What Are the Different Types of Sewing Jobs?

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis
A seamstress sewing a button.
A seamstress sewing a button.

Finding professional sewing jobs can be an excellent way to turn a hobby into a lucrative career. There are many different types of sewing jobs, from at-home freelancing positions to full-time machine operating jobs. Some of the most popular and interesting sewing jobs include costuming, custom design, instructing, and industrial sewing.

Costuming can be a wonderful job for anyone who loves to invent creative designs. Costumers may work for theater companies and film productions, and are responsible for designing, sewing, and maintaining performance costumes. Costuming is an industry that relies heavily on apprenticeship programs; new workers may spend several years doing basic work before getting the opportunity to design for stage shows or movies. Sewing jobs in costuming can require a great deal of skill and adaptability, as professionals may be fitting 18th century ball gowns one week and making alien suits out of rubber and tinfoil the next.

A seamstress working.
A seamstress working.

Custom design sewing jobs can be ideal for those with a desire to build their own business. Custom designers often specialize in a distinct type of clothing, such as children's clothing, Renaissance wear, or bridal gowns. Designers may choose to offer freelance services, where garments may be custom-made for individual clients, or they may open a small storefront with ready-made products. With luck and word of mouth, a custom designer can even grow into a brand name business, catering to celebrities or expanding to sell wares in larger stores.

Tailors are expert sewers.
Tailors are expert sewers.

Becoming a sewing teacher requires patience and an ability to pass information on to others. Sewing teachers may work for community groups, local colleges, or even summer camps, helping novice enthusiasts become expert tailors and seamstresses. In addition to group classes, some sewing teachers offer private lessons, or operate websites where lessons and patterns can be downloaded for a fee. Though few schools offer home economics classes in the 21st century, sewing teachers can still find willing students in many other venues.

An industrial sewing machine may be used to sew heavy material.
An industrial sewing machine may be used to sew heavy material.

Industrial sewing jobs generally involve less creativity, and may be more similar to factory jobs. Workers may be placed on assembly lines, each performing a specific step to create a finished garment or textile product. Industrial sewing jobs can have the benefit of providing steady work, but may be very difficult. These jobs may require special training in industrial sewing machinery, which can be more complex and dangerous than home sewing machines. Industrial jobs are often available with large clothing manufacturers, and can be the first step to a career in large-scale manufacturing.

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica is passionate about drama and film. She has many other interests, and enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics in her role as a PracticalAdultInsights writer.

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica is passionate about drama and film. She has many other interests, and enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics in her role as a PracticalAdultInsights writer.

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    • A seamstress sewing a button.
      A seamstress sewing a button.
    • A seamstress working.
      A seamstress working.
    • Tailors are expert sewers.
      By: tecnofotocr
      Tailors are expert sewers.
    • An industrial sewing machine may be used to sew heavy material.
      By: Terry Morris
      An industrial sewing machine may be used to sew heavy material.