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A hand sewer must have excellent spatial intelligence and the ability to visualize three-dimensional textile creations while looking at two-dimensional sketches. Sewers must be patient and methodical, not prone to rushing, and will often have to work long hours to meet emergency deadlines. In many cases, a portfolio of past work is more important than a lengthy academic pedigree. Many sewers, however, pursue degrees in theatre arts or fashion design, which are quite useful when applying to couture design houses. Sewers must have healthy hands, wrists and arms; strong eyesight is another important asset, particularly for theatrical professionals who need to do some last-minute sewing backstage by the light of a single, dim lightbulb.