Sewing professional is the most general term for those who make their living by sewing, teaching, writing about sewing, or retailing sewing supplies. They may work out of their home, a studio, or retail shop, and may work part-time or full-time. They may be any or all or the following sub-specialties:
A custom clothier makes custom garments one at a time, to order, to meet an individual customer's needs and preferences. A custom dressmaker specializes in women's custom apparel, including day dresses, suits, evening or bridal wear, sportswear, or lingerie. A tailor makes custom menswear-style jackets and trousers.
A roadside tailor in Haikou City, Hainan Province, China
A cutter cuts out, from lengths of cloth, the panels that make up a suit. In bespoke tailoring, the cutter may also measure the client, advise them on style choices, and commission craftsmen to sew the suit. An alterations specialist, or alterationist adjusts the fit of completed garments, usually ready-to-wear, or restyles them. Note that while all tailors can do alterations, not all alterationists can do tailoring. Designers conceive combinations of line, proportion, color, and texture for intended garments. They may or may not have sewing or patternmaking skills, and may only sketch or conceptualize garments. They work with people who know how to actually construct the garment. Patternmakers flat draft the shapes and sizes of the numerous pieces of a garment by hand, using paper and measuring tools or by computer using AutoCAD based software, or by draping muslin onto a dressform. The resulting pattern pieces must comprise the intended design of the garment and they must fit the intended wearer. A wardrobe consultant, fashion advisor, or stylist recommends styles and colors that are flattering to a client. A seamstress is someone who sews seams or a machine operator in a factory who may not have the skills to make garments 'from scratch' or to fit them onto a real body. This term is not a synonym for dressmaker. Seamstress is also an unkind and archaic euphemism for prostitute.
Tailor as a surname
Interior of a Tailor’s Shop – anonymous painter, c. 1780
The profession’s denomination, Tailor, is a common surname in many languages: Taylor (English), Couturier (French),