ABQ Sewing Factory

Earlier this month, I attended a four-day pre-production program in Albuquerque, New Mexico, hosted by Kathleen at ABQ Fashion Incubator. Approximately 10 volunteers came to this planning and training event where we learned about what is involved in preparing for apparel production. Pre-preproduction was phase 1, and the next trip will be phase 2: production! The goal of this volunteer program is to produce children’s coats for charity.

Below I’ve listed some of the topics we learned about during the pre-production phase. I won’t go into too much detail about all I learned, but if you’re interested, I encourage you to take a look at the wealth of information on Kathleen’s blog, especially the articles under “Resources”.

Pre-Production Overview:

Design Constraints
Design Improvement Ideas
Quality Assurance vs Quality Control
Production Capacity
Production Workflow Organization
Work Instructions

Marker Making
Spreading Fabric & Marker Layout
Digitizing Using a Digitizing Table

Sample Cutting with Scissors
Fusing with a Gravity Iron
Operating a Computerized Industrial Lockstitch Machine
Fabric Handling and Sewing Without Pins
Using a Razor Blade to Remove Stitching
Exercise in Industrial Engineering

Not all of the above was new to me, but it was very insightful to receive this training which presented new information and methods I hadn’t seen before. I really enjoyed learning to sew without pins. This is a very practical skill and easy to apply at home!

As part of a team exercise in industrial engineering, I sewed this jacket with a little help. The exercise taught us about the assessment of standard allowable minutes and how to use this information to identify bottlenecks and estimate production capacity while also taking into consideration other constraints.

So far, this opportunity has been very educational and fun. I’m looking forward to phase 2!

I also enjoyed hiking and sight-seeing while in ABQ! I’ll be sharing some photos from the trip on my photography blog soon. :D

Heidi Pullover

For years I’ve admired the designs of Anna Allen Clothing Company, and now I’m excited to see that Anna is beginning to publish sewing patterns! I sewed up a top using her Heidi Pullover pattern and a navy blue linen from my fabric collection. I’m very happy with the result! The pattern features a v-neck with neckline facing detail, a two-piece back yoke, a gathered back, and vented side seams. The diagrams and photos included in the sewing directions were helpful, although a beginner may find the instructions a little vague. The size I made fits me well with no fit modifications. However, I did modify the length of the neckline slit to be less deep. It took me a couple tries to get the length of the slit where I wanted it. It’s always an experiment getting things just right!