Job type

Sample machinist

£15k - £30k

Typical salary

38 – 40

Hours per week

Sample machinists produce samples of garments to show designers or customers how finished items will look.

More info

  • Produce samples of garments to show designers or customers
  • You'll need excellent hand and machine sewing skills
  • You could progress to higher-level technical roles or into clothing design

You might work on a number of different product lines or concentrate on a particular type, like sportswear. You'll be expected to handle a range of woven and knitted fabrics, both natural and synthetic.


  • Checking all pattern pieces are present to start a job
  • Following fabric, colour and size instructions from the designer and pattern cutter
  • Using a range of industrial machines like overlockers and binders
  • Stitching sections together and adding labels to them
  • Pressing the garment to give it a 'finished' appearance
  • Advising the design team about the best way to construct the sample
  • Discussing any 'tweaks' to the design instructions before the item goes into production
  • Carrying out quality control checks during a production run
  • Helping other machinists during busy periods


Part-time and freelance home-working is sometimes available. If you work on company premises, you'd usually be with the design team in an office, away from the main production area.

You'll need

This role would be ideal for someone with excellent hand and machine sewing skills, the ability to communicate ideas and offer suggestions for alterations, the ability to use your own initiative, the ability to meet deadlines under pressure.

Although there are no set entry requirements for applying for this job directly, employers would expect you to have literacy and numeracy skills to read instructions and understand measurements.

You would usually move into this job after getting experience as a sewing machinist on a production line.

You can also get into this job through a sewing machinist intermediate apprenticeship.

You could learn some of the skills needed by doing a college course in Level 1 Award in Fashion - Sewing Machine Skills and Level 1 Certificate in Fashion and Textiles.


With experience, you could progress to higher-level technical roles, like garment technologist or quality control technician. You could also move into clothing design.