Maiwa is one of the studio's favorite clients. Between the months of January to June, one can find me (Sheila) instructing a variety of group workshops at Maiwa School of Textiles on Granville Island. Deanna and Caitlyn joined me to help guide students through these intensive workshops. Students came from all over North America which made for a diverse and creative group.
Our studio first started teaching group workshops at Maiwa School of Textiles in 2015. It was a very unique opportunity as it was the first year that textile construction and pattern drafting were introduced to Maiwa's workshop offerings. Working in partnership with them, we helped shape the program from the initial stages. We are extremely grateful to be part of this program and look forward to 2018!
For the rest of this post, we'll take a peek into our most popular workshops and show you what you can expect as a workshop student.
Peek into our Workshops
Workshops that took place in 2017 include:
Couture Hand Sewing (5 Days)
In this workshop, students constructed a garment using only hand-sewing techniques. No machines allowed here!
Student Joan tries on her couture-installed zipper with decorative beaded stab-stitching.
Vintage Hand Sewing (5 Days)
This workshop might be titled "vintage" but I hate saying that because in studio we regularly use these so called "vintage" sewing techniques on our modern designs. I would rather call this workshop "Creating Quality Garments with Hand Sewing Techniques".
Students learned different hand-sewing techniques that are applicable to both vintage and modern patterns. Similar to Couture hand Sewing workshop, only hand sewing was applied.
Me admiring the scalloped edges and beautifully lined up seams. Thinking about how I don't want to remove the thread marking because it really is pretty. Caitlyn did most of the sewing on this one, mad respect to her.
Close up shot of 15 hand sewn thread bars with delicate buttons. This fully hand sewn garment was a studio make used as a demo garment in this workshop. Taken from a 1950's vintage pattern.
On lend to us by a local vintage collector were 6 fully hand sewn garments to showcase along side our own hand made pieces. These garments were from a variety of time periods, ranging from the late 1890's to the early 1950's. What a treat!
The pictures above show a dress from the 1920's. The garment was constructed from a combination of lace and silk fabrics. The dress had a secret design on the inside to allow the wearer to dance without worrying about their hem flipping up. How thoughtful.
Extremely fine embroidery work along the necklines and shoulders of these two dresses from Italy. By the way, these are actually lingerie. If you want to see more shots of these beauties be sure to follow us on Instagram.
Pattern Drafting: Create your own Blocks (5 Days)
In 5 days, students learned how to take full body measurements, pattern draft bodice, skirt and sleeve blocks, sew a toile, have a fitting and then adjust their patterns where needed.
As some of my students say, "this [workshop] is not for the faint hearted". It is fairly intense but you walk away with blocks that fit you, along with a better understanding of your body.
Pattern Drafting: Working from the Block (5 Days)
After creating their own pattern blocks, students learned how to manipulate them to carry out their design vision.
Once the students understood how to manipulate darts, they got to be creative with their seams. Pictured above is what the students picked for me to demonstrate.
Reverse Pattern Drafting (2 and 4 Day Offerings)
In this workshop, students work in reverse learning how to create paper patterns from a loved article of clothing. The extraction methods allow students to understand shape, balance and industry standard made patterns.
Shown above is our demonstration board and the garment that was reverse pattern drafted. On the board you'll see extraction draping techniques in progress and finalized pattern pieces ready to be cut in the fabric of our choice. Stay tuned to our social media to see our version made with white linen and a hand-woven grey ikat lining.
A student in the process of extracting and analyzing the lining of a well loved jacket.
Over the course of the workshop, students learned how to label, add seam allowance, add grain-lines, trueing and notching. Pictured above are the final stages of reverse drafting a fully-lined blazer that served as the demo garment for the workshop. This took place on the last day of the workshop.
Had to share this with all of you. Look really close! After taking apart a basic knit top by a popular clothing brand, we found they installed two left sleeves! Appalled, but not really surprised. Fast fashion is literally made so fast they didn't even notice this mistake.
Garment Construction (4 Days)
Aimed at textile artists and designers, students learned how to construct a skirt and a top.
Our demonstration board displaying the variety of garment construction design elements the students would learn.
If you have ever been in our studio or in one of our workshops, I like being organized. Here are some labels of essential sewing techniques covered in this workshop. My least favourite topic is buttons and button holes!
Indigo Apron (2 Days)
Taught in conjunction with Sophena Kwon, students constructed and dyed their own linen aprons.
On day one, I guided the students through cutting and stitching the intricate apron. On day two, students were guided by Sophena through shibori and shape resist indigo dyeing.
A student admiring her hard work at the end of the workshop.
Dyeing to Sew Nights (4 evenings)
This workshop was similar to the Indigo Apron workshop above. It was co-instructed by Sophena and myself. Instead of sewing the item first, students dyed their fabric first then carefully cut out their fabric to best showcase their indigo prints.
Project 2, set of two over-sized throw pillow covered with in-seam button closures.
2017 was a blast at Maiwa School of Textiles. Looking back, bonds were formed, stunning designs came to life and I grew stronger as an instructor. For 2018, we already have six exciting workshops lined up. Interested in signing up for a workshop? Follow us on Instagram to find out when to sign up.
See ya next year!
Sheila Wong Sewing Team
Written and photographed by Sheila Wong
Edited by Samantha Quon