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How to Be a Professional Dressmaker or Tailor?


When you have a passion for sewing and would like to turn it into a profession, you might not always be aware of how you can get a recognised qualification. Being a professional tailor or dressmaker mostly requires dedication and a willingness to learn, but there are ways you can further your knowledge.



Being a dressmaker involves being able to create made-to-measure pieces of clothing like skirts, dresses, trousers, and blouses. You need to have normal colour vision (to be able to match fabrics and threads), an eye for detail and good eyesight, interest in textiles, and be able to accurately measure and calculate.

As there are no fixed entry requirements, being a dressmaker only requires experience and to show clients and employers relevant skills. You can either be a self-taught dressmaker or work towards a qualification in order to have relevant experience:

  • Level 1 Certificate/Diploma in Fashion and Textiles
  • Level 2 Award/Certificate in Fashion, in pattern cutting or sewing machine skills
  • Level 2 Certificate/Diploma in fashion and Clothing
  • Level 3 Award in Fashion


You can study for one of these City & Guild Qualifications at colleges all over the UK.

Apprenticeships are also a route into being a dressmaker. You can visit the Apprenticeships website to find out more information about the available range of Apprenticeships in your area, which will depend on the local job market and what skills employers are looking for.

Your options for further study include a Level 4 HNC Diploma in Fashion and Textiles, a Level 5 HND Diploma in Fashion and Textiles, a foundation degree in fashion, contemporary fashion, and clothing subjects, and degrees in Fashion, Fashion with Business Studies Fashion, and Textiles.



To become a tailor, you can start with no qualifications by learning from an experienced master tailor. You can arrange this learning experience by yourself or through an Apprenticeship scheme. Highly sought after 18 week pre-Apprenticeship courses are also available at Newham College, London, and run in partnership with Savile Row Bespoke Association (SRBA).

If you decide to take introductory courses at a college, you can work towards several qualifications:

  • Level 1 Award in Creative techniques in Textiles – Sewing Machine Skills
  • Level 1 Award in Fashion – Sewing Machine Skills
  • Level 1 certificate in Textiles
  • Level 1 Award/Certificate in Fashion and Textiles
  • Level 2 Award in Fashion – Pattern Cutting for Skirts and Trousers
  • Level 2 Certificate in Manufacturing Sewn Products

If you wish to become a bespoke, skilled tailor, you can work towards a Level 3 (NVQ) Diploma in bespoke Cutting and Tailoring or a Level 4 Diploma in Technical Textiles and Apparel. This training in pattern-cutting, machine and hand sewing, and garment construction can last two to six years.

Depending on whether you would like to be self-employed or work with a senior tailor, job opportunities will vary depending on your area of residence.


Here at Stocks Sewing we have a wide range of industrial sewing machines and industrial embroidery machines sure to fit your needs and requirements as a tailor or dressmaker. You can contact us on 0113 242 9378 to enquire about our products; our friendly team is always happy to answer any query you might have.