Workshop: Introduction to Garment Construction

by - Sunday, November 15, 2015

Registration opens December 7th at 10am
Register online here

2016 Maiwa Spring Workshops
Workshop: Introduction to Garment Construction
Sheila Wong

$395 includes $40 lab fee
January 21, 22, 23, 24 - Class Limit 10
Maiwa Loft: Above the Net Loft, Granville Is. Vancouver BC

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

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

Intermediate sewing techniques covered include: invisible zipper installation, button and hand-sewn button bar, hook-and-eyes, in-set sleeves, darts, interfacing, neckline facings, and a variety of hand-sewn finishes to hems and closures. As well, we will cover how to read industry patterns for apparel; how to best place pattern pieces onto fabric, and pin, cut, and mark fabric accordingly; and finally, how to sequence steps in garment construction.

This is an intermediate-level workshop. Students must be competent in the operation of a sewing machine and possess basic sewing skills. Students will be required to purchase materials (fabric, zipper, buttons, and matching thread) for the two projects. Supply lists will be given at registration, with fabric recommendations. Students are encouraged to bring and learn on their own machines (a working zipper foot is required for this workshop). In situations where this is not possible, Maiwa has a limited number of machines that can be reserved prior to the workshop. 

Instructor Bio

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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