Sewing machinists stitch pieces of material together to make clothing, accessories and soft furnishings.
Salary range: £14,000 to £21,000
How to become a sewing machinist
You can get into this job through:
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- applying directly
A college course could teach you the skills needed for this career. Relevant courses include:
- Level 1 Award in Fashion – Sewing Machine Skills
- Level 1 Certificate in Textiles
There are no set entry requirements for this route.
You can get into this job through a sewing machinist intermediate apprenticeship.
You’ll usually need:
- some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
You could apply directly to work as a sewing machinist. Employers would normally expect you to have basic sewing skills and the ability to read and understand written pattern instructions. Most companies would ask you to take a practical test at the interview.
Sewing skills developed at home or on a college course could help you to get a job.
You can find out more about using your sewing skills in creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- the ability to work well with your hands
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- the ability to work well with others
- the ability to work on your own
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
- thinking and reasoning skills
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day tasks may include:
- changing machine settings for different jobs
- feeding material through the machine
- stitching together clothes or other items
- checking finished work against the pattern instructions
- cleaning and oiling machines
- sewing different fabrics like cotton, wool, leather or industrial textiles
You could work in a factory.
Your working environment may be noisy and dusty.
Career path and progression
With experience you could work with a designer, or as a ‘sample machinist’, making up samples of products.
You could also become a supervisor or move into staff training, quality control or pattern cutting. You could set up your own business as a tailor or dressmaker.