Sewing Machine Operators

Description

Operate or tend sewing machines to join, reinforce, decorate, or perform related sewing operations in the manufacture of garment or nongarment products.

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.
  • Cut excess material or thread from finished products.
  • Fold or stretch edges or lengths of items while sewing, in order to facilitate forming specified sections.
  • Perform equipment maintenance tasks such as replacing needles, sanding rough areas of needles, or cleaning and oiling sewing machines.
  • Examine and measure finished articles to verify conformance to standards, using rulers.
  • Turn knobs, screws, and dials to adjust settings of machines, according to garment styles and equipment performance.
  • Repair or alter items by adding replacement parts or missing stitches.
  • Cut materials according to specifications, using blades, scissors, or electric knives.
  • Remove holding devices and finished items from machines.
  • Position and mark patterns on materials to prepare for sewing.
  • Position material or articles in clamps, templates, or hoop frames prior to automatic operation of machines.
  • Attach tape, trim, appliques, or elastic to specified garments or garment parts, according to item specifications.
  • Perform specialized or automatic sewing machine functions, such as buttonhole making or tacking.
  • Attach buttons, hooks, zippers, fasteners, or other accessories to fabric, using feeding hoppers or clamp holders.
  • Baste edges of material to align and temporarily secure parts for final assembly.
  • Tape or twist together thread or cord to repair breaks.
  • Draw markings or pin appliques on fabric to obtain variations in design.

Knowledge

Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Clerical
Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Sales and Marketing
Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Medicine and Dentistry
Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
Engineering and Technology
Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
History and Archeology
Knowledge of historical events and their causes, indicators, and effects on civilizations and cultures.
Telecommunications
Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Sociology and Anthropology
Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
Geography
Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
Chemistry
Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.

Skills

Equipment Selection
Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
Science
Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Technology Design
Generating or adapting equipment and technology to serve user needs.
Installation
Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
Programming
Writing computer programs for various purposes.

Abilities

Spatial Orientation
The ability to know your location in relation to the environment or to know where other objects are in relation to you.
Peripheral Vision
The ability to see objects or movement of objects to one's side when the eyes are looking ahead.
Dynamic Flexibility
The ability to quickly and repeatedly bend, stretch, twist, or reach out with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Sound Localization
The ability to tell the direction from which a sound originated.
Explosive Strength
The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.
Night Vision
The ability to see under low light conditions.
Glare Sensitivity
The ability to see objects in the presence of glare or bright lighting.

Interests

Realistic
Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Conventional
Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Investigative
Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Work Style

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Independence
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Achievement/Effort
Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Self Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Persistence
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Work Values

Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Lay Titles

Appliquer
Apron Operator
Armhole Sewer
Automat Watcher
Automatic Folder-Seamer
Automatic Hemmer
Automatic Serging Machine Operator
Automatic Shirring Machine Operator
Automatic Trimming Sewer
Back Facer
Bag Maker
Bag Mender
Band Maker
Bander
Bar Tacker Sewing Machine
Bartacker
Baster
Basting Machine Operator
Bathing Suit Maker
Bead Worker Sewing
Belt Loop Machine Operator
Belt Maker
Belt Sewer
Binder
Binding Stitcher
Blind Stitch Machine Operator
Blindstitch Hemmer
Blindstitch Lapel Padder
Blindstitch Lining Feller
Blindstitch Machine Operator
Border Machine Operator
Borderer
Bouffant Curtain Machine Tender
Bow Maker
Box Spring Sewer
Braider
Braiding Machine Operator
Brim Stitcher
Buckle Sewer
Button Sewer
Button Sewing Machine Operator
Buttonhole and Button Sewing Machine Operator
Buttonhole Facer
Buttonhole Machine Operator
Buttonhole Maker
Buttonholer
Canvas Baster
Cap Maker
Cap Sewer
Capper
Carpet Sewer
Casing Sewer
Chainstitch Binder
Chainstitch Elastic Attacher
Chainstitch Felled Seam Operator
Chainstitch Hemmer
Chainstitch Pants Outseamer
Chainstitch Seat Joiner
Chainstitch Sewing Machine Operator
Chainstitch Tunnel Elastic Operator
Chainstitch Zipper Setter
Chenille Machine Operator
Cloth Mender
Coat Feller
Coat Finisher
Coat Joiner
Coat Operator
Collar Baster
Collar Feller
Collar Maker
Collar Runner
Collar Setter
Collar Sewer
Collar Stitcher
Complete Garment Lockstitch Sewing Machine Operator

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$10.23 hourly, $21,270 annual.
Employment (2008):
142,380 employees