Can I make a career out of sewing?

Hi there, I'm 29 and have two children and work part-time. I've recently got into sewing and absolutely love it and would like to make a career out of it. But I'm not sure where to start! Can you help?

— Sally

Expert answers

Wendy Shorter 's reply:

Hi Sally

Sewing and soft furnishings is a lovely career option and one that can be fitted around any childcare issues you may have.  Unfortunately, due to the lack of funding and because of your age you are unlikely to find any funded options or apprenticeships.

If you want to create good quality work to a high standard then you really need a good understanding of all the techniques used, the legal requirements for fitting curtains and blinds in both domestic and commercial settings as well as good business skills.  This means working on large scale projects, not just small samples.

Therefore, you have two main options:

a) To find employment within an existing workroom.  You may find some companies that are looking for help on the Association of Master Upholsterers & Soft Furnishers (AMUSF) website:

b) The other option is to attend a good training course that will give you all the skills required to start your own soft furnishings business.  This option would also assist you in finding employment.  I run the AMUSF's Essential Soft Furnisings Certificate course near St. Albans in Hertfordshire.  You will find details and the cost of the course on my website:

I hope this helps and that you enjoy a rewarding career in the industry.

Kind Regards


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