Look what is happening in our classrooms at both the Surrey/Langley and Abbotsford locations.
Here at A Great Notion, we are proud to say that we have not only the Fraser Valley’s ONLY factory certified Bernina technician, but the only factory certified Husqvarna and Baby Lock technician as well.
Keith Atkinson has been repairing Sewing, Serger, Embroidery, and Quilting machines for 19 years and has earned himself the reputation of being the “go-to” repair person for all machine brands in the Fraser Valley. He is the tech that services machines that other local techs can’t fix! Keith services machines for several local school districts and maintains over 600 machines each year for schools alone. He has completed training with Bernina Canada, Husqvarna Canada, and Baby Lock Canada.
When Keith or one of our two other techs service your machine, they pay attention to even the smallest details. Each machine is thoroughly cleaned (inside and out!), lubricated, the tension is calibrated, all parts are inspected to make sure they are functioning properly and are at their best, and more! Keith makes sure that your machine is properly maintained and produces the best stitch possible. For a complete list of what our techs do in a standard servicing, please click HERE.
Interested in learning what’s new with Baby Lock? We’ve got an expert here to fill you in! Isobel Dunnet is the Director of Education for Baby Lock Canada and we are excited to have her share her extensive knowledge with us. Stop in the Surrey/Langley store on Saturday, February 8th from 1:30-4:30 to get your Baby Lock questions answered and to find out what’s new with the fabulous Baby Lock sergers, sewing & embroidery machines, and quilting machines. We’ll provide the refreshments, you provide the questions!
If you have any questions about the event, please leave a comment or call us at 604-575-9028. See you then!
Johanne Brousseau has always loved to sew and since 1978 has shared her enthusiasm and knowledge by teaching sewing and pattern making. Her career began as a pattern maker/designer for a local jeans company, and 8 years later, Johanne founded Creation Unique: a couture studio sewing custom-made evening and bridal wear that evolved later into a successful retail sewing machine business. Johanne is a fashion sewing expert with industry experience. Her extensive sewing knowledge combined with her easy-going pace makes her classes extremely popular. Sign up soon – most of Johanne’s previous special event classes at A Great Notion sold out!
Get ready for swimsuit season with a new stylish bathing suit that is fit for your figure. Johanne will teach you to adjust and modify your pattern according to YOUR measurements, and you’ll get tips on serging and handling the most stretchy seams. Learn how to insert foam cups and how to apply and topstitch elastic as well. The techniques you learn in this class can also be applied to gymnastic, skate, dance and yoga wear. One 7-hour class: $95 plus supplies.
Friday, February 14; 9:30-5:00
Eight out of ten women wear the wrong size bra and it seems that no matter what you are willing to pay or what size you take, it is difficult to find a bra that fits. In our 2-day day Bra-making Workshop, you’ll learn to sew a bra for yourself and have it professionally fitted to your unique body. This classic full band bra can be made with or without underwires and has great lift and support. It has been specially designed to use with low-stretch fabrics, which give the best support and a flattering profile. Once you have a basic bra that fits, you can make a second bra to really strengthen your bra making skills. You’ll end up with the best fitting bra you’ve ever owned! This is one of the best classes you will ever take. With Johanne’s expert fitting you will go home with bras that fit, are comfortable, and look good. Bras are fun and easy to make once you have your own fitted pattern. If you can set in a sleeve, you can sew a bra. $250 class fee includes fabric and findings to make 2 bras.
Saturday and Sunday, February 15 and 16; 9:30-5:00 or
Tuesday and Wednesday, February 18 and 19; 9:30-5:00
Not just for active wear, knits are used in all types of garments and Johanne is here to teach you all the ins and outs of sewing with knits in this lecture/demo-style class. Learn how to sew stretchy seams that do not pucker, make narrow straps, hidden pockets, and decorative bindings. You’ll be able to achieve “ready to wear” looks on every garment you make. All you need to bring with you to class is a pen and paper for note taking. $32
Monday, February 17; 9:30-12:30
Making underwear is simple – come to this lecture/demo class with Johanne to find out how easy it can be! Panties and sports bras that look stylish and fit well are simple to make once you understand how they are constructed. Johanne will show you the techniques used to give that professional look to your garments including inserting elastic and finishing seams. All you need to bring with you to class is a pen and paper for note taking. $32
Monday, February 17; 2:00-5:00
Have fun making a pair of perfectly fitting jeans. Johanne’s has a background in designing and making jeans for a large commercial jean company. Using a pattern that Johanne developed from her years in the garment industry you will learn to sew jeans that rival ready to wear. Using garment industry techniques you will learn a quick way to insert a fly front, make belt loops, and specialty seam finishes. With this basic pattern you will be able to replicate any new fashion jean. $220 class fee includes pattern; supplies extra.
Thursday and Friday, February 20 and 21; 9:30-5:00
See you there!
Surrey/Langley: Thursday, Dec. 5th, 2:00 – 8:00 FREE
Abbotsford: Thursday, Dec. 12th, 2:00 – 8:00 FREE
Today is my 36th wedding anniversary, and instead of being out doing something fun with my husband as I had planned, I’m at home catching up on all kinds of neglected chores like gardening, laundry, grocery shopping etc. – unfortunately Keith has come down with a bad cold.
Like many of my fellow Canadians, I live in a border town with the US – within “spitting distance” and today in my mail, I received a little newspaper entitled “Shop USA – Must-stop locations south of the US – CA Border”. I’m a very loyal Canadian, and on the eve of Canada Day, I’ve decided it’s time to blog about something that I’ve been thinking about for a very long time – cross border shopping. As I think everyone knows, I do have a bias – I am a Canadian retailer. I also have a bias towards all the things that we Canadians are supposed to hold near and dear – universal health care, our Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security, guaranteed minimum income for seniors, and all the other social benefits that we take for granted, and scream about if they are threatened. We seem to forget that they are paid for with our tax dollars – dollars that can’t accumulate if all our shopping dollars leave the country.
It’s been years since I made a deliberate trip to the US to go shopping, but I do travel there a couple of times a year on business, and presently I have one daughter who is living in upstate New York while her husband completes his education. Keith and I visited with them last month to celebrate the birth of their first child and I took the opportunity to go shopping. I wanted to see why we have such huge border line ups, and why we seem to be losing so many sales to US retailers. What I saw surprised me because I really didn’t find many bargains! In the industry that I’m in, I often hear people talking about shopping at some of the big box fabric stores. I visited one in New York state, where they also happen to have a Husqvarna dealership. The perception amongst most of us Canadians is that prices are always less in the US. What I found showed me that perception is NOT necessarily reality! Branded Husqvarna feet cost 15 – 20% MORE there than we sell them for – and if I convert Canadian dollars to US, it was even more!
I was surprised to see that most of their sewing and embroidery machines cost more in the US than we sell them for too – and machines purchased in the US don’t have any warranty coverage in Canada! I found the same thing with our Bernina machines as well, and as far as most sewing notions, the only difference that I saw could be pretty well accounted for with the difference in the value of the dollars. Fabric tends to be a bit less expensive, but people seem to forget that in Canada we are buying metres instead of yards (10% more) and that fabric is expensive to import into the country. I even saw this at the grocery store– while yes, some things are definitely less expensive there, other things that I buy on a regular basis were either the same price or more expensive in the US than I pay here at home (eg. red peppers – $1.99 – $2.49/lb here and $3.99/lb there, cilantro $0.79 here, $1.99 there!).
After doing my comparison shopping, I had to wonder why so many of my fellow Canadians love to shop in the US. I know that it is a huge country and has lots of shopping to offer, is it the larger selection? I know that in our industry, I believe that our selection is second to none, and like most Canadian retailers, we’re happy to special order things we don’t have. This spring at the shows that we attend, I had several people look at things we had on display and comment that our price was better than they had paid for the same thing in the US. I kept asking myself why they didn’t check at home first! I’m starting to think that mostly it is a perception of better selection and better prices than actually exist.
Local retail stores are owned and run by people just like you. We provide jobs for thousands of people across the country, and try hard to support our communities. All around us and across the country, small retailers, including fabric and quilt shops are closing. I’ve had customers come to me and plead with me to always stay in business and never close my doors. I want to tell everyone that if you want your local retailers to stay in business, please shop at these stores and keep your money in Canada, supporting local jobs and our great benefits.
Thanks for listening to me – and have a Happy Canada Day!
It’s time for our 9th annual
Come on in for:
Sewing Machines & Sergers - Many in-stock machines & floor models on clearance, all with complete education package!
Fabrics – 10% – 50% off all fabrics
Jenny Haskins Embroidery Threads – 20% off
Huge book clearance – 25% – 40% off
Katahdin Premium Quilt Battings – 1/3 off
AccuQuilt Dies & Embroidery Designs – 20% off
Simplicity Bias Tape Machine – 20% off
Click here for store locations
We’ve just added a new class to our summer line-up:
Serger Nightie and Robe Class
With Isobel Dunnet, national Education Manager, BabyLock Canada
Surrey/Langley store – Friday, August 12th from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Come and enjoy our cool classroom this summer and learn some new tricks with your serger! Isobel Dunnet of BabyLock Canada will be teaching some of her best serger tips as she guides you into making a beautiful nightie and robe set. Bring your own serger – or book one of ours! You’ll have a fun day and get lots of new ideas from Isobel. She’ll have you gathering with your serger, adding lace trims, applying bias binding, and more!
This class is available one day only: Friday, August 12th from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm in our Surrey store. Spaces are limited so register soon! $30 registration fee plus supplies – a list is available upon registration. To register online, please click here.