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Lucrative Sewing Careers

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Sewing is a specific skill enjoyed by many that can turn into a lucrative business or career. Although there are many careers that involve sewing, most of them are entry-level and offer little opportunity for advancement. By expanding your skills into a business of your own or in working for a large company, as a machine operator, for example, you further your ability to make more money. Lucrative careers in sewing require versatility and a willingness to seek out different work opportunities within your area of interest.

Sewing Educator

Many people want to learn how to sew and make items of their own, but are either timid or don't understand some of the books and other publications about the topic. A sewing educator can serve as an intermediary for the beginner or help a more advanced sewer master certain techniques. Sewing educators can hold classes through local craft stores, community colleges and high schools and either charge customers directly or work through an organization. Starting a sewing club is a good way to let people know about your skills and your services.

Fashion Design

A fashion designer helps create and make many different types of clothing, shoes and other accessories purchased each year by consumers. Those who wish to go into fashion design need more than just sewing skills. They will also need to understand the market, what is popular or fashionable and how to use Computer-Aided Design (CAD). Designers often work directly for manufacturers, design firms, wholesalers and some retailers. A start as a pattern maker or sketching assistant can give a new designer experience in the industry.

Sewing Machine Operator

A sewing machine operator run high speed sewing machines needed to make the clothing and other textiles offered to consumers. The machines are larger, faster and more complicated than the sewing machines used by home sewers and require training to use. A sewing machine operator who works for a large corporation or upscale design firm can make between $10 and $20 an hour. This type of work does not require a degree.


A seamstress usually aruns a small business that serves local customers. However, through the use of the Internet, a seamstress could market her skills to any location, as long as your customers are willing to help with the cost of shipping. If you like to sew and have tried many different types of projects, this may be a good business for you. A seamstress offers alterations to clothing, fixes tears or rips in clothes or decor, designs dresses or children's clothing, makes costumes or any combination of those services. Some seamstresses attend classes to develop their skills while others are self-taught or apprenticed to seamstress in their community. Contact local dry cleaners, bridal shops or even local sports teams and let them know that your services are available. Sewing items on your own and offering them for sale at flea markets or craft shows is a good way to get business and demonstrate your sewing skills.


Michelle Hogan is a writer and the author of 13 books including the 2005 bestselling memoir, "Without a Net: Middle Class and Homeless (With Kids) in America." Hogan studied English at American University and has been writing professionally since 1998. Her work has appeared in "The New York Times," "Redbook," "Family Circle" and many other publications.