Clothing alteration hands make alterations to and carry
out sewing repairs on garments for customers. This may
involve a fitting with the customer to decide where
adjustments need to be made. Typical jobs include
sewing, lengthening or shortening hemlines, adjusting
seams, altering darts and repairing zips or tears.
Having agreed with the customer which changes are to be made, the alteration hand marks these out on the garment, either by pinning or tacking, or by using chalk marks before making the adjustments.
Depending on the type of alteration, they may have to unpick the stitches in the garment before sewing the pieces together again in a slightly different position. They have to decide what kind of stitching will suit different types of fabric and may stitch by hand and/or use an industrial-type sewing machine, such as an overlocker.
Alteration hands may specialise in women's or men's clothing or both. The job is often combined with related roles. See profiles for Dressmaker and Tailor.
Clothing alteration hands usually work around 35 to 40
hours a week, which may include Saturdays. Part-time
work and overtime may be available.
They usually work in a shop or workshop, dry cleaners or sometimes from home. Most of the time they work sitting down at a machine.
To work as a clothing alteration hand you should:
Clothing alteration hands work in clothing retailers, as
well as dry cleaners and industrial laundries. There are
also shops which specialise in fast alteration and repair
Promotion prospects are limited, but in larger companies there may be supervisory roles available. Self-employment is also an option.
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