The Sewing Factory School & Apparel Manufacturing Boot Camp

Sewing Room #1

Okay! So by now you should have read the So I bought a sewing factory post and we can jump into what is going on next and that would be, a manufacturing boot camp session in this place that I’ve envisioned as a prototypically perfect sewing factory for people to visit in the event they want to learn how to set up their own factory, aka, The Sewing Factory School. That’s what I’m calling this place in case you wonder.

I forgot to mention some stuff. Some friends of mine and I have started a fashion incubator here in Albuquerque because there isn’t anything to help people who want to start clothing lines except for a formerly-from-Chicago-local who I wrote about here. She makes a lot of noise about trying to network all the local businesses but she hasn’t sent anyone to me or gal pal Sally, ever. She makes a living by asking the city for money to start a fashion industry so it wouldn’t gel for the city fathers to know there already was one here.

The cutting room at the Sewing Factory School. The lights haven’t even been installed; sky lights are awesome. The feedrail is in now but not shown.

Anyway, jump starting the local scene is a challenge but we’ve cooked up a project and you’re invited –a coat manufacturing boot camp. Tomorrow we start the design phase but it will culminate September 4-7, when we will sew 100 coats that will be donated to agencies serving kids in crisis. It will be a major party and all around good time. Pizza and long nights will be had. There will be problems of course but it’ll come out okay. From September 4-7, we will spread, cut and sew 100 children’s coats. Wanna come? It’s your chance to actually participate in a production sewing run. The sewing segment is $150 -nobody is making money on this; we need the money to buy fabric to make the stuff.

Currently, we’re preparing for it in the design phase. Week after next we’ll get into the pattern and sampling part of things. If you’re local or have nothing else fun to do for the next two months, drop in! We’ve already got sign ups from across the country (we’ve been talking about it on Facebook and the forum). Sorry it took so long to get the word out here.

This page will explain everything that’s involved. If you sign up, you’ll be in the loop for everything else going on. It will be a fine time!

And oh yeah, I’m back in business and tending to customer’s needs. My goal is to provide downstream services to my existing customers, so if you’re looking for someone to do some sewing for you, you’ll need to start with patterns.

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  1. Sophie-Lee says:

    Congratulations on the factory, and good luck for the boot camp. Like Judy, I would love to be able to go, but unfortunately I live on the other side of the world so I’ll just have to see what you do via the blog.

  2. Sarah says:

    Also super excited to see this finally arrive! I’d love to join, but my second year of medical school will have started by then, and I’ll be knee-deep in microbiology. But I’ll want to read updates, on the forum at bare minimum!

  3. Hip hip hooray!


    Made in USA

    Please contact me if you need any more Pattern making software or affordable Smart Marking software.
    PAD’s is called AutoNesting Engine and is half the price of competitors.
    Plus it saves tons of fabric without paying an hourly marker maker. It is a green software, saves the waste of fabric.

  4. Pia says:

    What a great way to get the word out! I can’t attend as I live in England, but I wish you great success with this event & the whole venture.

    It’s ridiculous how dependant we’ve all become on cheap imports. Time for countries to regain some self-sufficiency & independence: Time for consumers to buy local (or at least domestically made goods).

  5. JustGail says:

    Great news on the new place! And I hope the coat boot camp is a roaring success. I’d love to attend, but having never used industrial equipment, I fear my best work would be keeping the coffee pot filled, or refrigerator stocked with pop/soda/ice tea. Besides, I’d take up a spot that would be better used by someone who’s looking to get in, or get better at, the business.

  6. emily l. says:

    Would love to participate as this is *exactly* what I need and want to do. unfortunately I’m in boston with a 3 year old underfoot so my ability is limited this time around. good luck and I jealously await the upcoming posts about how it goes!

  7. olive says:

    congratulations on your factory! great to know that there are still good samaritans out there. wish i could be there but as I’m a million miles away, I’ll content myself with your updates.

  8. Willie says:

    I love to participate but I live in the other side of the world, I’ll just monitor what’s going on via blog.

  9. didi says:

    where are all the comments gone? since this website changed all the comments on every single post are gone.., (it says there are x comments but you can’t see them or open them on any link) is there any way to open up the old site? it was also easier to read and had a better layout than the new style :( thanks

    • Avatar photo

      We were having issues with comments but this is fixed now. It is possible that it hasn’t propagated. Try deleting all of your cookies or logging on with another browser. After you do that, it should display normally.

      As to site design, necessity required a fast implementation but a few design changes are still pending.

  10. What a surprise! That’s a joke. Knew this had to be about education, what else?

    Unfortunately when the factories went off-shore they took their training programs with them. Thank goodness for Kathleen. This is just fantastic – there are no other words for it.

  11. Marissa says:

    This sounds amazing. I will do the next one for sure. Is the location of the incubator listed somewhere? I want to research local hostel and transportation,so I’m ready for the next one.

  12. Avatar photo

    Sorry, I meant to add: I don’t know that we will ever do this again, or at least, not like this or at this cost. Nobody is making any money on it, quite the contrary -hosting and running this project is costing me thousands of dollars in lost income and of course, increased operating costs.

    • Kathleen says:

      So I’ll make it up on volume?
      Seriously, publicity is nearly always good but it may disappoint people down the road as I won’t be able to continue to underwrite it.

      I do appreciate your support!

  13. Paula says:

    Wish I could be with you ,will still be at shows. Keep me posted on future events, best wishes and may you never run out of dreams and thread.

  14. Mary says:

    I would love to do this! I just wish everything good didn’t happen during the school year. I will check and see if there is any way I can….

  15. Suzanne says:

    I am doing everything in my power so I can go. If I stay at the Sandia, will I need to rent a car if I fly? How far away are you from the hotel?

  16. Laura says:

    I would love to participate! After spending 5 1/2 years at a cooperativly owned grocery store, it is a dream of mine to set up a cooperatively owned pattern maker and sewing contractor where I live. I am currently getting ready for my first market in October, so my schedule is a bit packed. I would love to participate if you offer this program again in a year or two. Congratulations and good luck!

    • Avatar photo

      As I said in an earlier comment, I don’t know that we will ever do this again, or at least, not like this or at this cost. Nobody is making any money on it, quite the contrary -hosting and running this project is costing me thousands of dollars in lost income and of course, increased operating costs.

      The only thing I’d add is that when I did this at a plant in MO in the late 90’s, we charged $900 per person. Should I do it moving forward, the price will be similar to the latter, adjusted for inflation.

  17. Is there a way to set up a webcam and charge people for the password to log in and view the class.

    I would totally pay and take your class via web. You can even have people email questions to you.

    I live in Palm Springs and I want to start a clothing line, mainly because the waitresses at me and my husbands nightclub need new uniforms all the time.

    I hope you would consider the web cam option.

    Candice C. Burrows

    • Avatar photo

      Sure, we could set up a webcam but we’d need at least 18 cams to cover the area and who knows what the purchase and set up costs would be -assuming I had someone to install it and the bandwidth to upload and store it. And oh yeah, secure it, sign up for a processing system, deal with people who couldn’t connect and lastly, collect payments for it. I just don’t have the cognitive bandwidth to manage all that on top of everything else.

      But more importantly, I wonder if readers are truly grasping what we will be doing. There will be no class, we will be operating a factory. No neatly scheduled lecture times with maybe a televised lab. Even if we had cams, much of what we’d be doing would not be clear, even if there was audio. And answering questions via email… I’m trying to figure out when I will get a chance to sleep or eat during the event. I won’t have time to read email so answering them is not in the range of possibility.

  18. How do I schedule with your incubator services for training immediately!!! Do you have trainings on the east coast? If not, I will come to Albuqerque. I started sewing at 3 years old needle in hand, and never stopped. during college years, I began custom designing. I have been marketing my products forr over 12 years. Have a very large studio that I have outgrown…and need to relocate into a factory setting. I was searching for training modules…and came across your blog. I am about to build a 50 by 100 building….but would love to have sufficient training before moving forward into higher levels of production. After this post, I will begin training by purchasing your Sewn Products book.

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