Workshop: The Indigo Apron

by - Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Registration opens December 7th at 10am.
Register online here

2016 Maiwa Spring Workshops
Workshop: The Indigo Apron
Sheila Wong & Sophena Kwon

$295 includes $65 lab fee
April 9, 10 - Class Limit 10
Maiwa Loft: Above the Net Loft, Granville Is. Vancouver BC &
Maiwa East: 1310 Odlum Drive, Vancouver BC

While it may not be true that the apron makes the artisan, in this workshop it certainly is true that the artisan makes the apron.

Beginning with a sewing class led by Sheila Wong, students will spend the first day creating a linen apron. Consideration is given to all fibres used in the garment for effective dyeing.  On the second day the class is led by Sophena Kwon, who will instruct students on how to apply shaped-resist patterning techniques to their completed apron. Students will then make an indigo vat and the prepared apron will be immersion-dyed with indigo.

The Indigo Apron is a great opportunity to complete a project-based workshop with two of our most dynamic and energetic instructors.

For the first day of this workshop, students will require a sewing machine. Students are encouraged to bring and learn on their own machines. In situations where this is not possible, Maiwa has a limited number of machines that can be reserved prior to the workshop.

Instructor Bio

Sophena Kwon has grown up with Maiwa as the family business. In 2009 she studied with Michel Garcia in France; in 2010 and 2011 she assisted with natural dye workshops in Peru and India. In 2013 Sophena assisted in natural dye troubleshooting at the Living Blue Cooperative in Bangladesh. Since 2012 she has been co-teaching with Charllotte Kwon and has helped deliver workshops in Canandaigua, the Penland School of Craft, and Shakerag. In 2015, in an effort to bring artisan dyeing to a new audience, she founded the immensely successful Indigo Social.

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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