Ron Collins – Exclusive
Ron’s back with two all-new classes!
Ron Collins is Canada’s best known sewing personality and he’s back at A Great Notion with two all-new classes! He has inspired audiences with appearances on HGTV, Sew Perfect, and Eyes on Toronto, to name a few. He was also a celebrated guest instructor at the Helen Lefeaux School of Fashion Design in Vancouver.
Ron will share with you new techniques and secrets to help you learn how to create incredible garments that fit and flatter your body.
Only a few spots left in each class.
Are you disappointed in the fit of your dress pants? Join Ron in a 2-day pant fitting workshop! Discover how to identify and correct your fitting problems, then you’ll alter your pattern to make these adjustments. Learn how to create a smooth, clean silhouette for a flatter looking stomach, and the world’s best fly front technique so the zipper won’t be exposed at the centre front of the pants! Ron will share these and other “secrets” with you!
Uncover great techniques at this knit how-to workshop! Bring your favourite knit garment pattern & fabric and you’ll learn everything you need for beautiful results when sewing knits: ease, pattern layout, marking, cutting, interfacing, thread, needles, seam and hem finishes, closures, and more! Also learn how to stabilize necklines, shoulder seams, and armholes to stop them from stretching out. Need pattern adjustments for a great fit? Learn how to change your pattern to fit you. Come learn to sew the fabric you love to wear!
Sewing is a great pastime, but there are so many sewing tools out there that it can be intimidating for beginners to figure out exactly what you need to get started. There are plenty of notions that will come in handy later on, but here’s a list of essential tools to get you started as a beginner sewist that you will use now AND when you’re an expert.
1. Materials. You always need the right fabric, thread, and sewing machine needles for your project. Check your pattern for details on what kind fabric to use, and always match your needles and thread to your fabric or project. For example, for embroidery you will often use a 40 wt rayon thread whereas for garment sewing you’ll choose a standard cotton or polyester to match the fabric you are using. There’s a handy guide to choosing the right machine needle here.
2. Seam Ripper. Lets face it: mistakes will be made. This little guy is (unfortunately) one of my most important tools!
3. Scissors. A good pair of fabric shears are necessary and can make a world of difference in how quickly and easily you can cut your pieces out. Don’t frustrate yourself by using the wrong scissors! These Gingher scissors are one of my favourites, but this 2-piece Klasse set is also a great option.
4. Marking Pens. There are several kinds to choose from here, and mostly it comes down to personal preference. I prefer a water soluble or heat erasable pen because it gives me as much time as I need to complete my project before it disappears, but if you are working on a quick project or something that won’t be washed, an air erasable pen that fades away on its own would be the best one for the job. Or, pick a pen like this one that does double duty – one end is water soluble and the other side fades away!
5. Pins & Pincushion. Pins are another necessary item for your sewing room, and you’ve got to have somewhere to store them! From the classic Tomato Pin Cushion to a super functional magnetic one, there are several options to choose from. My favourite is this Grabbit magnetic pin cushion and these are great basic pins to get you started.
6. Point Turner. This is a much less obvious choice, but a point turner will help you take your projects from looking homemade to being professional quality. It is used to turn out your corners, collars, or points so they look clean and precise. Make sure you press them with your iron after turning too!
7. Extra Bobbins. You will quickly run out of spare bobbins, and your projects will turn out much better if you use the correct bobbin thread for the job. There isn’t much that’s more annoying than having to unwind a bobbin because you don’t have a spare! There is a selection of bobbins here, and we have an even bigger selection in the store.
8. Tape Measure. Another staple in the sewing room. You’ll use this both with taking your measurements and for marking your fabric. This is a good basic tape measure, but a small retractable one can be just as useful.
9. Ruler. A good, clear ruler is extremely helpful with marking and cutting fabric. I really like the line of Omnigrip rulers, and my go-to is the 6″ x 24″ size. I use it for nearly every project I do.
There you have it – a complete list of everything you need to get started with sewing.
Tell me: What are your essential sewing basket tools?
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!
If you’re looking for a good resolution for the New Year, why not make it a priority to expand your sewing horizons? Our new class schedule is now available and filled with a great selection of classes geared towards teaching you new skills while having a great time learning. Below is a sampling of what’s coming up in the next few weeks. To register, click on a photo below or call us at 604-575-9028.
Did you get a new sewing machine for Christmas? Join Carol Edmondson in this class created for beginner sewers. You’ll learn how your machine works, how to thread it, wind a bobbin, and choose the correct stitch for your project. You’ll learn how to take care of your machine, how to clean and oil it, saving you time and money. Sewing classes do not have time allotted for learning your machine but this class will get you ready for any class you choose. One 3-hour class, $30 including kit.
Surrey/Langley: Thursday, January 9; 6:00-9:00
Make a cute and simple coordinating set for your new little one or as a gift. You’ll be making a soother/pacifier clip (no more soothers on the floor) as well as an appliquéd “onesie” or shirt. We will offer 3 design choices, a tie, whale, or simple heart shape. Personalize gifts for all the little “monkeys” in your life. One 3-hour class, $24 plus supplies.
Surrey/Langley: Saturday, January 11; 1:00–4:00
This stylish knit skirt is the ideal next project for those of you who are new to sewing. Choose one of two styles and in just a few hours go home with a completed new addition to your wardrobe. One 4-hour class, $32 plus pattern and supplies. Carol Edmondson.
Surrey/Langley: Saturday, January 18; 1:00–5:00
Surrey/Langley: Thursday, Dec. 5th, 2:00 – 8:00 FREE
Abbotsford: Thursday, Dec. 12th, 2:00 – 8:00 FREE
It’s that time of year again… The time to start your Christmas projects so that they are done in time for the holidays! Join Nancy Riemersma for this 2-hour class and go home with a great Christmas stocking. $30 includes all supplies and the class.
Surrey/Langley: Thursday, Nov. 14, 6 – 8pm
Keep warm with this beautiful Statement Shawl. Come in for our virtual club where you will learn all about the techniques, accessories, and more used to make this one-size-fits-all shawl. You will be able to try out the techniques on our machines and accessories, have coffee/tea, and have a great time with other sewists at this months Virtual Bernina Club. $15
Surrey/Langey: Saturday, Nov. 16, 10 – 12pm
Abbotsford: Saturday, Nov. 9th, 2 – 4pm
Have you completed a few quilts and are now ready to take your quilts from good to great? Borders can be the answer! Look at a variety of border treatments with Jean Jones and learn how to construct a border with mitered corners and more. Suitable for a confident quilter. $32 plus supplies.
Surrey/Langley: Saturday, Nov. 16, 1 – 5pm
Abbotsford: Friday, Nov. 15, 10 – 2pm
Learn how getting a perfect binding can be sew easy in this quilting class. Jean Jones will guide you through applying bindings to both straight and curved quilt edges. You’ll learn how to turn corners cleanly and join the binding ends invisibly. Suitable for all skill levels. $32 plus supplies.
Surrey/Langley: Saturday, Nov. 23, 1 – 5pm
Abbotsford: Thursday, Nov. 21, 5 – 9pm