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Tailor/Dressmaker  What They Do

Just the Facts


Designs, makes, alters, repairs, or fits garments.

This career is part of the Arts, A/V Technology and Communication cluster Visual and Design Arts pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Fits and studies garments on customers to determine required alterations.
  • Sews garments, using needles and thread or sewing machines.
  • Measures parts such as sleeves or pant legs, and marks or pin-folds alteration lines.
  • Takes up or lets down hems to shorten or lengthen garment parts such as sleeves.
  • Lets out or takes in seams in suits and other garments to improve fit.
  • Assembles garment parts and joins parts with basting stitches, using needles and thread or sewing machines.
  • Removes stitches from garments to be altered, using rippers or razor blades.
  • Records required alterations and instructions on tags, and attaches them to garments.
  • Examines tags on garments to determine alterations that are needed.
  • Fits, alters, repairs, and makes made-to-measure clothing, according to customers' and clothing manufacturers' specifications and fit, and applying principles of garment design, construction, and styling.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Cloth Cutter -- Cuts multiple layers of fabric into parts for articles, for example canvas goods, house furnishings, garments, hats, stuffed toys, and upholstered furniture, using portable electric cutter.
  • Drapery Seamstress -- Operates sewing machine to join precut pieces of material to form finished draperies.
  • Hand Loom Weaver -- Weaves rugs or woolen cloth, using hand loom.
  • Bridal Gown Fitter --
  • Laceworker --