~create a master skirt pattern~ & use it to design your own patterns!
6 Day, 5 Night Retreat on Mackinac Island, Michigan Sunday, April 28th - Thursday, May 3rd, 2023
Are you ready to take your garment sewing to the next level?
This spring, we’ll begin by drafting a master knit skirt. Focus, in depth, on the details and getting the fit to hit that sweet, magical, just-right spot.
A master pattern is much like a core pattern, which you know I love to use as a foundation to create the garments of my dreams. But it’s made completely from your measurements and is fine tuned to you, from the beginning.
Once you know something is going to fit you, and fit you well, then playing with the style is just that…play!
And as knit fabrics are so variable…particularly when it comes to stretch..we’ll draft two blocks to work well with different stretch percentages.
Pattern drafting is uniquely suited for both new and experienced garment sewists alike.
New clothing makers will learn from the ground up and while constructing the muslin and fine tuning the fit, will find they have become garment makers!
Experienced garment sewists will have the opportunity to learn how to draft from scratch and in learning how to manipulate the pattern will have so much more knowledge on how things fit and how to alter a pattern, anyone’s pattern, in the future.
To join us though, you will need to be able to confidently use your sewing machine.
This retreat is full of space.
Space to learn and take your time doing things well.
how to draft knit blocks, working with different stretch percentages and from that draft sewing patterns
a great deal about fitting
tips for working with knit fabrics
how to manipulate a flat pattern into designs that work on a 3 dimensional body! (in fact, you’ll go home with samples you made in small scale!)
how to allow the process to unfold, one step at a time and allow yourself room to experiment and change your mind
And that’s during class time!
Outside of class time, we’ll meet in the mornings for our sacred morning circle, after class for some well-needed movement and gather for dinner or a soak in the spa pool or a bike ride around the island!
You’ll leave with new friends, a sense of ease, two knit block patterns, samples of how to draft new designs and a skirt that you dreamed up, drafted and sewed!
She goes above expectations making everyone feel special and creating a wonderful connection between participants. She even provided special gifts to all of us that participated.
Her skills go far beyond the finished product and include troubleshooting your machine and making sure you have the right fit for your pattern and showing us the possible modifications to meet our individual styles.
Carol JohnsonFall 2019 & 2021 Retreats
The retreat was a great experience. Tina had a way of making me feel very part of the group. I loved how she got so excited about everything.
I came expecting to hang out with people with same interests and spending time with my daughter.
I left very happy having met wonderful sewers, learning new sewing ideas and so delighted that I was able to experience the sewing retreat.
It was a perfect balance of sewing time, group time and down time.
MaryFall 2021 Retreat
I went with the expectation of sewing a couple of dresses, spending some special time with my mom and feeling refreshed after having a break from my everyday responsibilities.
All of those expectations were met along with a better understanding of how to fit a pattern to my body, having a great experience with a group of wonderful ladies (I especially liked the sharing in our morning group talks), getting to experience Mackinac Island and having a more positive view of my body.
Tina VanDenburg – Sewing Instructor and Your Host!
I have been sewing my own clothing for over 18 years. As a soul who likes to know how things work, 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, I bet you do too. I love how comfortable and freeing knit fabrics are. And so, my primary focus as a teacher is on making garments you love out of knit fabrics.
I’m passionate about knowing 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 pattern drafting is a huge piece of that journey for me.
I want to share that with you! It’s easier than you think.
Adrienne Wood – Qoya Instructor
Adrienne Wood earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Kalamazoo College, studied feminist theology at the Pacific School of Religion, and was awarded certificates as a nutritionist from the Nutritional Therapy Association and a Qoya instructor from Rochelle Schieck.
She founded Soil and Sunshine Wellness to weave together science and spirituality for body-positive weight-loss and wellness. In her work as a nutritionist and Qoya instructor, she helps women celebrate who they are, love their bodies, and honor their desires for more joy and less weight. Connect with her at soilandsunshine.com/qoya
Registration for the retreat is $975. Book now and get $100 off – Pay just $875 until February 25th!
Registration costs includes:
expert instruction in pattern drafting, creating sewing patterns, sewing knits, and fitting garments to your body
materials for practicing drafting and finalizing your blocks
studio time to work on your projects and to experiment
Movement classes and Mindfulness activities
sweet little surprises
secret evening activity
closing celebration lunch on Friday
coffee, tea and snacks during the day
At time of sign-up you can either pay in full or put down a $250 non-refundable deposit, with the balance due on March 27th, 2024.
Materials, travel, meals and lodging are not included.
See below for detailed options.
The cliff notes… Lodging – $94.00 per night for a single historic room (this is an incredible deal, not only for Mackinac Island, but for anywhere!) Meals – breakfast at the hotel starts around $12, you can also get lunch at the hotel burrito bar and we’ll plan to order dinner in as a group, choosing a different restaurant each night. (if you choose to join!)
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?
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. And as I mentioned, the hospitality is exceptional.
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 $149.00 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.
Breakfast and Lunch are available in the hotel at Amigo Burrito Cafe; an informal Mexican grill serving made-to-order burritos, tacos, quesadillas and salads with fresh ingredients a la carte. 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 1 1/2 hour lunch break, so feel free to partake at the hotel or venture out.
Dinner – We will choose a different dinner location nightly from what the Island has to offer. Join us as you wish.
The celebration brunch on Friday is included in the cost of registration.
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, Michigan. The ferry costs approximately $30 round trip with an additional $15 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, just across the street from the ferry docks.
And yes, the Murray Hotel makes it really simple to bring your sewing machine. Once you arrive at the ferry, you will check your machine (if you’d like) and tag it for the Murray Hotel. The next time you see your things they will be tucked in our downstairs studio!
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.
Sunday 4 pm check-in to the hotel 5:30 pm – optional dinner as a group from a restaurant on the Island 7-8:30 pm – Everyone – Welcome Ceremony! (this time is somewhat fluid depending on how long dinner takes)
Monday 8:30 am- Mindfulness Circle (in the Garden Room) 9-noon – Class Time (drafting the skirt blocks) noon-1:30pm – Lunch and free time 1:30-4:30 pm – Class Time (fitting the skirt blocks) 4:30-5:15 pm – Movement Class! 6:00-7:30 pm – Dinner (if desired; as a group at a restaurant on the Island)
Tuesday 8:30-9:00 am – Mindfulness Circle (in the Garden Room) 9-noon – Class Time (how to create patterns and planning your design) noon-1:30pm – Lunch and free time 1:30-4:30 pm – Class Time (drafting and sewing samples) 4:30-5:15 pm – Movement Class! 6:00-7:30 pm – Dinner (if desired; as a group at a restaurant on the Island)
Wednesday 8:30 am- Mindfulness Circle (in the Garden Room) 9-noon – Class Time (work on drafting your skirt pattern) 12:00 – 1:15 pm – Movement Class! Free afternoon and evening, the studio will be open and you are welcome to sew…but you may just want to go exploring!
Thursday 8:30 am- Mindfulness Circle (in the Garden Room) 9-noon – Class Time (work on your skirt pattern) noon-1:30pm – Lunch and free time 1:30-4:30 pm – Class Time (work on your skirt) 4:30-5:15 pm – Movement Class! 6:00-7:00 pm – Ordering dinner together and evening surprise!
Friday 9-11 am– Studio Time & Clean up 11:30 – 1:30pm – CELEBRATION BRUNCH and CLOSING CIRCLE
Check out and departure. (of course, you can always book an extra night and spend some more time exploring the island!)
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 reserve one.
chalk marker to mark fabric (I like this one). It’s useful to have both a light and dark color.
Sewing machine needles – ballpoint or jersey
All-purpose thread to match your fabric and to contrast your mock up fabric (a knit fabric)
Fabric requirements as far as yardage and notions will be dependent on your projects. We’ll meet online a month before the retreat to talk about fabric details. I will ask you to bring knit mock up fabric with two different stretch percentages and fabric for your final skirt (or two)
*Fabric should be pre-washed and dried (in the same manner that you plan to wash your handmade garment) to reduce or eliminate shrinkage.
pattern paper – I like to use medical exam paper (yes, like what your doctor uses on the exam table) I have several extra rolls that I can bring to sell for $6 each. Let me know if you’d like one.
french curve or hip curve
I will provide tag board to transfer your final block patterns onto, the use of a pattern notcher (but you may want your own), extra drafting paper, small scale patterns and fabric to make samples.
I always have extra tools in case you forget anything.
Supplies for Planning and Sketching
a computer printout of you in form-fitting clothes, facing the cameria…used to make a custom croquis or your body outline so we can plan your designs. Your picture can be any size but I would suggest that you are at least 4/5 inches tall!
a notebook or paper to plan and sketch in
Others things to consider bringing…
comfortable clothes for the movement class (although I wear my daytime clothes)
bathing suit for the spa pool!
bike, helmet and bike lock
day backpack for hikes/bike rides
Spring and Fall 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).
All event participants agree to take measures to reduce their risk of exposure to COVID-19 and follow all CDC guidelines prior to the event start date.
All event participants must self-monitor that they have not experienced any COVID-19 symptoms or knowingly been exposed to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 in the 7 days prior to the event start date.
Following CDC guidelines, at this time, physical distancing and mask wearing is not required at this retreat.
Early Bird pricing is available until February 25th. After the 25th the regular registration cost $975.
Registration closes on March 27th.
Cost of registration – $875 Early Bird pricing
$250 non-refundable deposit holds your spot, with the balance due on 4/1/2024.
Registration includes all instruction, studio time, materials for learning to draft patterns, a sweet gift just for you, coffee/tea and snacks during the day, celebration lunch on Friday, movement and mindfulness activities, secret evening activity and other surprises!
Materials, travel, meals and lodging are not included
This is a five-night, six-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 March 27th, 2024, 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 March 27th, 2024. 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.