Job type

Sewing machinist

£14k - £21k

Typical salary

37 – 40

Hours per week

Sewing machinists stitch pieces of material together to make clothing, accessories and soft furnishings.

More info

  • Stitch pieces of material together to make clothing and other accessories
  • You'll need sewing skills and practical skills to use machinery
  • With experience you could work with a designer or make up samples of products

As a sewing machinist you could make curtains, bedding, car mats, clothes or accessories. You could use a computerised sewing machine that reads from a digital design pattern.


  • Changing machine settings for different jobs
  • Feeding material through the machine
  • Stitching together clothes or other items
  • Checking finished work against the pattern instructions
  • Cleaning and oiling machines
  • Sewing different fabrics like cotton, wool, leather or industrial textiles


You may work shifts and early starts are common. You'll work in a team in a factory and spend most of your time sitting at a machine. The work can be repetitive and factories can be noisy.

You'll need

For this role you'll need sewing skills, practical skills to use machinery, close attention to detail, and the ability to work to deadlines.

There are no set requirements for this role. You could apply directly to work as a sewing machinist. Employers would normally expect you to have basic sewing skills and the ability to read and understand written pattern instructions. Most companies would ask you to take a practical test at the interview.

A college course could teach you the skills needed for this career. Relevant courses include a Level 1 Award in Fashion - Sewing Machine Skills and Level 1 Certificate in Textiles.

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


With experience you could work with a designer, or as a 'sample machinist', making up samples of products. You could also become a supervisor or move into staff training, quality control or pattern cutting. You could set up your own business as a tailor or dressmaker.