Behinds The Seams With A Garment Technologist – A Day In The Life

After grabbing a quick cup of coffee my day starts with a brisk walk through the factory.

Even though I work upstairs with the pattern cutters it’s so important to maintain a good relationship with the workers in the factory too. We occasionally exchange a joke and every Monday morning, I make time to ask each one of them about their weekends. My grandfather always believed that a happy worker is a good worker. Most importantly it gives me an indication of how production is going and if there are any issues. I visit the factory at least two times a day, sometimes more if there are any problems or help is needed.

Back upstairs, I usually have a healthy stack of ‘things to do’. In my line of work a priority list is vital, as there are so many different jobs to do and deadlines to meet. Most of our customers have fit meetings on specific days, so you need to ensure that the samples go up at the correct time.

Each day I intend to start with amending patterns, but this can change dramatically and may be asked to drop everything urgently and measure a sample to be sent to the customer or there is a problem that needs addressing in the factory.

This is why I love my job, as it’s so diverse and each day is different. My day-to-day duties can include any of the following; (I will try to keep this easy for you to follow!)

Amending patterns

So, the customer likes a particular style and places the order. Next step is they would send comments for the fit of the garment they need us to improve on and I will amend the pattern, re-make and send a new sample for approving.

Measuring samples and taking note of their specifications

From the first fit to the approved fit it’s my job to take measurements of the garment to ensure the next fit corresponds to the previous fit. What I mean is that I will take the most important measurement points and record them. For example, the bust, waist, length, hem width etc. Once the sample is approved, these measurements become our guidelines and ones we need to follow to ensure the production is correct.

Checking the fit of the first sample

This is important and one that will save a lot of agro. The designer and myself will put the garment on the mannequin and will decide if the fit/styling is good enough to send to the customer. If the sample is not fitting correctly or we think it would be too difficult to produce, we will start from scratch and improve until we are happy for the sample to be sent.

Measuring production samples

So, production has started and the first size 10 will be taken from the cut and made up. This will be pressed, labelled up and brought up to me to check the measurement points are correct to the specification we agreed with the customer. If good we send to the customer. If not, it’s my duty to notify the production manager, who needs to then investigate and put it right.

Creating new patterns

It’s not often I create new patterns and sometimes it’s quite a treat. I only do this if something is wanted urgently and the pattern cutters are too busy on other things. When I amend patterns, they are very often not my patterns.

Working with other pattern cutters

We have a pattern room manager, a senior pattern cutter and few other pattern cutters in our office, a whole lot of knowledge. We work great as a team, but there are days when even we don’t know everything or need a second opinion. I am always happy to help out and because I amend most of their patterns, I need their opinions daily and usually advise the pattern cutters if I see something that can be improved on their patterns or maybe help with the fit. If some are working from sketch and need to make a toile I sometimes get called over for my opinion.

Helping the factory/customers with any queries

It’s also my duty to ensure any queries are answered to the best of my ability, whether it is for the factory or the customer. If it is a production query, it’s usually either a cutting problem or a pattern problem, which need to be investigated. If it is a fit query from the customer, it is usually me that needs to deal with this issue.

A fun day is when all the above come in one go and there have been plenty of those in the past.

To be a good Garment Tech, you need to jump into whatever task is asked of you and at super speed. You need good communication skills, as you work with so many different individuals. You need to be organised and be able to delegate. Working under pressure is definitely an advantage and keeping your wits about you, certainly helps!


Interested in becoming a garment tech? Tap this link to find out about the latest fashion apprenticeship vacancies – garment tech roles regularly come up.