I want to learn to sew, where do I start?

We offer two different sewing options. Are you interested in this as a hobby? Check out our public sewing classes, with Sewing Basics Course I being a good place to start if you have little to no experience. Are you an underemployed/immigrant/refugee woman looking for employment? Check out our Sewing For Jobs program to help get you skills and experience. 


How can I take Sewing For Jobs?

To be a part of our Sewing For Jobs program, you have to fill out our application form here [and bring it in?].  We then conduct an interview process to see if you will be a good fit for the program. The cost of the program varies, and depends on the financial situation of the individual themselves. 


What level am I?

You can find a brief description of our course’s levels here. If you’re still not sure just send us an email and we’ll help you to figure it out. In our Sewing for Jobs Program, we have our Beginner and Advanced classes. Most people start with our Beginner class, but we will evaluate your skills and see which class is the right fit for you. 


Do I need to bring my own machine?

No, we provide all machines and tools that you need. Besides that, every Friday we have FREE SEWING DROP IN,  in one of our classrooms, so you can borrow a machine to work on your projects!   


Do you rent/sell sewing machines?
No we do not rent sewing machines, and we don't allow anyone to remove machines from the classrooms but every Friday we have FREE SEWING DROP IN,  in one of our classrooms, where you can borrow a machine to work on your projects! We do occasionally get sewing machines donated to us that we sell in our boutique, come check us out to see our stock. 


Who is teaching the courses? 

Our public courses are taught by qualified instructors who have studied and worked in the field that they are teaching. Our instructors have a combined 80 years of experience in their fields! Our Sewing For Jobs program is currently taught by Belkis Navas, accompanied by a variety of experienced and knowledgable volunteers. 


What courses will you be teaching this year? 

We offer lots of courses and workshops throughout the year. Check here for the courses that are currently open.


Where are the courses held? 

All our courses and workshops are held on our premises unless stated otherwise. 

We have two classrooms: 

1. EcoEquitable Classroom : Located on the main floor of Heartwood House, located at 404 McArthur Avenue. 

2. The Hub Classroom : Located in the strip-mall, next to the main building.


How do I register?

The best way to register is online. Our Shopify site takes major credit cards and Paypal. This can be done here. You can also register in our boutique during open hours, we do accept credit cards and cash. If you are taking this course through a sponsor, we can arrange to have an invoice sent to your employer or sponsor. 


Do you offer discounts? 

EcoEquitable’s mission is to support our community while creating a sewing hub in Ottawa. We take pride in offering services to serious sewers who would otherwise not be able to afford our courses. For that reason, we offer a substantial discount to current EE students (50%) and 25% to community members who are experiencing difficulties.

Please contact our office at info@ecoequitable.ca to discuss your situation and we will find a win-win solution. 


Where can I buy extra materials (ie. rulers, etc)?

EcoEquitable offers some materials such large and small L-rulers (used in pattern-making), thread, and a few notions. But if you are looking for something specific, there are many great sources in Ottawa for these items including: C&M Textile, Fabrications, and the Giroux Sewing Center (Cornwall). 


Where can I have my machine maintained?

EcoEquitable is fortunate to have an excellent domestic sewing machine expert. Her name is Susan Sarrasin. She offers reasonable prices for tune-ups and fixes. Her contact info is suesboard@gmail.com. Please contact her directly and she will find a time and place to meet with you.


I need to cancel – do I get my money back? 

That’s too bad!  We try to be as fair as possible while running full courses; read our cancellation/refund policy below. 

Written notice of cancellation may be processed with a full refund (minus a 10% admin fee) two weeks prior to the course starting.  Cancellations received 1 week prior to the course are eligible for a 50% refund unless there is a wait list for the course.  Cancellations within the final week prior to the course are non-refundable unless there is a wait list for the course and the course can be run with full attendance.


Why does EE offer public workshops? 

People keep asking for them! EcoEquitable is a hub of sewing knowledge. We have many excellent volunteers in our boutique, alumni from our courses, seamstresses in our production workshop and many of them want to offer courses and also keep up their own learning.


What’s the difference between your SFJ courses and your public workshops? 

Our Sewing for Jobs courses are funded through grants and donations and are specifically designed to provide customized support for those participants having experienced barriers to joining the workforce, and who would like to find employment in sewing. Our public courses are not externally funded. The students in our public courses are members of the public who sew recreationally and are looking to upgrade their skills.


How many students are in each class? 

This is based on the class type. Our absolute maximum is 10 students. For some classes, we will cap the class at 5 students or 8, depending on how much space is needed and if the course requires a lot of intensive instructor support. 


Where can I buy fabric?

Here! You can buy recycled fabrics at EcoEquitable from our Boutique. We have a wide variety of fabrics available for $2-$10/meter. Every year, we have recycled over 5,000 lbs of fabric so we definitely have a great flow-through! Four times per year, we have a Fill-A-Bag fabric sale in which shoppers can fill a standard size shopping bag for $20! Make sure to follow us on Facebook to see our upcoming events. There are also lots of great fabric stores around Ottawa; C&M Textile, Fabrications, and the Giroux Sewing Center (Cornwall).


What are the benefits of being part of the EE community?

EcoEquitable is a social enterprise, but more than that, we are a community! EcoEquitable is a hub for sewing and for social justice! We love to stay in touch with alumni through a variety of means: join our newsletter, follow us on Social Media, or just drop by to say hello!


I want to get in touch with my current/former teacher. How do I do that?
Contact info@ecoequitable.ca with the name of your teacher and the course that you took. We will do our best to connect you by email or phone.


Why do public sewing workshops cost more than your Sewing for Jobs Program?

EcoEquitable has two streams of courses: 1) our grant-subsidized Sewing for Jobs stream where participants pay a fraction of the course cost and 2) our Public Sewing courses. Our public courses are offered at market rate and reflect the cost of hiring excellent instructors, paying our rent, and covering administration costs. We do offer discounts for current students and to community members who are experiencing difficulties integrating into the economy.


Have a question that we didn't answer?

Please email us or give us a call at (613) 562-1739, we’ll be happy to clarify any question you may have!