Boot Camp Orientation & Updates


Tommy is fine tuning the welt pocket machine I bought to sew the coat pockets. I’ve known Tommy for 25 years; we worked in the same factory way back when.

Well, we’re eagerly awaiting the start of apparel manufacturing boot camp and working like fools to get it all done. We’re looking forward to meeting all of you and getting some work done for a great cause.

Here are a few updates and reminders:
1. Schedule
2. Factory Feeding
3. Lunch sponsors
4. Coat recipient selection
5. Supply list -please note that the supply list has changed slightly.
6. Mandatory dress code
7. Safety and scents policy


Please note that the work day starts at different times depending on the day and the track. The mental shortcut is that work starts at 8:00 AM Sept 5-7, 2015.  This means you’ll need to arrive at the factory by 7:30 so you can get situated and ready to start work by 8:00.

September 4th, the first official day, everyone needs to be here at 7:00 so we can meet and greet, and make work assignments. Obviously we’d like everyone to try any jobs that interest them but we need a plan to start with -for training if for no other reason.

On September 3rd, the 2nd track (marker making) starts at 7:00 AM.

The majority of you don’t arrive until the 3rd but activities are going on before then. Registered participants are welcome to join in for anything you see listed. Just show up at 410 Old Coors Rd SW, 87121. Somebody will be here.

Tuesday Sept 1, 2015 -8:00 AM: Training of sewing supervisors (or anyone who shows up)

Wednesday Sept 2, 2015 -8:00 AM: Training of sewing supervisors (or anyone who shows up)

Thursday Sept 3, 2015:  Two tracks:

  • Track 1 (8:00 AM) designing operator sewing training and setting up sewing lines.
  • Track 2: (7:00 AM -firm) Marker making and fabric spreading.

Friday Sept 4, 2015, 7:00 AM:  Two tracks:

  • Track 1: (7:00 AM -firm) Operator sewing training.
  • Track 2: (7:00 AM -firm) Cutting, shade marking, fusing, and bundling

Saturday, Sunday Monday Sept 5-7: 8:00 AM SEWING!

If you’re wondering why there is no end time, it’s because I don’t know. Depending on how much gets done, we may run 2 shifts. On the other hand, if we’re unexpectedly productive, we may knock off around 3 PM for mojitos and cerveza.

Factory Feeding (Amenities):

We plan on having coffee (bring a coffee mug if you can) and snacks available but details are still pending. Lunch will be provided each day. We were lucky enough to find generous sponsors to support the project. The lunch sponsors are:

  • Alvanon -the global fit experts.
  • Answer God’s Call (Navajo Nation) -a community service organization based in Gallup NM.
  • Clovis and MaryVivian Maestas, private citizens underwriting the effort from Espanola, NM
  • Andaluz Hotel; one of the finest hotels in the world, the first Hilton hotel ever built (Conrad Hilton was from San Antonio NM, not San Antonio TX);

 Coat recipient selection:

I was on the fence for a long time about whether to announce which charities we’d selected to receive the donated children’s coats. To me, it was a matter of dignity and self respect but the need for transparency wins out. The organizations we’ve selected are:

The criteria we had is that the organization must be not for profit, serves a disadvantaged population and has the means to distribute the coats to the neediest children.

Supply List:

  • Safety glasses -particularly if you must use pins to sew. You will not be permitted to use pins without safety glasses (you will be taught to sew without pins).
  • *Pins (optional). Large head (read: visible) preferred.
  • Snips or nippers. We usually thread ours on a string to wear around our necks.
  • Scissors
  • Needle threader
  • *Seam gauge (optional)
  • Measuring tape (retractable) or small metal rule
  • Full or half apron with pockets.
  • Screwdriver to change out presser feet.
  • Screwdriver to change out needles
  • *Seam ripper (optional) I don’t like these. We typically use razor blades or scalpels in the factory. We will have scalpels on hand.

Label all of your items with your name or initials. If you don’t think you’ll be sewing but just coming to observe, use your best judgement as to what you should bring but minimally an apron.


Mandatory dress code

If you do not comply with the dress code, you won’t be allowed in the factory, no exceptions, this means YOU.

  • 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 will 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 necklaces that hang outside of your shirt. No large bracelets; watch bands should be secured.
  • Body piercings: With the exception of post earrings, any surface exposed objects embedded into your face, neck and arms must be removed. Any objects embedded in one’s hands and wrists, to include posts, 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.


Scent free policy

Do not use any scented products. This includes oils, perfumes, colognes, after shave, musk, strongly scented lotions, strong deodorants 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. The consequences for non-compliance is that I may become violently ill (it’s rather dramatic, very fast and very messy) and then we’re dead in the water. If you ignored this request thinking it didn’t apply to you or you didn’t read down this far, you’ll be asked to take a shower -we’ve got one at the factory. Besides, scents come off on your hands and get the products dirtied. 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!

7 Replies to “Boot Camp Orientation & Updates”

  1. Wish I could get there!! My comment is in regard to snips worn around the neck. I never allow this in my shop or class due to the “stab you in the stomach problem.” I do tie a floater ribbon to the snips so they can be hauled out from piles of bundles if they get buried, but I do not want them worn or on the sewing machine table. When people have the snips on the table there is a tendency for them to drop on the floor and stab a body part or get wrecked. So for me, snips/ scissors in the drawer. Best of luck, stay safe everyone !

    Tracy from Time Honored Patterns


    1. Snips have caps altho we do lose them.

      Your point is noted. I am not sure it will work for us tho since people will be rotating around a lot.


  2. Nancy L. Adamson August 31, 2015 at 12:27 am

    Unfortunately, owing to the distance I would travel from Edgewood to your location
    It is not prudent for me to even come for your orientation. The Time line is not feasible.

    That said I wish you the best in your endeavors to not only provide a wonderful gift of jackets to the community of your choosing. But also the training that you will give to individuals, the skills to use in an industry that is lacking in this state.

    I applaud your efforts.

    Thank you! for keeping me in the loop.

    Nancy L. Adamson
    Nancy L. Adamson int.


    1. I regret if I left anyone with the wrong impression but we are full up and can’t take anymore people. I posted this here so that local people, even tho they aren’t coming, could get an idea of what the event will be like.

      I also dislike commuting myself so I understand why you wouldn’t want to drive the 30 miles from Edgewood (traffic is a bear on I-40!). That said, we have people (actually, everyone except for 3 NM residents) coming from all over North America. The farthest is a fellow flying in from Canada.

      I think the tragedy is that Albuquerque’s Fashion Incubator is much better known all over the world, than it is here. It is well known because one of its founders (me, Kathleen Fasanella) runs the most prominent international educational site on the web for apparel manufacturers. I’m also the author of The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing; the most highly rated book in the garment industry. It was via other means that we were able to staff this event, garnering support from international cities as far away as London and Hong Kong.


      1. Nancy L. Adamson August 31, 2015 at 10:51 pm

        I don’t mind the commute. I am from California. It is the hour of arrival that is difficult at this time.
        No need to explain your criteria. I understand the need that you have in using locals to buy into
        Your program.
        I wish you the best and if some time in the future you will invite locals to visit your project please
        call on me and if I am able I shall attempt to be there. I appreciate the time that it takes to contact everyone.
        Nancy L. Adamson


        1. It would be great if locals “buy” into the program but not required as I’ve been in business more or less successfully from NM for the past 20 years. 99% of my customers are from out of state. My thinking is that we’ve made this resource available to people here should they choose to utilize the option. If they do not, people from out of state will continue to use my facilities -I’ve had a factory here for years; this one represents a larger and better equipped factory.

          Unfortunately, I wouldn’t be able to call you with an invitation to visit the factory. Should we post an event that interests you and you’re inclined to participate, we’ll look forward to meeting you then.


  3. Thanks so much, Kathleen, for posting the update. We’re excited to participate in this bootcamp and are looking forward to working hard and getting to know others in the industry.


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