Job type

Clothing alteration worker

£14k - £30k

Typical salary

35 – 40

Hours per week

Clothing alteration workers adjust and repair garments and clothes.

More info

  • Adjust and repair garments and clothes
  • Requires good sewing skills, both by hand and machine
  • Become a Senior clothing alteration worker

As a clothing alteration worker, you'll make changes and repairs to all types of garments. You'll use sewing machines and do hand stitching.


  • 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


You may earn more by working on a piecework basis, where you're paid per item. 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. A small number of alteration workers specialise and work on theatrical costumes.

You'll need

This role would be ideal for someone with nimble fingers who is able to work neatly, quickly and accurately.

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.

Some people enter this career via a Fashion and Textiles (or related subject) Intermediate Level Apprenticeship.


With experience you could become a senior clothing alteration worker. Longer-term, you could specialise in making or altering particular garments like children's clothes, dance costumes or wedding dresses.