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August 3-7, 2020 Blue Gate Garden Inn, Shipshewana, IN

Love Notions 3rd Annual Sew-cation:

Make it Your Own

Join the Love Notions crew for a weeklong sewing-filled vacation where you can learn, connect and relax. Enjoy comfortable hotel accommodations in the heart of Amish Country, lots of time to unwind, plenty of good food & unique shops and you will never want your sewing vacation to end. 

This year’s theme is “Make it Your Own,” and throughout the week you’ll have opportunities to make every garment, skill, fit, experience and connection your OWN. Conquer pants-fitting with bottoms that conform exactly to you, master that tricky sewing technique that’s been frustrating you for years, create unique garments just for you with creative pattern hacks, and make new friendships that will last for years to come. Make it Your Own at the 2020 Sew-cation.


It’s magically restoring to step away from your normal routine and join a group of like-minded ladies to talk sewing/fabric/life without any distractions.

  • Learn with the warm and welcoming Love Notions team
  • Engage with a group of fun, energetic and accomplished sewists
  • Take time for yourself with independent sewing, exploring, and relaxation


This year you can learn how to make your sewing projects your own with these class offerings:

  • Pants That Fit
  • Pattern Hacking
  • Hand-sewing
  • Outfit Styling
  • Bra-making
  • Machine Maintenance
  • Plus, one on one consultations from the sewing project support team


  • Receive a stuffed swag bag 
  • Shop fabric, trims, and more from Surge Fabric Shop
  • Sew on a premium Baby Lock sewing machine, serger, or coverstitch
  • Win loads of free patterns, fabric bundles, giftcards, and special prizes from Sew-cation sponsors like Olfa, Fiskars, Olisio, Riley Blake and more!

And a $100 Love Notions shop credit!

Make it Your Own: Class Offerings

Pants That Fit

In this two-part class, Tami & Kelly will help you make your own personalized Sabrina Slims pants pattern. We will cover measuring, choosing your size, evaluating individual fit adjustments and the step-by-step process to achieve those adjustments. 

This class requires a $20 supply kit fee. The kit will include 2 yards of quality fabric that has been specially sourced for this pattern, a roll of Swedish Tracing Paper, 2” wide elastic, fusible interfacing and the A0 large format print of the Sabrina Slims pattern. This class is appropriate for confident beginners to advanced sewists.

Pattern Hacking

Love Notions patterns are perfect for hacking and mashing to make it your own! In this hands-on class, Katie will discuss some of the classic hacks for Love Notions designs including ways to easily alter and combine patterns you already own.

Machine Maintenance

In this class, Joe from Thimbles will help you make your machine your own. Learn some useful methods for trouble-shooting various sewing issues and see the proper techniques for maintaining your machine.


Whether you plan to attach custom clothing tags or add a personal detail to your project, this hand-sewing class will help you master sewing techniques with just a needle and thread. Nancy and Becky will walk you through the basics to create beautiful hand-sewing on your pieces. Make every stitch your own, when you take this class.

Outfit Styling

Learn some basic outfit styling guidelines from Tami Peterson and Katie Grimm. Have some fun and make every outfit your own by learning how to accessorize, style, and show off your handmade garments. 


You won’t believe how easy it can be to make your own undergarments! Join Kayla and Erin from Surge as they provide a complete intro to bra-making — from supplies, to patterns, and to bra types. This valuable resource will be free and will include a handy info packet and the option to purchase a pre-made bra kit. Kayla and Erin will offer one on one assistance during the retreat if you decide to make your own.

Project Consultation

Is there a tricky technique you just can’t master? Are you stuck on a UFO and just wanna pick the brain of an advanced sewist? Need to see a quick tutorial on a troubling pattern instruction? If you need some help with a sewing issue, sign up for a one on one session with one of the four Sew-cation assistants. Get some support as you make every project your own.

Tentative Schedule of Events


3:00PM: Hotel check-in

4:00PM: Sew-cation registration opens

4:00-6:00PM: Register, set up stations, unpack, explore

6:00PM: Group photo & welcome dinner

7:00PM: “Get To Know You” event

8:00PM: Free sew, shop the vendors, hangout and relax


6:00AM – 10AM: Breakfast

9:00-11AM: Free sew, class or mini workshop

12:00PM: Lunch

1:00-5:00PM: Free sew, class or mini workshop

6:00PM: Dinner

7:00PM: Surge Fabric event

8:00PM: Free sew, shop the vendors, hangout & relax!


6:00AM – 10AM: Breakfast

10AM – 6PM: Free sew and/or explore the shops. Flea Market is open.

6:00PM: Dinner

7:00PM: Thimbles Event

8:00PM: Free sew, shop the vendors, hangout and relax


6:00AM – 10AM: Breakfast

9:00-11AM: Free sew, class or mini workshop

12:00PM: Lunch

1:00-5:00PM: Free sew, class or mini workshop

6:00PM: Dinner

7:00PM: Free sew


6:00AM – 10AM: Breakfast

9:00-10:00AM: Giveaway event, thank yous & goodbye

10:00AM: Pack up

11:00AM: Checkout

More about the location:

Blue Gate Garden Inn is a beautiful hotel set right in the heart of Amish Country. Just down the road from the famous Shipshewana Auction & Flea Market, and just a few minutes to local theatre, unique shops and restaurants.

The hotel offers an indoor pool & hot tub as well as a gym and recreation area.

Free, high-speed WIFI is available. The hotel has lots of cozy nooks and lots of comfortable furniture for relaxing. Out back is a lovely patio area perfect for relaxing and unwinding from a day of shopping and sewing.

Hotel Amenities

  • Indoor pool with hot tub
  • Laundry room
  • 2 elevators
  • All rooms include a hairdryer, in-room refrigerator, microwave, Keurig coffee maker, & TV
  • Fitness center
  • High-speed Wifi
  • Arcade & Ice Creamery & Pizza Parlor

Our favorite sewing machine dealer, Thimbles Quilts, will again be attending the Sew-cation! Thimbles offers machine rentals, a community bank of sergers and coverstitch machines, and a notions pop-up shop. Owners Jane and Tammy will be on hand to help with machine setup and usage and will even be offering a special deal just for Sew-cation attendees.

For a $50 fee, rent a Baby Lock or Bernina sewing machine. They welcome your individual model suggestions when you rent. Just leave a comment in your registration form.

Additionally, Thimbles sewing machine technician, Joe Gasparich, will be available to service machines throughout your stay. Sign-ups for this servicing will be available in the months prior to the retreat.

The Sew-cation welcomes Surge Fabric Shop owner Kayla Tarey and her team to this year’s retreat. Kayla will have a wide variety of lovely fabrics for guest to shop throughout the Sew-cation. She will be offering kits, bundles, and loads of the beautiful, high-quality fabrics that Surge Fabrics is known for.

Surge Fabric Shop is a family-owned and operated online fabric store. Kayla opened the figurative doors to Surge in December of 2016. Since then, she and her team have focused on providing a memorable online fabric shopping experience. They pride themselves on offering quality fabrics and trims as well as exceptional customer service. They offer a wide range of products, spanning from athletic and everyday apparel fabrics to lace trims, heat transfers, notions and so much more! They also have a Facebook Group community where they host sew a longs, share projects, and simply provide the opportunity to meet other “Surging” friends!

Pricing &  Registration

Note that all rooms will have two beds, either two queen sized beds or one queen and one king.

Payment options

We understand what a financial commitment this is. To help make this retreat feasible for more people we are pleased to offer an optional payment plan that spreads the cost over 6 months. An 8% service fee is included.

You will be automatically billed on the day of the month you registered. For example, if you registered on the 31st, the rest of your payments will be due on the last day of the month as well.

Please note that your ticket is non-refundable, however, you may transfer it to someone else up to July 1st, 2020.

Payment plan

  • Double occupancy = 6 payments of $153 for a total of $918.

  • Single occupancy = 6 payments of $198 for a total of $1188.

    The payment plan is not available to those who join from the waitlist. 

Pay in full

  • Double occupancy = $850

  • Single occupancy = $1100

What’s included:

  • Hotel accommodations for four nights
  • Ten meals: four breakfasts, two lunches, four dinners
  • Personal sewing station area (30″ x 6′ table) with a 3-4 outlet power strip
  • Three class options
  • Access to a bank of Babylock sergers and Babylock coverstitch machines
  • Complimentary snacks and drinks to keep you going
  • Lots of free sewing time to work on any other project you might bring with you

You are responsible for:

  • Transportation to and from the venue
  • Lunch Wednesday afternoon
  • Rental fee for personal sewing machine (optional)
  • Personal lighting. We have a limited quanity of table lamps for guests who are flying in.
  • Supply fee for pants fitting class: $20 which includes STP, A0 of Sabrina Slims pattern and 2 yards of stretch woven.

Frequently Asked Questions & Policies

I registered, now what?

Yay! We can’t wait to get to know you. You will receive a welcome email shortly after registering. Within the welcome email, look for a link to join the Sew-cation 2020 Facebook Group. A pack list will be sent out in July. 

Who is the retreat for and can I bring my baby?

This retreat is for adult women with basic sewing skills and a desire to expand their knowledge. It is tailored towards giving you a break from everyday life and all the caregiving that entails.

Do I need to bring my sewing machine? Can I bring more than one?

A limited amount of sewing machines will be available to rent on a first come, first serve basis. We will also have a bank of sergers & a couple of coverstitch machines available for you to try out and use. We encourage you to bring your own machines if possible.

What is the work area like?

This year we have one large room with plenty of light. Each guest will have their own 30″ x 6′ table with three to four outlets to set up their work area.

Are meals included?

Yes! All meals during the retreat are included except lunch on Wednesday. Included meals-
Monday: dinner
Tuesday: breakfast, lunch and dinner
Wednesday: breakfast and dinner
Thursday: breakfast, lunch and dinner
Friday: breakfast

What's the plan on Wednesday?

One of the reasons we chose this location is because of the quaint town with the close promixity to the HUGE flea market as well as unique shops. We’ve planned Wednesday as a ‘free’ day. Use it to explore the town or just sew to your heart’s desire. There will be no planned classes during this time.

What forms of payment are accepted?

We accept Paypal and credit cards.

Can I rent a serger and/or coverstitch machine?

No need to rent a serger or coverstitch- Thimbles will be providing a bank of several of each for everyone to use! No additional charge.

Will there be wi-fi?

YES!! We can confirm there is free, highspeed WiFi. However, please consider stepping away from your everyday life just a bit and enjoying the company and tranquility.

What is the weather like? What should I pack?

Mid-August in Northern Indiana is very pleasant. Expect highs in the high 80’s and lows in the high 70’s.

How do I get there?

Blue Gate Garden Inn is located in Shipshewana, Indiana. It’s about 11 miles south of the Michigan state line. Shipshewana is accessible by car, bus, and train. The closest airports are South Bend and Fort Wayne, both about an hour away. Visit this website for more information:

Are tickets refundable if I'm not able to attend?

You may transfer your ticket to someone else and be refunded in full. If you’d like to do this, please notify us of any changes. No transfers can be made after July 1st, 2020.

I have another question, how can I contact you?

I would be happy to answer any questions by email: [email protected]

Can I bring my spouse?

If you’d like to bring your spouse you may. However, you will need to choose a single occupancy option. Your spouse is responsible for their own meals.

Is there a discount if I stay somewhere else?

No, the registration fee is all-inclusive. We strongly feel that you will get the best retreat experience by staying on-site with everyone else.

I don't know anyone going, I'm nervous!

Don’t be nervous! Sewing people are the best kind of people and you will have made friends for life by the time the retreat is finished. At our last retreat, probably half of the guests came without knowing anyone but by the end, we were all friends and no one was left out.

What else can we do besides sewing?

One of the reasons we choose this location is because of all the different things guests can do! The hotel itself has a pool & hot tub, arcade, patio with fire pits, and an ice cream shop and pizza parlor. The town is just chock full of fun shops, a flea market and great restaurants.

I have a special dietary need, can accommodations be made?

No problem! Our caterer is able to accommodate gluten free and vegetarian needs. Please inform us of your dietary needs when filling out the registration form. Note that there are mini fridges and microwaves in every room. You are welcome to bring your own food & snacks.

What are the sleeping arrangements or do I need to reserve a hotel?

Included with your registration is four nights accommodation in hotel style lodging with two beds (either two queens or a queen and king). We have options for both double and single occupancy if you prefer to have a room to yourself.

I'm coming with a friend, can we room together?

Absolutely! Just let us know during registration.

How much and what kind of fabric should I bring?

You will receive an emailed pack list in July with exact requirements. You will also have the opportunity to shop the Surge Fabric shop in person!
In general, we’ve found that guests were able to complete 2-3 projects per day if they’re on the easier side and partially prepped.

What happens if the retreat is cancelled?

In the very unlikely event that the retreat is cancelled, your registration fee will be refunded in full.

About the team

Tami Meyer

Tami Meyer

Owner & Designer

Tami’s been sewing professionally for over twelve years, the last five have been dedicated to bringing you modern, digital patterns you can download and print right from home. She’s published over 60 patterns and has created a lively, supportive and encouraging community of over 35,000 members. Bringing you these garment sewing retreats has become her new passion. Meeting and sewing together with others is such a special experience and is something she looks forward to every year.

Chris Shapiro

Chris Shapiro

Ambassador & Retreat Assistant

Chris fell in love with sewing 17 years ago and has never looked back. What started as a hobby turned into a passion and one machine multiplied into many and Chris started her sewing blog in 2017.  Her enthusiasm for the sewing community and passion for encouraging and helping others along the way is what fuels her spirit along with the love and support of her beloved husband of 37 years, Mark. 

Tessa Heiser

Tessa Heiser

Co-Host & Marketing Director

Tessa recently fell in love with sewing for herself, her trio of young girls, and her encouraging  husband. When it comes to this new skill, whatever she lacks in expertise she makes up for in enthusiasm! Tessa found a special place in the Love Notions community assisting with marketing. As Tami’s sister, Tessa has been a fervent supporter of Love Notions from the beginning and has helped organize and plan the Sew-cations with Tami for the past few years. She loves how the Sew-cation helps to bring together a community and is thrilled to be a part of the team. 

Tami Peterson

Tami Peterson

Ambassador & Retreat Assistant

Tami of Sewsophielynn’s love of sewing began as a tester for Love Notions patterns four years ago.  One of her very first pattern tests was the Boyfriend Cardigan and it sparked a love of learning, creating, and capturing her latest makes.  She’s a mom to five kids ranging in age from a high school senior to a 7-year-old.  She loves sewing for her kids but the photos of them in their latest handmades are her favorite part of the process.  She’s excited to be assisting at the Love Notions retreat and can’t wait to meet and mingle with you!

Kelly SimonsEn

Kelly SimonsEn

Assistant, Boys & Mens Designer, Retreat Co-Teacher

Kelly has been sewing here and there for nearly 20 years, but has spent the last seven years working to improve her skills, grow and achieve professional results. Kelly has been a professional photographer for 14 years. She really enjoys helping others learn new skills with both sewing and photography.

Nancy Bunch & Becky Hartley

Nancy Bunch & Becky Hartley


Nancy & Becky are sisters who also happen to be Tami & Tessa’s mom & aunt. They’re joining us again this year as co-teachers of the hand-sewing class. Both Nancy and Becky learned to sew as kids from home ec classes, 4H as well as their mother who was a very prolific seamstress. Nancy’s joy these days is quilting and other sewing crafts as she gradually works her way back to garment sewing.

Katie Grimm

Katie Grimm

Ambassador & Retreat Teacher

Katie’s passion has always been sewing! She earned a bachelor’s degree in Home Economics Education with a minor in Clothing and Textiles and loved the years she spent as a high school sewing teacher. She’s sewn everything from fully tailored wool suits to wedding dresses, but with five kids ages 5-14, time for sewing was hard to find! A few years ago a friend introduced her to Love Notions, pattern testing, and the amazing online sewing community and she’s never looked back. She’s excited to share her love of creating and is honored to be teaching at this year’s retreat.

Rachel Ring

Rachel Ring

Ambassador & Retreat Assistant

Rachel has been with Love Notions in some capacity since 2014. She’s a mom of two who loves creating custom clothing for her children. She’s very active in helping test the Love Notions patterns to ensure great quality and fit. You can find Rachel and her children’s faces in the listings of many pattern brands, not just Love Notions! Her encouragement and enthusiasm for sewing is infectious!

SponsorED BY:

Past Retreat Sponsors

Past Retreat Sponsors

We’ve had some amazing sponsors in the past couple of years. These sponsors enable us to provide our guests with a memorable retreat experience. If your business is interested in sponsoring our retreat please feel free to contact us. We love working with other craft businesses!

Love Notions (C) 2019