Now Hiring: Part-Time SAMPLE MAKERS


Womens Contemporary APPAREL, Bridal


The Chicago Fashion Incubator is seeking experienced Sample Makers to assist in the development of seasonal garment collections for up to six designers as part of our Designer in Residence program.

The Sample Maker is a skilled sewer, has the ability to sew most types of fabrics, is able to read patterns, and advise designers on how to make corrections when necessary. Experience in operating industrial sewing machines from single needle to special machines is required. A background in fashion education and/or experience working with emerging designers is preferred for this role.

The Chicago Fashion Incubator has budgeted up to 72 hours per year for this position. The hours are flexible and primarily occur during the height of fall/winter and spring/summer collection development in April/May and August/September. Role is defined as an independent contractor (1099,) with compensation up to $25 per hour based on experience. The Sample Maker reports to the Design Director. Note: The Designers involved in our program have often contracted with Sample Maker for additional hours, separate from the CFI and would be negotiated with the individual designers.



  • Sew prototypes, pre-production and duplicate samples per the designer's instruction
  • Review patterns for special instructions for trims and thread color combination
  • Organized and able to meet deadlines
  • Precise sewing, attentive to details, and able to follow design sketches and designer’s instructions
  • Detects errors is patterns, missing notches or pattern pieces for correction
  • Advises designers on how to simplify garment construction and pattern adjustment
  • Communicates with designers upon completion of sewing in order to correct prior to release of pattern to marking and grading



  • 5+ years of sewing experience in the development of sample garments
  • Expert sewing (straight stitch, cover stitch, marrow and overlock)
  • Knowledge of fit, construction, sewing techniques, and fabrications
  • Understanding of basic sewing machine care
  • Effective communication skills to work closely with designers and give alternative solution for best sample construction
  • Must have experience sewing most knit fabrications
  • Must have experience working in a team environment and able to multi-task
  • A background in fashion education and/or experience working with emerging designers is favorable



Please direct your resume and cover letter to the attention of Design Director and submit to:



The Chicago Fashion Incubator at Macy’s on State Street (CFI) is a recognized 501(c)3 not-for-profit established in August 2008. Its mission is to make meaningful economic impact in Chicago by giving fashion designers technical product development and business tools and training to create innovative products and launch globally competitive businesses based in Chicago.

The CFI is home to a Designer in Residence program, fostering the development of six designers through a two-year residency, and free and low-cost workshops, networking events that support the growth of at-large fashion businesses at various stages of development.