The short version: This one day class is designed for anyone in the process but mostly for designers who may not be doing their own pattern work. It will also be very useful for those who have studied pattern making but do not have industrial experience. Other kinds of training designed specifically to your needs is also available -see this post on rapid product development. Yep, we make it while you wait, soup to nuts.
The focus of the class is everything pattern books don’t tell you. Authors spend a lot of paper and ink teaching you things you’ll rarely if ever do but not the things you should be doing daily. Some of these are mentioned in this entry.
You will learn the standards of production patterns (standards to implement and why), and how to inspect and walk a pattern so you can determine whether the work you’ve paid for is on par. You will leave with a completed production ready pattern and sewn samples made on industrial sewing machines. Basic sewing skills are helpful. If you don’t have my book, you will need to get it as we use it extensively. Depending on interest, classes can be expanded to cover topics of your choosing.
Private instruction is available in our newly expanded Sewing Factory School for a maximum of 15 students but 8-10 is preferred. The class fee for one person is $1500 per day with discounts for 2 or more. For those traveling here (everybody), I can provide comfortable and private accommodations in my 800 sqft guest house for up to 3 people, with breakfast. The guest house has 5 rooms; a bedroom (queen size bed, feather bed in the winter), living room (queen size futon), full kitchen, bath with shower stocked with towels, shampoo, soap etc (photos of accommodations) and a utility room. It’s very private, about 50 yards from any other building on the grounds. Transportation to and from the airport is likely but not guaranteed depending on arrival and departure times.
You will need to comply with the dress code to be let in the plant. If you don’t read that or don’t understand that I do mean *you*, you can’t come in and then everybody else will talk about you, maybe for years. Invoices will not be adjusted for the lost time. Speaking of payment, you need to pay a 50% deposit to guarantee your slot.
The long version: These classes aren’t scheduled but held by arrangement. Classes are customized so I need to interview people to assess their skills and what they need to get out of it to know whether we’re a match. Content varies but it helps to get the heads up so we’re prepared here. In the case of manufacturers (and or their designers, pattern makers, sample makers), I help them learn the skills their employers want to develop better products. I only do one introductory class (meaning no knowledge prerequisites) for entrepreneurs on production pattern making. That is really all most designers need since they don’t make patterns but I’m flexible.
[Edited 6/26/2015] My seminars and intensive and rigorous, held in 5000 sqft manufacturing facility (410 Old Coors Dr SW, Albuquerque NM 87121). I can house up to 3 people in my guest house but any more than that will need to make their own arrangements; the closest hotel (highly recommended, ignore disparaging reviews by competitors) to the new factory is about half a mile away.
I should explain how my classes are set up. Keep in mind these classes are intensive and rigorous! Even though my shop is fairly large with nice amenities and many machines and tools, I take a maximum of three students but two is best as I provide accommodations and breakfast. Staying on site is preferable as classes are 10 hours or more each day and the closest hotel is 10 miles away and there are few amenities such as restaurants near by. Of course, you’re welcome to make your own accommodations.
I interview prospective students at length by phone to get an idea of their needs, learning styles and personalities. Classes are structured according to student personalities and project needs.
- No colognes, perfumes, oils, strong deodorants (AXE makes me ill), scented hairspray, gels or smelly lotions. The guest house is stocked with inoffensive grooming products. I’m serious about this -no scents.
- Cell phones must be turned off unless someone is on a donor waiting list (you can call on breaks). WIFI and computers available for use.
- No open toe or open heel shoes. Shoes must be sturdy with a solid heel suitable for standing on concrete all day. NO HEELS.
- No dangling jewelry or accessories.
- Hair must be tied back or out of the way.
- Coffee and breakfast makings are stocked in the guest house.
The seminar training fee is $1500 per day for the first student; discounts for subsequent attendees is possible if only one curriculum is needed (classes are highly customized). Since no two classes are the same, it takes time to write curriculum and have it approved by whoever is paying (employer usually, or student). Goals, tasks, exercises and objectives are fully discussed in advance. Developing curriculum and materials takes at east four hours for every hour of class time so you can understand why I don’t do it until needed. You will need to provide materials for use in curriculum development in advance. This will be discussed beforehand.
I have a guest house I’ve been using for student accommodations as long as no problems arise. You won’t have to rent a car at the Albuquerque airport if you can coordinate arrival and departure times. Officially you have to fend for yourself at dinner (guest house has a full kitchen) but unofficially, we’ve gone out to dinner, gotten carry out etc. Students will need to bring their copy of my book with them because we will be using portions of it, putting it into the context of their growth.
Speaking of the guest house, ours is a rural property. It is not fancy and we have animals. We have 2 medium sized, outdoor dogs. Lately, my dog’s girlfriend (Pearl, a Weimaraner) has been coming over (hops her fence, then ours) so better figure 3 dogs total. If you do not like animals, they can be penned. Penning is not much of a hardship, the back pasture is about an acre along the easement, making it convenient for them to chase UPS trucks safely. We also have one outdoor cat who comes and goes (and who will try to visit you in the guest house), a friendly boy by the name of Farm Cat. And last but not least, we have 3 hens, 2 pullets and 7 baby chicks. See this if you want to know more about the location.
Below is a list of equipment and amenities of my small sewing factory. I just moved in so I haven’t had time to post photos but I’ll do that soon.
Facilities and equipment
- 5000 sq ft building
- WI-FI wireless network
- 800 sqft guest house for visiting clients
- StyleCAD pattern, grading & marking software
- 4′ X 6′ Accugrid digitizing table
- 72″ Ioline pen plotter
- Dual monitor PC workstation
- Single needle Adler 271-140342 servo
- Flatlock Merrow Activeseam MB-4DFO servo
- Needle feed, Juki DLN-9010SH servo
- Coverstitch 5 thread Kansai WX-8803D servo
- Buttonhole/Bar tack Siruba BH790 servo
- Walking foot Juki DNU-1541S servo
- Overlock, 5 thread safety stitch, Reliable MSK-3316N servo
- Blind hemmer Consew 817 (clutch)
- Single needle Mitsubishi DB-170 (clutch)
- 2-48 foot cutting tables
- 2-68″ spreaders
- button covering machine
- nail head and snap setting kick press
- belt and tie turner (production, manual)
- washer & dryer
- Alvanon full body form (UK size 12), 2006
- Alvanon squishy form, US size 10, 2012
- 28 foot, 72″ wide Philocraft table w/rails
- Eastman Blue Streak 8″ cutting knife
- Over 200 feet of feedrail
- 2-68″ spreaders
- 1.5 liter Boiler Iron (Reliable)
- Blower & vacuum extraction pressing station
- Sussman gravity feed iron