15 Sewing Jobs You Might Not Know Exist

Jobs in the sewing industry abound if you know where to look or become a creative freelancer. Depending on your skills and interests, some of these sewing opportunities will be more attractive than others. Here are 15 ideas for getting your sewing skills to pay the bills.

Provide Interior Design Services

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High-end interior designers rarely suggest ready-made curtains, cushions, or pillows to their clients. Find an interior decorator to work with and provide the sewing for these custom home decor items.

Sew Custom Cosplay Costumes

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Cosplay is popular all over the world, and conventions are growing. Many people who want to attend cosplay conventions don’t know how to make the costumes they want. Get the word out that you know how to sew and will help design and make cosplay costumes.

Create Theatrical Costumes and Sets

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Work on costume and set design for theater, TV, and film productions. Reaching out to local theaters and production companies will help you make the connections to find freelance work or a full-time job.

Provide Alterations

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Hemming and basic alterations are always needed. Start your own business offering tailoring and alteration services, or reach out to dry cleaners, fine department stores, and wedding boutiques to see if they need help.

Sew Custom Clothing

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Offer custom-made clothing items using commercial patterns or your own designs. Many would-be sewists find a pattern and fabric that they love and then find that their skills don’t match up to the job. 

Open an Etsy Shop

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Open an Etsy shop to sell handmade items. Handmade bags, toys, clothing, accessories, and home decor sell well. Upcycled and vintage-inspired items are especially popular.

Teach Sewing Lessons and Classes

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Sewing is a skill that more people want to learn. One-on-one sewing classes can be taught in person or online via Zoom. Quilt shops, craft stores, and community centers are often looking for new sewing and quiltmaking teachers. 

Kids sewing classes and workshops are in demand, too, if you enjoy working with children.

Sell Your Own Patterns

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Independent sewing pattern designers are recreating the pattern industry. Learn how to design and sell sewing patterns for others to use. You can sell digital or physical patterns on an online marketplace like Etsy or on your own website.

Pick Up Freelance Sewing Jobs

Stylish and fashionable clothes designer man sews at a sewing machine.
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Offer your sewing services for specific projects, such as creating prototypes or sewing small batches of specialty items. Make connections with small engineering and manufacturing firms to find jobs like this. You’d be surprised how many of them need someone who can sew.

Make Custom Embroidered Gifts

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Personalized towels, bags, and clothing items make sought-after gifts, but few people have the skills or sewing machine to create them. Get started by offering to make custom gifts for a baby shower, bridesmaids event, wedding, or holiday party.

Provide Custom Embroidery on Uniforms

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Embroidery services are also needed by uniform shops, especially those that sell scrubs and doctors’ lab coats.

Make T-Shirt Quilts

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Quilts made out of tee shirts or sweatshirts are very popular. People love to remember places and events they have attended or have a custom quilt for their favorite sports team. Sewists who can make handmade quilts using baby items or the items belonging to a loved one who passed away are also sought after

Offer Quilting Services

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Many quilt makers send their quilt tops out to be finished because they only enjoy the piecing steps of quiltmaking. If you have a long-arm sewing machine or you are good at quilting on a domestic sewing machine, you can offer quilting services to help people finish their quilts.

Lead Sew-Along Events

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Host virtual or in-person sew-along events where participants can sew together following a specific pattern that you designed or picked for the class. Events like this often take place through a social media group or Zoom. Make sure to charge a fee for participation and provide guidance and support during the event.

Sell Fabric and Supplies

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If you have a love of fabrics and sewing supplies, you might open an online store or pop-up shop at events to sell fabric, notions, and other sewing-related items. Small online fabric shops can do well by specializing in niche fabrics and patterns for a particular community of sewers or quilters.

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