What does a dressmaker do?
Dressmakers create, fit, and alter clothing according the requirements and needs of customers. They often make clothing for women including dresses, evening gowns, and blouses. They assist customers with the design, style, and fabric and take the required measurements. Some times they make their own patterns and other times they use patterns that are already made. Dressmakers often have customers try on the garment a few times to ensure it is constructed correctly and fits right. They also perform alterations and repairs such as hemming, fixing zippers, or reattaching buttons. Some dressmakers specialize in a specific type of clothing such as wedding gowns, custom dresses, undergarments, or costumes. Others specialize in accessories such as handbags. Most dressmakers work in department stores, small shops, and dry-cleaning facilities. Some own their own business and some work from home.
What kind of training does a dressmaker need?
Dressmakers typically have at least a high school diploma and strong sewing skills. Some dressmakers complete formal training at a vocational and technical school or community college to remain competitive in the field. Aspiring dressmakers typically complete courses in fashion design, apparel manufacturing, dress construction methods, sewing techniques, and alterations. Most employers provide on the job training to enable new dressmakers to gain the necessary skills and experience. Most new dressmakers work under the supervision of experienced workers until they become proficient in the field to complete independent tasks. Many dressmakers join professional associations such as the American Sewing Guild or the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals. Dressmakers sometimes complete additional training throughout their careers to improve their skills and keep their techniques up to date.
What are the prospects for a career as a dressmaker?
Employment of dressmakers is expected to experience little or no change from 2008 to 2018 (1).
Job prospects are expected to be fair. Dressmakers with extensive experience and specialties will have the best job opportunities. Some job openings will arise from the need to replace dressmakers that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.
How much do dressmakers make?
As of January 2010, the average annual salary for dressmakers is $18,000; average dressmaker salaries are 72% lower than average salaries for all nationwide job postings (2).
A career as a dressmaker is an excellent choice for people with a strong interest in creating a variety of custom garments for many different purposes. Dressmakers must have a solid understanding of dress design and construction and a variety of sewing techniques. They must also know all about different types of styles and fabrics. Strong sewing skills, detail orientation, creativity, and good eye-hand coordination are necessary characteristics. Dressmakers must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills because they work with a variety of customers.