Skills Industrial Sewing Machine Operator near Trois-Rivières (QC)

Find out what skills you typically need to work as an industrial sewing machine operator in Canada. These skills are applicable to all Industrial sewing machine operators (NOC 9446).


People working in this occupation usually apply the following skill set.

  • Operate machines to join sections of garments or other articles into finished products on a piece-work or production basis
  • Operate sewing machines or sew by hand
  • Set in sleeves, pockets, collars and other garment pieces
  • Use sewing guides and tension devices

Essential skills

See how the 9 essential skills apply to this occupation. This section will be updated soon.

  • May read notes from the supervisor or other tradespersons regarding details of jobs and tasks. (1)
  • May read letters or memos concerning company policies or upcoming events. (2)
  • May refer to the sewing machine repair manual in order to understand simple repairs. (3)
  • May refer to a reference book for information about making patterns and sewing on buttons. (3)
Document use
  • Read labels on spools of thread to check the colour and code numbers and read labels on bolts of lining material. (1)
  • Read job tickets on coats, jackets or shirts to find out what sewing is to be done on the garments. (1)
  • Enter suggested pricing information on job tickets. (1)
  • May complete a daily record log which duplicates the information shown on the individual repair tickets. (1)
  • May complete a time card at the end of the day. (1)
  • Read specification sheets for bulk orders showing code numbers, quantities, thread stocks and colours. (2)
  • Read pricing tables. (2)
  • May refer to patterns which show the angles at which material is to be cut. (2)
  • Complete production forms recording all work completed on various jobs. (2)
  • May complete order forms for reordering of supplies. (2)
  • May complete forms such as the Production Tracking Form. (1)
  • May write lists of repairs completed on a coat and the suggested pricing. (1)
  • May complete log entries to record work completed. (1)
  • May write notes to co-workers to inform them of messages from the salon or from the delivery service. (1)
  • May write "to do" lists to organize the work for the coming week. (1)
  • May write notes to supervisors describing machine breakdowns or explaining work done to correct defective pieces. (1)
NumeracyMoney Math
  • Prepare billing for work completed based on time taken to complete the job, the amount of materials required and the pricing guidelines. (2)
  • Calculate earnings by multiplying the number of pieces completed by the price per piece. (2)
Measurement and Calculation Math
  • Measure pieces of fur and leather to judge their suitability for a repair and measure the circular sweep at the bottom of a coat. (1)
  • Measure arm holes for coats and measure pattern pieces to identify where they fit. (1)
Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate how much fur to cut when enlarging the wedge under the arm. (1)
  • Estimate how many items, such as jackets, will be completed by the end of the day. (2)
Oral communication
  • May communicate with delivery personnel who are picking up or delivering work. (1)
  • Interact with co-workers to divide work and discuss particular problems with materials or repairs. (1)
  • Communicate with the supervisor to verify customer-requirements or to seek clarification on a repair ticket. (1)
  • Discuss sewing machine breakdowns with mechanics. (2)
  • May interact with customers about their repair requirements. (2)
ThinkingProblem Solving
  • May find that a work order is unclear as to whether a cuff is required on the sleeve. They try to reach the customer through the manager to seek clarification. (1)
  • May have material rip as it is fed into the sewing machine. They relax the tension of the machine or carefully push the material manually under the needle. (1)
  • May find that a machine breaks down in the middle of a job. They start a different job which does not require use of the machine in order to keep working while the machine is being repaired. (1)
  • May find that the colour or texture of the material used for repairs is not exact enough to escape notice when the repair is completed. They search for other materials and call the supervisor if they are unable to locate suitable pieces. If it is impossible to match material, they may suggest a redesign of the garment, such as substituting leather inserts for fur or cloth. (2)
Decision Making
  • Decide which pelts are closest in colour and texture to the original. (1)
  • Decide what type of lining material is most suitable for a particular garment. (1)
  • Decide when to refuse a repair in cases where the material is too rotten to work with. (1)
  • Decide whether a remodelling job is possible, taking into account the condition of the coat and the availability of materials. (2)
  • Decide which jobs to do first, taking into account that co-workers may also need to work on the same orders to perform different tasks and that co-ordination will be required. (3)
Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking information was not collected for this profile.

Job Task Planning and Organizing

Sewing machine operators are assigned tasks and priorities by their supervisors. They themselves determine the most efficient way to get the jobs done, taking into account customer deadlines, the availability of supplies and the need to co-ordinate some tasks with co-workers who may also be required to work on the same order. Work is sometimes interrupted and reprioritized because of machine breakdowns or rush orders. They keep track of inventory so that they may place quarterly orders for materials and thread. Aside from the planning of inventory, most planning is short term, focusing on daily or weekly production schedules. (2)

Significant Use of Memory
  • Remember from which garment buttons came so that they can be sewed back on later after the garment has been redesigned.
  • Remember the work which was done on a particular coat in the past.
  • Remember the charges for particular types of jobs in order to be consistent with similar orders.
  • May remember the sequence of steps required for various processes, such as glove-making.
Finding Information
  • Find information in pattern books. (1)
  • Search the work log to find what repairs were previously done on a coat. (1)
  • Consult technicians and refer to machine manuals to understand a sewing machine repair. (2)
Digital technology
  • Use other computer applications. For example, they may use a scanner to scan tickets for production data. (1)
Additional informationOther Essential Skills:

Working with Others

In larger establishments, sewing machine operators often work as a member of a team, with 6 or 8 operators working on different aspects of the same garment. In smaller establishments, sewing machine operators may work independently or with one co-worker. Even in small shops, some jobs require co-ordination between operators in regard to the use of specific machines or the division of tasks.

Continuous Learning

Sewing machine operators learn on the job. They may receive some basic sewing training which focuses on the operation of various types of sewing machines and how to work with patterns.

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