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Occupation Information
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Tailors, Dressmakers, and Custom Sewers
SOC Code: 51-6052.00

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

Sample of reported job titles: Alterations Expert, Alterations Sewer, Couture Alterations Dressmaker, Couturiere, Custom Dressmaker, Designer, Dressmaker, Prototype Technician, Seamstress, Tailor

Tasks

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

Technology Skills

  • Accounting software - Bookkeeping software
  • Computer aided design CAD software - Garment design software
  • Customer relationship management CRM software - Tailor Master
  • Inventory management software - Inventory tracking software
  • Office suite software - Microsoft Office
  • Point of sale POS software - ArbelSoft TailorMax
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

  • Buttonhole machines - Buttonhole makers
  • Curves - French curves
  • Desktop computers
  • Domestic clothing irons - Steam irons
  • Dressmakers ruler - Tailoring rulers
  • Fabric or tailors chalk holders - Chalk pencil holders
  • Full body form or mannequin - Dress forms
  • Ironing boards - Sleeve boards
  • Ironing machines or presses - Ironing presses
  • Laser printers - Computer laser printers
  • Protective gloves - Pressing mitts
  • Razor knives
  • Rotary paper or fabric cutter - Rotary fabric cutters
  • Rulers - Transparent rulers
  • Safety pins - Coiless safety pins
  • Seam gauge - Seam measurement gauges
  • Seam ripper - Seam rippers
  • Serrated pattern tracing wheel - Serrated pattern tracing wheels
  • Sewing kits - Point turners; Seam creasers
  • Sewing machines - Blind stitching machines; Chain stitching machines; Computerized sewing machines; Industrial sewing machines
  • Sewing needles
  • Sewing patterns - Seam rolls; Tailor's hams
  • Shears - Dressmakers shears; Fabric machines; Pinking shears; Tailor's point scissors
  • Steam pressing machines - Steam fabric pressing machines
  • Straight pins - Steel straight pins
  • Tape measures - Measuring tapes

Knowledge

  • 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.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

Skills

  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Abilities

  • Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Manual Dexterity - The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.

Interests

  • Interest code: RAE
    • 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.

Work Context

  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 84% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 75% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Time Pressure - 70% responded “Every day.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 83% responded “Very important results.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 68% responded “Every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 82% responded “Every day.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 66% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Telephone - 75% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others - 62% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions - 67% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 45% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - 71% responded “Every day.”
  • Deal With External Customers - 44% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Physical Proximity - 48% responded “Very close (near touching).”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations - 31% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Spend Time Sitting - 40% responded “About half the time.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results - 46% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People - 49% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 44% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks - 41% responded “Extremely important.”

Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

Work Values

  • Achievement - Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
  • Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Relationships - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $13.75 hourly, $28,600 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 44,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Decline (-2% or lower)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 4,800

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