Made By Rae studio sewing retreat!

**UPDATE 9/30: We are full!! Thanks everyone for your interest!! **

I want to share a crazy little idea I’ve had bouncing around in my brain for a while now. Wouldn’t it be fun to have a little weekend sewing retreat at my studio in Ann Arbor?? I think this would be so great. So I’ll tell you what I’m thinking and if enough people are interested we’ll make it happen.

The concept is this: A weekend of sewing in the studio; you bring your machine and projects and sew whatever you want — Washi Dresses, quilts, kids’ clothes, whatever — all weekend long. I will be on hand throughout the weekend to answer questions and teach mini-presentations based on whatever comes up (shirring lessons? dart how-tos? seam finishes?). If there’s a need, I will do individual Washi bodice fittings. I’ve asked Karen LePage (one of the most experienced and capable seamstresses I know) to help teach/fit/present as well, so there will be two of us available to help everyone out. We’d make sure to have plenty of free sewing time so that if you wanted to duck out for coffee or a shopping trip to Pink Castle Fabrics, stay as late as you want in the studio, or even wake up early and start sewing at the break of dawn, you can do that.

WHEN: The weekend of November 15, 16, and 17, 2013 (Fri-Sun)

EAT/SLEEP/TRANSPORT: It will be your responsibility to cover most meals and arrange lodging and transportation. There is plenty of reasonable hotel lodging in the area that I can help you find if need be. Everyone is welcome to join me for dinner on Friday (this meal will be covered in the cost of the event) and Saturday night. I’ll be hitting a couple of my favorite restaurants (Jolly Pumpkin and Frita Batidos are the two I have in mind), both of which have fantastic food. But if you’d rather go have a fancy white tablecloth dinner over at Gratzi, or eat every meal at the Cupcake Station, that’s perfectly fine too. There are so many amazing restaurants, lunch spots, and coffee shops all within walking distance of my studio — I’ll be sure to have plenty of menus and recommendations up on the studio bulletin board.

TIMES: The whole thing would run from Friday late afternoon to Sunday early afternoon, so people with Real Jobs wouldn’t have to take much time off. I’ll send out a rough itinerary of the weekend to those who are interested so you can get a good idea for the schedule before you actually put down a deposit, but the idea would be that Karen and I will be around Friday evening, during the day Saturday, and from Sunday until 2 pm. I can also have the studio open Friday and Saturday night for those who want to stay later and sew.

WHERE: Made By Rae sewing studio in downtown Ann Arbor (Ann Arbor is about 30 minutes from the Detroit Metro Airport)

Machine rentals: Brenda at Pink Castle has generously offered to rent her Janome or Bernette machines for the very reasonable cost of $20 for the weekend to anyone who would prefer not to travel with their machine. Let me know if you need this!

RSVP: If you are interested in participating in what is sure to be a SERIOUSLY FUN weekend, please follow this link to sign up to register. If you sign up, I’ll send you more information and an invoice for a deposit to hold your spot. I have space for about 10 or 11 people (maybe we can squeeze 12?), so space is very limited and will be offered on a first come, first served basis. We will only run the event if we have at least eight participants, so please tell your friends!


Hope you can come! It’s going to be fun, fun fun!!!

26 thoughts on “Made By Rae studio sewing retreat!

  1. This sounds SO FUN. If were in driving/Amtrak distance I would totally do it! (One more reason to move back to Chicago…..)

  2. I so wish I could come! I am running a race that weekend. Do it next year, and I will come and crash Kricket’s house while I am at it.

  3. Wish I could come too! Alaska is too far away though…Hope it’s a big hit and you will do it again and maybe I can come!! 3 washi’s, 3 geraniums, 5 parsleys going strong!!!

  4. Sounds like a great time… curious why the cost is so much considering it is a group learning thing. A little steep for me πŸ™‚

  5. I would love to come to this! Baby #2 is expected November 29 – so the timing doesn’t work for me. My sister lives in Ann Arbor (I keep convincing her to learn how to sew….) Please add me to a list if you do this again another weekend!


  6. omgosh. i live in Grand Rapids. I get off work fridays at 1. I could actually do this if I can get my hubbs to approve the funding…. OMGOD. *giddy*

    If there’s a spot next wednesday when I get paid, I’m DOING IT.

    *crosses fingers*

    • what does the cost include, as it’s not lodging, food, etc… out of curiosity… the above poster had a good question… πŸ™‚ I don’t mind paying for something but I’d like to know more about what I’d be paying *for* if that makes sense…

      • just so that doesn’t sound snarky… I love to sew.. I got kicked out of home ec in 7th and never learned how to even sew on buttons. (still my downfall, but I just got a new machine foot that does it for me…. so no more hand sewing buttons….YAY) and so i’ve never had a formal lesson. a weekend of a hostage to walk me through my fears of knits, shirring, buttons (button holes i’m an ace at, buttons not so much…) hand sewing, piping, etc so that my items end up with a professional finish I’m not ashamed to sell.. that would be SO WORTH IT… and my husband could consider it a christmas gift, so win/win… so yeah. if that’s what i’m paying for…. that’s worth it to me. it’s still steep because we’re on a limited fixed income, but omgoodness… so worth it for my skills and self-worth as a seamstress… and a dream come true. i live so close, i’ve wondered how to finagle a trip and invite to see your studio. πŸ˜€

        • it’s fine, it’s a perfectly legitimate question. See my comment below πŸ™‚
          I’ll email you directly about this though, since I’m not sure we’ll have spots open by Wednesday!!

  7. No offence, but who would want to pay almost $300 to just, sew in your studio and pay for everything themselves? You aren’t famous.

    • You’re right – a studio weekend with Alabama Chanin is $1250. And maybe they aren’t famous either in your world. Although, that’s for only 2 days (not three)…but it does include a cocktail and two meals. So, it’s not a truly apples to apples comparison.

      While only Rae can respond on whether she found your comment offensive, I did find it extremely curt. Simply putting “no offence” in front of a rude comment doesn’t make it less rude.

      It may not be in your budget, or you may not find it to be a good value. But, a workshop is like anything else and the price will reflect the cost to the provider as well as demand. If nothing else a participant is paying for the time both Rae and Karen will put in for preparation/clean up as well as spending a weekend away from their lives to provide their services as facilitators.

    • Hi Elle,
      While the question of whether something is worth the cost is always worth asking (and clearly it’s not worth it to you — perfectly fine!!), your comment goes well beyond simply asking “is it worth it.” I think Amanda has summed up nicely what we think the value of the weekend is above. I’ll leave my thoughts at that.

  8. Oh my gosh, I would love to do something like this Rae. Unfortunately the Australia to Ann Arbor commute a bit long… πŸ™‚
    To the previous comment. Because when you have learnt SO MUCH from a blog the chance of being able to work face to face with the person who has managed to make you a better sewist would be so worth it. And as for famous….. well I just went to a craft show with a seminar and over a 100 women were talking up Raes patterns… so Ann Arbor to Canberra Australia I think that is pretty famous

  9. You and Karen are total ROCKSTARS in my book and I would just love to spend a weekend with the both of you; I am always amazed by a persons lack of kindness and am so thankful you know that we love your amazing work and for opening your life to ALL of us. If I weren’t totally freaked out to leave Columbus, Ohio and my husband I would fill a spot. I will say it again my hour with you was so amazing and I have sewn two washi’s since and will be starting my third as a tunic tomorrow. I look forward to many more patterns and I love seeing your smiling face modeling your creations!

  10. Just had to add another voice that has been able to spend a brief time in a class with Rae and come away so thankful for and inspired by her! A weekend would be absolutely wonderful… Rae is wonderful and very easy to learn from. I cannot leave husband with the little ones for that length of time, but the value of sewing in Rae’s studio with she and Karen and all of you that get to go sew would top my list of “SOoo wish I could be there!” I hope to live vicariously by lots of photos and fun posts of everything that is done and made, pretty please!

Comments are closed.