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Sewing machinist

Alternative titles for this job include Machinist

Sewing machinists stitch pieces of material together to make clothing, accessories and soft furnishings.

Average salary (a year)

£14,000 Starter

to

£21,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

38 to 40 a week

You could work

early mornings on shifts

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a sewing machinist

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly

College

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

Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements for this route.

More Information

Apprenticeship

You can get into this job through a sewing machinist intermediate apprenticeship.

This typically takes 12 months to complete as a mix of learning in the workplace and off-the-job study.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship

More Information

Direct Application

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.

More Information

Further information

You can find out more about using your sewing skills in creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • 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

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

You could:

  • follow a set of instructions for each sewing job
  • sew different fabrics like cotton, wool, leather or industrial textiles
  • draw threads through and change machine settings for different jobs
  • feed material through the machine
  • stitch together clothes or other items
  • check finished work against the pattern instructions
  • report faults to a supervisor
  • clean and oil machines

Working environment

You could work in a factory.

Your working environment may be noisy and dusty.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

You could 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.

With experience you could work with a designer, or as a 'sample machinist', making up samples of products.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Sewing Machinist Apprentice

  • Wage: £145.28 Weekly
  • Location: Skipton

Fabric and Furnishings Sewing Machinist Apprentice

  • Wage: £146.25 Weekly
  • Location: Sturminster Newton

Courses In England

Level 1 Sewing Machine Skills Award

  • Provider: HILLINGDON LONDON BOROUGH COUNCIL
  • Start date: 26 February 2022
  • Location: Uxbridge

Level 1 Award in Fashion - Sewing Machine Skills

  • Provider: WALSALL COLLEGE
  • Start date: 29 September 2022
  • Location: Walsall

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