Sewing and Serging
Get ready to stitch up a storm and show off your inner fashionista! Whether you're an experienced sewing pro or want to start learning, our sewing machines and sergers are here to make your creative dreams a reality. If you have completed EPL's Sewing Machine Certification or have previous experience, you're free explore how easily our machines allow you to sew, quilt and more!
Sewing and Serging Overview
Sewing machines help to speed up sewing projects and provide even stitches in a variety of different forms (zig-zag stitches, straight stitches, decorative stitches).
Sewing machines can help you complete a project efficiently and provide a cleaner finish on clothing and other fabric items. They can also be used for alterations and mending items. Whether you’re an avid sewer who needs more space and equipment for projects or a total beginner, we have a place for you.
Sergers are used for adding a professional finish to fabric edges. They can be used for creating small projects that don't require any sewing (such as a wash cloth) or finishing off more complex projects (such as a dress shirt). The serger is only available at the Stanley A. Milner Library.
How to book
Call or email ahead to book a sewing machine and/or serger at the Stanley A. Milner Library Makerspace. Select EPL branches will launch sewing at a future time.
- Service operates during the days and hours listed below at the Stanley A. Milner Makerspace. Select EPL branches will launch sewing at a future time.
- Training and certification is provided.
- Recommended for ages 12+
- Children under 12 will need to be accompanied by a caregiver who has completed the training and certification.
To access our sewing services, you must:
- Have an EPL Library card. Other card options are accepted.
- Register for our Sewing Machine Certification class.
- If you have prior sewing machine experience, you can book an appointment and complete an in-person skill check as part of your first booking. You will be asked to complete a brief skill check and identify hazards to be aware of when sewing.
- If you have no prior sewing machine experience, please register for Sewing Machine Certification.
- Complete the Makerspace waiver.
- Book an appointment by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (780.944.5342)
- See the flowchart version here.
Hours of Operation - Stanley A. Milner Library
|Morning||10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.||10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.||10 a.m. to 1 p.m.|
|Afternoon||2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.||2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.||2 p.m. to 5 p.m.|
|Evening||6 p.m. to 9 p.m.||6 p.m. to 9 p.m.||Closed|
Select EPL branches will launch sewing at a future time.
You must complete a Sewing Machine Certification in order to book the sewing machines. We offer two different ways to get certified depending on your prior sewing experience:
- If you have prior sewing machine experience, skip the class and do an in-person skill check instead. During this process, you’ll be asked to identify hazards to be aware of when sewing, identify parts of the machine, and complete basic tasks such as threading the machine and sewing in a straight line.
- Staff will go through this checklist with you: Sewing Certification Checklist
- If you have no prior sewing experience, register for our Sewing Machine Certification class. This class will introduce beginners to the safe operation of a sewing machine and basic sewing techniques, with participants making a small project hands-on. After completing the course, participants are eligible to book a sewing machine and complete their in-person skill check.
In order to book the serger, one of the processes above must be completed (Sewing Machine Certification or in-person skill check). The serger can be booked at the same time as your sewing machine booking.
Contact us by emailing (email@example.com) or phoning (780.944.5342) the Makerspace to book the sewing machine and/or serger.
Equipment and Material Details
Projects for Everyone
We are excited to have customers use our sewing equipment for all kinds of creative projects. We’ve put together a few quick-start guides to help you get started with the equipment and resources you’ll need for your next project.
We highly recommend that you check out the great learning resources on Creative Bug, an online collection of creative video classes and resources, which can be accessed by EPL card holders via our website. We've linked some our favourite projects below.
After you complete our Sewing Machine Certification, you can continue practicing your sewing skills and build up your muscle memory with beginner projects.
Here are some beginner-friendly resources that will help you get familiar with how a sewing machine works and some projects for inspiration.
If you are a long-time quilter or new to the quilting scene we have resources to help you get working on your next project. We’d recommend our Brother CS6000i digital sewing machine which includes a free arm, oversized table, spring action quilting foot, quilt guide for a foot holder and many different stitch patterns and speeds perfect for quilting projects.
Here are some quilting projects to get you started:
One of the benefits of sewing is being able to create your own clothing! If you’re ready to take the next steps in your sewing journey and start designing your own patterns, here are great options and resources available on Creative Bug.
Interested in cosplay or sewing your own costumes for your next convention visit, theatre performance, or holiday party appearance? Or maybe you're having trouble finding a niche accessory to finish your costume. Learn how to add some extra flair to your clothing and create pieces that will tie your look together.
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Check with your local branch for information about which machine(s) they have.
This versatile sewing machine is user-friendly for beginners with lots of features for more advanced sewers as well. Beginners will appreciate the automatic needle threader, easy bobbin-winding, and digital stitch and speed selection for getting started. The free arm, over-sized table, quilting foot and guide and 60 in-built stitches are great for anyone working on larger more advanced projects such as quilts. These are available at Abbottsfield – Penny McKee, Capilano, and Stanley A. Milner library.
For those who may prefer the more classic approach to sewing, this mechanical sewing machine offers beginners a simple and straightforward way to get familiar with machine sewing, without getting bogged down in too many digital options. Even though this machine is geared toward beginners it still features 32 different stitch options, 7 different presser feet including a quilting foot and free motion/darning foot, and twin needle sewing. These are available at the Stanley A. Milner library.
These sewing machines are perfect for beginners. Loaded with features, the XM2701 has 27 different built-in stitch options with 63 stitch functions. Designed for beginners, the XM2701 comes with a built-in easy needle threader, jam-resistant Quick-Set top drop-in bobbin, and an automatic bobbin winding system. These are available at our Abbottsfield – Penny McKee and Capilano branches.
The Brother 3534DT serger is perfect for finishing the edges of your fabric projects by creating an overlocking stitch. It can also optionally trim the fabric as you serge. Offering both a three- and four-thread configuration, the Brother serger uses a differential feed ratio of 0.7 - 2.0 for better stitch quality on a wide variety of fabrics. If you aren’t sure if your project needs a serger, ask a Makerspace staff! It is available at the Stanley A. Milner library.
A serger is a type of sewing machine that has a more specific purpose than regular sewing machines. They use an overlock stitch that regular sewing machines can not create.
Sergers are used for adding a professional finish to fabric edges. They can be used for creating small projects that don't require any sewing (such as a wash cloth) or finishing off more complex projects that were started with the sewing machine (such as a dress shirt). Use a serger to help you sew seams, trim off excess fabric, and finish raw fabric edges.
Sewing machines help to speed up sewing projects and provide regular even stitches in a variety of different forms (Zig-Zag stitches, Straight Stitches, Decorative stitches). Using sewing machines to sew clothing can help to make the project more efficient and provide a cleaner finish on clothes, as well as other fabric made items.
Alterations: A sewing machine can help with clothing alterations, they are excellent for hemming pants, and taking in seams on clothing.
Mending: A sewing machine can help assist with mending items, adding patches to jeans, fixing holes on garments as well as other fabric items such as curtains, pillows, and bedspreads.