In Summary - Sewing Machinist
The Work - Sewing Machinist
Sewing machinists stitch fabric by guiding it through a sewing machine to make up garments. They usually use one particular machine to sew one part of the garment, such as the collar or waistband. However, some machinists make a complete garment, especially in knitwear.
Team working is being introduced in some companies, so machinists can become multi-skilled operators. This makes the work more interesting, as the machinist has a variety of tasks to do.
Tasks may include lockstitching, overlocking, cup seaming and bar tacking. The sewing machinist has to thread up the machine, perform the required machining process, check for mistakes, and correct faults. The material is then passed on to the next stage. Work is organised into dozens.
Lockstitching, in particular, requires a high level of skill and is used for a wide variety of operations.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Monitor machine operation to detect problems such as defective stitching, breaks in thread, or machine malfunctions.
- Position items under needles, using marks on machines, clamps, templates, or cloth as guides.
- Place spools of thread, cord, or other materials on spindles, insert bobbins, and thread ends through machine guides and components.
- Match cloth pieces in correct sequences prior to sewing them, and verify that dye lots and patterns match.
- Guide garments or garment parts under machine needles and presser feet to sew parts together.
- Start and operate or tend machines, such as single or double needle serging and flat-bed felling machines, to automatically join, reinforce, or decorate material or articles.
- Record quantities of materials processed.
- Inspect garments, and examine repair tags and markings on garments to locate defects or damage, and mark errors as necessary.
- Select supplies such as fasteners and thread, according to job requirements.
- Mount attachments, such as needles, cutting blades, or pattern plates, and adjust machine guides according to specifications.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Controlling Machines and Processes Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Interests - Sewing Machinist
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.
They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
You need to be practical with good hand skills and good eyesight. You must follow instructions, and work quickly and accurately. You will probably have to sit down all day while working and must not mind doing repetitive tasks.
Different skills are required for different fabrics. Skills also have to be transferred between styles of clothing, so you must be flexible.
Entry Requirements - Sewing Machinist
Pay & Salary - Sewing Machinist
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 18k - 20k
Last Updated: March, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.