A Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921.
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405.—Dress and Blouse Makers

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alteration hand
alters and sometimes remakes, ready-made dresses, blouses and other light clothing by unpicking, sewing and machining where necessary, to suit customer's requirements; may also repair and renovate.
blouse hand
general term for any woman or girl engaged in any process in blouse ,ma/king; sometimes refers specially to worker who makes blouse throughout.
blouse maker
sews together, by hand or machine, material cut out by blouse cutter (403) q.v., finishing and trimming according to design; in workshops where the work is subdivided, hemstitching, buttoning, buttonholing and trimming is done by other workers.
bodice maker
makes throughout, top parts of dresses or frocks, by hand and machine sewing, of material prepared by cutter or fitter q.v.
costume hand
as for general hand.
costume maker
as for dressmaker; costumes also largely made by tailoresses (404) q.v.
costume maker, theatrical ; theatrical costumier
a dress maker q.v. who alters and repairs fancy costumes and theatrical dresses.
costumier, costumiere ; modiste
makes, sells, or deals in costumes; usually applied to a working proprietor of a small dressmaking and costume establishment, run on French lines, or dealing in French models.
costumier, theatrical
see costume maker, theatrical.
a dressmaker q.v. making dresses, etc., on French models.
dressmaker ; frockmaker
makes dresses, frocks, etc., throughout after material is cut to measure by cutter (402) q.v.; tacks or pins up on model, sews by hand and machine, finishes, trims and presses; sometimes also fits customers.
dressmaker, stage
see sewing woman.
dress renovator
a dressmaker q.v. who specialises in making necessary alterations and repairs to garments received for renovation; sews in new linings, etc.; usually done by alteration hand q.v.
finisher, costume
affixes buttons, hooks and eyes to costume and sews, by hand or machine, parts of costume requiring finishing off; fells seam edges.
first hand (retail dressmaking) ; fitter, dressmaker's fitter
in charge of workrooms in large establishment, supervising work of second hands q.v.; fits garments requiring alterations and takes customers measurements for length of skirt, etc.
fitter, dressmaker's fitter
see first hand ; cf. fitter (dressmaking) (402).
see dressmaker.
general hand (dressmaking)
a sewer or machinist (419) q.v. capable of making all or part of any dross, blouse, etc.
jumper maker (not knitted)
as for blouse maker.
mantle maker (not tailored)
makes loose coats, by hand or machine, after material is cut by cutter (402) q.v.; does all work from tacking to pressing finished mantle.
see costumier ; cf. modiste (408).
pin hand
an apprenti.ee or learner who receives instruction from dressmaker's fitter and assists her generally.
robe maker, robe hand
makes throughout, by band or machine, dross or robe, i.e., one piece garment as distinct from blouse and skirt.
second hand
assists fitter or first hand q.v. generally; cuts out linings and supervises women and girl workers in her room; in absence of fitter or first hand, may fit customers for alterations, etc.
sewing woman (theatre) ; stage dressmaker, wardrobe woman
repairs dresses and costumes used by a theatrical company; sometimes makes simpler articles herself.
skirt maker, skirt hand
makes up dress skirts throughout, by hand or machine, from parts cut by cutter; may employ either tailoring or dressmaking methods.
sleeve maker, sleeve hand
makes sleeves for dresses, robes, blouses, etc., by hand or machine, from material cut by cutter (403) q.v., but does not insert them into garments; cf. sleeve maker (404).
tacker and turner (skirts)
in wholesale factory, tacks and turns up hems of skirts according to measurements given by forewoman (401) q.v.
tea gown hand
as for general hand.
wardrobe assistant
assists wardrobe mistress (887) q.v. in folding and packing of dresses and costumes in a theatre, etc.; cleans garments of grease paint; usually a sewing woman q.v.
wardrobe woman
see sewing woman.

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From: A Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921,
Ministry of Labour, 1927. Digitised by Peter Christian, August, 2016.   This text is in the Public Domain.