Many fashion graduates and people who are taking sewing lessons are getting scammed everyday and they just don’t know it because they don’t really take the time to do their homework.  Check the facts and conduct research!  Sometimes, people receive bad advice from unqualified people who don’t work in the fashion industry, such as high school sewing teachers, high school/college counselors, fashion school admissions directors, friends, relatives, and parents.  So having said all that, Vancouver Sewing Classes (VSC) will explain to you the things you should do, when it comes to your fashion design trade skills training and sewing.  The more you know, the more money you will save, and the less likely you will be scammed.  Here are the pros and cons everyone should know about:

 

Fashion School and Sewing Studio Class Size and Sewing Machines

CONS:

When you have one fashion instructor with 6-30 students in a classroom, there will be plenty of chaos and drama in the classroom.  Why?  Because everybody will be competing for attention all at the same time!  Everybody has to share one serger and one ironing station for the entire class.  When you have that many students in a classroom, there is no way any fashion instructor can provide quality education.  One instructor cannot teach one-on-one when you have so many students waiting for their turn, especially when you have 29 other students to look after in a three-hour lesson.  Imagine, you are paying $45,000 to over $320,000 in tuition fees to a fashion institution and you are not getting that one-on-one lesson and you must share that one serger and one ironing station with everyone in the class?  Your design school or sewing studio usually won’t even provide sufficient industrial sewing machines or other specialty sewing machines for all of the students in the classroom.  Just imagine, whenever a sewing machine or iron breaks down, nobody can use it, so you won’t be able to complete your garment.  Furthermore, you have to share all of the equipment, cutting tables and sewing tools, which may be contaminated with bacteria or viruses.

PROS:

At Vancouver Sewing Classes (VSC), all lessons are taught one-on-one, which means each client gets our full, undivided attention in each lesson.  Each of our clients has their own drafting table, sewing and serging stations, and ironing and pressing stations, and they don’t have to share those with anybody for the entire class.  At VSC, we constantly disinfect all of the sewing machines, tools and equipment, as well as equipping all stations with gloves, masks, rubbing alcohol and hand sanitizer.  Because we teach one-on-one and we have so many domestic and industrial sewing machines in our fashion design studio, our clients have no need to wait around to use the sewing machines and equipment, and they will never have to wait in line for their turn.

 

Group Lesson vs. One-On-One Learning

CONS:

When you learn in a classroom with 6-30 other students and there is only one fashion instructor, there will be a lot of challenges.  One of the biggest challenges is how slow the pace of learning will be.  When you are a fast learner, you will be held back by the slower learners.  It can also be the other way around, where you are the slower learner, but you are not able to keep up with the faster learners.  As a result, you end up falling behind, being ignored by the fashion instructor and, toward the end of the program, you are not able to fully complete your garment project.  Other times, you may want to learn a new sewing technique, but the fashion instructor doesn’t have the time to look after your needs.  There are just so many problems when you learn to sew or pattern draft with a large group of people together because everyone thinks and learns at a different pace.  It is a complicated learning process and not everybody is a problem solver, when it comes to sewing and pattern drafting, which makes this group lesson setting a complete nightmarish experience for most beginner learners.  In fact, it is a hostile learning environment, which is why many students end up dropping out of these programs.  If you are a fast learner but are being held back by the slower learners, you will learn far less content and techniques at the end of the day.  When you pay a lot of money at a fashion design institution, but your design school ends up teaching you very little in the program because you are stuck in a class with a group of slow learners, you will accomplish far less.  This will have a long-term detrimental outcome on your fashion career training or sewing.  Fashion design institutions are notorious for their “we don’t care attitude” and cruel treatment of their fashion students, which is why they have such a large dropout rate.

PROS:

There is nothing that compares to learning one-on-one!  At VSC, we only teach one-on-one, which means one instructor teaching and looking after one student for the entire three-hour lesson in every single class.  Our client learns at her/his own pace, which simply means they will learn far more effectively, and they will learn a whole lot more techniques than in any traditional fashion design school or sewing studio.  The greatest benefit of learning one-on-one is that you always get that one-on-one, undivided and detailed attention from our fashion instructor.  Not only will you accomplish far more in learning sewing and pattern drafting techniques, and all the tricks of the trade, but also you are guaranteed to gain far more experience and confidence than you would elsewhere.

 

Sewing Lessons Preparation

CONS:

Every fashion design institution and sewing studio will make you prep ALL your own lessons.  They do that on purpose to kill time and they will string you along for as long as they can so they can charge you more money, which means it will take you even longer to learn how to sew and complete your garment!  Many fashion instructors are too lazy to prepare a plan for you because they want you to prepare all the lessons yourself!  When you spend all that time preparing your own project, everyone forgets that you are NOT learning any sewing, in fact you are wasting your own time, which is what you are paying for.  If you are spending up to six hours to prepare something that simply means you just wasted six hours of not learning how to sew, and you are being scammed without knowing it!

PROS:

At VSC, we prep all your sewing lessons from start to finish.  When you enroll in our sewing programs, we want you to spend all of your time on the sewing machine, learning how to sew but not prepping.  Prepping will take away time you need to learn how to sew.  We would never make you prepare for hours and hours, like the typical fashion design school or sewing studio.  When you prep for three to six hours you won’t have any time left to sew!  We always say that, if you want to learn how to prep, take a pattern drafting course because, in that program, you will learn how to prep everything from the beginning.  Sewing and pattern drafting are two separate programs, so you should never mix them together when you first start to learn how to sew as a beginner.  At VSC, each lesson is individually prepared by VSC’s fashion instructor, based on the individual needs of each of our clients.

 

The Amount of Time to Learn How to Sew and Finish a Garment

CONS:

Many design schools and sewing studios will stretch out the program as long as they possibly can, and they teach like a sloth!  An average and typical garment would normally take VSC fashion instructors between three and six hours to teach a client how to cut, sew and complete, depending on the details and complexity of a garment.  If your design school or sewing studio takes longer than that, regardless of whether you are a beginner or an advanced learner, you are most likely being scammed.  Whenever any fashion design institution’s instructor takes that long to teach you basic sewing, it usually means either: (1) the instructor is inexperienced or incompetent; or (2) the instructor is stringing you along to trick you into paying for more instructional lessons.  Learning slowly does not mean that you are learning more effectively; it simply means that you are learning far less.  Furthermore, you have to spend more money to complete the entire project and the technique you are being taught is most likely not a trick of the trade, but something far worse, a flawed or outdated method.  In the fashion industry, you are supposed to learn all of the tricks of the trade, as well as learning how to become an efficient and productive sewer with the best sewing techniques.  Slow does not mean good or better; instead, you are not being taught the right way by an experienced and professional fashion instructor, like those at VSC.

PROS:

At VSC, our experienced, professional fashion instructors will teach you all of the right technical skills, as well as all the tricks of the trade, in each three-hour lesson, so you can learn a lot more newer things and pay a lot less in the end.  Besides, when your project takes too long to complete, for sure, you will lose all the excitement in completing it.  Nobody wants to work on any garment that takes three or six months to finish, and then you end up with a hefty bill!  Whether you are a beginner or an advanced learner, our main objective is to teach you as much as we can to prepare you for the fashion industry.  We know how precious and valuable your time is; that’s why we aim to teach you valuable new skills in each class!  VSC provides all of its clients with only PRIVATE, PROFESSIONAL, and PRACTICAL “One-On-One” classes.

 

The Year End Fashion Show That Goes Nowhere

CONS:

When your fashion design school or sewing studio puts on a fashion show, always remember this, the show is not about you!  It is all about the school or the sewing studio!  When you design and put your garments in their show, you are actually promoting their brand not yours, which is why they are desperately encouraging you to design and create these wild-looking garments to make them look good, so they can recruit more new students for the school’s next semester.  These fashion shows were created to help the fashion schools sell their own image and branding, so they can recruit more new students next year. 

Unfortunately, these fashion shows are never meant to promote you. There are no buyers from Holt Renfrew, Simons, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, or Bloomindale’s attending your school’s fashion show.  The buyers from all of these high-end department stores will never attend those fashion shows because they already know you don’t have the money or experience to produce your own clothing line, especially when they know that you have spent and blown away $45,000 to $1,000,000 of cash on your fashion design school.  Furthermore, these school fashion shows are bad for your wallet, and you won’t get rich from it either; instead, you become poorer!  It is far better for you to get involved in apparel fashion trade shows, where you have real buyers bringing their cheque books to place big orders for your fashion product.  In addition, you are able to invest all of your money into your production stock/inventory or invest into your online e-commerce site, where you are guaranteed to make money.  Fashion shows are a waste of time, money, and resources, where you have people just leaching off you!  Beware, beware!

PROS:

VSC has always encouraged our clients to not get involved in any fashion show because we know fashion shows are a waste of time and money. Instead, we give FREE BONUS GIFTS to help our clients achieve all of their goals and objectives!  At VSC, we help many of our clients to plan their future path right at the beginning of their program; we help our clients to master their craft and technical skills; we give our clients Free Bonus Gifts (worth up to $15,000), so they have all of the necessary industrial sewing machines, tools and equipment to set up their own business and become fashion entrepreneurs; we help our clients to connect with all of the Southeast Asian garment manufacturers and suppliers, so they can do all of their own sampling and production at a fraction of the cost; we help our clients to connect with employers for great job opportunities and, most importantly of all, we help our clients SAVE money and build equity, as well as gain greater confidence, experience and knowledge.  Depending on the Fashion Design Long Program selection our client chooses, we give away the following items for FREE: NEW Juki Industrial Sewing Machine, NEW Juki Industrial Serger, NEW Italian-Made Battistella or Reliable Iron Board, NEW Italian-Made Battistella or Reliable Industrial Iron, NEW Juki MO644D Portable Serger, NEW Juki MCS-1500 Coverstitch Sewing Machine, NEW Singer Domestic Sewing Machine, NEW Designer’s Dress Form with Legs, NEW Sewing Feet Attachments for the Industrial or Domestic Sewing Machine, NEW Professional Drafting and Sewing Kits, AND other specialty industrial sewing machines for our clients to keep and own!  At VSC, we know that, when a fashion designer or entrepreneur starts her/his career, 99% of the time, they have no capital or money to start their own fashion business, which is why VSC gives them a head start by giving them all these bonus FREE gifts so they can start making money while learning all of the technical skills, and tricks of the trade, and gaining plenty of work experience and practicum.

 

Creating a Fantasy Design vs. Practical Design

CONS:

In fashion design, many fashion design institutions will teach you to create garments that are unmarketable, unsellable, unwearable, non-functional, and not practical to wear.  Instead of teaching you real garment construction, they will teach you plenty of arts and lots of artistic creations that just don’t sell. Sadly, every design school will teach their students to become very artsy designers because it is far more interesting to create designs that are over-the-top and out-of-this-world than creating practical designs.  However, the problem is that, when you create a design that is too artsy, you will have a very challenging time selling that eccentric design because you are catering to a very small niche of the fashion marketplace.  Practical design may be boring but it sells because that is what consumers really want at the end of the day – something that is functional, comfortable, washable, and wearable.  If you create a garment that looks creative and fun but you can’t wash it or wear it to work, who is going to buy it?  The bottom line is, if you want to be a successful designer in this competitive fashion industry, you need to face the reality that your artsy fartsy piece of creation is not going to pay your rent, buy your food or fund your lifestyle.

PROS:

First of all, VSC is not a school.  Secondly, VSC takes a lot of pride in teaching our clients how to create functional and professional garments to sell.  We teach our clients to design and create practical garments that reflect the consumer lifestyle and their tastes.  Why make garments that look great on the supermodel runway, but don’t fit on a real person’s body or can’t survive the wear and tear of a washing machine?  VSC’s clients make garments that help to save the environment and the planet. 

At VSC, we encourage our clients to design timeless and unique garments that will last through time, as well as making affordable garments that are profitable.  Many fashion graduates from elite fashion institutions will spend hundreds of hours creating avant-garde garments only to realize later on that they cannot sell their masterpiece creations.  Instead, their designs are unmarketable and unprofitable because they are too expensive, not practical or not functional in the real world.  At VSC, our clients learn to make garments in just three hours that they can sell for profit, not for art.

 

Technical Skills and Experience vs. Fashion Degree Certificate

CONS:

It’s great to brag to all of your friends and family in-person, online or on your resume that you graduated from a pricey and fancy arts fashion design school.  However, the moment you realize that you cannot complete an entire garment from scratch in just three hours, you will probably want to throw your fashion degree certificate into the trash.  In fashion, nobody cares about your fashion degree, or whether you graduated from a famous, elite fashion design institution.  Even at a job interview, you may get your foot in the door initially, but, when your potential employer starts testing your technical skills on the spot, and you are unable to produce the required results because you don’t have the right technical skills or experience, you are totally screwed! 

So, how is your fashion degree or diploma going to help your fashion career when you can’t even get a job in the fashion industry?  In the fashion business, it is imperative that you master all of the essential technical skills, as well as acquire relevant experience; otherwise, you will end up becoming a fashion merchandiser, a window displayer or, worse, become a salesperson at some retail shop or department store.

PROS:

VSC focuses 100% purely on hands-on technical trade skills (sewing, pattern drafting, French draping, preparing Tech Pack, etc.) training and experience right from the get go.  Our clients get to sell all of the garments they make on a weekly basis, while, at the same time, they get to learn new technical skills and all the tricks of the trade.  Not only will our clients get plenty of work experience doing these weekly practicums, but they are also able to earn up to $300/week of income by selling the garments they create each week at VSC.  At the end of the day, our clients not only achieve more confidence and learn more technical skills, but they also gain a whole lot more valuable work experience, which you cannot buy and which is worth far more than any fashion degree certificate or diploma. As a matter of fact, today, every employer is always much more likely to hire an individual with real technical trade skills and valuable experience than someone who has a fashion degree alone, with no real skills or industry experience.

 

University Fashion Design Degree Certificate vs. VSC Bonus Gifts (up $25,000)

CONS:

Fashion design degrees today are so pricey but not very valuable, especially when you don’t have the technical trade skills and experience to back them up.  For instance, the tuition fees themselves can range from $45,000 to over $320,000, and even up to $500,000.  Is it worth it?  Let’s break down the numbers and see.  So, if you are paying from $45,000 to $500,000 in tuition fees, what about the other costs to factor in, such as your student fees, textbooks, fabrics, fashion design tools, sewing machines, sergers, irons and ironing boards, drafting tools, sewing tools, etc.?  You will have to buy your own pricey fashion textbooks, which can cost as much as $5,000 or more.  Furthermore, you must budget for muslin, fabrics, linings, buttons, interface, boning, shoulder pads, zippers, hooks/closures, etc., and those can easily cost $10,000 or more.  The heftiest cost is usually your industrial sewing machines, sergers, domestic sewing machines, irons, ironing boards, sewing tools, drafting equipment, drafting tables, dress forms, etc., and these costs can range up to $15,000 or more.  So, when you add all of these extra costs ($30,000 or more) on top of your existing tuition fees of $45,000 to upwards of $320,000 and over, does that seem reasonable?  Can you get a job that pays that much ($45,000 to $500,000) when you graduate from your design school?  Most likely, NOT!  So, why would you want to spend between $45,000 and more than $320,000 to get a fashion degree and become jobless?  And… you won’t have any savings left to start your own fashion line or e-commerce business.

PROS:

When you invest your money in learning a real trade skill at VSC, you pay a lot LESS, but you gain a whole lot MORE in value, such as confidence, experience, technical skills, capital investment and business acumen!  VSC is also the only fashion organization in the world that helps our clients to become successful fashion entrepreneurs because we give away free bonus gifts (worth up to $15,000), such as brand-new Juki computerized industrial sewing machines, Juki sergers, Juki cover stitch sewing machines, specialty industrial sewing machines, Singer sewing machines, Reliable blind stitch sewing machines, dress forms, ironing boards, industrial irons with boilers, and complete drafting and sewing tools, to help our clients start their own businesses right off the ground.  Our clients will have all of the essential industrial sewing machines, tools and equipment, to use in the comfort of their own homes, to start making garments each week to sell and earn income, while attending classes and learning new techniques at VSC!  Amazingly, our clients are able to sell and make money while learning at the same time!  Shockingly, NO fashion design school or sewing studio is giving away free bonus gifts to help their students succeed in the fashion industry!  Not only does VSC provide FREE Bonus Gifts, but we also provide FREE textbooks (up to 70 textbooks), interface, muslins, fabrics, linings, zippers, cups, boning, buttons, threads, drafting papers, and so on, which can easily cost upwards of $10,000.  Furthermore, VSC provides contacts for Southeast Asian garment manufacturers to our clients, so they can do all of their sampling and production at a fraction of the usual cost.  We have our people on the ground in Southeast Asia to assist our clients in doing all of their sampling and mass production, whereas none of the fashion design schools have any people on the ground or other resources in Southeast Asia to help their fashion graduates start their own fashion lines.

Between VSC’s free Bonus Gifts (worth up to $15,000) and the free (worth up to $10,000) textbooks, fabrics, trimmings and notions, our clients are saving up to $25,000 on expenses that they don’t have to incur, which is a HUGE cost saving for their fashion trade skills training.  Furthermore, VSC’s tuition fees are much less than those of the elite fashion institutions, which means that all of the extra money you save can be invested into your new fashion business (samplings and production, stock, inventory and marketing) and online e-commerce.  At the end of the day, do you want to get free sewing machines, textbooks, fabrics, notions, trimmings and equipment from VSC that is worth up to $25,000 in value to start your fashion career and generate income instantly OR would you prefer to get a fashion degree from an elite fashion design institution that will cost you between $45,000 and more than $500,000 but doesn’t give you any real valuable technical skills or experience to offer to your future employer, any FREE sewing machines, any FREE dress forms, any FREE industrial irons or ironing boards, any FREE textbooks, and so on?  In fact, your fashion design school is giving you nothing for free to help you start your design career when you graduate!  Instead, you end up broke and jobless!  You don’t even have any money left over to start your own fashion line or e-commerce site.

– Chris Falcon is a Canadian designer and fashion educator with over 35 years of experience in the garment design and manufacturing business.