Sewers and tailors sew, join, reinforce, or finish clothing or other items. They may create new pieces of clothing from patterns and designs or alter existing garments to fit customers better.
Sewers and tailors typically do the following:
Sewers and tailors can specialize in alterations or in sewing custom garments.
Those who do alterations ensure that clothes fit customers properly. They make changes to garments, such as hemming pants to make them shorter or taking in seams to make clothing smaller.
Some specialize in a certain type of garment, such as bridal gowns. Others specialize in a particular type of material, such as fur. Fur tailors may restyle older clothing, add a fur collar to a coat or a dress, or sew the inner lining of a garment to the inside of fur skin by hand.
Some dressmakers and custom sewers work with designers or customers to create new garments. They take orders from customers and help them select fabric and colors. When working with a designer, tailors help translate designs into finished pieces of clothing. For example, a couture dressmaker may work with a fashion designer to create exclusive custom-fitted clothing.
In addition to working with clothing, sewers may produce other items, such as textiles and quilts. Hand weavers produce custom-made textiles, such as placemats, napkins, and pillowcases. Hand quilters produce a bed cover or display item, traditionally composed of two layers of fabric.
Some sewers and tailors own their business. In these cases, they may do management and administrative tasks, such as managing the business’s finances and taking orders.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition