An Introduction To Freelancing Roles

In a previous blog we looked at some senior roles that are pivotal to the success of a fashion label. In this blog, we'll take a look at different roles in relation to working freelance in the fashion industry.

These roles fit under a different category. Smaller labels may hire these roles on a freelance basis or as they’re needed seasonally. Working freelance also gives you flexibility and the chance to build your skills and portfolio with various brands.



A patternmaker has one of the most important roles in a fashion label. They are responsible for creating the fit of the garment and ensuring it fits the model correctly.

The patternmaker usually works from a designer's illustration. This is either a technical sketch or a freehand fashion illustration. The patternmaker will need to interpret this illustration to create the garment. They use pattern blocks, or drape the fabric on a mannequin (some may use both), to determine how many pattern pieces it will take to create the garment.

After a patternmaker has fitted a garment and received the fit comments, they then alter the patterns as per the fit comment instruction.

Patternmakers have a strong understanding of mathematics, measurements, fabric quality components and properties.



A machinist takes the patternmaker's pieces, and sews the garment together as per the pattern instructions.

The patternmaker will leave instructions on the pattern pieces, such as darts, buttons, and notches. This helps the machinist to understand what they are creating and what needs to be sewn together.

In some smaller labels the machinist may also be responsible for cutting the fabrics of the garment.


Fashion Stylist

A fashion stylist might be thought to live a very glamorous life. While this is somewhat true, fashion stylists are also extremely hardworking and do a lot of behind the scenes work that you might not think of.

The primary role of a freelance fashion stylist is styling the garments for photo shoots – editorial/campaign or eCommerce. The fashion stylist is usually in charge of the creative team for these shoots. They need to scout a model for the brand, relevant hair and makeup artists, as well as location or prop sourcing.

Although there are a huge number of different freelance roles within the fashion world, the above are key. They can take on multiple clients, brands and projects and build up a varied portfolio. While these are some of the most common freelance roles, there are many others which contribute to the success of a brand. What would be your ideal freelance position in the fashion industry?

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Written by: Cara Drake

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