Maiwa School of Textiles: 2015 Spring Workshops

by - Sunday, January 11, 2015

For over ten years Maiwa has brought internationally acclaimed speakers, instructors and artisans to Vancouver with the Maiwa Textile Symposium. This spring we extend our commitment by launching the Maiwa School of Textiles and with it a new season of workshops.

We are proud to introduce our new season with the highly skilled and motivated Sheila Wong. Her drive and passion for textiles is matched only by her ability to communicate the joy of creating to both students and fellow artisans.  

Spring Workshops

Introduction to Sewing $295

Includes $95 lab fee (covering project costs and a beginner sewing kit)
First offering March 14, 15 (Sat, Sun) • Second offering April 11, 12 (Sat, Sun)
10am–5pm  class limit 10
Maiwa Loft, Granville Island, Vancouver, Canada

Ideal for individuals who have never used a sewing machine or need a refresher of basic sewing techniques and machine operation.

Work step by step on two fun beginner sewing projects. A set of pillow cases and a reversible apron with pockets.

Techniques covered:
  • Sewing machine basics: how to thread, trouble shoot and maintain a domestic sewing machine. Sequence of steps while sewing. How to sew a straight line and curved line with ease.
  • How to operate an over-lock (serger) machine to finish raw edges.
  • How to read basic industry patterns.
  • How to prepare, pin, cut & mark fabric prior to construction.
  • How to present a professional looking project with proper pressing skills.
  • Solid understanding of beginner construction techniques such as seams, seam finishes and hems.

Students are encouraged to bring and learn on their own machines. In situations where this is not possible Maiwa can provide machines. 

Sewing Techniques ($100 each or $495 for all 6)

Register for all six workshops.

10am–5pm class limit 10
Maiwa Loft, Granville Island, Vancouver, Canada

Each workshop is self-contained and may be taken alone or as part of the series. Students completing the series will come away with a solid grounding in all of these important techniques. Course cost includes a lab fee for each workshop ($20 - $30).

Stitches, Markings & Seams 
Friday March 20th. Register here.

Seam Finishes 
Saturday March 21st. Register here.

Sunday March 22nd. Register here.

Buttons & Buttonholes 
Friday April 24th. Register here.

Saturday April 25th. Register here.

Sunday April 26th. Register here.

Students are encouraged to bring and learn on their own machines. In situations where this is not possible Maiwa can provide machines. The Maiwa studio is well stocked for textile classes, however, if students have personal or favourite tools (scissors, rulers, pins etc.) they are welcome to bring them.

Introduction to Garment Construction $350

Register here.

Includes $30 lab fee   
March 30, 31, April 1, 2  (Mon-Thu) 10am–5pm  class limit 10
Maiwa Loft, Granville Island, Vancouver, Canada

Ready to make clothes? This course is for you. The focus will be on understanding the sequence of steps in garment construction, and how fabric transforms into a three dimensional form through intermediate sewing techniques.

With guidance, students will work their way through two garments: 
Straight skirt with zipper closure and a short sleeved top with placket and button closure. Both garments are made with woven fabrics. A set of sizes will be available for students to choose from.

Techniques covered:
  • Intermediate Sewing Techniques: Invisible zipper installation, button and hand sewn button bar, hook & eyes, in-set sleeves, darts, attaching interfacing, neckline facings, variety of hand sewn finishes to the hem and closures.
  • How to read industry patterns for apparel.
  • How to best place pattern pieces onto fabric, pin, cut, and mark fabric accordingly.
  • Sequence of steps in garment construction.

Note: students will be required to purchase materials (fabric, zipper, buttons, and matching thread) for the two projects. Supply lists will be given at registration. Students are encouraged to bring and learn on their own machines. In situations where this is not possible Maiwa can provide machines. 

Hand Sewing Couture Techniques $395

Register here.

Includes $30 lab fee   
May 11, 12, 13, 14, 15  (Mon-Fri) 10am–5pm  class limit 10
Maiwa Loft, Granville Island, Vancouver, Canada

This course will explore the world of couture sewing by fully constructing a garment using hand-sewing techniques. No machines involved here. You will develop an appreciation for the skill of the human hand and its role in quality constructed garments. These are skills that anyone can learn.

Students will gear their garment towards evening wear, lingerie and/or detailed items with a focus on hard to handle fabrics such as silk, organza, chiffon. satin, lace, velvet, and others.

Techniques covered:
  • Alongside sewing individual garments, students will learn a variety of couture finishes specific to their projects.
  • Couture Techniques based on the student’s pattern. These may include: basic hand stitches, darts, pressing, seams, hems, seam finishes, decorative edging, button holes, fastenings, lacework and decorative details.

Note: students will be required to purchase a commercial pattern of their choice with corresponding materials. A detailed supply list with guidelines will be given at registration.

Pattern Drafting – Pattern Blocks $495

Register here.

Includes $40 lab fee  
Part 1: May 22, 23, 24 (Fri-Sun), Part 2: May 30, 31 (Sat, Sun) 10am–5pm  class limit 8
Maiwa Loft, Granville Island, Vancouver, Canada
Note there are 5 days between the first and second parts of this workshop.

Create a set of basic pattern blocks to fit your measurements perfectly. This detailed course will work step by step on how to pattern draft a bodice, skirt and sleeve block to make up the basic dress foundation. Students will also test out their blocks by sewing muslin for fitting.

At the end of the course, students will have drafted their own basic dress foundation in which they can alter, fit and design to their desired style. Creating your blocks with professional guidance makes this course exceptionally rewarding.

Techniques covered:
  • Body measurements and figure analysis.
  • Introduction to pattern drafting by drafting a basic pattern set for personal use.
  • Understanding elements of patterns and marking them appropriately.
  • Creating muslins (fit samples) for each block. Learn how to fit and make necessary adjustments.

Students will be required to bring some basic supplies. A supply list will be provided at registration.

Introducing Sheila Wong

The fashion industry thrives on creativity, diversity and innovation. The same 3 concepts can be used to describe Sheila Wong Fashion Design Studio, or SWFDS as it is more commonly known in the Vancouver fashion circuit. The company, founded by Sheila Wong, who herself is a walking example of diversity (being French-Chinese Canadian), helps develop all aspects of fashion design, whether it be skills, creativity, marketing or simply making the numbers work.

Sheila Wong started showing interest in design at a very young age. While other teenagers aspired to be models on a runway, she was much more interested in the garments and accessories that made the models shine.  At the age of 18 she started her first company designing outfits and managing dance performers at music festivals in her home town of Calgary, Alberta. She knew she had found her passion the first time she saw her designs showcased in front of a large energetic crowd.

But ideas and talent don’t always guarantee success, so Sheila made sure she was ready to tackle whatever obstacles the industry might have. She first completed a Bachelors of Applied Business and Entrepreneurship Degree at Mount Royal University, with a focus on International Business. She then went on to obtain her Fashion Design Diploma from Vancouver’s own Blanche Macdonald Fashion Design Center. It was here that she fine tuned her skills and developed her ideas. Her time at Blanche Macdonald allowed her to shine in front of her peers and industry professionals, earning her the Design Portfolio of the Year award. After years of making sure she had the education to support her goals, she sought real-world experience, taking on positions like Studio Assistant at the Fashion Exchange building, Production Manager at clothing retailer Aritzia, and even instructing at Blanche Macdonald Fashion Center and Vancouver Community College in the Fashion Design programs. 

What truly makes Sheila Wong stand out in the industry, however, is her desire to help other artists succeed. Sheila loves collaborating with other designers and artisans, and has this to say to anyone who has ever wanted to see their own name on a piece of clothing: 

“Anyone can design and construct a garment, you just need the right amount of guidance and motivation. My goal is to help inspire people to create beautiful things. If you are passionate and driven, there is no reason why you cannot be creative every day.”

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