In Summary - Dressmaker
The Work - Dressmaker
Dressmakers make a range of light clothing, including dresses, for customers. The garments are always originals. The dressmaker measures the customer and helps to select a fabric, if the customer has not already decided. They sometimes advise clients on style. The dressmaker then gives a price, after taking into consideration the cost of materials and the length of time needed to make the garment.
The customer's measurements are developed into a pattern, which is laid onto the fabric. The dressmaker then cuts around the pattern. Sometimes the pattern is drawn directly onto the cloth. After the fabric has been cut, it is pinned and tack-stitched together for a fitting. The dressmaker then carefully sews the garment together using different types of stitches. The work is finished on a sewing machine. Once completed, the garment is pressed.
Dressmakers may also offer an alteration and repair service. Some garments may require detailed stitching, including beadwork, sequins or lace. May specialise in making wedding and bridesmaid dresses, haute couture (high fashion) or children's clothes.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Fit and study garments on customers to determine required alterations.
- Sew garments, using needles and thread or sewing machines.
- Measure parts such as sleeves or pant legs, and mark or pin-fold alteration lines.
- Take up or let down hems to shorten or lengthen garment parts such as sleeves.
- Let out or take in seams in suits and other garments to improve fit.
- Assemble garment parts and join parts with basting stitches, using needles and thread or sewing machines.
- Remove stitches from garments to be altered, using rippers or razor blades.
- Record required alterations and instructions on tags, and attach them to garments.
- Examine tags on garments to determine alterations that are needed.
- Fit, alter, repair, and make made-to-measure clothing, according to customers' and clothing manufacturers' specifications and fit, and applying principles of garment design, construction, and styling.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Controlling Machines and Processes Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Interests - Dressmaker
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be atrracted to the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design activities, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.
Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and are drawn to commerce, trade and making deals. Some pursue sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or in management roles in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.
You should have nimble fingers and be interested in sewing. The work demands imagination and creativity. You should have an eye for visual effect and be aware of current fashion trends.
Patience and a pleasant manner are essential when dealing with customers. Work can be intricate and you must be able to concentrate for long periods of time. Numerical skills are useful for carrying out calculations and measurements. Good eyesight is important. A lot of time is spent sitting or bending over work.
Entry Requirements - Dressmaker
Pay & Salary - Dressmaker
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 18k - 30k
Last Updated: March, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.