Retail & Consumer Products


Tailors alter, repair and custom-make clothing according to customers’ needs.

  • Entry-level education

    Junior secondary school certificate or equivalent

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Tailor do?

Tailors alter, repair and custom-make clothing such as suits, jackets, trousers, dresses and uniforms according to customers’ needs.


Work activities

As a tailor, you would:

  • take the client's measurements
  • discuss and agree the style and fabric to be used
  • calculate costs and and how long it will take to make
  • create a new pattern or adapting an existing one
  • cut the fabric according to the pattern pieces
  • fit the garment using temporary sewing or fixings, and allow for final adjustments
  • stitch the garment together
  • repair and alter existing clothing to fit the client's needs and measurements.

Key skills and interests

To become a tailor, you would need:

  • an interest in textiles, fashion, design and trends
  • knowledge of fabric types and their properties
  • excellent hand-sewing and machining skills
  • good eyesight
  • creativity and problem-solving skills
  • the ability to visualise designs
  • number skills for measuring
  • IT skills to use computer software in the design process
  • good communication skills.

Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

You would usually work around 40 hours a week, though this can be more when there are deadlines. You may need to work evenings and weekends to carry out customer fittings.


You would be based in a sewing room, which may be attached to a retail shop or fashion design studio, or in a factory.


How to become an Tailor?

Entry Level Education

Many tailors are self-taught, or learn on the job while working in tailoring workshops or garment factories. You could also complete a qualification such as a Diploma of Applied Fashion Design and Technology.


Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

With the growing trend for people to buy mass-manufactured clothes, the demand for tailoring services is declining.

The increasing mass production of clothing has seen many Australian clothing manufacturers close down or move their manufacturing offshore.

The number of people employed in this industry is likely to continue to decline. New opportunities still exist for specialised, bespoke services, especially those related to clothing design, and in clothing alteration.


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