What do Sewing Machine Operators do?
Operate or tend sewing machines to join, reinforce, decorate, or perform related sewing operations in the manufacture of garment or nongarment products.
- 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.
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