I ask you…what could be better than an idyllic weekend away in the country with 13 other sewing-obsessed ladies and their machines? If your answer is “nada” then throw your hands in the air and declare us BFFs!
I’d been looking for a sewing retreat to join for a while but I never could find one that was just the right demographic, just the right timing, just the right location. I figured I couldn’t be the only one in Perth who felt the same so as ideas for my sewing business evolved last year, I knew a retreat was going to play a major part.
Finding and securing the perfect venue proved to be more difficult than I anticipated (FYI West Aussie tree changers… venues for craft retreats close to Perth are HIGHLY sought after!) I eventually came across Avalon Homestead in Toodyay which boasts a spectacular location, quality accommodation and all-inclusive catering… yes please! Where do I sign?
So last weekend finally arrived. On Friday afternoon we all made our way on the short (ish) but picturesque drive from Perth to Toodyay. As the host I was aiming to be the first one to arrive but 5 other keen beans managed to make it for the 2pm check in (I arrived at 2.20!)
And so it began… a perfect weekend of interruption-free sewing. New friendships were quickly made, no need to explain or justify our excitement and love for our craft. Plenty of…
“That looks awesome! What are you making? ”
“Oooooo! What pattern is that?”
“Oh no! I forgot x!” “Here! Use mine!”
I’m a little embarrassed to say, that despite living in Perth for all but two and a half years of my life, I’ve never visited Toodyay. Oops! Turns out it’s a stunning little historical town with some gorgeous buildings and the 2nd largest Christmas shop in the country. Random but true.
A few weeks before the retreat, I put a call out to a number of Australian based sewing businesses to see if anyone would be interested in contributing to a gift bag for our retreaters. I was overwhelmed with the response and generosity and as a result every guest received a bag packed with over $150 of sewing goodness along with some extra prizes for a lucky few.
A MASSIVE thank you once again to all our incredible sponsors…Megan Neilsen Patterns, Make It Perfect, Sew Creative Supplies, The Art of Fabric, Alan’s Pen Making, Tadah! Patterns, 1 Puddle Lane, Maai Design, Tickle the Imagination Magazine, Boo! Designs, Hunting for Ladybugs and Hard to Find Fabric. You guys are awesome and everyone absolutely loved their bags!
A few more pics of our making…
We finished up the weekend with a group shot with some of our makes. A couple of ladies had to head off early so we missed including them in our “look what we made!” pic. *tears*
If you’re in Perth and want to join us next year, the next retreat is confirmed for the 8-10th of April, 2016. Some of this years retreat guests have already confirmed their places so there are limited spots left. Bookings will be opened up next week and I’ll announce all the details in the next Sew for Life newsletter in a few days. You can sign up here if you’re interested.
If you’re not in Perth, I highly recommend seeking out something similar in your local area. There’s nothing like being able to spend time with others who just *get* why you love sewing. There are some amazing events around, like The Craft Sessions in Australia’s east, or Camp Workroom Social in the US, but if you’re not able to go along to something like this, why not organise a small group of friends in your local area to rent a cottage for a weekend? Or put a call out on Facebook or IG?
You won’t regret it!