Fall 2019 Apparel Manufacturing Boot Camp Registration is Open

Our next event, Fall 2019, we will be making warm winter coats for donation to children in New Mexico. The design will draw inspiration and design elements from Fall 2017, our most popular design. We will be doing it all from pattern grading, spreading, cutting, organization,sewing and finally distribution. Here are the details:

Pre-Production: July 4-7 2019, 8:00 AM -5:00 PM*.
Slots: 10
When you register for pre-production, you are automatically enrolled in production.
*PLEASE NOTE: 8:00 AM start time for pre-production!

Production: August 30-September 2, 2019
August 30th: 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM.
August 31-Sept 2: 7:30 AM -5:00 PM
Slots: 25 (includes the 10 from pre-production)

Location: 410 Old Coors Dr SW, Albuquerque NM 87121
Contact us at (505) 877-1713 or factory AT abqfi DOT.org

Qualifications and experience required: None. That’s right, no experience required. There is no trick to being successful if we’re staffed by people who already have skills and experience. The amazing part of what we do is training unskilled and inexperienced people. We have successfully, and repeatedly trained people who have never sewn in their lives. I can’t say this more simply but your experience or lack of it will not affect your acceptance. However, overstating your experience and qualifications can count against you. Read the questions on the registration form very carefully to make sure your responses don’t lend the impression of exaggeration. We do need an accurate picture of applicants so we can plan staffing and training

Registration by Lottery: Since the boot camps fill so quickly (sometimes less than an hour), we use a lottery system. There is a 2 week period to sign up and then we’ll draw names out of the proverbial hat. Once you’re notified of having gotten in, you’ll need to pay a $50 deposit within 3 days time. If the deposit isn’t paid, we pull the next name on the list. On April 23, 2019, you will be notified whether you got in or not.

These are the tasks that are completed in pre-production. Again, if you sign up for pre-production, you are automatically enrolled in production (I repeat this no less than 3 times in each post and I still get questions about this):

Pre-production: In the first phase July 4-7, 2019, boot campers will:

  • Analyze fitting and dressing challenges for our “customer”.
  • Assist in pattern creation and complete production pattern auditing for each style.
  • Sew mock ups of the proposed style for group critique.
  • Create finished samples.
  • Assist with the creation of an industrial engineering work study to determine the number of operations, sewing time per operation and type of equipment will we need.
  • Analyze the sewing skills we need to train for and finalize a plan to manage the challenges of an unknown workforce.
  • Assist with cut order planning (calculating yields), creating the master schedule to order goods, final costing, and generally learning how to manage production soup to nuts.
  • Finalize the sourcing plan to include the costs and inventory we need to complete the project.
  • Train to be trainers: those attending the design phase will have supervisory or management roles for the production phase over Labor Day (August 30-Sept 2).

Pre-production: $500
Deposit due: Friday April 26, 2019
Balance due: Wednesday May 15, 2019
Production: $350
Deposit due: April 26, 2019
Balance due: Monday July 15, 2019
Catered lunch: $80 (4 days x $20)

We charge a nominal fee to cover some of the event expenses (the actual cost to my business including planning, equipment, and work stoppage is about $500 per person over and above this fee). As a charitable organization, your fee, less the cost of food, is tax deductible in the USA (and any additional donation is deeply appreciated). Please note there is no catered lunch option for Pre-Production and that the fee for Pre-Pro includes Production.

In sum, registration is officially open!

Click here to fill out the registration form.

We can’t wait to meet you!

Our charity status was approved!

I’m pleased to announce that our IRS application for 501c3 status was approved in only 3 weeks. I’d heard it can take up to 2 years for approval so we were very pleased that our commitments to assisting needy New Mexico kids and increasing economic development through training entrepreneurs in factory management, was recognized so quickly.

We appreciate the support of all of our participants and the manufacturing community. We are grateful for the donation of sewing machines, tools, goods, marketing, and of course, money. If you’re looking for information on how we can support you, see Manufacturing Boot Camp or call us during regular office hours.

If you know you can’t participate in the world’s only clothing manufacturing boot camps but would like to underwrite the project or sponsor a scholarship, you can do that too. Please let us know if you’re providing a scholarship so we can notify the benefactor of your generosity.

We’re becoming a Not for Profit! And, a 2017 Summary of Good Works

At the end of this year, we want to provide an update to everyone who is interested in the ABQFI community and mission.

Our mission is to produce first quality sewn products for donation to charities and underserved communities in New Mexico; these products are made by volunteers during events that we host twice each year. We call these events “Apparel Manufacturing Bootcamps”, during which volunteers may experience everything from design through final inspection in a real factory environment.

To date, here is a list of the bootcamps, the number of volunteers, and a synopsis of the items produced and donated:

Boot Camp EventVolunteers
Fall 2015435104 coats
Spring 2016830270 house dresses
Fall 2016525105 coats
100 cat trap covers*
Spring 2017722100 pants
360 napkins**
Fall 2017629100 coats
86 pants
75 Cat trap covers*

Total: 5 camps including 4 pre-production camps


>100 volunteers

Including many returning alumni


Total Production:

309 coats
270 house dresses
186 pants
360 napkins
175 cat trap covers

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