Sewing For Jobs

Sewing has a long history of bringing people together!


Sewing for Jobs is a sewing training program created to equip newcomers, women experiencing barriers to employment, or individuals interested in entering the textile industry with the necessary skills to thrive.

Our Sewing For Jobs program is designed by EcoEquitable Instructors and takes place at our headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario. Our comprehensive curriculum provides students with sewing skills in order to provide employment opportunities in the textile and fashion industries upon graduating the program. Sewing For Jobs courses range from beginner-levels through to advanced sewing, including optional advanced specialties such as Industrial Sewing and Alterations.

We are proud that the Sewing for Jobs program is an "United Way Poverty to Possibility" Award Winner!

We are accepting applications for September 2023!

Please scroll to the bottom of the page to complete the application form.



   Sewing For Jobs: LEVEL 1 

Participants learn hand stitching, introduction to the sewing machine, various sewing techniques, understanding basic sewing patterns and basic cutting skills. Following a laddered curriculum working on small projects that promotes skill building. Soft skills: time-management, community building, language practise, shifting childcare and home arrangements.


Schedule: 4 classes per week (3 hours per class)


  • Refugee, Permanent resident or Canadian Citizen (or application in process)
  • Minimum English Language Proficiency level : 5+ (proof of level is required)
  • No previous sewing experience is required
  • Availability to attend 90% of the classes, which have resumed in-person 



Sewing For Jobs: LEVEL 2

A focus on professional garment construction and finishing techniques is built in to the curriculum to ensure employment readiness.  Participants are also introduced to home business fundamentals including client relations, expectations, and pricing.


Schedule: 4 classes per week (3 hours per class)


  • Sewing For Jobs - Level 1 completed or intermediate/advance sewing skills 
  • Permanent Resident, Refugee or Canadian Citizen
  • Minimum English Language Proficiency level : 5+ (proof of level is required)
  • Availability to attend 90% of the classes



Sewing For Jobs: Level 3

After completing the Sewing for Jobs Level 1 and 2, or the equivalent in experience, all participants who would like to keep expanding their sewing skills, will be able to choose between two different advanced paths according to their needs or plans.

LENGTH OF THE COURSE: 8 weeks per module

Schedule: 4 classes per week (3 hours per class)

Module 1 – Advanced Industrial Sewing/Apprenticeship (Mass production setting) 

This is an introduction to sewing in the manufacturing industry. Industrial sewing is a skill for those interested in working in the field of sewing business and finish simple projects looking professional. In addition to basic industrial sewing techniques, the apprentice will build up skills and work on products at EcoEquitable, they will learn sewing safety, the most used equipment and accessories in the field of industrial sewing. the basics of working in a production facility environment using different types of industrial sewing machines (industrial serger, single needle industrial machine, how to thread the machines, basic troubleshooting and maintenance of industrial machines). Proper pressing, cutting, and test stitch length and quality of a product. This allows the apprentices to build enough practice and to improve their working speed to have better opportunities for employment. 

Work Operation Environment: Production of items, lay out, cutting, marking, and quality control. Some of the products they will make are a Chef Apron, a Zipper lined cosmetic pouch, grocery bags and many other projects (products may differ during session).


Module 2 – Alterations (enhance skill set) 

This is an introduction to the basics of alteration of clothes. Alteration is a skill for those interested in working in altering and fixing clothes. This course will guide you through techniques that range from replacing buttons to changing a garment’s shape for a better fit. Project covers alteration of skirts, dresses, pants, shirts, and update outfits that no longer fit properly, simply by following simple techniques to improve or revamp your wardrobe. 

The apprentice will practice on many different fabrics, learn to fit and pin garments to be altered, learn how to hem by hand and with a blindhemmer machine, use an industrial sewing machine for general sewing and an industrial serger/overlock machine. In this course you are on your way to advancing your skills with in-depth knowledge on equipment, fabric choices, measuring, stitching, and making pro-level alterations to garments.

Work Operation Environment: After in-class theory, students will be exposed to an alterations clinic work and learning setting, and take on client requests and orders, supervised by our trained Sewing for Jobs instructors.


  • Sewing For Jobs - Level 1 and 2 completed or intermediate/advanced sewing skills 
  • Permanent Resident, Refugee or Canadian Citizen
  • Minimum English Language Proficiency level : 5+ (proof of level is required)
  • Availability to attend 90% of the classes 


Belkis Navas - Lead Instructor, Sewing for Jobs Program

Belkis is a mother, Fashion Designer and teacher committed to sharing the enjoyment and rewards of sewing. She received her diploma in Fashion Design from Richard Robinson Fashion Design Academy in Ottawa, Ontario, has been sewing and designing for women and children for over 25 years, and has been a teacher for more than 10 years. In January 2013, Belkis joined the team at EcoEquitable as the Beginner Sewing Instructor, and later as production manager assistant, she assisted with the production orders, pattern making, clients' consultant, and also managed the alterations team to enhance her experience in the sewing business. In September 2014, Belkis began teaching a new Home Décor class at EcoEquitable. With her previous experience studying Interior Design at Algonquin College, Belkis was able to use her skills and knowledge to develop the Home Décor curriculum for advanced level sewers. In January 2015, Belkis became a full-time employee and is now the Lead instructor for the entire Sewing for Jobs program. When Belkis is not teaching at EcoEquitable, she aims to revive the art of sewing by teaching young children aged 5-9 and producing one of a kind garments for special events (wedding, evening, and wearable art pieces). 

Belkis’ Theory is to create wearable garments with clever and useful tips, innovative and original techniques, and very clear instructions. Belkis is dedicated to individual attention and clear, hands-on instruction. You can always learn something new and useful in every class. 

Belkis believes that individuals should learn to sew by hand before they learn to use a sewing machine. Hand sewing skills develop finger dexterity and teach the values of patience, manners, creativity, completion, and how to follow rules – all through the enjoyment of sewing. As a result, our graduates are able to work as sewers, own their business, alterations or simply for their own development. 


Apply Today!

To apply, please complete the application form below. If you have any questions, please send us an email at

We look forward to hearing from you!


Download our program promotional poster for display 


EcoEquitable Inc. welcomes and encourages applications from members of equity seeking groups, including but not limited to: newcomer women, marginalized individuals, Indigenous Peoples, individuals from the LGBTQS+ community, and people living with disabilities.