifications and fit, and applying principles of garment design, construction, and styling.
  • Fit and study garments on customers to determine required alterations.
  • Let out or take in seams in suits and other garments to improve fit.
  • Maintain garment drape and proportions as alterations are performed.
  • Make garment style changes, such as tapering pant legs, narrowing lapels, and adding or removing padding.
  • Measure parts such as sleeves or pant legs, and mark or pin-fold alteration lines.
  • Position patterns of garment parts on fabric, and cut fabric along outlines, using scissors.
  • Put in padding and shaping materials.
  • Repair or replace defective garment parts such as pockets, zippers, snaps, buttons, and linings.
  • Sew buttonholes and attach buttons in order to finish garments.
  • Sew garments, using needles and thread or sewing machines.
  • Take up or let down hems to shorten or lengthen garment parts such as sleeves.
  • Trim excess material, using scissors.
  • Estimate how much a garment will cost to make, based on factors such as time and material requirements.
  • Examine tags on garments to determine alterations that are needed.
  • Measure customers, using tape measures, and record measurements.
  • Press garments, using hand irons or pressing machines.
  • Record required alterations and instructions on tags, and attach them to garments.
  • Remove stitches from garments to be altered, using rippers or razor blades.


  • 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.
  • Artistic - Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
  • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.


  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.


Related Careers

  • Costume Attendants
  • Fabric Menders, Except Garment
  • Floral Designers
  • Interior Designers
  • Jewelers
  • Medical Appliance Technicians
  • Prepress Technicians and Workers
  • Set and Exhibit Designers
  • Shoe and Leather Workers and Repairers
Wages for this career
America's Career InfoNet