Why go on a retreat or workshop?
From my own experience having attending numerous workshops, and then going on designated retreats, I know taking time out from the ‘real world’ to focus on something that’s just for you can appear indulgent, but it is a great opportunity to meet like minded people and have a break from routine and the hustle and bustle of everyday life. And boy do most of us need to do that!
Who goes on a workshop?
Before I went on my first sewing retreat I felt quite anxious about meeting a whole load of new people who I had convinced myself were far better sewers than me, and I admit to having a preconceived idea of who else I would be sharing my week away with.
Were they going to notice how awful my stitching was, and how inexperienced I was at sewing? Would anyone actually like me enough to want to share a table with me for several days? Would they all know each other and ignore me? Were they already expert sewers? Eek. Big Girl Pants time!
I couldn’t have been more wrong because everyone that went on my first retreat/workshop was exactly the same as me but had all gone along for very different reasons. Some to meet others, some to learn new skills, and some to get away from technology, kids or work. Most of us wanted to do all of those things! The best thing to come out of that first foray into a retreat was that I have made several friends for life. People who I would never have met before in my everyday mad whirl of a life and I would have really missed out if we had never met. We meet for coffee (and cake of course!) and meals out when we are near enough to each other, we keep in contact via WhatsApp, email and phone, we support one another through life’s ups and downs, and most of that group went on another retreat away together recently because they enjoyed each other’s company so much.
I don’t think that there is not a certain ‘type’ that goes on these events just people who want to take some time out and meet new people whilst learning some new skills. Yes there are creative types who have lots of experience, but they usually just want to share that with others, but you also get complete novices who go along because they are just fed up with the daily grind and want something that is going to help them break their routine, even if it’s just for a few days. Others want to re balance and build self-confidence, and in some cases some people simply want to rediscover a love of sewing.
This worked for me as I came home having had no phone signal, no emails and no dramas, as a much happier and rested individual who possibly was nicer to know. Well possibly……….
What should you expect?
Well on the whole you can expect to have a great time and want to go again!
If a workshop or retreat is well organised you will likely get to stay in a stunning venue and have all your needs catered for you. You will be provided with equipment and meet a great tutor who wants to help you develop and share their skills and knowledge.
Obviously you will get cake! I mean we are talking sewing here….
Before you go you should get a breakdown of your itinerary and what you need to bring with you so that you are prepared. Some, like ours, will set up a Facebook group so that you can connect and ask questions even before you get there!
This is your opportunity to ask all those questions you have wanted to ask and come away with something you are proud of! Every project will be unique because we are all different but the sense of personal achievement is always great.
And afterwards you should be able to ask follow up questions of the organiser and tutor in case you need to finish off at home.
Mostly it is about you having some fun because learning new stuff is fun. But you should also come away relaxed and inspired at the same time! Basically ready to take on the world.
Because of the experience I had we have decided to run our own retreat here in beautiful Falmouth. We are working with Helen of Dot n Cross https://dotncross.com/ to make a Sew Over It Chloe Coat during Falmouth’s Oyster Festival weekend.
Check it out if you fancy giving it a go.