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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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