Training includes: creating spec packs, adjusting patterns, cutting, construction and finishing techniques. Sewers also learn about quality control, shipping, communications, marketing and business. Maintaining good client relations to encourage repeat business is key to success and is a focal point of the training. The practical skills learned in this program are easily transferable.
Doda encourages sewers to work together as a team to generate growth and sustainability for their co-operative and provides continued support for the cooperative throughout the first year following the training period. Doda sells products to provide an income stream for the program and participants receive an honorarium for successful completion of the course. Trainees also learn how to market their business and secure local contracts. The Doda Training Course provides necessary business skills and a simple but complete method of tracking and reporting all business activities.
After completing this training program, participants have the knowledge and skills to produce an order of high-quality products efficiently. This will lead to increased revenues and improved financial security.
Doda’s 100 dresses campaign, sold and produced 70 Dresses. The program produced beautifully hand-crafted, lined, linen-blend dress. The dresses had many design options and fabric colours, that allowed women to take part in the design process of their new favorite dress! The following was available as part of the campaign:
4 Neckline options:
Square, Scoop, V-Neck and Boat Neck.
3 Bodice options:
Waistband, no waistband or add a tie belt to either.
The tie belt will be a separate piece, tie it in the front, back, side, its up to you!
It will not be attached to the dress, so you can always decide not to use it.
3 Sleeve options:
Sleeveless, cap or 3/4 sleeves.
3 Skirt options:
A-line, A-line with pockets or pencil with a center back slit.
5 fabric colours:
Black, Navy, Blue, Red, Coral.
Center back invisible zipper and hook and eye.
A Size Chart (in inches) was made available to make it easy to order.
Tips were given to help women choose the perfect fit for their shape:
“While designing your dress, keep in mind the shape of your body. If you have a shorter torso, consider the ‘no waistband’ option. If you are average to tall, consider the ‘waistband’ as a design option. We require your measurements so we can ensure you are sent the perfect size. If you are unsure, please contact us so we can help you choose the right size. Doda’s dresses have been drafted with alterations in mind! There is extra seam allowance in the side seams and the center back which can allow the dress to be easily altered for the perfect fit.’’
Photos were shared through email, and Facebook during the training program. This allowed a personal connection to be made through the dresses and the sewists who made them. Individual Interviews were taken and are being posted to Doda’s YouTube channel. Get to know the sewists who benefited from this training!
Doda received a donation from WFWP. The money was used to help with both the project expenses and to help purchase 40 pairs of scissors for New Hope. Doda partnered with WFWP to provide training for the school. This was exceptionally appreciated and the school arranged an assembly to award certificates from Doda to the students. Johanne spent a total of 7 days training both the teachers and students. She trained the 10 graduate students and their instructor on how to make a lined skirt, lined dress and lined women’s jacket. The participants were very happy with the results of the training and learned many advanced techniques that will help to improve their skills as tailors. Doda issued certificates for participating in the workshop.
Doda International Canada has been working to develop a project in cooperation with Shelter Them Rwanda, a Canadian Charity that operates a foster program providing homes and basic necessities for orphaned and impoverished children. Shelter Them is located in Kimironko, Rwanda and they had started a sewing program for 4 women, who are foster moms, to earn a living during the day while their kids are at school. These 4 women were joined by 4 professional tailors, who had previously worked with Johanne St.Louis, for a total of 8 sewers working together as a team. The workshop has now been in operation for over two years and has improved in many ways as a result of training and equipment provided by Doda.