July 15-18, 2019

Illinois Beach Hotel

1 Lake Front Dr., Zion, IL

Sewing Retreat with Love Notions

Hi, I’m Tami and as a small business owner, a working mother and a committed wife, I know all too well how easy it can be to get caught up in the day-to-day grind of life. I’ve often fantasized about unplugging for a few days and spending a little time on myself. I can barely find time to just sit and sew for enjoyment.

With those thoughts in mind, I’d like to invite you to get away from it all with me. Please join me for a relaxing and revitalizing sewing retreat where we can all spend some time sewing, learning and relaxing!

This Sewing Retreat offers you…

Engaging Class Content

Do you struggle with getting patterns to fit?

Do you want to learn how to hack a pattern to create your own vision?

Have you always wanted to show off your creations but struggle with photography?

This retreat offers you the chance to participate in sessions with hands-on activities and helpful takeaways to help you grow your sewing skills. The learning experiences will include:

  • 2 Sewing Classes
  • 1 Sewalong
  • 2 Non-sewing Classes
  • 1 Discussion Panel

Meaningful Connections

Do you crave in-person time with other sewists to talk fabric/patterns/life? Do you need a relaxing time out to focus on something for yourself with great food, company and scenery?

This retreat offers you the opportunity to:

  • Learn from friendly instructors and receive tons of tricks and tips
  • Eat delicious catered food, where all meals are provided
  • Explore and hike around the lodge in Northwestern Illinois, at the peak of fall colors
  • Hang out with a group of fun, energetic and accomplished sewists
  • Take time for yourself: independent sewing, exploring, and connecting with new friends

Valuable Goodies

Every participant will be gifted a STUFFED “swag bag” valued at over $200, which includes:

  • Indispensable sewing notions
  • Thoughtful gifts to improve your stay
  • An individualized binder with helpful worksheets and handouts.
  • Offers and coupons from fabric and craft sponsors around the nation
  • A brand new, not yet released Love Notions pattern
  • Two yards of our exclusive Love Notions retreat double brushed poly fabric. 
  • Unlimited, lifetime access to Tami’s current complete library of over 60 customizable patterns — for FREE (a $600 value)!!!!!!

Class descriptions:

Pattern Hacking 101

With Tami, assisted by Kelly and Rachel

The possibilities are endless after you take this course from Tami. Learn how to easily alter and combine the patterns you already own to make a completely new piece. Tami will discuss some of the classic pattern hacks for Love Notions designs and explain step-by-step the methods used for altering and adjusting your patterns for a completely new look.

Photographing your Creations

With Kelly

During this session, we will learn about the basics of photography using all types of camera equipment, from your iPhone to your DSLR. Topics addressed will include posing and positioning, light sources, and exposure. Weather-permitting, outdoor demonstrations will occur. Bring whatever equipment you feel comfortable with and learn from a pro!

Fit and Fab

With Tami, assisted by Kelly and Rachel

Have you ever wondered why your creations just aren’t hanging right or feel good? Confused about putting in a FBA (Full Bust Adjustment)? We’ll introduce you to a few common fit alterations and give you some tips for doing even more. Let Tami and her assistants help you get the most flattering and professional fit every single time you sew. Because when you sew great, you look great!

TBD Pattern Sewalong

With Tami, assisted by Kelly and Rachel

By the end of this class, Tami will have guided you through the composition of a brand new knit pattern perfect for fall and into the winter season. 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! Not to mention the invaluable help of Tami and her crew and they simplify the entire process and offer tips for advanced options. Bring 2 yards of a knit fabric that would be appropriate for a fall/winter top.

Fabric Discussion Panel

With Katy and Mary Beth from Sly Fox Fabrics

Let’s discuss our obsession with the sewing world’s most versatile and comfortable fabric option. Bring your questions about knits – from drape to textile composition, we will cover it all. During this session, the Sly Fox partners will walk us through their wares and will even reveal a fabric available exclusively to Love Notions members, and created especially for our inaugural retreat. You will also have the opportunity to shop the gorgeous fabrics.

HTV for You and Me

With Kelly and Rachel

Learn all about crafting’s hottest new trend. Heat Transfer Vinyl is an easy and quick way to personalize any item. We’ll design and cut together after you choose from thousands of different decal options. Either bring fabric or apply it to the back of your swag bag. We will supply the vinyl and we’ll use our Cricut & Silhouette machines.

This sewing retreat also includes:

  • Sleeping accommodations in the lodge for two nights, including linens and towels
  • Unrestricted access to the Kilbuck Creek grounds, Lodge and Gathering Hall
  • All meals during the retreat: two breakfasts, two lunches, two dinners
  • Complimentary snacks and drinks to keep you going
  • Campfire and s’mores each evening, weather permitting
  • 4+ hours of free sewing time to work on any other project you might bring with you
  • One morning class of yoga

Tentative Schedule of Events


10am Registration Begins

12pm Lunch

1-4pm Class

6pm Dinner

7pm Panel & Shopping

9pm Campfire


7am Optional Yoga

8am Breakfast

9am Class

12pm Lunch

2-5pm Class

6pm Dinner

7-11pm Free Sew


7am Optional Hike

8am Breakfast

9-11am SewN’Tell & Free Sew

11am Checkout

More about the location:

Kilbuck Creek is a secluded and exclusive lodge just outside of Rockford, IL. It is nestled in 200 acres of forest but still within easy driving distance of O’Hare & Midway airports. The rustic but comfortable log cabin style home has 6 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 4 fireplaces, 4 common areas and an entertainment room in the basement. The bedrooms are large, sleeping 4-12 in sturdy log style bunk beds with luxurious bed linens. Most bedrooms have an en suite bathroom. Those that don’t have a full bathroom right outside the room. This is a family home and feels just like it!

The lodge is wrapped by a large deck and has a covered breeze way with picnic table and bench seating. An indoor pool and hot tub are also available for our use. Soak away those sore muscles after a long day of learning. And don’t forget about the 5 miles of hiking trails. Start your morning off with a quiet hike to prepare and center yourself for the busy day of learning ahead. We’ll end our days around the campfire ring, weather permitting.


October 22nd-24th, 2018

The retreat registration will open at 10:00 AM Monday, October 22nd with a kickoff lunch at 12:00PM The retreat will end at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, October 24th.

Other information:

During the retreat, a variety of classes and experiences will be offered. While some sessions will include portions of lecture-based learning, all of them will include concrete take aways and hands-on opportunities. It is important to have a capable sewing machine in good working order for this retreat.

Lunch and dinner will be catered, please let us know of any allergy and dietary requirements. The lodge has a full kitchen with three refrigerators if you’d prefer to bring your own food. Along with meals, snacks and drinks will be provided.

A packing list will be emailed to you in September.

After you enroll you will be invited to a private Facebook group where you can get to know other students and possibly arrange rides and figure out machine logistics.

Due to the nature of the retreat, refunds are not possible. However, if you find that you are not able to attend, you may transfer your spot to someone else.

Come and connect with us! We aren’t as far away as you might think:

  • 1 hour from O’Hare International Airport
  • 1.5 hours from Midway International Airport
  • 1.5 hours from Chicago, IL
  • 1.5 hours from Milwaukee, WI
  • 1.5 hours from Madison, WI
  • 2 hours from Peoria, IL
  • 4 hours from Indianapolis, IN
  • 4 hours from Des Moines, IA
  • 4 hours from St. Louis, MO
  • 5.5 hours from Cincinnati, OH
  • 5.5 hours from Louisville, KY

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 24,000 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 13 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

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 September.

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

Sewing machines will not be provided. Two of the classes are more lecture based so they do not require a machine. If you would like to participate in the sew along or free sewing time, you will need to bring your machine. Every attendee will have their own workstation that will accommodate one machine. You’re welcome to bring your serger and/or coverstitch machine. Additional tables will be available for those bringing more than one. Please note what you will be bringing when you register so we can try to accommodate you.

What is the work area like?

The hall where classes will be held is a large room with high ceilings and plenty of light (natural and electric). Each attendee will have a workstation that will accommodate one machine. There will be ironing and cutting stations throughout the room. Each attendee will be able to leave their machine and supplies at their station. Each table will have one cart assigned to it where you may put notions, fabric and supplies so that your table is clutter-free.

How much and what kind of fabric should I bring?

You will receive an emailed pack list in September with exact requirements but count on bringing two yards of knit. You will also have the opportunity to shop the Sly Fox shop in person!

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

For our inaugural retreat we thought it would be best to keep it small and casual so we have space for 30 ladies. 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.

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

Included with your registration is accommodation in the lodge for two nights. Kilbuck Creek Lodge consists of 6 large bedrooms and 7 full bathrooms. Each bedroom has 2-6 sturdy, log bunkbeds. Some rooms also have a queen bed. Because it would be a logistical headache, beds will be assigned randomly (one person to a bed- even the queen beds). There are three floors of bedrooms (main level, upstairs, finished walk-out basement), if you are not able to climb stairs please let us know in the registration form so we can assign you to a room on the first floor. Here is an example of one of the rooms. It consists of two twin bunkbeds, a queen-sized bed and an en suite full bathroom. Kilbuck room example

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

Absolutely! Just let us know during registration and we’ll do our best to get you roomed together.

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 is a large kitchen with industrial fridge available for our use. If you’d prefer to bring your own food you are more than welcome to use the kitchen and its appliances.

Will there be wi-fi?

Absolutely! Kilbuck Creek offers free wi-fi for our use.

What is the weather like? What should I pack?

You’re in luck! October in northern Illinois is typically beautiful. The days are usually sunny with highs in the 60’s and lows in the 40’s. The leaves are in their prime fall-changing glory. We suggest wearing layers and bringing a jacket for the evening campfire. Don’t forget your swimsuit for the indoor, heated pool & hot tub!

What else can we do besides sewing?

Take your pick (or not, you can totally choose them all)! We have a pool, hot tub, one morning of yoga, lovely trails to hike as well as two classes that do not require a sewing machine. Join the photography class to up your game and learn from the best and/or join the HTV (heat transfer vinyl) class to learn about this new trend with the popularity of Silhouette die cutting machines.

How do I get there?

Kilbuck Creek is just outside of Rockford, IL. If you are flying in, the closest airport is O’Hare International Airport at about an hour away. Midway International Airport is 1.5 hours away. You will need to arrange transportation to the lodge by shuttle or car service. Once you arrive at the lodge 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 Sunday, you may wish to reserve a hotel in Rockford area for the night. There are several hotels to choose from, many offering a free breakfast. Most are under $100/night.

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.

SponsorED BY:

Love Notions (C) 2018  |  Designed by Gillian Sarah