Sewing Retreat – Making a Coat Falmouth 11th -13th October 2019 £330 per person

From: £330.00


Making a Coat – Sewing Retreat in beautiful Falmouth 11th – 13th October 2019

This is the ideal opportunity to take some time out for you and focus on sewing, chatting and relaxing in beautiful Falmouth in Cornwall. This retreat coincides with the famous Falmouth Oyster Festival so in the evenings and on Sunday you can go enjoy sampling all the food from top chefs and singing along to the sea shanties on the quay. Come with friends, partners, or come on your own and enjoy meeting like minded people for a great weekend.

This retreat is aimed at people who want to be able to focus on making a larger project and learn new techniques and skills from our amazing tutor who has 10 years’ experience of working in the fashion industry for people like Victoria Beckham and Mary Katrantzou.

The coat you will be making is the Sew Over It Chloe coat which is one of the easier coats to construct. You will learn all about the process of making a coat, how to line it, fit the garment properly, and leave us with something that you can wear again and again.

The accommodation for this course is in a stunning boutique Bed and Breakfast which is close to the beaches and the town, perfect for both the sewing room and for getting out and about in Falmouth. Price includes accommodation for 2 nights, a full breakfast on Saturday and Sunday, refreshments and a light lunch Saturday and Sunday, plus afternoon tea on Saturday at the lovely Greenbank Hotel which is just a short walk from the sewing room and shop.

Tell me more:

In this 3 day course you will learn how to make a coat. We will be using the very popular Chloe Coat pattern from Sew Over It. This is a classic coat with simple details, perfect for your first foray into coat making. The Chloe Coat has a rounded neck, an optional detachable scarf, and fastens with an open ended zip. It is designed to have a semi loose fitting shape, and is shaped at the front with a long cut away dart. It looks great over casual and dressy outfits alike, and can be made in heavy wool for winter or lighter weight fabric for spring. You will learn simple tailoring techniques to get a great finish at the shoulders and sleeves, and you will learn how to fully line the garment.

To ensure you get plenty of support, you will be invited to join a private Facebook group for attendees and your tutor. This will be open for 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after the course, so that we can answer any questions you have leading up to the course, and to provide follow on support if you have questions after the course. It also gives you the opportunity to get to know the other attendees and your tutor before you turn up for the course. If you don’t manage to completely finish your coat in the time we have together, we will be on hand for 2 more weeks to guide you through the final stages.

The Schedule for the retreat

11th October Friday 1pm – 6pm – Day 1: arrive at Stitches and Cream for 1pm ready to begin sewing. On the first day you will have a 1:1 with the tutor Helen to discuss your project and ideas and measure your body to identify any alterations or adaptions you may need to make. You can cut out your pattern and fabric ready to sew on Saturday. When we finish at 6pm there will be drinks and nibbles to welcome you to our lovely town.

12th October Saturday 9am – 3pm – Day 2: This day is all about the sewing. You will be able to start to construct your coat with expert help from Helen. A light lunch and refreshments will be provided. At 3.30pm we have booked the Greenbank Hotel for afternoon tea overlooking the lovely Falmouth Harbour and with views across to Flushing. Afterwards your time is your own to explore Falmouth’s wide range of bars and restaurants.

13th October Sunday 10am – 1pm – Day 3: You can progress with sewing your garment and the final fitting. The sewing room will be open from 9 if you want to come in earlier. Refreshments and a light lunch will be provided before you leave. There is a lot going on in the town over the weekend so if you do want to stay please liaise directly with the B&B for any additional accommodation requests.

The techniques you will learn:

  • How to measure yourself and chose which size to make
  • Make a quick toile in calico to check the fit and length
  • Make any pattern alterations to the paper pattern
  • Learn to cut correctly
  • Setting in sleeves
  • Tailoring the sleeve heads for a professional finish
  • Attaching lined patch pockets
  • Constructing a zip placket closure with an open ended zip
  • How to fully line a garment
  • Pressing techniques to finish off the coat

Skill Level:

This retreat is designed for intermediate level sewers. To really benefit from attending this retreat you will need to be able to use a sewing machine and have some basic and recent dressmaking experience using commercial patterns and inserting a zip. . You will have experience making tops and dresses, and are now ready to take a shot at more complicated garments, like trousers and outerwear.

We can provide more detailed advice if you make contact with us in advance on the Facebook support group and we can offer ongoing support when you leave to help you finish your project.

What’s included in the price?

  • The Sew Over It Chloe pattern UK sizes 8-20 which you can take home and use again
  • Use of all our equipment including brand new sewing machines
  • Calico to make your toile
  • The use of all our brand-new Janome sewing machines and all the sewing equipment you will need
  • An experienced tutor who will help you every step if the way to help you achieve a great fitting garment.
  • A glass of fizz and nibbles on Friday at 6pm
  • Accommodation for Friday and Saturday evening with full breakfast – the cost is per room so if a partner would like to join you there is no additional charge for accommodation
  • Refreshments and a light lunch Saturday and Sunday
  • Afternoon Tea at the Greenbank Hotel
  • 10% discount on any purchases in the shop during the retreat. 

What do you need to bring?

  • Fabrics and notions are not included in the price –Your fabric choice will need to be a minimum of 140cm wide to accommodate the pattern. See fabric requirements below

There will be a wide selection of gorgeous fabrics to buy at the start of the class from Stitches & Cream. You will receive a discount of 10% on fabrics that you buy for the course.

  • 22 inch open ended zip to match your fabric/ or 5/6 press studs if you prefer to close the coat with poppers
  • Matching thread
  • Tailoring interfacing
  • 2 pieces of Ice Wool or wadding for the shoulders (we will have some in stock if you find it difficult to source) 10cm x 23cm

Fabric suggestions:

Medium to heavy weight fabrics, such as tweed, boucle, viscose linen, melton, jacquard or boiled wool. If you are new to making coats, we would recommend avoiding fabrics with a loose weave (such as boucle) as they fray easily, making the sewing more difficult.

For the lining, it is recommended to have something that is quite silky/shiney, to make it easy to get off and on, such as satin, rayon, acetate, viscose or polyester, or silk if you are feeling fancy!

Fabric quantities:

Please note, your fabric will need to be at least 140cm wide to accommodate the width of the pattern. Please double check this before buying. If you are making version 2 (with the detachable scarf) you will need 30cm more of your main fabric and 3 x 1cm buttons.


Fabric 140cm wide:

Sizes 8-10 = 2.4m

Sizes 12 = 2.6m

Sizes 14-16 = 2.7m

Sizes 18-20 = 2.9m

Fabric 150cm wide:

Sizes 8-10 = 2.2m

Sizes 12 = 2.6m

Sizes 14-16 = 2.7m

Sizes 18-20 = 2.8m


Fabric 115cm wide:

Sizes 8-10 = 2m

Sizes 12-14 = 2.4m

Sizes 16 = 2.5m

Sizes 18-20 = 2.7m

Fabric 140cm wide:

Sizes 8-12 = 1.7m

Sizes 14-16 = 1.8m

Sizes 18-20 = 2m


Fabric 140cm wide:

Sizes 8-10 = 1.2m

Sizes 12-20 = 1.5m

We usually recommend that you pre-wash your main and lining fabrics before making a garment (do not wash the interfacing), so that you know the shrinking is done before you sew a garment. However, as coats are often dry cleaned rather than washed in the washing machine, you may not chose to do this. Boiled wools are already shrunk due to their manufacture. If in doubt, speak to the shop you buy the fabric from to get their advice, or give us a ring.

If you have any questions about how much fabric you’ll need, come into the shop or email us and we’ll be able to assist you.


It is advised to carefully check your diary before booking a retreat as bookings are non-refundable and non-transferable to other dates. You can chose to gift the retreat to a friend, but you are responsible for finding someone to send in your place. We have to have this policy in place to ensure the ongoing viability of these courses.

About your tutor:

Helen is a pattern cutter by trade and has worked in the fashion industry for 10 years. She has cut patterns for several high-end designers’ brands, including Victoria Beckham, Mary Katrantzou and Karen Millen. She loves sharing her knowledge from her years of experience to help people on their sewing journey and to understand how to fit your ‘memade’ items to suit your body shape and learn some of technical skills needed to achieve the perfect fit.

About Stitches and Cream:

Stitches and Cream is a lovely friendly family run sewing and yarn shop in the Old High Street of Falmouth in Cornwall. The two sisters, Sandra and Jane, opened their shop to share their love of sewing, knitting and all things stitch with others. They source contemporary and beautiful dressmaking fabrics, haberdashery, patterns and natural yarns for their customers and are focussed on supporting other local small businesses and sourcing local suppliers of yarn, crafts and kits.

Their workshop area is bright and friendly, and they offer a wide range of expert led workshops from beginner to more advanced levels of sewing, knitting and crochet. The classes are kept small a to ensure that all participants get individual attention and can ask loads of questions to help them develop and improve.

About your accommodation:

Ivanhoe Guest House provides relaxing bed and breakfast accommodation in a clean and comfortable environment and provides a high standard of service which you can expect throughout your stay. There are 5 bedrooms which include 2 doubles, one family room, 1 twin room, and a single room all with ensuite bathrooms. A delicious homemade breakfast is included in the price of your stay.

The cost of the course includes the price of the full room single occupancy so if a non-sewing partner or friend wants to join you to explore Falmouth whilst you sew, they can! If you would like the single room, or to share with another participant, you will be offered a £25 discount on the full price of the course. (£300 per person)

This is the perfect place to unwind after a day sewing and guests can use the light and comfortable lounge and there is free WiFi access throughout the house.

Please let us know your preference for rooms at booking.

Falmouth Oyster Festival:

Falmouth’s Events Square will again play host to one of Cornwall’s biggest and best loved specialist food festivals, Falmouth Oyster Festival, from Thursday October 10 – Sunday October 13. The annual festivities celebrate the start of the oyster dredging season, the native Fal Oyster and the diversity of Cornish seafood, with four days of feasting, cooking demos, live music, food and craft stalls.

Daily cookery demonstrations are held during the festival by top chefs and food experts from Cornwall’s hotels and restaurants, inspiring visitors to try their hand at unusual and exciting seafood combinations and indulge in the tastes of native oysters, wines, ales and local produce. The programme includes live music, Cornish food produce, arts and crafts, real ale and wine bars, oyster and seafood bars, Working Boat race, Grand Oyster Parade, shucking competition and a Grand Oyster Draw

Cost: £330 (single room or sharing) – £350 (Single occupancy room)