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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


Your choice of 10 patterns from the Love Notions library!

October 2018 Retreat at Kilbuck Creek Lodge

My experience at the Love Notions sewing retreat was truly incredible. It was wonderful to share my beloved craft with others in a very warm and personal environment. It felt not only like a relaxing escape but also an opportunity to further my skills and knowledge about sewing. I would not hesitate to sign up for another Love Notions retreat in the future and would encourage anyone who loves to sew to do the same!

Alyson C.

The best part of the retreat was meeting others who share a common interest and just connecting as individuals. Even more than the learning and the swag that was my best takeaway from the experience. Meeting others like me and getting to talk sewing, talk about life, our kids all that sort of stuff. I felt that it really gave authenticity to the community spirit that we have online.

Jen M.

This retreat was amazing! I learned so much and was so inspired watching others turn out so many things in such a short time. It was great learning not only from you and the other teachers but also from the other ladies there. It was great having Sly Fox there and being able to feel the materials and see how they drape and be able to ask questions about the best things to make from the different kinds of fabric. The swatch book will be a great help. It was so wonderful to see old friends and to make new ones and to share our love for sewing. Love you all sew much!!!

Caroline G.

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!

Focusing on the Details Demos

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.

Pattern Sew-along

With Kelly & Rachel

By the end of these small-group workshops,  Kelly and Rachel will have guided you through sewing a new knit pattern. 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. Kelly and Rachel 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.

Fabric Discussion Panel

With Katy and Mary Beth from 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.

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 small bank of sergers and coverstitch machines
  • Yoga by the lake one morning
  • 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

Yoga by the lake

Join us for a session of yoga right on the shores of Lake Michigan Tuesday morning. Our yoga instructor will guide us through postures and stretches to address sewists common aches and 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


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.

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 remodelled but still keep to the fun, mid-century modern style.

Sew-Cation with Love Notions

Hotel Amenities

  • Recently remodelled
  • 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 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.

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!

SponsorED BY:

Love Notions (C) 2019