Tailor

Tailors design and make one-off suits, jackets and coats for individual customers. They also alter and repair clothes.

Average salary (a year)

£14,000 Starter

to

£22,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

36 to 38 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends

How to become a Tailor

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role

University

You could start by doing a degree in fashion or fashion and textiles and specialise in tailoring.

You can also do a BA (Hons) in Bespoke Tailoring at the London College of Fashion.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • a foundation studies diploma in art and design 
  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree

More information

College

You could take a college course to develop your sewing, pattern cutting and design skills. Courses include:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Sewing and Textiles
  • Level 2 Certificate in Pattern Cutting
  • Level 3 Diploma in Handcraft Tailoring

Entry requirements

You may need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D) for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a level 3 course

More information

Apprenticeship

You could complete an advanced apprenticeship in fashion and textiles: tailoring. You could also move on to a bespoke tailor and cutter higher apprenticeship, as your experience grows.

You may be able to get into the industry through the Savile Row Bespoke Association (SRBA) apprenticeship programme. This can take between 2 and 6 years to complete. You would apply directly to SRBA member tailoring companies. Competition for places is strong.

Entry requirements

  • entry requirements vary

More information

Work

You could start by working as an assistant to a master tailor. You may be able to arrange this yourself, if you can show you have a keen interest in making clothes and have sewing skills.

More information

Further information

You can get more on a career in tailoring from The Bespoke Apprentice.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • Being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • taking customers' measurements
  • discussing styles and fabric
  • working out how much the clothing will cost and how long it will take to make
  • creating a design by hand or using computer software
  • creating a new pattern or adapting an existing one
  • making a mock-up garment using cheaper fabrics
  • fitting the mock-up to the customer and making alterations
  • cutting out fabric pieces to make the garment
  • fitting the garment to the customer and marking final adjustments
  • stitching clothes by hand or machine
  • carry out repairs and alterations to clothing

Working environment

You could work in a workshop or in a factory.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a senior tailor or supervisor, or you could set up your own business.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Garment Technologist Apprentice

  • Wage : £129.50 Weekly
  • Location: London SW1W 9LX

Apprentice Sewing Machinist

  • Wage : £148.00 Weekly
  • Location: Blackburn BB1 5UA

Courses In England

Intermediate Certificate in Bespoke Tailoring (Jacket)

  • Provider: NEWHAM COLLEGE OF FURTHER EDUCATION
  • Start date: 04 February 2019
  • Location: NEWHAM

Tailoring Techniques

  • Provider: WORCESTERSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL
  • Start date: 16 January 2019
  • Location: Redditch

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