PACTFashion is a hands-on sewing and fashion design school for at-risk and underserved youth across the Greater Toronto Area. PACTFashion provides a safe and non-judgmental environment where youth can fulfill Community Service Orders, ignite a passion, acquire valuable and tangible skills, while also gaining a sense of belonging and self-esteem by working in a team environment and seeing a project through to completion.
PACTFashion classes are held at The Make Den Sewing Studio, 1244 Bloor Street West (MAP)
PACTFashion promo spot with Jhade Laidley, produced by the PACTFilm youth (1:57min)
In this 8-week introductory course, youth gain practical design, sewing and alteration skills, while working towards the ultimate goal of completing a finished garment or accessory that is donated to selected worthy recipients from across Toronto. In the past, PACTFashion students have made baby bags for young mothers and prom dresses for youth in low income areas. This project also culminates in a special fashion show and graduation celebration where all the hard work is put on display for friends and family to appreciate.
Students who have completed the introductory course are encouraged to participate in 8-weeks of advanced fashion and take on more complex designer projects. Students become more involved initiatives and projects including fashion shows, pop-up retail events, clothing swaps and events related to Alternative Fashion Week etc. as well as being eligible for internships and other real world experiences and opportunities. What started as an introductory course in sewing and practical design has grown to include a more business-oriented and advanced programme for motivated students with a passion to explore potential employment in the industry.
Passionate youth who wish to build a small fashion business or apply to post secondary fashion programs are given guidance and support in this entrepreneurial course. Staff assist and mentor advanced students with other components of building a small fashion business such as website design, graphics and silkscreening and more technical garment making.
Irene Stickney of The Make Den Sewing School
Since its inception, Irene Stickney has been the head designer, seamstress and project lead of PACTFashion.
After attending Ryerson University in Toronto for Fashion Design, Irene worked in production at Jones New York and then as an alterationist at 69 Vintage before opening her own sewing studio, The Make Den.
Read more about Irene here >
For more information about PACTFashion or to make a referral, please contact Ben Marshall at 416-656-8824 or firstname.lastname@example.org.