Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads

Canadian perspective!

mizlilly | Posted in Feedback on Threads on

I love Threads, mostly for the techniques. I find the Tips section very educational too. I make mostly children’s clothing, so fitting is less important to me. The articles on sewing machines, sergers etc., are interesting, but one doesn’t buy these things very often.

I notice that you often print letters and/or hints from Canadian readers. I’m curious about the number of subscriptions and individual copies sold in Canada. My curiousity is motivated by… your ads, believe it or not! I always read your ads, and there are very few for Canadian companies. I do buy somethings online from the US, but it is so expensive! Of course the things cost less in the first place, but by the time you add on the extra shipping, Canada Post import fees or UPS or other courier brokerage fees, not to mention the exchange, the costs are usually double the US dollar amount. And then there are the long waits! It would be so much simpler and cheaper to have access to Canadian mail order. There are a few that I know of, but there are still oodles of things one must go south of the border to get. What we need are online companies selling: heirloom patterns for children, heirloom fabrics and laces, trims, etc., a big!! range of quilting cottons and notions. As a couple of “for instances” the “Darr Piping Magic” — a nifty gadget for trimming piping to the correct seam width (advertised in May’s Threads) cannot be had in all of Canada, as far as I know; Children’s Corner, Wendy Schoen, Maggie’s Classics, Michie’s — all patterns for children are not readily available here either. (I do know of one company that carries a few children’s heirloom patterns, but they often must place their order with the supplier after you’ve ordered, and the pattern, with shipping, can cost as much as $20.00 to $24.00!!) 

So, what I’d really like to see are ads for Canadian, online retailers of fabrics, and patterns, and notions…

And thank you for asking for our opinions!


  1. carolfresia | | #1

    Hi, Miz LIlly,

    I'll forward this to our ads department. When possible, we editors try to include a Canadian source in any article that contains a source list, but like you, we often have trouble finding a Canadian source for specialty items.

    Our Canadian readership is strong but small. Some subscribers have said that they can buy the magazine on the newsstand for less than the cost of a Canadian subscriber...I'm not sure why that is, but if it's true, then that's the smart thing to do!


  2. MarshaK | | #2

    Hi mizlilly,

    I also am on th look-out for Canadian sources for sewing, craft and beadwork supplies. Several that I've ordered from are:

     A Great Notion Sewing Supply LTD,in Surrey B.C. 1 800-309-2829, Judi has almost the same product line as Nancy's Notions. Free catalog, twice a year.

    Next is Sew Fancy, from Ontario, I haven't ordered from them for a while so don't have a recent catalog, they have lots of Heirloom sewing supplies.

    Joanne's Creative Notions Plus is in Brampton, Ontario. 1-800-811-6611. Catalog is also free.

    Hope this helps. MarshaK

    1. carolfresia | | #3


      Thanks for suggesting some good suppliers--I'm going to take note of these, too.


      1. MarshaK | | #7

        Another great Canadian mail order company is G & S Dye found at http://www.gsdye.com . Dixon has fabric dyes and silk fabrics, books and all the equipment necessary to dye fabrics. Has an annual sale in August with everything on sale, up to 40% off. Check out the Links, there are a variety of Canadian companies and fafric stores listed.


        1. User avater
          ehBeth | | #8

          Thanks for those references, MarshaK. It's great to have more canajun 'tools'.

          1. pitterpatter | | #9

            I buy Threads at Michaels using their 40% off coupon.  I have found these sites that have a large list of Canadian sewing sites.    http://www.timms.ca/kft/favourites.html      and     http://www.chebucto.ns.ca/~ae862/mailorder.html   

            I also find the cost of buying from US sources to be quite expensive and if I have to buy from US when there is no Canadian distributor, I wait for a good sale.  I just picked up a pattern for $5US that normally lists for $12US.  So far I haven't had to pay customs duties, gst, or postal fees.

            I also like the ads in Threads, they give me an idea of what products are out in the market.  Threads gives me inspiration for embellishing my casual clothes.  Most of the projects are beyond my skills right now, but I can drool and dream.


          2. MarshaK | | #10

            Thanks for the web-sites, I'll check them out. Sometimes there are things that I just have to order from the US, after looking for them through the Canadian sources. I also keep a running list of items to look for when we go down into the States, especially after reading about them in magazines like Threads. But, it's always good to have Canadian suppliers. A Great Notion is a good one, mainly because she brings a lot of the items she has in her catalog to the sewing shows in Edmonton and Calgary. The one in Edmonton is coming up April 2-3, and yes, I have my list all written up. Anyone else planning to go?


          3. FitnessNut | | #11

            I'm planning to attend on Friday, April 2, but I'm not sure when during the day yet. As you know, it is spring break next week and my husband also has the week off, so to some extent my schedule will be determined by family activities. I'm making my list of things to look for.


          4. MarshaK | | #12

            Hi Sandy,

            I plan to be at the show on Friday too, I usually try to get there when the doors open. My husband drops me off, then comes back later in the afternoon, we do a bit of shopping then head home. I haven't received the brochure they send out, the fellow at Canwest Shows told me they had been sent out a week and a half ago. Since all the classes and lectures are free this year, unlike all other years they didn't need to send them out two months in advance. I have seen the brochure on their web-site, guess I'll just have to print it off. My shopping list is growing too.

            Maybe we'll come across one another, if you decide to go.


          5. FitnessNut | | #13

            I've printed off the brochure as well, since I haven't seen it anywhere. Believe it or not, I got the dates from this forum. You would think they'd advertise better. I have found the show to be a bit disappointing (I've only been twice since I moved here in the fall of 2001), too much quilting stuff, but I go anyway just in case I find some jewel that I can't live without. The number of gorgeous yarns at last year's show was amazing. I'm going to try to hijack the family schedule this time around so that I can arrive when the doors open. It gets too busy later in the day.


          6. MarshaK | | #14

            You're right about the overabundance of quilting booths at the show. At least places like Lori's Cottage has some garments mixed in among the quilt fabrics. The yarns were great, I went home with a few balls and skeins, and I don't hand knit! They aren't for my knitting machine either, I use fancy yarns for couching and twisted braids and cords, which are also couched onto fabric. Last year it got crowded around 10 which is why I like being there when the doors open at 9, even though it means an early start to the day. Takes about an hour and three quarters to get in to the city. I'd better get the brochure printed off, I've been putting it off, just in case it was in the mail. There's a new person working in the post office, mail gets misplaced everytime this happens, there's probably some old fellow wondering why he's gotten a sewing brochure.


          7. nmog | | #24

            I always used to take time off work (as a fashion studies teacher) to go to the Canwest show in Calgary. It's usually the third week of Sept. However, this year I'm expecting our second child on Sept 15 -what are my chances, do you think? I went three weeks early with our son...

          8. FitnessNut | | #25

            Hmmmm.......maybe in a snugglie?

          9. MarshaK | | #26

            Hi Nicole,

            Last year's show in Calgary was Oct. 1st and 2nd. Hubby and I were there on Friday, I was a bit disappointed with all the quilting shop booths, but I guess that's the trend these days. Not sure if we'll be coming down this fall, in the Edmonton brochure they have Calgary's show dates as Sept. 30th and Oct. 1st. Maybe you'll be lucky as this little one will be early too. Or, you could come up to Edmonton April 1st for this show. MarshaK.

  3. FitnessNut | | #4

    I'm constantly looking out for Canadian sources as well....and yes, I read the ads too for the same information. The cost of ordering from the US can be prohibitive, so I usually don't bother unless its something I can't find an acceptable substitute for.

    BTW, are you the same "mizlilly" that posts on the Bernina boards? (I'm "fashiondesigner", but I haven't visited for some time now. It was getting way too repetitive.)


    1. mizlilly | | #5

      Thanks Marsha for those sites. I have ordered from all of them before, and they do have some good products. I'm just looking for more!

      Sandy, yes that's me from the Bernina boards, and the MP boards too. I musn't add any more boards to my regular visits, will never get any sewing/other work done.

      1. FitnessNut | | #6

        LOL! I know what you mean....I had a hard time ripping myself away from the computer this morning, so I'm behind on the outfit I had wanted to cut out today. Maybe later ;-)


  4. louise | | #15


    I also regularly beg Threads to include Canadian sources.  Maybe we Canadians could for a sub group of Gatherings to share our resources?  What do you think?

    I see you have had an abundant response to your request for Canadian Sources.  May I add one more.  The Museum for Textiles has a Tent/Garage sale once a year.  I understand that the bargains are fantastic!  I haven't gotten to it yet, I am still buried under a mountain of fabric I was bequeathed by a seamstress aunt and my own stash!  I know of others who have gone and they talk about yards of fabulous fabric for ridiculous prices like $5 & $10.  The sale is usually held in March or May.   The Museum is in Toronto and you should be able to do a web search on Google.  I'll bet they list their sale on their home page. 

    In fact, I'm going to do that right after I sign off.

    1. mizlilly | | #16

      Hi Louise, and thanks for the tip about the sale, I will check it out! I think you have a great idea there in a sub-group for Canadian resources. I don't visit this message board too often, so I don't know how to go about it. Do you?

    2. carolfresia | | #17


      I think it's a great idea for Canadian members of Gatherings to form a resources support group. We do try to provide Canadian sources when we can, but it's often difficult to find them, particularly for very specialized items. But we do understand that order from the US can be expensive. We often have problems just getting supplies over the border to our Canadian authors.


      1. louise | | #18


        Is that your whole name or a nom de plume?  I always want to shorten it to Carol. Anyway, some witty reply is okay if your privacy legislation is as draconian as ours, and by the way, I am glad for it.

        Anyway, so if forming a Canadian resources group is good, can we get a Chat area (topic heading)  added to Gatherings which indicates that Canadian sources can be added/sought here?



        1. FitnessNut | | #19

          Carol Fresia is one of the editors of Threads ;-)

          For what its worth, a topic area for Canadians to share resources would be most welcome, for me at least. And many of these businesses also do mail order to the United States (and probably elsewhere), so the Gatherings readership as a whole would benefit.

        2. carolfresia | | #20

          Hi, Louise,

          You can call me Carol--that would be lovely, since I'm usually referred to as "so and so's mom," or "Mrs. [husband's last name]"!

          To have a Canadian resources topic, all we have to do is start a new discussion under "equipment and supplies." I'll go there right now and do that...


          1. louise | | #21

            Hi Carol

            That is most excellent.  I also spent years being someone's mom and someone's wife.  It's funny isn't it particularly when you become "the mom"?


          2. louise | | #22

            Hello Canadian Sewers!

            Threads has kindly allocated a space where we can list our sources in Canada, regardless of where is the country your are. 

            At least we can help each other avoid those exhorbitant brokers fees and.........shop Canadian!  This is what they have done.

            To have a Canadian resources topic, all we have to do is start a new discussion under "equipment and supplies." I'll go there right now and do that...  Threads editor

          3. MsRita | | #23

            Annual 'More Than Just a Yardage Sale'Friday May 27, 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.Saturday May 28, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. This fundraiser offers incredible bargains on yard goods, decorator and quilting fabrics, wools and yarns, notions, trimmings and craft supplies, and small mechanical equipment. The Yardage Sale relies upon donations from organizations and businesses specializing in textiles as well as members of the community. NOW IS THE TIME TO CLEAR THE CUPBOARD AND DONATE! Donations received Tuesday through Sunday during Museum open hours. For pick-ups of large donations call 416-599-5321 ext. 0.



This post is archived.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All


Shop the Store

View All
View More