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What does a Sewing Machine Operator do?

Learn all about Sewing Machine Operator duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Sewing Machine Operator.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A sewing machine operator is responsible for running a sewing machine to stitch together fabric, leather, and other materials. They may also be responsible for cutting fabric and performing other tasks related to garment production.

Sewing Machine Operator job duties include:

  • Read and interpret sewing patterns and instructions
  • Select appropriate fabrics and materials
  • Operate sewing machines to sew fabric together
  • Finish seams and edges with hand-sewing techniques
  • Press finished garments using an iron or steam press
  • Measure and cut fabric according to pattern specifications
  • Lay out fabric pieces to be sewn together
  • Pin fabric together before sewing
  • Thread sewing machines with the proper type of thread

Sewing Machine Operator Job Requirements

There are no formal education requirements for a sewing machine operator, although some employers may prefer candidates with a high school diploma or equivalent. Certification is not required, but operators must be able to demonstrate proficiency on the machine. Some employers may require prior experience, while others may provide on-the-job training.

Sewing Machine Operator Skills

  • Sewing
  • Machine operation
  • Fabric
  • Patterns
  • Measurements
  • Cutting
  • Hemming
  • Seams
  • Buttons
  • Zippers
  • Embroidery

Related: Top Sewing Machine Operator Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Sewing Machine Operator

Sewing machine operators are responsible for running sewing machines in a factory or production setting. They must be able to read and follow patterns, as well as operate the machine in a safe and efficient manner. Sewing machine operators typically receive on-the-job training, although some may have previous experience working with sewing machines.

To become a sewing machine operator, one must first complete high school or earn a GED. There is no formal education required beyond this, although some employers may prefer candidates who have completed a vocational program or have some experience working with sewing machines. Once hired, most sewing machine operators will receive on-the-job training from more experienced employees. This training will teach them how to set up and operate the machines, as well as how to read and follow patterns. With experience, sewing machine operators may be promoted to lead positions or may specialize in a particular type of sewing.

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