Friday, July 20, 2012

Job Description of a Seamstress

If you want a suit that is tailor made to give you a perfect fit, then a seamstress is a person you should go to. The job of a seamstress is to sew dresses for you after taking your measurements, so that you are more than happy with the fit. Moreover, if you are creative enough, you can give your own inputs to the seamstress and see your dream designs come to life! Seamstresses can choose to work in different environments. While most of them choose to work on their own, some are employed by design houses, garment manufacturing industries and even by some garment retail outlets. Those who choose to work on their own, do so by setting up individual boutiques.

Description of the Job of a Seamstress

To have a comprehensive knowledge about the job description of a seamstress, we shall look into the skills required for the job, the duties and responsibilities of the job, and the minimum qualifications required.

Educational Requirements
There is no strict criteria regarding educational qualifications when it comes to this field. What is more important is acquiring the desired skills and work experience; the more experienced a person is, the better. However, some employers insist that a seamstress should at least hold a high school degree. Some colleges offer advanced courses in sewing, apparel designing, etc., and such courses can fetch better job prospects for the aspiring seamstress. Also, spending a few months on training with an experienced seamstress, helps.

Skills Required for the Job of a Seamstress
To be successful as a seamstress, one needs to have the following list of skills.

One should know all about the kinds of fabrics.
One should have a fair idea of what's "in" and what's not, or in other words, have a thorough knowledge of the latest trends.
Not all fabrics suit all body types and so it is essential for a seamstress to be able to suggest what would look good on each client. The same applies to designs and colors as well.
She must be efficient in using a sewing machine.
A seamstress should be able to visualize the dress in her mind's eye even before she begins with drawing its sketch on the fabric. This is one of the most essential skills and demands for one to be creative and imaginative.

Now that we know what are the skills required to be a seamstress, let's have a look at how a seamstress puts these skills to use, by learning about the job duties of a seamstress.

Job Duties of a Seamstress
Some seamstresses choose to work exclusively on either menswear or ladies' wear. When a customer walks up to a seamstress to order for a custom-made dress, the first thing that a seamstress does is to take body measurements and note them down. As for the fabric she has to work on, it is either supplied by the client or she herself gets the color and type of fabric, as desired by the client. Once she has the fabric, the first step is to draw the outlines of the dress on the fabric, as per the measurements taken, and then cut the fabric using a pair of scissors. Once all the pieces of the dress are cut, the seamstress attaches the pieces together with pins before sewing them by using a sewing machine. Finally, she sews the buttons, zips or hooks and adds the finishing touches to the garment. Sometimes, seamstresses also do the work of mending, repairing or altering dresses, and some choose to specialize in a particular style of garments.

After a few years, some move on to other related fields such as dressmaking, designing clothes, etc. The fashion industry is a good place to be for a seamstress, where she can work with a design house or a particular designer. There is no fixed salary structure as the income depends on the number of orders over a fixed period and the reputation that one successfully builds among one's clients. The future prospects for this job is bright due to the current boom in the apparel and textile industry.
By Mukulika Mukherjee
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