Our sewcation begins in...








July 15-18, 2019 – Illinois Beach Hotel in Zion, Illinois

what’s a sew-cation?

It’s a sewing-filled vacation where you can learn, connect and relax. Add in cool, boutique hotel accommodations, gorgeous scenery, lots of time to un-wind, and plenty of good food and you will never want your sewing vacation to end.

Engaging Content

Are you interested in taking your sewing game up to the next level? The theme for our Sew-cation is FOCUS. Whether you are a professional sewist or a complete novice, take the opportunity to master the essentials and learn something new! This year we will focus on details and focus on fit throughout the retreat.

real Connections

Do you crave some time to recharge with great company? 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


Because who doesn’t love free stuff?! Every participant will be gifted a swag bag which will include:

  • Sewing notions and gadgets
  • Thoughtful gifts to improve your stay
  • Individualized itinerary and class materials
  • Offers from fabric and craft sponsors
  • An AO printed Love Notions pattern

And… Your choice of 10 patterns from the Love Notions library!

Read more about our past retreat

We had such an amazing time. Be sure to read the blog post recap and watch the video!

Learning Opportunities:

Focus on Fit

With Tami

Have you ever wondered why your creations don’t quite hang right or feel good? Confused about putting in a FBA (Full Bust Adjustment) or want to learn more about all of the many ways to alter patterns for the absolute best fit? We’ll introduce you to a few common fit alterations and give you some tips for doing even more. In this class, Tami will help you get the most flattering and professional fit every single time you sew. Because when you sew great, you look great!

Focus on Fabric

With Katy & Mary Beth of Sly Fox Fabrics

Shopping on-line with Sly Fox is always fun, but we know you won’t want to pass up an opportunity to see loads of Sly Fox’s luscious fabric in person! Join Katy and Mary Beth for a fabric discussion where the foxy ladies will cover it all. In addition, during this session, and at various times throughout the retreat, the Sly Fox partners will share their expertise and give an opportunity to shop their gorgeous fabrics. Also, save on shipping when you order with Sly Fox before the retreat and they will personally deliver your order.

Pattern Sew-along

With Tami, Kelly & Rachel

By the end of these small-group workshops,  we will have guided you through sewing the Harmony Blouse or Cadence Top/Dress. This sew along is geared toward confident beginners and will offer lots of help along the way as you get yet another complete piece to take home and wear right away. We will simplify the entire process and offer tips for advanced options. Look for more specifics on what to bring for this project in the packing list email coming in June.

Focus on details

With Kelly & Rachel

The devil is in the details! Sign up for these skill-building mini-lessons that will occur several times throughout the retreat. During a quick demo, Kelly and Rachel will walk you through a basic, but essential, sewing skill and then give you a special kit and an opportunity to practice on your own. Check back with them for even more instruction and advice. Skills addressed range from hand-stitching to using elastic.

Focus on machines

With Tammy from Thimbles

We are beyond thrilled to have a sewing machine sponsor for the retreat this year! In addition to offering rental machines, the Thimbles team is holding a special session focused on getting the most from your machine. Stop in to their “Pop-up Shop” throughout the retreat, but make sure to attend this session where you can get information on the latest from Bernina and Babylock. The ladies can give you some machine tips for taking your pieces from “homemade” to “handmade” and demo their fabulous sewing machines, coverstitch machines and sergers.

What’s included-

  • Hotel accommodations for three nights
  • All classes & any class supplies
  • Seven meals during the retreat: three breakfasts, two lunches, two dinners
  • Personal sewing station area (18″ x 6′ table)
  • Access to a bank of sergers and coverstitch machines
  • Yoga by the lake Tuesday & Wednesday mornings
  • 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
  • Dinner Wednesday night
  • Rental fee for personal sewing machine (optional)
  • Items to stock your own mini-fridge
  • Personal lighting

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.

Payment plan

  • Double occupancy = 6 payments of $135 for a total of $810.

  • Single occupancy = 6 payments of $162 for a total of $972.

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


Pay in full

  • Double occupancy = $750

  • Single occupancy = $900

We are so excited to be able to offer Babylock sewing machine rentals at this year’s retreat! My favorite local dealer, Thimbles from Lockport, IL, will be on hand throughout the retreat to help with machine setup and usage and will even be offering a special deal just for us. If you’ve ever wanted to try out a Babylock machine, now’s your chance! If you’re flying and would like to rent a Babylock Brillant for your own personal use throughout the retreat, we’re pleased to be able to offer that as well. These machines will be available on a first come, first serve basis so be sure to register early. A rental fee of $50 will apply. We will also have a bank of Imagine sergers and Coverstitch machines for everyone’s use at no additional charge.
Yoga by the lake

Join us for two sessions of yoga right on the shores of Lake Michigan Tuesday & Wednesday mornings.

Work on your flexibility, strength and balance as you go through various yoga poses. An emphasis on core exercises will be incorporated, as well as deep stretches for the upper back, shoulders, and neck areas. Perfect for those common sewist aches & pains!

Tentative Schedule of Events


3:00PM: Hotel check-in, registration opens

3:00-5:00PM: Register, set up stations, unpack, explore

6:00PM: Welcome dinner

7:00PM: Free sew, shop fabric, hangout and relax


7:00AM: Yoga by the lake

8:00AM: 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: Sly Fox Fabric Discussion Panel

8:00PM: Free sew


7:00AM: Yoga by the lake

8:00AM: Breakfast

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

12:00PM: Lunch

1:00-5:00PM: Free sew, class or mini workshop Dinner on your own

6:00-12:00AM: Free sew, shop fabric, hangout and relax


8:00AM: Continental Breakfast

9:00-10:00AM: Sew ‘n’ Tell, prize drawings and goodbye

10:00AM: Pack up

11:00AM: Checkout

More about the location:

Illinois Beach Hotel is a boutique hotel set right on the shores of Lake Michigan. It is less than an hour from both Chicago and Milwaukee in Zion, Illinois.

The hotel is located within Illinois Beach State Park, known for over 4,000 acres of beach, dunes, wetlands, prairie, and oak savanna. When you’re not sewing you can spend some time swimming in the lake, hiking a trail, boating, or simply enjoying nature.

The hotel boasts an on-site restaurant, spa, indoor pool and fitness center. The hotel (and rooms) have recently been remodeled but still keep to the fun, mid-century modern style.

Sew-Cation with Love Notions

Hotel Amenities

  • Recently remodeled
  • Indoor pool
  • Spa
  • Fitness center
  • On-site restaurant & bar
  • Wifi
  • All rooms include Keurig coffee makers, cable TV, blowdryer, microwave, mini fridge, iron & board, & lighted make-up mirrors.

About your teachers

Tami Meyer is the designer and owner of Love Notions Sewing Patterns, LLC. She’s been sewing professionally for over twelve years, the last four 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 31,000 members.

Kelly Simonsen is Tami’s assistant for Love Notions Patterns. She 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.

Rachel Ring 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!

Katy Kemper is the owner of Sly Fox Fabrics. She is dedicated in providing her customers with high quality fabrics that allow seamstresses to create beautiful, one of a kind pieces. Katy’s eye for on trend fabric and knowledge of the fabric industry makes her a valuable resource we are thrilled to provide at this retreat. She’ll be bringing a fun selection of fabric for us to shop!

Frequently Asked Questions & Policies

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.

I registered, now what?

Yay! We can’t wait to get to know you. You will receive a welcome email shortly after registering. A pack list will be sent out in June.

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 will have two large ballrooms for our dedicated sewing area. Both rooms have floor to ceiling windows looking out onto Lake Michigan. Each guest will have their own 18″ x 6′ table to set up their work area.

Are meals included?

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

Where can I go for dinner on Wednesday night?

The area has tons of options for eating out! Grab some of the new friends you have made and carpool to the restaurant of your choice: fast food or sit-down. You might also have a lighter dinner from the available snack table or dine at the restaurant inside the hotel. Some might consider filling up at lunch and skipping dinner altogether while they savor those last few hours of uninterrupted sewing time.

What forms of payment are accepted?

We accept Paypal and credit cards.

Will there be wi-fi?

Absolutely! Illinois Beach Hotel offers free wi-fi for our use.

What is the weather like? What should I pack?

Mid-July in Northern Illinois can range from low to mid 80’s. We’ll be right on the lake so we will be able to enjoy those refreshing breezes.

How do I get there?

Illinois Beach Hotel is less than an hour north of downtown Chicago. If you are flying in, the closest airport is O’Hare International Airport at about 40 minutes away. Midway International Airport is 1.25 hours away. You will need to arrange transportation to the hotel by shuttle or car service. Once you arrive at the hotel you will not need a car. We will be staying on-site throughout the event.

I'm arriving before the retreat opens, where can I stay?

If you are arriving on Sunday you can check in early to your hotel room at Illinois Beach Hotel. Please let me know if you will be taking advantage of this option so I can communicate that to the hotel. You can also choose to lengthen your stay. The hotel’s standard room rate will apply and you will be responsible for that when you checkout.

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

I’m afraid tickets are not refundable due to the nature of the event. You may transfer your ticket to someone else,  however. If you’d like to do this, please notify us of any changes.

I have another question, how can I contact you?

I would be happy to answer any questions by email or phone: [email protected] or 815-725-5202. If you choose to call please do so during normal business hours of 9AM-5PM CST.

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.

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?

Take your pick (or not, you can totally choose them all)! We have a pool, hot tub, trails to hike as well as the lake to play in.

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 three nights accommodation in hotel style lodging. We have options for both double and single occupancy if you prefer to have a room to yourself. sewing retreat accomodations

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 June with exact requirements. You will also have the opportunity to shop the Sly Fox shop in person!

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.

SponsorED BY:

Love Notions (C) 2019