Grantee Spotlight

 

Rightfully Sewn creates jobs and opportunities for women in Kansas City through the business of fashion. We developed our mission to meet the need of at-risk women for stable, well-paying jobs to secure financial independence, and the need of local fashion industry businesses for skilled seamstresses to expand their operations.

Our eight-week Seamstress Training Program opens up the possibility of full-time, well-paying employment for at-risk women, something that is difficult and necessary for escaping harmful situations. Participants are women from at-risk backgrounds who have been identified through our social service agency partners Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas, Hope Faith Ministries, Jackson County CASA, Jewish Vocational Service, and Sheffield Place. Individuals will need to demonstrate an interest in the work and natural spatial skill. They may or may not have prior experience with sewing. After a basic skills assessment is administered, those who pass will attend an eight-week sewing unit, which meets three days a week for three hours at a time. The program covers safety, machine maintenance, and basic and intermediate sewing and alteration skills on conventional and industrial sewing machines. Upon completion of the program, Rightfully Sewn will assist graduates with job placement by hosting a Seamstress Jobs Fair, so seamstresses can possibly receive job offers on the spot from multiple employers. There are currently more than 100 open seamstress positions in the Kansas City region.

Because Rightfully Sewn is passionate about our seamstress graduates also working towards entrepreneurship, we will use SkillBuilders Fund’s investment to develop our Level II and Level III Seamstress Certification curricula. To generate earned revenue, we will also develop our YouTube channel as a vital, high-profile extension of our brand.

Graduates from our Seamstress Training Program currently earn a Level I certification, which prepares them to enter into entry level sewist positions at local sewn product manufacturers. Level II and Level III would allow local sewists to increase their production management and advanced alteration skills, thereby increasing their earning potential.

In Level II, participants will learn assembly procedures for different components of garments, become knowledgeable about many types of fabrics, advance knowledge of sewing machine functions, parts, and maintenance, develop quality control processes, and become familiar with the fashion design production process including creating markers and pattern grading. Level III will focus on intermediate and advanced womenswear and menswear alterations, including tailoring men’s garments, proper fit for various women’s body types, and basic bridal gown alterations.

YouTube will allow us to highlight our capacity as a small batch garment producer and position Rightfully Sewn as an expert business development resource for fashion design entrepreneurs. Visit Rightfully Sewn’s YouTube channel here.

To learn more about Rightfully Sewn, visit their website.