Spring 2016 Apparel Boot Camp Samples!

Here is a sneak peek of the three styles that we’re producing for the Spring Apparel Manufacturing Boot Camp. We plan to make each of the three styles in all three colorways -quite a challenge from a production stand point- but that was built in from the get go.  All styles have contrast touches with coordinating piping and trim, specifically, we’ll be using over 700 yards of piping and 400 yards of bias trim.

As you can see, none of the styles we’re making for donation are simple box coffin clothes. I was not going to let our designers or stitchers off so easily because we must design and produce with integrity. Integrity means producing designs that are useful; not dumbed or watered down because the fine touches are “too expensive” or difficult to execute. Perhaps more than anyone, needy people deserve nice things. I should say, these are not the first designs our team came up with but I wasn’t going to let them think they’re design ninjas for putting pockets into simplistic A-line dresses. There is nothing wrong with simple dresses but I’d feel silly patting our team on the back for design excellence with such a low bar and besides, our “customers” deserve better.  But I digress -we’re moving closer to deadline and are right on target!

If you’re interested in joining us for the Fall 2016 Apparel Manufacturing Boot Camp session over Labor Day, drop a note here so we can fill you in with more details later. Also, if you happen to be attending the TexProcess trade show in Atlanta this week, give me a call (see the about page) if you want to meet up.

In 2 styles, pockets are hidden behind piping. In the other, the patch pocket is piped and trimmed with contrasting fabric.

In 2 styles, pockets are hidden behind piping. In the other, the patch pocket is piped and trimmed with contrasting fabric. Note how the piping lines up on the side seam and continues the design line onto the back? Not easy to sew and not cheap.

Apparel Manufacturing Boot Camp: building manufacturing in America

This is the guiding concept of my business. I included the above in the introduction of my book (The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing) in 1996. For many years, I was the object of public ridicule; most people didn’t even bother to conceal their contempt of my ideas. It stung but I kept at it. Maybe they were right then, but you know, they’re not now.

Thankfully, the issue today is the resurgence of sustainable manufacturing within the United States of America. Problem is, it’s not the same climate it was in 1995 when I started my business. In the olden days, if you wanted to start a factory or apparel manufacturing business of your own, you got a job in a factory until you figured it out. Today, you can’t find a factory to get a job in -so how do you learn? In a nutshell, that’s what we do. We teach manufacturing with two goals in mind. The first is to benefit needy people in our community. The second is to give entrepreneurs an opportunity to experience the workings of a real factory. To be sure, one isn’t wholly prepared after this experience but it is certainly an eye opening, trial by fire, immersive learning experience that opens a new world.

Care to join us? Sign up for the Fall 2016 session, manufacturing children’s coats.

Pictures at Apparel Manufacturing Boot Camp

The coat manufacturing boot camp, benefiting needy children of New Mexico ended on Monday. There remains work to be done on the jackets -such as top stitching (call me if you want to learn how to do it, we could use the help!) but we’re still on deadline. The delivery deadline is October 1, 2015 (yay me for building that into the timeline). We still don’t have a final coat tally (after final inspection) but we’ve got about 130 coats which is 33% higher than we promised. The charities will each get 10 more coats than they’d anticipated. Always under promise and over deliver. I’ll tell you more about it later but for now, some photos!

Tanner Ennis from Calgary Canada. He was our best sewing line supervisor.

Tanner Ennis from Calgary Canada. He was our best sewing line supervisor.

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