By Kyle Spieker, Senior Industrial Designer
Over the years, our shared interest in sports, travel, fashion, and exploring national parks has left us curious about the development of the soft-goods products we were using. But as much as we searched, industrial sewing classes seemed to be non-existent amidst a sea of quilting workshops. While we all appreciate a cozy quilt in the thick of a Michigan winter, we were looking to gain insights around the soft-goods products we’ve grown to love and trust—like our go-to day packs or our broken-in motorcycle gloves.
We finally struck gold with an article about a new GRCC industrial sewing course and decided to reach out to Blue Marble Threads founder, Camille (the mastermind behind GRCC’s curriculum), to customize a two-day class for Tekna’s Innovation team. It wouldn’t be long before we set out for Grand Rapids to collectively broaden our understanding of soft-goods development and production.
We spent the first day following Camille’s signature “Crash Course with a Sewing Machine,” which covered the basics of working with a walking foot machine. On day two, we learned about seams/assembly methods, pattern development, and tech packs. We also gained experience with the production/prototyping process. The classes were both enlightening and a lot of fun. We left feeling comfortable working on industrial sewing machines, confident of our new skills, and excited to learn more. Thank you, Camille, for sharing your expertise with our team!
“My experience with the GRCC Workforce Training Industrial Sewing course was very rewarding. This course laid a great foundation of sewing knowledge that allowed me to start up a new department within my company. Just 18 months upon completion of the course we now have an 18 person sewing team. We are capable of sewing upwards of 400 units/day across 50 different garment types. A few examples of garments are, t-shirts, football jerseys, wrestling singlets, athletic shorts, hoodies, etc. I can confidently say that without this course we wouldn’t be where we are today!”