The Next Sewing Retreat and What’s Going to be Different

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Now the dust has settled from the last Sewing Retreat we’ve had a good think about what was successful and how we can improve things.

It was another fabulous weekend with some wonderful ladies making things to fit them and that they want to wear. We have already seen some of them back for more workshops too.

 

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Your feedback from the last two retreats has given us food for thought and we have decided to make some changes.

Save the Date for the Next Retreat

7th February – 10th February

Places are limited

 

Firstly we have changed venue. The next retreat in February will be at the glorious Stratford Manor Hotel. This beautiful hotel is just on the edge of Stratford on the Warwick Road, not far from the M40 turn off and a short taxi ride from Stratford upon Avon Station. It has all of the amenities we need including super comfy beds, lots of plug sockets, a pool and spa, where you can choose to book a treatment after a long day on your sewing machine. (It really does pay to do some stretches at the end of the day and a massage will definitely help!) It also has beautiful grounds to explore to get some fresh air and clear your head if you need a bit of headspace too. This is a RETREAT after all.

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We have also included an extra night at the hotel. Several of our past Retreaters did indeed arrive a day early and most others said how useful this would be; to be able to travel at leisure and be ready to start the next day.

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So for the next retreat in February you can arrive anytime you like on Thursday and check in Thursday evening. You can book dinner at the hotel separately or even go for a bit of a wander around Stratford upon Avon. If you’ve chosen to bring your own sewing machine you can unload everything and set up ready to start afresh on Friday morning.

 

Bit of planning was one of the things that cropped up after reviewing the chats we’ve had with the previous Retreaters, deciding what projects to make beforehand will really help you get more out of the weekend. So we will be letting you know what you should be able to achieve during the time we have and suggesting some patterns or projects you may like to consider. It’s better to have a couple of smaller quick and easy makes as well as something more meaty. We will be sending you out some handy checklists and ‘things to think about’ before you arrive to help you get the most out of the time we have together.

 

We have also decided to include some designated tutorial spots. Where we can demonstrate specific techniques and show you how to sew particular processes. Over the last two retreats there have been several people working on similar projects that needed support on the same things, like concealed zips or particular fitting techniques. So it makes sense to be able to cover those as a whole group, or even two smaller groups, at specific times over the weekend. That way you will be equipped to tackle more independently, but know we are there to help if you need us. You can let us know in advance if there is something you would like us to cover.

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And lastly but I think most importantly we have decide to reduce the numbers. Now there are only 12 places. This means you will have much more 1:1 time with both of us and we will all feel part of a whole group of lovely individuals who are just nuts about sewing and creating a handmade wardrobe of clothes we really want to wear.

This, I feel, is really what the weekend is all about. It’s a bit of time away from everything else spent with people who get what sewing your own clothes means to us as individuals. It is a retreat from the world , albeit temporarily, and a bit more than just a workshop.

We do appreciate there is a cost attached to this weekend so we have made it easier to pay in installments. A deposit of £220 will secure you place and then two further payments will cover the balance.

Book Your Place NOW!

So you can come and join us for a wonderful weekend where you will improve your sewing, and that’s guaranteed!

Remember there are only 12 places and we have a waiting list from the last one too. So book early to make sure you can join us.

See you soon.

Jules x

 

Sewing Quarter – 11th September Viola and Rosalind

Several people have asked where they can watch the episodes of the Sewing Quarter that feature Jules and the Sew Me Something Patterns, so we have decided to add them as pages to our Blog so you can find them more easily.

Click on the image and it’ll take you to the Sewing Quarter You Tube Chanel. So you can watch Jules in action.

The Viola Skirt starts 13.01 and the Rosalind Pyjama starts at 2.00.04.

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You can order your own Viola Skirt and Rosalind Pyjama from our online store.

Happy Watching!

Sewing Quarter – 2nd October 2018 Julia and Portia

Several people have asked where they can watch the episodes of the Sewing Quarter that feature Jules and the Sew Me Something Patterns, so we have decided to add them as pages to our Blog so you can find them more easily.

Click on the image and it’ll take you to the Sewing Quarter You Tube Chanel. So you can watch Jules in action.

The Julia Top starts 17.56 and the Portia Trousers starts at 2.09.14.

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You can order your own Julia Top and Portia Trousers from our online store.

Happy Watching!

Enjoying the Good Life

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This little blog has been somewhat delayed so apologies.

This was a return visit to the Good Life Experience for us. Last year was the first time I had visited this little pocket sized festival of joy and went with @thetallphotographer as his assistant. Well not that I actually know one end of a camera from the other but I was very good at carrying stuff! And we absolutely loved it!

So this year we decided to return, Charlie doing his photo thing and me running sewing workshops. Yes we were sewing in a tent!

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Our sewing studio in a very big tent.

We packed up a few machines, fabric, scissors and anything else we could think of and headed for North Wales.

I tried to think of something beautiful yet practical that would be handy to have at a festival, but that would also be easy to sew as well for complete newbies and I came up with a Festival Bag! This handy little gem was made in either robust demin or practical dry oil cloth to keep out the damp. It was fully lined with some simple calico and fastened with a clip buckle. AND you had a choice of colours for the webbing straps. What’s not to love. (It will be available as a pdf pattern very soon.)

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Even complete beginners managed to make their own festival bag!

It was rather popular and we even had one young lady come back to make another one for her Dad.

We had our youngest ever workshop attendee, little 3 year old Joshua who was very intent on making his own bag without his Dad’s help. My lovely chum Claire-Louise came along to the festival too and popped in to help. She was great and had so much patience with this young man while I helped the others in the workshop to sew their own bags.

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CL at her most patient with our youngest ever workshop attendee.
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A very proud and happy young man.

The whole weekend was a joy! And although I was teaching during the day I didn’t miss out on the evening’s entertainment. The highlight for me was Friday night with DJ Trevor Nelson taking me back to my clubbing days and throwing some shapes on the dancefloor with CL.

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Rather too much of the superbly delicious Rhubarb & Ginger Gin produced by the Harwarden Estate was consumed that night too. But the morning after was worth the night before!  

One of the reasons I love this festival so much is that there is so much to see and do.

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You can have a go at screen printing…
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…a bit of extreme knitting…
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…try spoon whittling…
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…or Thai Chi.

 

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There’s camp fire cooking…
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…and really interesting talks from people like Ben Fogle.
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And one I want to try next year – Fire Walking!

We topped off the weekend with a delightful meal at the Glynne Arms Pub in Hawarden village for Charlie’s birthday. A bit of a Busman’s Holiday for me but I thoroughly enjoyed the whole weekend.

 

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Claire-Louise and me completely pooped after a blast of a weekend.

And its all due to these lovely people Charlie and Caroline Gladstone (that run Pedlars) who along with Cerys Matthews (yes from Catatonia) and her husband Steve Abbott founded this delight of a festival. It’s ethos is something that resonates with both Charlie and I, particularly since the last time we were here our lives have changed quite considerably following Charlies accident! 

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Charlie and Caroline Gladstone whose fabulous home Hawarden Castle hosts the Good Life Experience.
All pictures by The Tall Photographer

Now we are planning on how we can do it better and what we can make on more Festival Workshops. If you go to festivals do let me know which ones you enjoy and what would YOU make at a festival? Would it be practical and useful? Or just fun?

Hopefully you can join us next year, but get in quick as tickets are going like hot cakes!

Happy Festival Going!

Jules x