Posted on 6 Comments

Retreat to Sew – Pants?

Carrie, working on pattern work.
Carrie would love to welcome you to the retreat.

Getting away from the usual daily grind with passionate sewing friends old and new is such a great way to move your sewing to a new level.

It can seem overwhelming to get all that equipment packed up and into the car, but the dedicated attention to your sewing goals will be a very rewarding experience.  I encourage you to consider participating in our first ever Sew! Let’s Get Dressed retreat August 22- 27 in the brightly lit church hall at Woodbrook Baptist Church.  We will see to your beverage, snack and lunch needs; you just need to bring along projects, questions, your machine and favorite sewing tools.

Cheryl Kirk at a FfA pattern testing event at Woodbrook.
Cheryl Kirk at a FfA pattern testing event at Woodbrook.

Several of the sewists who have already signed up are planning to do serious work on the Eureka! Pants pattern.  They are planning to draft and sew up some variations that will fill gaps in their wardrobe.

These Central PA ASG members worked on pants one weekend and everyone had a fine mock up and adjusted pattern when they went home.
These Central PA ASG members worked on pants one weekend and everyone had a fine mock up and adjusted pattern when they went home.

One of my most successful sewing retreat experiences was the first time I worked on a personalized jeans pattern.  It was many years ago at a Sarah Veblen Retreat held in a church campgrounds near Troutville, VA.  That is a long drive for me, at least 5 hours, but it was worth the trip.  My good sewing friends Jeanette, who lives near me, and Robin, who flew into Baltimore from Chicago to attend this event, headed out early the appointed morning. We had enthusiastically packed the car the night before.  After 5 hours in the car, the traffic stopped just ½ hour from our destination.  At this point we were wondering, was this a good idea?  But quick efforts at some back road navigation (before GPS and smart phones) got us to the retreat site in short order.

After we set up our sewing stations, I started work in earnest on a jean pattern.  I had purchased a commercial pattern for jeans and a bolt of pretty ugly polyester twill from the JoAnn’s clearance rack to use for making samples.  Four samples and 2½ days later, I had a pair that fit pretty well.  I was still learning the ins and outs of the order of construction and topstitching, but I put each pair on as I worked on the next pair, constantly assessing the fit and inspiring the changes that would lead to a pretty satisfactory jean pattern.

Repeating the same process with incremental improvement at each step was invaluable.  My skills and satisfaction with this new sewing experience kept me engaged and ultimately I became addicted to making my own jeans.  And the bonus was that my new jeans fit much better than anything I could buy in the store.

I am sewing in a mock up to make sure the fit feels good.
I am sewing in a mock up to make sure the fit feels good.

Had I been scheduling weekly or monthly consultations to work through this pants development process it would have slowed my progress greatly.  It might have even led to a loss of interest rather than my eventual success.

Do you have a project that would benefit from a sewing coach at your fingertips all day, every day, available to help with fitting and design advice?  Would  you be energized by sharing your sewing journey with others?  Well here is your opportunity.  There are still spaces left for our Sew! Let’s Get Dressed retreat and we would love to put your name on one.  And by the way, you don’t have to sew pants, you can work on any sewing project that is calling your name.

These Raleigh ASG students are on their way to a great fit, just get that sleeve length adjusted
These Raleigh ASG students  worked on Tabula Rasa Jackets at their Chapter event last September.

If you cannot come this year, but hope to come in the future, please let us know so we can plan future events that would be convenient for you.

Sewing with Jodell Larken the new president of the National ASG board at an ASG St. Louis Jacket Workshop.
Sewing with Jodell Larken, the new president of the National ASG board, at an  St. Louis ASG Jacket Workshop last fall.


Our goal is your success as a garment sewer.  We think this retreat experience can move you toward this goal more quickly than if you wrestle with your fit and skill issues all alone. Hope to see you there!

Happy Sewing, RAE


6 thoughts on “Retreat to Sew – Pants?

  1. Hi Rae,
    I would love to come to a future event. This year I did the Eureka class with Sarah Veblen. I’m looking at 2017.
    Also, did you have any of the white Cotton,Rayon, Lycra left after the ASG convention?
    If not, do you have suggestions of where to look for it?
    Myrna Kiel

    1. Hi Myrna,

      Stay tuned for next years dates. We would love to have you. I will check about the white knit, though I don’t think we have any more. We are considering offering a few basic colors for sale on the website. I will let you know if we decide to offer it by the yard. I am not sure where you can buy such nice quality solid rayon knits.


  2. Unfortunately I will not be able to attend the August retreat but certainly would be interested in a future event. For those of us coming from out-of-state, I would need hotel recommendations. Would you consider holding a future event in a conference center or hotel with large enough meeting space? BTW, love your patterns. Fabulous concept and ideas. Thanks.

    1. Thanks so much for your support, Marianne! We plan to schedule additional retreats and would love to be able to hold them in a hotel or conference facility. If you know of an appropriate and affordable facility, we’d love to hear your suggestions! For this time around we are trying to keep the event as inexpensive as possible, hence holding it in our church hall, but we did arrange for a discounted rate for rooms at an area hotel. Future events will be announced through our newsletter or blog and on our website Event Calendar.

  3. Do you have anything in the Midwest? I live in the suburbs of Chicago and find it hard to believe that there is nothing in Illinois or nearby Chicago area?

    1. Hi Renee, I am not sure what is available in the Chicago area though I know there are some active ASG groups in the area that probably have retreats. Right now ours will be in the Baltimore area which is convenient to us. Hope you will come one day. RAE

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