If you have been lucky enough to attend a sewing retreat you know that it is both relaxing and energizing at the same time. To be in an environment with people that have your interests while learning together is truly a great thing. When you are attending any function for the first time, you may be nervous especially if you are going alone. It shouldn't take long for you to meet a few friends because after all, you already have something in common. Recently, while planning my trip, I decided that having something to use as an invitation to mingle would make networking easier. So I sewed a little fabric basket that would hold some important items.
This basket has spaces on either side that allow business cards and blank paper to be stored until you want to give them out. There are also folds on each corner that can accommodate pens and pencils. Inside the basket, of course is the teaser, some yummy chocolate. If you can imagine while at a retreat, you will be so busy learning new things and keeping up with your neighbors, visiting, eating and doing it all over again each day. It might be hard to get the names and numbers of your new friends and keep up with them. This little basket really helped me to stay organized.
Some of the other important things to think about is your luggage and how you are going to keep up with all of your sewing gear. I was driving so I did not have to worry about weight limits for airplanes but keep that in mind. Some of the ladies at my retreat brought an extra suitcase to hold all of their sewing projects once completed for their return trip. Others packaged everything and shipped home from the retreat.
Not knowing what the room conditions will be you may want to bring a sweater to layer. Also, the chairs may not be as comfortable as you are accustomed to at home, so a nice chair pad helped me a lot.
I was interested to see what everyone else used for their tools. Since I had never attended, I didn't know how much working space I would have. These stackable bins worked perfectly for me. I was able to divide them according to the tool size and when I needed something, it was right at my fingertips.
See how neat they are. You can attach them on top of each other and move them as a group or by themselves. They sat nicely on the corner of my work station and didn't interfere with everything else I had going on.
Here you can see that I used a sewing machine cart for all of my notions. The stackable bins slid in easily. I also printed out itineraries, maps, stashed my chocolate and fabric basket. Everything was portable because it has wheels. This is important of you are trying to wrangle luggage and all of your sewing gear. If you are staying in a hotel and have to transport your things each day, wheels will be your best friend. I was lucky and once set up, our things stayed in our sewing area for the week.
Most sewing retreats will include some kind of prepared meals. You may not eat at those specific times normally so planning a few snacks will be a good idea. I carried a large purse that held my snacks, cell phone, I pad, chargers, wallet and odds and ends. This was easy to carry back and forth from my hotel room each day. I knew everything would stay organized and in one place.
If you are thinking about attending a sewing retreat you might be concerned that you won't be able to keep up with the projects offered, or that you may not fit in. I can tell you from my experience that Sewists are some of the most generous people I have met. They are eager to show their own tips and love to learn new things. It is a joy to wake up each day knowing you only have to get dressed and create until it is time to eat, sleep and do it all over again. I am already planning my next trip. I have a download below that you can use to sew your own networking basket. The basic shape has been around for a long time so you have probably seen it used in other ways, but it goes together quickly and easily. I hope you have enjoyed this post, share what you have learned and are generous with what you make. Someone will appreciate your hard work. Happy Sewing Travels!
ˌlanˈyap,ˈlanˌyap - something given as a bonus or extra gift