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Dyeing to Sew

  • Maiwa Loft #6-1666 Johnston St. Vancouver, BC, V6H 3S2 Canada (map)

With Sheila Wong & Sophena Kwon

$250 [Includes $85 lab fee] class limit 12. [THIS IS A FOUR-DAY WORKSHOP IN TWO LOCATIONS.]

May 8, 9, 2018 6:00pm-9:30pm MAIWA EAST, 1310 ODLUM Dr.

May 15, 16, 2018 6:00pm-9:30pm MAIWA LOFT, GRANVILLE ISLAND

Two creative acts—dyeing and construction—come together in one great workshop. Beginning with lengths of linen cloth, Sophena Kwon will lead students through the application of a variety of itajimi-shaped resist techniques. The class will then make two different indigo vats and use them to dye the prepared cloth. Students will learn appropriate yardage-dyeing methods.

Fabric dyed by the students’ hands will be the source material as Sheila Wong leads students through essential construction and sewing techniques. Students will learn zipper installation, over-lock seam finish (professional seam finishing), and button closures as they complete a project bag and a 24” square cushion cover (a feather pillow insert is included in the course fee).

This is an empowering workshop for the textile artist, bringing together the joy of dyeing with the construction of finished pieces. When you are in control of the entire process from dye to stitch, you will find new inspiration for projects and productions.          

Students should have a basic understanding of how to operate their sewing machines.

This Workshop take place in the Maiwa Loft for the sewing and in Maiwa East for the Dyeing.

Supply List

About Sheila Wong & Sophena Kwon

Among the young luminaries of the Vancouver textile scene is Sheila Wong. At the age of 18 she started her first company designing outfits and managing dance performers in her hometown of Calgary. She knew she found her métier the first time she saw an energetic audience reacting to her designs.

After completing a Bachelors of Applied Business and Entrepreneurship degree at Mount Royal University, with a focus on international business, she went on to obtain her Fashion Design Diploma from Vancouver’s own Blanche Macdonald Fashion Design Centre. Seeking real-world experience, Sheila took on positions like studio assistant at the Fashion Exchange building, production manager at clothing retailer Aritzia, and instructing at Blanche Macdonald Fashion Centre 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.”


Sophena grew up with Maiwa as the family business. She has learned much from the artisans Maiwa collaborates with (including master dyers in India, Africa, Peru, and Mexico) and from experimenting alongside her mom, Charllotte.

In 2009 Sophena studied with Michel Garcia in France. She has taught natural dye workshops with Charllotte (including at the Penland School of Craft and at Shakerag) since 2012, and developed and taught workshops for the Maiwa School of Textiles since 2014. In an effort to bring natural dyeing to a new audience, she founded the immensely successful Indigo Social in 2015. In 2016 Sophena was invited to present at the Mood Indigo Exhibition at the Seattle Art Museum.  

In addition to her natural dye work, Sophena is a skilled photographer and clothing designer. Each year she travels to India to direct the Maiwa line of clothing.


Earlier Event: May 4
Knit Art & Purl Jamming
Later Event: May 12
The Inkmaker's Pen