Table of contents
Sewing Machine Operators
Sewing Machine Operators operate or tend sewing machines to join, reinforce, decorate, or perform related sewing operations in the manufacture of garment or nongarment products.
What they do
- Monitor machine operation to detect problems such as defective stitching, breaks in thread, or machine malfunctions.
- Cut materials according to specifications, using blades, scissors, or electric knives.
- Place spools of thread, cord, or other materials on spindles, insert bobbins, and thread ends through machine guides and components.
- Position items under needles, using marks on machines, clamps, templates, or cloth as guides.
On a daily basis, Sewing Machine Operators record quantities of materials processed. They guide garments or garment parts under machine needles and presser feet to sew parts together.
A typical day for a Sewing Machine Operator will also include:
- Remove holding devices and finished items from machines.
- Cut excess material or thread from finished products.
- Repair or alter items by adding replacement parts or missing stitches.
- Turn knobs, screws, and dials to adjust settings of machines, according to garment styles and equipment performance.
- Perform equipment maintenance tasks such as replacing needles, sanding rough areas of needles, or cleaning and oiling sewing machines.
Besides their typical day, Sewing Machine Operators also perform equipment maintenance tasks such as replacing needles, sanding rough areas of needles, or cleaning and oiling sewing machines. They may also draw markings or pin appliques on fabric to obtain variations in design.
On a weekly to monthly basis, Sewing Machine Operators attach tape, trim, appliques, or elastic to specified garments or garment parts, according to item specifications. They might also mount attachments, such as needles, cutting blades, or pattern plates, and adjust machine guides according to specifications.
In addition, they baste edges of material to align and temporarily secure parts for final assembly.
Although specific duties may vary, many of them repair or alter items by adding replacement parts or missing stitches.
To some Sewing Machine Operators, it is also their responsibility to tape or twist together thread or cord to repair breaks.
What is it like working as one
Suitable for people who like practical and hands-on work.
Suitable for people who want to work in a supportive work environment.
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
It is very easy to get into this career. Little or no previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
Not suitable for people who like to help and teach others.
One of the lowest paying jobs.
Demand for this career is declining.
Should you become one
People who are suitable for this job tend to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
They also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.