Based on industry guru Kathleen Fasanella’s Sustainable Sewing Bootcamps at the Albuquerque Fashion Institute, a micro-factory workshop takes all the components of a true sewing factory and distills them down to a collaborative assembly line for regular people that want to be involved in the process of making their own clothing.
How it works
1. Participants gather with 6-10 others for a brief introduction of the construction of the garment.
2. The steps of construction are then explained in detail, with an overview of each station (marking, cutting, sewing, pressing, inspection) and what is required at each station.
3. Stations are assigned based on skill level. Those with advanced sewing skills will be put on more complicated or time-consuming stations like installing zippers, sewing curves, attaching sleeves, and using the serger and coverstitch machines. Those who are new or who have limited sewing experience start at the cutting table; marking, cutting, bundling, pressing seams, and eventually trying their hand at a few simple stitches, gaining valuable experience through the repetitive nature of batch sewing.
4. Production begins; fabric is rolled out, pattern pieces are marked, cut out, and bundled in groups of 10 with the written description of the particular step in the construction. A 3D sample “sew-by” of the item in each step of construction is on display for reference for the sewists.
5. As we work through the assembly line, those who started with the first steps, marking and cutting, will move to pressing and final inspection.
6. The end result is a large production of quality items, made collaboratively by those with varying skill levels in a short period of time
Here are just a few of the workshops planned that will be offered on a rotating schedule.