We all know someone who sews. Maybe you sew yourself. But, have you ever stopped and wondered, what do you call someone who sews?
If you do, you’re not alone. Even if you know the answer, brain fog can creep in and you can forget what the term or terms used are.
Many people get confused as to what you should call someone who sews simply because there are a myriad of names used to describe such a person.
Many of these names elicit unique emotions and can mean something different from one person to the next.
If you’re looking to start a sewing business or simply want to learn more about sewing, you’ll need to know the correct terminology regarding sewing.
After all, you’ll want to understand all terminology before naming a sewing business!
Today, we are going to guide you through the various names and terms used to describe an individual who sews. So, let’s get started so you can get back to sewing as soon as possible!
Someone Who Sews: What Should You Call Them?
As we mentioned, there are a number of names and terms to describe someone who sews. Let’s dive right in and explore each one below, starting with the most common.
Look up sewer in the dictionary and you will find “an underground conduit for carrying off drainage water and waste matter.”
Of course, this is the wrong kind of sewer! In the sewing world, someone who sews is also called a “sewer.” According to www.dictionary.com, a sewer is “A person or thing that sews.”
A sewer is considered the proper and correct term to use to call someone who sews.
But, as we pointed out above, many prefer to use other terms as it all too often gets confused with certain plumbing systems.
To avoid such a problem, the word is often hyphenated to “sew-er” but this is not correct in a grammatical sense.
In general, the word “sewer” is the most dominant word used to describe someone who sews.
And, although it may be spelled the same as an underground plumping system, it works best when used in conversation.
Although not as commonly used as “sewer,” “sewist” is another term used to describe someone who sews.
It has actually been used since the early 1800s, with the Grammarphobia blog stating that “The source of both ‘sewer’ and ‘sewist’ is ‘sew,’ an old English verb.”
Seen as an alternative to “sewer,” “sewist” is often used on sewing websites and amongst bloggers.
Although the term is used by many in the sewing world, “sewist” is not in the dictionary. But, this doesn’t mean it can’t be used.
After all, it has been in circulation for nearly three hundred years.
Sewist is a great alternative to “sewer” as it removes any negative connotations people have with the plumbing systems called sewers.
Some may even call themselves a “sewista” or spell it “sewyer” but these uses are quite rare. Use these terms in a sewing blog or group, and you may be seen as quite snobbish.
But, it’s your choice what you want to call yourself or someone who sews.
The dictionary definition of a seamstress is “A woman whose occupation is sewing.”
If you don’t like the terms “sewer” or “sewist,” then “seamstress” is probably the best name to go with. It is one of the most commonly used professional terms and is something most people have heard of.
However, this is not the best term to use for those who prefer separate gender terms.
“Seamstress” tends to be used to describe a woman who sews, such as someone who runs a sewing business. Therefore, it can not really be used to describe a man who sews.
Seamstresses are individuals who are skilled at sewing, so beginners are not often regarded as seamstresses.
A true seamstress can typically make just about anything with their sewing machine (see also “Best Affordable Sewing Machines“), including drapes, clothing, etc.
Men who sew have been called a “seamster,” which we like. And, there are no real rules set in stone here so if you like the term “seamster,” go for it!
From a sewing term that has female connotations to one that generally has male connotations.
According to the dictionary, a tailor is “A person whose occupation is the making, mending, or altering of clothes, especially suits, coats, and other outer garments.”
Therefore, it can be associated with both men and women, but it is mostly associated with men.
A tailor refers to a distinct sewing occupation for those who work professionally in apparel (clothing) stores and establishments.
In some cases, specific sewing jobs come with unique names, such as a milliner, a dressmaker, a costume designer, a garment maker, or an alterations specialist.
We suggest you pick one you like and go with that.
Another word that is not in the dictionary, a “sewologist” refers to someone who sews. However, it is regarded as a made up word, hence not being in the dictionary.
Thanks to the “logist” section of the term, it implies that the individual has studied sewing or is an expert in the field.
If you are an expert in sewing, we think this term is a great way to describe yourself.
It is also an excellent name for a sewing business as it will gain potential customer’s attention more easily than the usual terms like “seamstress” or “sewist.”
A Sewing Enthusiast
Love sewing? It doesn’t matter if you’re an expert or a novice! If you love sewing and have a passion for it, you can be considered a sewing enthusiast.
The dictionary defines an enthusiast as “A person who is filled with enthusiasm for some principle, pursuit, etc.” If this is sewing, you may have your new term right here.
For many, the term “sewologist” can sound too official, especially if you only sew in your spare time.
Therefore, calling yourself a sewing enthusiast may be the better option as it does not imply that you have extensive expertise or knowledge in sewing.
Want to know what we prefer? “Sewciopath.” This is a funny and clever play on words and is not as much of a mouthful as sewing enthusiast (see also “Sewing Puns That Are Just Sew Funny!“).
Whether you see sewing as a hobby or it is your profession, you could be referred to as a “quilter.”
Defined as “A person whose hobby or profession is making quilts” in the dictionary, a quilter is most associated with someone who sews quilts, rather than those who work with alterations, garment sewing, or other types of sewing.
Quilting is a true skill that takes years of practice. Therefore, to be regarded as a quilter, you should be experienced in quilting and sewing over a number of years.
We’re into more general terms now. For anyone who makes, designs, or crafts items, they can be called a maker, a crafter, or a designer.
This also applies to those who sew garments and fabrics.
If you sew and also partake in different crafts, such as crochet or embroidery, these terms are perfect for you as they cover your whole skill set, occupation, and/or hobbies.
When sewing, you will be working with a needle. Therefore, it makes complete sense to be called a “needleworker.”
Although this is not a common term, like some above, it is a great name if you want to stand out from sewers and sewists.
You can also refer to yourself as a “stitcher,” which, in essence, is the same as a needleworker. Call yourself as a sewer, and people may not take much interest.
Call yourself a stitcher, and they may take a moment to think about what this is and be more intrigued. Who knows?
Maybe they’ll think you’re a surgeon. But, calling yourself a “fabric surgeon” may be going a little too far.
Fabric Artist/Textile Artist/Fiber Artist
An artist is defined as “A person who produces works in any of the arts that are primarily subject to aesthetic criteria.”
Therefore, if you sew and create clothing, then you should be considered an artist.
If you consider your sewing to be an art form, you could refer to yourself as a textile artist, but many people will not make the link with sewing, so this term may be a little confusing.
Either of these three terms can be used, but we think they only apply to those who work in particular fields, such as textiles and fibers.
As you can see, there are a number of terms and names to describe someone who sews. Everyone has their own preference of what term they would like to use.
We just hope we have helped you find the right term for you to use today. Thanks for reading.