What Do Seamstresses Get Paid?

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Seamstresses may work independently, in shops or in large factories.
Seamstresses may work independently, in shops or in large factories. (Image: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Seamstresses are a type of textile and apparel worker who produce fabrics and upholstery for clothes and other products. Depending on the type of employer she works for, a seamstress may operate machinery or she may weave fabrics by hand. The amount of money seamstresses get paid depends on her employer and her job title.

Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers

Fabric and apparel patternmakers mark, cut and sew patterns of fabrics used for clothes. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they earned an average income of $42,940 as of May 2009. Most worked in the industry of cut and sew apparel manufacturing for the average salary of $46,610, while others worked for apparel, piece goods and notions merchant wholesalers for the average of $52,400 a year.

Tailors, Dressmakers and Custom Sewers

Seamstresses who work in local shops, department stores and dry-cleaning stores providing garment altering and repair services for customers earned an average income of $28,300 as of 2009, according to the bureau. In clothing stores the salary average was $30,370, in drycleaning and laundry stores the average was $25,910, and seamstresses working in personal and household goods repair and maintenance earned an average of $30,370 a year.

Sewers, Hand

Seamstresses who sewed, reinforced or finished apparel by hand with a needle and thread, including those working as weavers and stitchers, earned an average salary of $24,350 as of 2009. The bureau reports that most worked for apparel, piece goods and notions merchant wholesalers for the average of $24,050, while others worked for clothing stores for an average of $26,000 or in the industry of cut and sew apparel manufacturing for the average of $25,280.

Sewing Machine Operators

Seamstresses who operated sewing machines in order to create garments and fabrics for other products earned an average salary of $22,250 as of 2009. According to the bureau, most worked in the industry of cut and sew apparel manufacturing for the average of $20,680 a year. Others worked in textile product mills or textile furnishings mills for salary averages of $22,540 and $22,800 respectively.

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