Pre-production and Production supply needs vary a little so be sure to read the applicable lists carefully. Also, “the factory” (aka, me) cannot supply everyone with work tools so please bring what you need. Be aware that you may need to ship your supplies to the factory if you don’t plan to check luggage. You can ship packages like so: [Your Name] Albuquerque Sewing Factory, 410 Old Coors Dr SW, Albuquerque NM 87121. The post office and UPS are used to a wide variety of addressee names.
Below the Supply Lists are the dress code and safety policies.
Supply List (all):
- Safety glasses: Even if you have polycarbonate or Trivex lenses in your prescription eyeglasses, you must have additional eye protection. You can buy safety side shields (no endorsement).
- Snips or nippers.
- Needle threaders.
- Seam gauge -but don’t buy one if you don’t have one. We sell industrial ones at cost.
- Small metal rule. This specific ruler is optimal but this type is fine too. I use both.
- Full or half apron with pockets.
- Screwdriver (small, flat head) to change out needles.
- Ink pen/s. Pencil is fine for personal notes but if others are expected to read it, use ink.
- Seam rippers: I didn’t forget to include these; we don’t use them. In factories, razor blades are the tool of choice. We supply razor blades and will teach you how to use them.
- Pins: large head. We’ll teach you how to sew without them but if you do use them, you must wear safety glasses.
- Mask: Face masks are great even if you don’t have allergies. It is amazing how much fiber ends up in the air. We have a supply of budget face masks (be sure to put your name on it) here but if you want a good one (what we use when cutting) buy in advance.
- Bring a refrigerator magnet from where ever you are from. Visitors enjoy seeing magnets from all over on the factory’s refrigerator.
- Bring an unwrapped gift. On the last day, we draw lots for a gift exchange. The item you bring can be something that you were gifted and will never use. It can be anything; something you’ve made, books (used are fine), tools, stationary, food items, whatever. You can bring more than one item since some people forget.
Pre-production supply list:
In addition to the items above, pre-production people also need:
- Scissors. Sigh. People have been bringing crap scissors. You need a good pair which IS NOT what you’ve been led to believe is good. An industrial scissor is a 10″ bent trimmer (I prefer 12″). The Kai 7280 is a great fabric scissor. Do not bring 8″ home sewing [Gingher/Fiskar “dressmaker” “professional”] “scissors”. These are awful; no wonder people’s hands hurt. If a pair only costs $15-$40, pass.
- Measuring tape (retractable is good).
- 2″x18″ Plastic ruler. B-95 is best but B-85 works too.
Mandatory dress code
If you do not comply with the dress code, you won’t be allowed in the factory, this means YOU. There is only one exception. If your faith dictates your manner of dressing AND you already work in a sewing factory, you may wear long dresses or skirts that protect your legs.
- As an attendee, you are responsible for dressing safely in a commercial environment. If you dress as you SHOULD when mowing the lawn, you should be okay. This means sturdy work pants and shirts that follow the body’s contours. Only wear clothing you won’t mind ruining.
- Footwear: No open-toed shoes, pumps or heels of any kind. No ballet flats. Choose a shoe with a thick, gripping sole. Boots are good provided they don’t have a fashion heel. You may be standing most of the day, wear comfortable shoes.
- Jewelry: No dangling jewelry and/or accessories. This means no loop earrings (posts are okay), no large bracelets; watch bands should be secured. Some people were a lot of large gaudy rings -these make me nervous. You could hurt yourself if those get caught on equipment.
- Body piercings: With the exception of posts, any objects embedded in your face, neck and arms must be removed. All objects -including posts- embedded in one’s hands, fingers and wrists, must be removed.
- Accessories: Belts should fit close to the body. Accessory-fashion belts that may catch on equipment or cause injury to you or another, are to be avoided. Besides, if you dress up, you’re going to feel awkward because nobody else will. Speaking of, skip the make up and tie your hair back.
- Clothing: Please select attire with comfort and safety in mind. Assume that any item of clothing you wear will be ruined so if you dress to impress, you’ll be the only one who does. Most of us wear jeans and tees.
- You’ll need to have proof of a current tetanus shot. This is required of anyone working in a sewing factory. Every 10 years I get the shot on my birthday so I don’t forget.
- If you use pins however sparingly, you’ll need to wear safety glasses. No exceptions.
- You must wear safety glasses after changing a needle. The rule is not rigid; sew a bit and if the needle is well seated, you can remove the glasses.
- You must wear safety glasses after changing a pressing foot. Again, sew a bit and if the foot is well seated, you can remove the glasses.
- No one is allowed in the cutting room without safety glasses while the knife is running. You will be expected to remind others (me) who occasionally (often) forget.
If in doubt, wear safety glasses. As I’ve gotten older and realize my eyes aren’t invincible, I often wear glasses most of the time when I am sewing -particularly when using the bar tacker and like machines.
PLEASE do not use any scented grooming products. This includes oils, beard or mustache oil, herbal homeopathy treatment, perfumes, colognes, after shave, musk, strongly scented lotions, strong deodorants (AXE) etc. The intent is this: no artificial smells, no matter how “natural” the product purports to be. Rubbing raw lemon or fresh picked Rosemary on your skin is fine (nice, actually) but Lemon or Rosemary lotion (perfume, cologne, aftershave, etc) isn’t. Some people (like me) are very allergic and then we’re dead in the water. Besides, most scents have some kind of oily base which attracts still more dirt on fabric. Ditto for make up. You touch your face, then you touch the fabric. Not good. Most factory workers (what you’ll be) don’t wear more than eye make up -if that.
Okay! That’s it! We’re so excited and can’t wait to meet you here at our sewing factory in Albuquerque New Mexico, USA!