Retail & Consumer Products
Tailors alter, repair and custom-make clothing according to customers’ needs.
Junior secondary school certificate or equivalent
What does a Tailor do?
Tailors alter, repair and custom-make clothing such as suits, jackets, trousers, dresses and uniforms according to customers’ needs.
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
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.
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.