Talents and Skills Thesaurus Entry: Sewing

As writers, we want to make our characters as unique and interesting as possible. One way to do this is to give your character a special skill or talent that sets him apart from other people. This might be something small, like having a green thumb or being good with animals, to a larger and more competitive talent like stock car racing or being an award-winning film producer. 

When choosing a talent or skill, think about the personality of your character, his range of experiences and who his role models might have been. Some talents might be genetically imparted while others are created through exposure (such as a character talented at fixing watches from growing up in his father’s watch shop) or grow out of interest (archery, wakeboarding, or magic). Don’t be afraid to be creative and make sure the skill or talent is something that works with the scope of the story. 



Description: sewing encompasses a variety of forms: dressmaking, embroidery, millinery (hat making), quilting, needlepoint, crocheting, knitting, and other activities involving needle and thread. Sewing can be a practical endeavor (as a means of producing a needed product) or a leisurely activity that is more craft-like or entertaining in nature.

Beneficial Strengths or Abilities: dexterity, good hand-eye coordination, sharp eyesight, a basic knowledge of mathematics, being able to communicate clearly with others

Character Traits Suited for this Skill or Talent: patience, meticulousness, creativity, organization, dependability

Required Resources and Training: The basics of sewing can be self-taught but many sewers choose to train through an apprenticeship or via trade or fashion schools.

Associated Stereotypes and Perceptions: Sewers are usually portrayed as females; it would be nice to see other people groups represented in this field. Closely related to sewing, fashion design is a popular skill or hobby that is quickly becoming cliché among female protagonists, particularly in YA books.

Scenarios Where this Skill Might be Useful: when extra income is needed; as a means of artistic expression; when money is scarce and clothing/cloth has to be recycled or repurposed; when an article of clothing needs repairing at an important, high-profile event

Resources for Further Information:

Hand Sewing Basics

Choosing Fabrics for a Sewing Project

A Sewing How-To


You can brainstorm other possible Skills and Talents your characters might have by checking out our FULL LIST of this Thesaurus Collection. And for more descriptive help for Setting, Symbolism, Character Traits, Physical Attributes, Emotions, Weather and more, check out our Thesaurus Collections page.

Image: PublicDomainPictures @ Pixabay


Becca Puglisi is an international speaker, writing coach, and bestselling author of The Emotion Thesaurus and its sequels. Her books are available in five languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world. She is passionate about learning and sharing her knowledge with others through her Writers Helping Writers blog and via One Stop For Writers—a powerhouse online library created to help writers elevate their storytelling. You can find Becca online at both of these spots, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
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C. Lee McKenzie
C. Lee McKenzie
6 years ago

I love it when that talent is directly involved in the plot–the potter who uses the biggest pot to hit his foe over the head at the critical moment. Something like that.

Rosi Hollinbeck
6 years ago

The MC in my middle-grade historical is a 12-year-old boy who learns to sew, and that skill is very important in the story. I think readers will find it in interesting addition to his skill set and may decide it would be a good thing to learn. Thanks for another useful post.

Stephanie Scott
6 years ago

I currently am writing an MC who sews; it’s really fun to pull up fabric imagery and fun sewing related words. I brainstormed a zillion titles with sewing themes so it’s definitely on my mind!

:Donna Marie
6 years ago

I’ve sewn quite a bit through my life, so can really appreciate this one, and look at that beautiful, antique machine! 🙂 Probably works better than most that came after it lol. Another great post, Becca 🙂 Thank you! You spend so much time on this, it’s a wonder you get any of your own writing done!

Martha Ramirez
Martha Ramirez
6 years ago

Great suggestions! Thank you!

6 years ago

I’m a male, and I was self-taught as an upholsterer in a wheelchair shop, doing custom seating. At the time I was doing this, I was one of a few pioneers in custom wheelchair upholstery. We used a lot of Naugahyde and a commercial-duty sewing machine.

I think a lot of upholsterers are males.

Jordans For Cheap
Jordans For Cheap
6 years ago

I needed this skill for my one female character because she’s in a time period that making your own clothes is a necessity. I did need to research spinning wheels though for her. That was fun!!