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Clothing alteration hand

Clothing alteration hands adjust and repair garments and clothes.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £14,000 to £22,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 35 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set requirements, but you’ll usually need sewing experience. You could start by working as an assistant to a dressmaker or a tailor, or as a sewing machinist in a clothing factory.

You’ll need good eyesight, and colour-normal vision for matching threads to fabrics.

You could take a college course in fashion or textiles to learn some of the skills you’ll need to do this job.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

Creative Skillset has more information about this role.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • good sewing skills – both by hand and on a machine
  • good attention to detail
  • communication skills and tact when dealing with customers

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day duties may include: 

  • fitting the customer with a garment and deciding where to make adjustments
  • agreeing alterations and marking them out, using chalk or pins
  • deciding which kind of stitching would suit different types of fabric
  • taking up or letting down hemlines
  • adjusting seams, darts or waistbands
  • repairing zips and other fastenings
  • stitching by hand or using an industrial sewing machine, like an overlocker
  • dressmaking or tailoring

4. Salary

Starter: £14,000 to £16,000

Experienced: £18,000 to £20,000

Highly Experienced: £22,000 (supervisor)

You may earn more by working on a piecework basis, where you’re paid per item.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work 35 to 40 hours a week, which may include evenings and weekends.

You’ll be based in a shop, workshop, or at a dry cleaners. If you’re self-employed, you may work from home. Most of your time will be spent sitting at a sewing machine.

6. Career path and progression

With the right skills and experience, you could move into a supervisory position or set up your own business.

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Last updated: 08 December 2016