All posts by Andra Louie

Learning to Sew in New Westminster

At some point last fall I got the itch to start sewing.

I began dreaming about crafting my own clothes, mending existing garments and having the overall knowledge to begin a sewing project. Without any previous sewing experience, I got anxious and worried who to ask to teach me or to lend me their machine to practice on. I was prepared to self-teach and hope for the best.

But then, thanks to Google, I discovered Sew Good, a home-based business in Sapperton that offers a range of sewing classes for beginners like me. After the pre-requisite search for online reviews (all positive and encouraging), I signed up for an Intro Beginners class in February and committed to four three-hour evening sessions. My first project was a 6-panel, elastic waist skirt. Fancy.

The owner-operator, Carley Struve, is a friendly and extremely patient instructor who put me at ease instantly.  Her basement is retro-fitted into a sewing studio with four newer Janome electronic sewing machines, cutting tables, ironing boards and irons, and an assortment of other sewing paraphernalia. The small class sizes enables a lot of one-on-one time with Carley and the opportunity to converse with the other students while making sense of patterns, fabric choice, threading machines, etc.

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I loved learning how to sew in a supportive and fun environment. I enjoyed the camaraderie and shared experiences with the gals I was sewing with, but best of all was that I was doing it so close to home and not stuck in my car traveling across the Lower Mainland. However, some people don’t mind driving; I was the only student in all three of the classes I have taken in the past three months who has lived in New Westminster. I was really surprised to hear that people were traveling from other cities in the Greater Vancouver area to attend these classes. I think that says a lot for the quality of sewing classes offered at SewGood.

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I would consider myself a confident beginner sewer now and I am tackling projects at home on my new sewing machine (a mid-range Husqvarna, if you must know!), but I am still enrolled in classes at SewGood because:

  1. I like learning with other people; contributing ideas and questions within a group reinforces the information
  2. The projects all involve new technical aspects that I likely would have not taught myself
  3. It’s a night out once a week that I look forward to (and it’s a quick 5 minute drive)

I think Sew Good is a great place to learn to sew and to continue your sewing education. The SewGood Facebook page is kept current and includes inspiring photos of students projects and class updates.

Here’s hoping you begin or continue your sewing journey with as much pleasure as I have had.

 

Note: Andra was not asked to write this article, nor did SewGood compensate her in any way. 

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Vagabond Players presents Dear Santa (plus: a contest!)

The Vagabond Players present Dear Santa

The Vagabond Players present Dear Santa

There is deep love and long standing commitment for community theatre in New Westminster. The Vagabond Players, formed in 1937 and the longest-running community theatre group in BC, have continued to present engaging productions over years in the Bernie Legge Theatre, a cozy playhouse nestled in Queens Park. Operated completely by volunteers, the Vagabond Players present four or five productions each season and you are just in time to catch their next show, Dear Santa, by Norm Foster.

Have you ever wondered what it is really like at the North Pole? Why don’t you come on down to the Bernie Legge Theatre in Queens Park to have a look? Santa and his busy elves have cooked up a great show for you. Join the fun as Santa Claus tries to fulfill a child’s special Christmas wish while his staff struggles to overcome a supply shortage at the North Pole. This is a laugh-filled holiday play delightfully entertaining for adults and innocent enough for the youngest boy or girl.

This lively comedy introduces a host of quirky characters—all of whom are essential to get Santa ready for his Christmas Eve tour. The show stars Sue Sparlin as Santa; Greg Dersken as Algernon, the efficient Chief of Staff; Kathleen Kelly Driscoll as Bozidar, the head honcho in charge of the elves; and Denise Fullbrook as Santa’s housekeeper. Adding to the fun are Jim Bjorkes as a pushy sleigh salesman, and Claire Temple, Faith Hurd and Andra Louie (that’s me!) as the visitors who create more complications for Santa. Rounding out the cast are Kelly Avery, Alice Woodbury, Rob Larsen, Suzanne Biehl, Helen Volkow, Amy Goheen, Lindsey McGaire and Alison Main-Tourneur as elves and choristers.

Directed by Jacqollyne Keath, Dear Santa runs Dec 6 – 23, Thurs – Sat at 8pm; Sunday matinees at 2:00pm. Special Saturday matinee, Dec. 22 – 2:00pm. Two-for-one previews Dec. 6 & 7. Book now: 604-521-0412 or online at reservations@VagabondPlayers.ca.

CONTEST: If you would like to enter to win a pair of tickets to see Dear Santa please add a comment below telling us what’s on your Christmas wish list. On Friday, December 7 a winner will be drawn at random.

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