- 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). Even if you have polycarbonate or Trivex lenses in your prescription eyeglasses, you must have additional eye protection. You can buy safety side shields (no endorsement).
- *Pins (optional). Large head (read: visible) preferred.
- Snips or nippers. We usually thread ours on a string to wear around our necks.
- 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). We don’t use or recommend these but some people feel naked without them. In any factory, razor blades are the tool of choice. We will have razor blades on hand and teach you how to use them.
- Mask: optional but a face mask is great if you have allergies. It is amazing how much fiber ends up in the air. We have extras here, be sure to put your name on it.
- Optional: please bring an unwrapped gift for the “piece rate pay” box. Attendees collect “pay” stubs for each bundle they sew. On the last day, people select from the box in descending order of their “earnings”. The item you bring can be something that you were gifted and intend to re-gift. It can be anything. Last time, we had books, CDs, calendars, a pillow, a clock and art supplies. You can bring more than one item since some people forget. Think of it as a gift exchange and a memento of your experience at Boot Camp.
- Optional: Bring me a refrigerator magnet from where ever you are from. Visitors enjoy seeing the magnets from all over.
Label all of your items with your name or initials. And yes, you’d think we’d have screwdrivers for every machine -and we do- but it is amazing how those tend to collect in a place where we cannot find them when needed.
Please ship any needed items to the factory ahead of time if you don’t plan to check luggage. You can send the package in C/O your name, Albuquerque Sewing Factory, 410 Old Coors Dr SW, Albuquerque NM 87121. Again, “the factory” cannot supply everyone with work tools so please bring what you need.
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 may 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 large bracelets; watch bands should be secured. Some people were a lot of large gaudy rings -these make me nervous. You could hurt yourself if those get caught on equipment.
- Body piercings: With the exception of post earrings, any surface exposed objects embedded into your face, neck and arms must be removed. Any surface exposed objects embedded in one’s hands, fingers 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.
- You will not be permitted to sew with pins without safety glasses. No exceptions.
- You must wear safety glasses after changing a needle. The rule is not rigid; sew a bit and if the needle is well seated, you can remove the glasses.
- You must wear safety glasses after changing a pressing foot. Again, sew a bit and if the foot is well seated, you can remove the glasses.
- If in doubt, wear safety glasses. As I’ve gotten older and realize my eyes aren’t invincible, I often wear glasses most of the time when I am sewing.
- No one (even me) will be allowed in the cutting room without safety glasses while the knife is running.
- There are more safety rules but I’m not going to write a manual. Be smart and sensible.
Scent free policy
PLEASE do not use any scented grooming products. This includes oils, beard or mustache oil, herbal homeopathy treatment, perfumes, colognes, after shave, musk, strongly scented lotions, strong deodorants (AXE) 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. Some people (like me) are very allergic and then we’re dead in the water. Besides, 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!