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Overview of the role

Constructing garments - bringing the design to life, following specifications and quality standards.

Details of standard

This standard has options. Display duties and KSBs for:

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in the manufacturing, creative and design sectors across the apparel (clothing) industry.

The UK apparel industry consists of mainly micro, small and medium enterprises, producing premium garments for various markets, including womenswear, menswear and childrenswear, for example from bespoke tailored suits, creative designer womenswear, and costumes for opera and theatre, to luxury fashion and couture pieces as seen on catwalks in major capitals across the world.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to construct garments - bringing the design to life, following specifications and quality standards. They may work on one-off products for specific customers or garment samples to be replicated. They help determine the best production method for each design, review fit, deal with manufacturing issues and monitor resources. Garment makers know and understand the end-to-end garment making process. They are extremely proficient sewers, operating sewing machines effectively and applying stitching techniques by hand. They work with different materials and trimmings, appropriate to the design. They work to a high level of accuracy; with close attention to detail, they apply efficient time management skills and may need to work under pressure to meet customer or season deadlines.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with personnel involved in garment design, development and production. It will vary depending on the business size, structure and working environment. Typically, in a small production unit, they would interact with the designer and pattern cutter. In a workshop producing couture or bespoke garments, they may interact with a tailor, cutter or the designer. In a wider factory setting, they may work as part of a larger team, this could mean working in a sample room or on the factory floor, interacting with production tailors, designers, product technologists, pattern cutters, fabric cutters, quality controllers and sewing machinists.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for the pursuit of excellence in relation to the assembly, finish and look of the end product. Throughout the construction of the garment, they need to meet the design brief, which includes specifications and quality standards. They must work effectively on their own or as part of a wider team and must comply with health and safety requirements..

Typical job titles include:

Costume maker Costume tailor Costumier Couturier Dressmaker Presser Production machinist Production tailor Sample machinist Seamstress Sustainable costume maker Green leaf Sustainable costume tailor Green leaf Sustainable costumier Green leaf Sustainable couturier Green leaf Sustainable dressmaker Green leaf Sustainable production machinist Green leaf Sustainable production tailor Green leaf Sustainable sample machinist Green leaf Sustainable seamstress Green leaf Sustainable tailor Green leaf Tailor Wardrobe assistant Wardrobe assistant quality controller

Entry requirements

Typically, previous sewing experience is required.

Core occupation duties

Duty Criteria for measuring performance KSBs

Duty 1 Comprehend, decipher and work to given garment specifications, design directives and instruction.

Garments produced meet specifications

K1 K2 K3 K4 K18 K23 K25

S1 S5 S24 S25

B2 B3

Duty 2 Quality check garment components and materials before during and after completion of the garment, for example, the number of components, fabric quality, pattern match,trimmings, construction.

Garment components meet quality standards throughout production

K1 K2 K3 K17 K19 K22

S2 S5 S8 S12 S13 S15 S17 S20 S24 S25

B2 B4

Duty 3 Develop and operate a systemised, logical and efficient workstation and work process.

The correct equipment, tools and work aids are selected and work the workflow is optimum and continuous

K6 K7 K8 K9 K23 K24 K26

S3 S4 S6 S16 S22 S25

B1 B2

Duty 4 Apply a variety of sewing and handling techniques and methods to assemble and finish garments or parts of garments, using own initiative, knowledge and experience to create processes and products that meet quality requirements

The appropriate machinery, and most effective technique, and method is used for the task in hand

K1 K2 K3 K6 K7 K9 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15 K18 K24

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S10 S11 S12 S16 S18 S20 S22 S25

B1 B2

Duty 5 Measure and figurate garment components and the finished garments.

Garments/ garment parts are measured and figurated to meet quality standards and specifications

K2 K3 K4 K16 K17 K18 K21

S1 S17

B2 B3

Duty 6 Develop, monitor and refine the best production techniques and work sequences that will inform future production process and identify continuous improvement in relation to work methods and garment quality.

Production methods are efficient, cost-effective and compliant

K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K18 K21 K24

S3 S4 S6 S7 S9 S10 S11 S12 S13 S14 S22 S25

B1 B2 B3 B4

Duty 7 Review and assess garments including fit, quality, cost and finish against design, specifications, quality standards and customer requirements.

Finished Garment drape, fit and balance in line with the deign brief

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K17 K18 K19 K20 K21 K22 K25

S1 S2 S15 S17 S19 S21 S22 S23 S24 S25

B1 B2 B3

Duty 8 Produce hand sewn work such as beading or blind hemming.

Hand sewn work meets quality standards and specifciations

K2 K3 K4 K5 K7 K8 K10 K12 K18

S1 S6 S9 S12 S16 S19

B1 B2

Duty 9 Apply trimmings, for example bindings, fusing’s, buttons, braid.

The application of trimmings meets quality standards and specifications

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K12 K13 K18 K20

S1 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S12 S16

B1 B2

Duty 10 Press garments/garment parts (underpress and final press).

Garments are under pressed and pressed appropriately, in the right sequecne with no creases, marks or over pressing

K1 K4 K5 K6 K7 K14 K18 K27

S2 S3 S4 S14 S16 S25

B1 B2

Option duties



K1: The ‘end-to-end’ process required to make a garment from concept to finished product for example design, pattern development, sampling, cutting, sewing, final checks Back to Duty

K2: The principles of clothing design and construction for example style, function, fit, balance, proportion, aesthetics Back to Duty

K3: Garment making quality standards, for example, British Standards (BSI) International Standards (ISO) Back to Duty

K4: Garment making instructions and specifications, for example pattern markings, grain lines, component shapes, garment dimensions, allowances, tolerances Back to Duty

K5: The characteristics, properties, and cost of materials including compatibility with different designs, faults,threads and different handling methods for a range of materials, for example, stretch jersey, satin, wool, linen, cotton Back to Duty

K6: Different types of machines, equipment and tools used to produce garments, for example lockstitch machine, blind hemmer, scissors, snips, corner shaper, loop turner, measuring tape, mannequins; machine testing, setting up and operating machines safely Back to Duty

K7: Health, safety, welfare and environmental policies and procedures including Health & Safety at Work Act; safe working practices, workplace risks employer and employee legal obligations, employees’ rights and responsibilities, ethical trading standards, equality and diversity Back to Duty

K8: Sewing needle systems, functions and physical characteristics including needle point, size and specialism Back to Duty

K9: Sewing work aids and attachments including function, compatibility and advantages for example to decrease handling, increase production, improve quality decrease manufacturing cost Back to Duty

K10: Hand stitches and what they are used for, for example basting, buttonhole stitch, catch stitch, beading weaving stitch, blind hemming Back to Duty

K11: Seam types and what they are used for, for example lapped seams, bound seams, decorative seams Back to Duty

K12: Finishing techniques, for example rolled hems zips, closures Back to Duty

K13: Garment assembly processes including sewing methods and assembly sequence Back to Duty

K14: Garment shaping techniques, for example, darts, gathers, and tucks Back to Duty

K15: Garment labelling and related legislation for example fibre content, care requirements Back to Duty

K16: Measurement and figuration techniques, for example measurement points, girth measurement, length and breadth measurements, body shape Back to Duty

K17: Garment balance, drape, silhouette and sizing, including national, international, made-to-measure and bespoke sizes Back to Duty

K18: Specialist terminology used in garment construction, for example drape, ease, baste, nap, ruching, applique Back to Duty

K19: Common manufacturing issues and construction faults, and rectification for example unsuitable sewing techniques, poorly cut components, incorrect construction, mismatched seams, damage, incorrect markings Back to Duty

K20: Garment making costs and effective use of resources for example minimising waste, time and materials Back to Duty

K21: The garment review and approval processes, for example review of fit, balance, drape, measurements, quality, design, pattern, construction, cost and risk assessment, sample sealing, customer approval Back to Duty

K22: Returns and faults analysis and the impact of faulty products Back to Duty

K23: The use and importance of garment making documentation, for example production make-up sheets, dockets, electrical systems Back to Duty

K24: The principles of lean manufacturing, for example continuous improvement, work flow, performance monitoring, production rates, waste elimination Back to Duty

K25: Customer and brand awareness for example customer profile, customer expectations and target market Back to Duty

K26: Routine sewing machine maintenance, for example machine cleaning, lubrication, stitch setting, needle replacement, reporting more serious machine problems that require a machine mechanic Back to Duty

K27: Garment pressing techniques, equipment settings and the effects of heat, steam and, pressure on fabric and garments Back to Duty


S1: Interpret and follow garment specifications, patterns and/or instructions Back to Duty

S2: Inspect garment components, identify and deal with any issues found, for example material/design compatibility, surface flaws, shading, misprint, pulls, holes, shrinkage Back to Duty

S3: Select, prepare and operate sewing machines, for example lockstitch machine, blind hemmer including machine adjustment for different materials Back to Duty

S4: Organise work and workstation layout Back to Duty

S5: Assemble fabric components to make a whole garment Back to Duty

S6: Select and use different types of sewing needles for different materials, for example size, diamond point, ballpoint Back to Duty

S7: Select and use different types of attachments, for example adjustable presser foot, zipper foot, seam guide, applique foot Back to Duty

S8: Match fabric prints, checks and stripes during garment assemble Back to Duty

S9: Hand stitch garments, for example baste, catch, running, slip, chain or couching stitch Back to Duty

S10: Sew different seam types, for example, flat seams, lapped seams, over locked seam Back to Duty

S11: Shape garments using different sewing techniques, for example, darts, gathers, tucks Back to Duty

S12: Position and attach trimmings, for example braid, bias lace. buttons, eyelets Back to Duty

S13: Finish garments; selecting appropriate techniques, for example rolled hems, zip insertion, pockets, fusing Back to Duty

S14: Press garments; set up and operate pressing equipment for example steam irons, block press, trouser press and steamroll Back to Duty

S15: Check the balance, component positions, set, grain, ease and drape of garments using mannequins or modelling Back to Duty

S16: Use the tools of the trade to make and shape garments, for example scissors, snips, steamroll, corner shaper, loop turner, measuring tape, mannequins Back to Duty

S17: Measure and figurate garments considering critical measurement points, body shape and silhouette Back to Duty

S18: Select, position and apply labels for example care, size and brand labels Back to Duty

S19: Complete records and technical documents, for example production make-up sheets, work dockets Back to Duty

S20: Inspect the quality of construction during the garment make-up process and change methods if required Back to Duty

S21: Identify, diagnose and rectify garment faults, for example poor fit, sizing, mismatched seams, fabric damage, incorrect markings, returns Back to Duty

S22: Develop and apply the production sequence and assembly method Back to Duty

S23: Review complete garments, contribute recommendations that may benefit the garment or the manufacturing process Back to Duty

S24: Communicate with colleagues and/or stakeholders – verbal and written; using industry terminology, for example drape, ease, baste, nap, grain Back to Duty

S25: Make and apply collars for example shirt collar and stand, convertible collar, shawl collar or mandarin collar Back to Duty


B1: Health and safety first attitude, for example prioritises the health, safety and welfare of self and others over other demands Back to Duty

B2: Takes ownership for work, for example accepts responsibilities, demonstrates initiative, motivated and self-managing, Back to Duty

B3: Team player, for example builds co-operative and respectful working relationships across all relevant levels and department; takes account of equality and diversity interactions Back to Duty

B4: Committed to continued professional development, for example reflects on knowledge, skills and behaviours, seeks opportunities to develop and advance in response to the evolving production environment and technologies Back to Duty


English and Maths

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.

Additional details

Occupational Level:


Duration (months):



this apprenticeship will be reviewed in accordance with our change request policy.

Status: Retired
Level: 3
Reference: ST0846
Version: 1.0
Date updated: 07/11/2023
Route: Creative and design
Typical duration to gateway: 24 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £10000
Options: Structured Garment Production, Non-structured Garment Production
LARS Code: 514
EQA Provider: Ofqual
Employers involved in creating the standard: Samual Brothers, UKFT, Saville Row Bespoke, Henry Poole, Lutwyche Bespoke Workshop, Gieves & Hawkes, Nieper Ltd, Anderson & Sheppard, Antich Fine English Tailors, Plus Samples, Royal Opera House, Chester Barry Ltd, Gosha Ltd, Basic Premier

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.1 Standard revised 07/11/2023 Not set Not set
1.0 Approved for delivery 27/09/2019 06/11/2023 Not set

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