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■Manufacturing clothes and accessories with pleasure and precision(Part 2) (2012/09/11)

Following our dispatch of volunteering specialists last January, a team of 3 persons led by Ms. Yuko Sato, part-time lecturer at the Kuwasawa Design School was sent to KnK's "House for the Youth" in Battambang (Cambodia) to lead sewing trainings for girls working at the House's production unit.

Lecturer: Ms. Yuko Saito, SEMPRE Managing Director and Part-time lecturer at Kuwasawa Design School
Interpreter and assistant lecturer: Ms. Rei Moriya, 2nd year student (night classes) at the Kuwasawa Design School
Photographer: Ms. Chieko Moriya
Attendees: 12 girls from Battambang House for Youth's production unit

[1st part of the training (4 days) - Manufacturing small accessories]
Photo Cambodia 5・Sewing

What amazed us at first when the girls started sewing with the machines was that they sew measuring by the eye. It is possible to sew on the mark up to 5mm of the machine's presser but it is impossible not to move after that even for a well-trained person. We found one of the reasons explaining the different sizes of identical products.

Most of the modern machines are equipped with guide lines but the girls were using old pedal-style machines. To solve this problem we made scales with thick paper on which we stuck double coated adhesive tape and stuck them on the side of the machines' presser and needle after deciding precisely the width of the seam allowance. Then sewing along the cloth edge permits to sew a uniform seam allowance width.

It is how it is done in Japanese manufactures and what is considered as a helpful sewing tip. We also told them to change the seam allowance width according to the fabric thickness. 


We also taught several things about ironing.
1. Iron before cutting the fabric, stretch the wrinkles and adjust the fabric's thread direction
2. Press when putting interlining
3. For things sewn on the lining side, iron the "margin to seam", fold up and flip back to get it right
4. For the curves or bias, flatten the fabric when ironing
5. And other things like ironing a last time the finished items for a better finish. We instructed them to try to iron with attention between the sewing steps to manufacture a well-done item.
Cambodia photo 6

[Second part of the training (3 days) - Organization of a Fashion show]
For this workshop, the assignment for the girls was to make dresses.
To make dresses fit them all, we took measures of every girl and split sizes into S, M and L. We informed them in advance that we would organize a show the last day and that each of them had to have personalized dress.
Until then, the girls had only made items for sale. Making dresses to fascinate themselves, wondering what kind of bags would match, imagining themselves in front of other people made them leap up and made them think about styling naturally. We were willing to tell them that design was coming out from this excitation.
The show was touching with all girls all smiles. We suppose that the show not only increased their motivation but also enriched them.
Cambodia photo 7

Cambodia photo 8We think that this seven-day training was very meaningful for the girls. If they remind well all the operations we studied, and given that they already have a high sewing skill, they will for sure produce correct and proper items. We sincerely hope that they will continue enjoying sewing and making clothes and accessories. We have succeeded in communicating with more than words by touching their smiles and pure hearts through confection.
Thank you.

Cambodia photo 9

*"Income Generating Activities (IGA)" actions in Cambodia and dispatch of specialists are supported by The Japan International Cooperation Foundation (JICF)

Report: Rei Moriya, 2nd year student (night classes) at the Kuwasawa Design School

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