Spring 2019 Registration

First, I sincerely apologize that the announcement of registration for Spring 2019 Apparel Manufacturing Boot Camp was delayed (owing to scheduling conflicts) but I have solid dates for you now. I should also mention that the dates that had been listed on the About (and Overview) page have changed; today’s announcement is precedent.  

Registration for Spring 2019 begins on Monday October 15, 2018 and will close on Sunday October 28, 2018 so you’ll have two weeks to register. Due to high demand, we have a lottery. Meaning, on the 29th of October, we will draw names for the Spring event. You will be notified either way on October 30, 2018.

We charge a nominal fee to cover some of the event expenses. As a charitable organization, your fee less the cost of food is tax deductible in the US (and any  additional donation is deeply appreciated). The fee for Pre-production which includes Production is $550, not including the expense of catered lunches. The fee for Production is $350. Should you win a slot in the lottery, you will be sent an invoice on October 30th, and a $50 deposit to hold your spot is due 3 days later, specifically by the end of the day on Friday, November 2nd. Slots for which deposits have not been paid by that date will be offered to the next person on the waiting list. 

We are filling 10 slots for Pre-production (the planning and testing event for production) and an additional 15 slots for the Production event itself. The people selected for Pre-Production must attend the Production event in March so there are a total of 25 staffing positions. Please understand that signing up for Pre-Production is a commitment to travel to our sewing factory twice, six or so weeks apart. Again, the fee for Pre-Production includes the fee for Production.

Important Dates

  • Pre-production is held January 25-28, 2019 (Friday through Monday)
  • Production takes place March 22-25, 2019 (Friday through Monday).
  • Deposits ($50) are due on November 2, 2018.
  • Final payment for Pre-production ($550, not including the expense of
    catered lunches) which includes the fee for Production, is due on December 7, 2018.
  • Payment for Production ($350, not including catered lunches) is due  February 8, 2019.
  • Payment deadlines are set up so we can back fill from the waiting list should one’s plans change.

Qualifications and experience required:

As before, none, nada, zilch. No experience required -we have successfully, and repeatedly, trained people who have never sewn in their lives. Your experience or lack of it will not affect your acceptance. For this reason, it is important to fill out the registration form honestly, and without embellishment (overstating your experience and qualifications will count against you). We need an accurate picture so we can plan staffing and training. 

ONE EXCEPTION for this Spring 2019 Pre-Production event, we need at least one person with solid technical illustration skills for spot illustrations. If this describes you, you’ll have the opportunity to show that during registration. A work try out is required to ensure a shared understanding of professional competencies. Tl;dr, I’ve taken someone’s word for it before and regretted it.

So, that is all for now. On October 15th, I’ll post specific details about the event (what we’re making) along with the amazing plans we have (Lean Manufacturing!). Till soon. 

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 Event Volunteers
Fall 2015 4 35 104 coats
Spring 2016 8 30 270 house dresses
Fall 2016 5 25 105 coats
100 cat trap covers*
Spring 2017 7 22 100 pants
360 napkins**
Fall 2017 6 29 100 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

Read More

Video of Fall 2017 Boot Camp

I have a treat for you. Documentary film maker, Ramona Emerson, of Reel Indian Pictures, came by during the Fall 2017 Boot Camp to shoot some footage. Ramona’s latest film is The Mayors of Shiprock. You can see this on PBS; October 19th, 2017 at 7 pm NM PBS Channel 5.1. It will also be broadcast on WORLD Channel on November 6, 2017.  Enjoy!