I'm sad to say that all retreats for 2020 have been canceled, but as an odd form of torture, you can read about what would have been and get an idea of what the October 2021 retreat might be like!

Dressmaking with knits
Make the Pattern and the Fabric your own!

Mackinac Island, Michigan

Fitting a Pattern
Designing & Altering a Pattern
Block Printing on Fabric
Sewing with Knits

5 Day, 4 Night Retreat

Sunday, Oct 11th - Thursday, October 15th, 2020

The view from the ferry dock on Mackinac Island!

Have you always wanted to make your clothes truly your own.  Your own style, your own size and…gasp…your own fabric design!  Now’s your chance.

Or maybe you know how to sew a thing or two but you’re ready to get into sewing clothes for the first time?  (really?, you ask…yes, I say!)

Have you been dreaming of clothes that you want to wear, but that you can’t find? 

Maybe you’re just ready to learn some new skills, skills that make you feel like a super hero, and take some much needed time for self-care?

Or perhaps you want to take some time to be.  Be mindful. Be on a Island!

Be in connection with yourself and other makers.  Be intentional with what you wear. 

Be in the flow.  Be on a bike! Be. Just be.

Yeah, I get that.

You’ve come to the right place.

In this intimate retreat, only 10 spots, you’ll learn to fit a knit sewing pattern to your body, carve and print with a block that you create and then take those great fitting pattern pieces and turn them into something new…that dress you’ve been dreaming of, with fabric you printed. 

(ready to book now? Scroll right to the end!)


Here’s what you can expect…

You’ll fit a sewing pattern for a simple knit dress to your unique body and sew up a lovely garment.

Then, we’ll design and carve a block and print your design onto your fabric.  The fabric you’ll use for your second dress. 

That second dress (the second one) – you’ll take that same perfectly-fitting pattern and alter it to design and sew another dress, one you’re dreaming of.

Feeling intimated by the thought of drumming up some designs – both for the block and for the second dress?  Don’t worry for a minute.  Not only will I send you some inspiration before the retreat, but we’ll take time to plan and dream at the retreat with lots of examples to draw from.

Yes.  It’s pattern drafting, but from a block that’s ready and fitted to your body!

You’ll leave with a knit dress pattern and dress (similar to this one), a hand-carved block to print with and another dress and pattern to match.

When we’re not dreaming up lovely clothes, sewing and designing, we’ll be lounging in the spa pool, doing yoga and meditation, hiking, bike riding (while avoiding horse hooves), immersed in deep conversation, taking meals together, and connecting! 


Got questions?

Do I have to know a lot about sewing to come or to feel comfortable?
While beginner level sewing experience is required, no pattern drafting experience necessary.  That means, if you’ve used a sewing machine and can sew a thing or two…you’re good to go.

A little nervous about altering pattern to be your own?
Have no fear, I’ll break down into easy steps.  And make it doable and fun.

Have some altering/drafting experience already?
Perfect, immerse yourself in a dedicated space for creativity!

Do I need to lug my sewing machine along?
Yes.  However, no lugging required.  Once you arrive on the island, the hotel has porters who will haul your luggage (including your machine) to the hotel…via bike!  Really.  I’m not kidding. 
Coming from afar?  I have a couple of basic machines for lending (no fee).  Just let me know!

You probably have lots more questions…all the details are below!  If you don’t find the answer to your concerns, or you just want to talk with someone who’s as excited as you, feel very, very free to contact me at Tina@kinshiphandwork.com

This could be you, the one with a big smile!

All the Details

I have been sewing my own clothing for over a dozen years.  As a lover of learning, I dove in deep and learned early on how to draft my own patterns and how to get really nerdy on fiber content and great fit.  I live in knit fabrics. And so, I teach about knit fabrics, primarily.

I’m passionate about getting to know what you love to wear so that you can use clothing as a way to show up in the world fully lit up. 

Great fit and altering patterns is a huge piece of that journey for me. 

I want to share that with you!  It’s easier than you think.

The Block Printed day will be taught by another artist.  Details to come.

Early Bird Registration is $595.  

Early Bird Registration Ends February 20th and then the price is $665.

Registration costs includes:

  • expert instruction in sewing with knits, fitting knits and pattern alterations as well as printing on fabric, carving a block and repeating patterns
  • materials to carve the block and ink to print on your fabric
  • studio time to work on your projects and to experiment
  • yoga/meditation
  • sweet little surprises
  • extra activities: evening events and group hikes/bike rides
  • Closing Celebration Lunch
  • coffee, tea and snacks during the day

Travel, meals and lodging are extra. See below for detailed options.   

The cliffnotes
Lodging –  $79.99 per night  (this is an incredible deal, not only for Mackinac Island, but for anywhere!) 
Meals – breakfast at the hotel $9.99, lunch at the hotel burrito bar and dinner out locally as a group. (if you choose)

See Lodging & Meals for more detailed information.

We’ll be staying at the historic Murray Hotel on Mackinac Island. The Murray Hotel is a quiet, family owned hotel built in the late 1800’s and is located right downtown. I’ve had the pleasure of staying at the Murray Hotel several times and can attest that their hospitality and warmth is unparalleled. We will be using the Gallery room for sewing/making and gathering. The hotel also has an inviting, spa pool in a cozy, private courtyard open to the sky. Did I mention they make their own fudge and you can buy it in the lobby?

Spa Pool

Mackinac Island is a small island located between Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas. The Island has a lot of interesting history, which is preserved in its state parks. The Island has a small, robust downtown with restaurants, shops and bars and also sports 70 miles of trails for biking and walking. You can circumnavigate the Island on bike in about an hour (8.3 miles). Cars are not permitted on Mackinac Island, so you are going back in time where the main means of transportation are bicycles and horse-drawn carriages. A ferry boat must be taken to reach Mackinac Island.


We have a block of historic rooms held for our retreat. In order to take advantage of the special room rates below, when booking your room for the retreat, ask for the Kinship Retreats rooms.  The historic rooms are cozy (small!) but very comfortable.

Contact the Murray Hotel to reserve your room. – www.mymurrayhotel.com phone (855) 696-8772

Historic One Bed Room rate $79.99 per night.

Historic room with one queen bed and a standard view. Historic rooms are the original rooms from the 1880’s and have a smaller bathroom with just a standing shower and toilet. There is a sink with a glass shelf above in the bedroom.

Historic Two Bed Room rate $134.99 per night.

Historic room with two queen beds and a standard view. Historic rooms are the original rooms from the 1880’s and have a small bathroom with just a shower stall and toilet. There is a small sink with a glass shelf above in the bedroom.

*Deluxe room upgrades are $50 per night per availability.  Deluxe rooms are larger with a full bathroom.  

Contact the Murray Hotel to reserve your room. – www.mymurrayhotel.com phone (855) 696-8772


Breakfast and Lunch are available in the hotel. There is a breakfast buffet for a special guest rate of $8.99 plus tax and lunch at Amigo Burrito Cafe; an informal Mexican grill serving made-to-order burritos, tacos, quesadillas and salads with fresh ingredients a la carte. Burritos start at $8.99 plus tax. Click the link for menus.

There is also a market just a few doors down.  Doud’s Market is America’s oldest family-operated grocery store!

There will be a 2 hour lunch break, so feel free to partake with the group at the hotel or venture out.

Dinner – We will choose a different dinner location nightly from what the Island has to offer. Join as you wish.

Snacks and coffee/tea and water will be provided during class time. 


You will need to catch a ferry to the Island from either Mackinaw City or St Ignace. The ferry costs approximately $25 round trip with an additional $11 for a bike. (you can also rent bikes on the Island) If bringing a bike, remember to bring a bike lock. I enjoy having a bike while on the Island, but it’s not necessary, as the downtown is small and the hotel is located downtown.
Information on getting a ferry.

Links to two of the ferry companies…Starline and Shepler’s Ferry

Once you arrive, the Murray Hotel will have porters that meet the ferry and transport your luggage and equipment to the hotel. (whew…you don’t have to lug your sewing machine down the streets!) The hotel is only a block or two from the ferry docks.


3pm – check in the hotel and optional group bike ride or walk (weather dependent)
5:30 pm – optional group dinner on the Island
7-8 pm – Everyone – Welcome Ceremony!

Monday – Wednesday

8-8:45am – Breakfast
8:45am- Meditation and Mindfulness Journey (optional!)
9-noon – Class Time 
noon-1:30pm – Lunch and free time (for those interested, we’ll order a picnic lunch and either walk or bike ride on the island)
1:30-4:30pm – Class Time
4:30-5:30pm – (Mon) Yoga  (Tues) free time  (Wed) special surprise
6:00-7:30pm – Dinner (if desired; as a group at a restaurant on the Island)
7:30 – 8:30pm – (Mon) Handstitch a love label for your garments  (Tues) Film and Discussion  (Wed) free evening


8-8:45am – Breakfast
8:45am- Meditation and Mindfulness Journey (optional!)
9-12:30 – Class Time
12:30 – 1:30pm – Celebration Lunch & group photos and closing circle
Checkout and depart

* Subject to change!

Supplies for sewing muslin and dress/garments

  • Your sewing machine with cords, foot pedal, owner’s manual and presser feet…We have a couple of extra, basic sewing machines that we can provide those coming from afar, let me know if you’d like one.
  • Basic sewing kit: fabric scissors, pins & cushion, flexible tape measure, seam ripper, tailor’s chalk
  • bobbins
  • Sewing machine needles – ballpoint or jersey
  • 2-3 yards knit fabric *fabric for first garment* (depending on desired dress + sleeve lengths)
  • 2-3 yards knit fabric *fabric for second garment* (depending on desired dress + sleeve lengths) {if you are feeling very ambitious, feel free to bring extra fabric for additional projects…there may not be enough time, but if there is, there is no where on the island to buy fabric)
  • 2-3 yards knit muslin fabric – this can be any knit that behaves similarly to your final fabric (any questions on fabric…feel free to reach out)
  • All-purpose thread to match dress fabrics and for sewing muslin

*Fabric should ideally be pre-washed and dried (as you will want to wash your handmade garment) to reduce or eliminate shrinkage.

Supplies for pattern drafting

  • 18″ see through ruler
  • Pen and pencil, sharpener, eraser
  • notebook
  • clear tape
  • paper scissors
  • (Optional) Hip curve or French curve

Others things to consider bringing…

  • bathing suit for the spa pool!
  • bike, helmet and bike lock
  • day backpack for hikes/bike rides
  • October in Michigan can swing between warm (mid 60’s) and cold (mid 30’s)…bring warm layers and a jacket (and maybe a light hat for hikes).




(does not include lodging or meals)

To register for the retreat, fill out the form below and pay the non-refundable $200 deposit. The balance of the retreat cost is due by July 31st. After July 31st, the entire balance is due upon registering. If you have any questions, before or after registering…please feel free to contact me at tina@kinshiphandwork.com

Choose your Registration


This is a four-night, five-day retreat and we are not able to offer any partial attendance. Thank you for your understanding.

*Cancellation Policy: Once paid, deposits are non-refundable. While there are no refunds on the rest of the retreat cost after July 31st, 2020, you can find another to take your place. We’ll do our best to help in this process. There are no exceptions. All requests for refunds must be received in writing before July 31st, 2020. In the case of acts of nature, disaster or unforeseen circumstances, Kinship Handwork reserves the right to reschedule or cancel this workshop. If Kinship Handwork cancels the workshop, all money paid will be returned.