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”.
Design Improvement Ideas
Quality Assurance vs Quality Control
Production Workflow Organization
Spreading Fabric & Marker Layout
Digitizing Using a Digitizing Table
Sample Cutting with Scissors
Fusing with a Boiler 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! The landscape is beautiful there!