Keith Gray is, without doubt, a success story - a Creative Director who has worked with the likes of Toma...
- Create clothing items for all kinds of clients or costumes for theatre, film or TV
- Use both practical and creative skills
- Opportunity to work on exciting performance projects or to be self-employed
As a Dressmaker your day-to-day duties may include discussing the client's needs, giving the client advice on fabrics and patterns, taking measurements, changing an existing pattern or creating a new pattern for the client, costing the work, using the pattern to cut out the fabric pieces, tacking the fabric pieces together for a fitting, making samples or 'toiles' using a sewing machine or sewing by hand, fitting the garment and making adjustments to create a perfect fit, and keeping your accounts if you are self-employed.
- Discussing the client's needs
- Giving the client advice on fabrics and patterns
- Taking measurements
- Changing an existing pattern or creating a new pattern for the client
- Costing the work
- Using the pattern to cut out the fabric pieces
- Tacking the fabric pieces together for a fitting
- Making samples or 'toiles' using a sewing machine or sewing by hand
- Fitting the garment and making adjustments to create a perfect fit
- Keeping your accounts if you are self-employed
You could work in a workshop or from home.
This role would be ideal for someone with excellent practical skills, the ability to imagine how designs will look and lay out pattern pieces, an eye for detail and good eyesight, a tactful approach with customers, accuracy when taking measurements and making calculations and colour-normal vision for matching threads and fabrics.
There are no set requirements for this role so you can apply directly to work as a dressmaker. You would need experience and the ability to demonstrate to employers and clients that you have the skills they are looking for.
You could take a college course before looking for work. Courses include Level 2 Certificate in Fashion, Level 2 Diploma in Fashion and Clothing and Level 3 Award in Creative Craft using Dressmaking.
You may also be able to get into this job through an intermediate apprenticeship in fashion and textiles, or by doing a garment maker advanced apprenticeship.
You can find short courses in dressmaking techniques at adult education centres and with private training providers. These include how to use a sewing machine, pattern making and pattern cutting. They may not lead to a qualification, but they will teach you some of the skills needed for this kind of work.
Some dressmakers also teach themselves through online guides or books and experience in art and design can help you get into this job.
With experience you could take on a supervisory role, move into a related career like fashion or textile buying, or become self-employed. You could also work in costume production for theatre, TV and film.