Catskills Sewing Retreats

  • About
  • Schedule & Sign up
  • What's included
  • Tentative Schedule
  • Getting There
  • Photos
  • What to Bring

You're invited for a long weekend of sewingrelaxing, & making some new friends who love sewing & creating as much as you do!

Unwind from the daily grind of normal life & take some time for yourself to work on all the unfinished sewing projects you've been meaning to tackle. You'll have almost 72 hours of uninterrupted sewing & ME time! 

Where Retreat is Taking Place:
The sewing retreat will be taking place in an adorable chalet style home that is set on 4 acres of land in the Western Catskills town of Harpersfield NY approximately 1 hour from Albany, NY/3 hours from New York City.

The house has 4 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms. The house has a large open space for sewing on the first floor where we'll also eat some of our meals. It also has a giant great room on the second floor with a fireplace. 

We'd like to keep the group intimate so the retreat will be open to a maximum of 6-8 guests.

Pricing:
1 Spot Double Occupancy $375 - Sharing a Bedroom  

1 Spot Single Occupancy  $600 - Private Bedroom

Bring a Friend - Double Occupancy $305 additional ($70 savings) - Sharing a Bedroom 

If you are not signing up with a friend but requesting double occupancy, we'll find you a roommate.

If you are signing up with a friend, please follow up via email with friends full name & email address of second person so we can add them to the retreat roster.

"It was great to meet up beforehand especially since it was the first one! I enjoyed the laid back nature of activities, location was beautiful, I liked that you had the different types of fabric. That Megan and Lauren (instructors on the retreat) were available for questions / support was of the greatest value to me. I think encouraging retreat participants to challenge themselves with skills they don't know is ideal. I certainly was a bit nervous about embarking on pants on my own and know I would have gotten frustrated had I not had the support of the instructors there."

"Both instructors were very helpful & really nice people!!  I just wish I got further along w one of my projects (no ones fault but my own) wish I was more motivated to get help on certain things. So sweet & thoughtful of Megan to give necklaces & cards. I loved the retreat & I'm so glad that I went!!!"

"Amazing location and it definitely fostered a nice sense of community and relaxation."

"Just finished a fun/productive sewing retreat in the Catskills. Megan was so patient and helpful. I finished several projects (bags, dress, fixed shirt, and cut out a tunic). The accomodations were great, very comfortable. I'm planning on returning next year.   P.S. loved the butternut squash pizza."

Pattern Drafting

  • About & Pricing
  • Photos
  • Testimonials

Learn the fine art of flat pattern drafting in one of our upcoming 4 hour workshops.

Join us for Skirt Drafting where you'll learn how to draft the perfect customized skirt based on your exact body measurements.

Or join us for Bodice Drafting where you'll learn how to draft the perfect customized top or jacket based on your exact body measurements.


This course will include a thorough understanding of skirt or bodice flat pattern construction, dart creation & construction, as well as simple adjustments that can be made to your patterns to add design elements to your sewing projects.

You'll leave the class with basic fitted skirt or bodice pattern that you can use over and over again to design & create your very own tailored skirts, shirts, dresses and/or jackets.  We will provide instructions that outline the step-by-step process creating patterns for a perfectly fitting customized skirt of bodice.

Use code draft20percent at checkout get discount when you sign up for both workshops.

Please note: Discount does not apply when only purchasing one workshop. If used, you'll be required to pay difference at the time of your workshop.


Please note: There is minimal sewing in this course. This is an instructional class where we'll be creating customized paper patterns during each class time. Each student is encouraged to participate in Sew Club to create muslins of each of the patterns that you create in class and really customize your fit properly.

Sew Club

  • About
  • Schedule
  • Rules of Sew Club

Sewing Dresses Boot Camp

  • About
  • Schedule & Sign Up
  • Sew Club & More
  • Supplies

Learn all the basics of sewing beautiful dresses that fit you in six weeks!

Students will focus on learning basic sewing skills to create 2-3 gorgeous dresses that actually fit your body. We've designed a 15 hour sewing class that will take your skills to the next level.  This is a sewing course is designed for the sewing student who's had some basic experience.

As with all our sewing classes, all students work at their own pace and focus on learning new skills based on the skills they come to class with.

Projects in this Class:

Please note: The number of projects you complete in the class will depend on how much experience you come to class with, how much work you do at home and in Sew Club & the pace that you work.

Small, Personal Classes | There are only 6 spots per session.

Part 1:

  • Taking your own body measurements.
  • Review of Seam Allowance and why is it important?
  • Review of threading & operating the sewing machine.
  • Learning basic clothing construction.
  • How to read a sewing pattern.

Part 2:

  • Which patterns are right for me?
  • What adjustments do I need to make?
  • How do I take things in and let them out.
  • How can I make this fit better?


Cost of 15 Hour Workshop: $329

Mobile Kids Sewing Classes @ Local Schools

M Avery Designs Kids After School Sewing Program is in many schools in the Jersey City, Weehawken and Hoboken Area.

We currently offer kids mobile sewing classes in the following locations.

Please contact the location directly about enrolling. 

If you’d like to inquire about getting an enrichment program started at your school, please contact us directly.

Hoboken Charter School – Hoboken NJ

The French American Academy – Jersey City NJ

HOLA Middle School – Hoboken NJ

HOLA Elementary School – Hoboken NJ

Step by Step Day Care – Hoboken NJ

Stevens Cooperative School Hoboken Campus – Hoboken NJ

Stevens Cooperative School Newport Campus – Jersey City NJ

Three Little Birds Learning Center – West Side Ave. Location – Jersey City NJ

The Ethical Community Charter School – Jersey City NJ

St. Francis Academy – Union City NJ

Roosevelt Elementary School – Weehawken NJ

Daniel Webster Elementary School – Weehawken NJ

Stitch ‘n Sip Sewing Class

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Come get creative and learn to make a cool, new project. No sewing experience required. 

You’ll be sure to improve your sewing skills as well as make some new sewing friends! Join us, won’t you? We suspect this sewing class ritual will become habit once you see what an awesome way this is to unwind after the work week. Grab your favorite beverage & snack and head to the studio.  All you have to do is show up. The supplies for the featured project are included in the price!

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$40 | Drop in Class | Buy

$100 | 3 Class Pack (good for 4 months) | Buy

$150 | 6 Class Pack (good for 8 months) | Buy

The class packs can be used interchangeably with the the Pinterest Fanatic Sewing Class, Sip ‘n Stitch ClassGarment District TourIntro to the Machine/Hem Workshop or the Dress Makers Club.

 

Details
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Upcoming Dates

Fabric 101 – Learn to Identify Different Fabrics

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Everyone who sews absolutely loves fabric!  But how much do we really know about it?

We have added this brand new class to help you all become fabric experts. We’ll help you identify all different kinds of fabric and we’ll help you determine which fabrics are best for which projects. You’ll see up close and personal what each of the fabrics looks like, feels like and the ways to determine the fiber content.

Swatches of each fabric discussed (over 40 different fabrics) will be provided to all students attending the class. And we’ll provide you with a handy take home information sheet including each fabrics properties, how to work with it, how to care for it & little known hints and tips.

Some of the fabrics discussed include naturals (cotton, denim, chintz, chenille, poplin, corduroy, etc) silks (shantung, taffeta, brocade, tulle, etc), manufactured (acetate, acrylic, nylon, polyester, rayon, etc) sustainable (hemp, organic cotton, tencel, etc) & more.

This 2 Hour Class is $20 Per Person |  All Supplies Included

Upcoming Sessions

Monday March 3rd, 2014 6:30-8:30pm | Sign Up

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Spring 2014 Sewing Retreat in the Catskills

A grand time was had by all at the First Ever M Avery Designs Sewing Retreat! You can view our photo album here. And stay tuned for details on our Fall 2014 Sewing Retreat coming soon!

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The very first M Avery Designs Sewing Retreat is finally here and we have found the perfect place to host it.

Join us for a weekend of sewing, crafting, relaxing, enjoying nature & getting to know other people who love to sew. We’ll be offering mini classes and demos all weekend long and you can enjoy them without the interruptions of every day life!

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You’ll also have the opportunity for tons of open sewing time, so bring a project or two that you’ve been meaning to tackle. You’ll have almost 48 hours of uninterrupted sewing time in the wonderful natural setting of the Turqoise Barn Bed & Breakfast, located in Bloomville NY.

The B&B is set on many beautiful acres in the Western Catskills. You’ll have ample time to explore the grounds and commune with nature, if you so choose.

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Date
Friday May 2nd – Sunday May 4th 2014

Location
Turquoise Barn Bed & Breakfast
8052 County Highway 18
Bloomville, NY 13739

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Turquoise Barn is a Green Certified, eco-friendly Bed and Breakfast, Retreat, and Education Center located approximately 3 hours from NYC on an organic farm in the Western Catskills.  The former dairy farm is home to 3 historic buildings which are now the residence, studio, workshop, and gallery (Turquoise Barn) of two artists formerly of East Williamsburg in Brooklyn, NY – Michelle Premura & Michael Milton.

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Living Arrangements
The retreat will be open to only 8 guests. We’d like to keep the group intimate and have the sewing classes and groups remain small. There are are 4 gorgeous rooms at the B&B, each with their very own bathroom equipped with shower so everyone will be  sharing a room.  If you are coming with a friend and want to share a room just let us know when you sign up. Otherwise we’ll assign you a room-mate. Anyone who wishes to have a room all to themselves will  have to purchase 2 spots.

Rosa Room | Mountain & Pond View | Private bath with claw-foot bathtub | King size bed and full-size futon

Moss Room | Mountain & pond view |  Private bath, queen bed and full size futon

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Sunset Room | Mountain & Pond View | Private Bathroom, Queen Bed, two single beds

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Sunrise Room | Mountain & Turquoise Barn View | Private Bath, Queen Bed, two single beds

 

Beds & Rooms are available on a first come first serve basis! Book early to get the bed of your choice!

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What’s included:

  • Sewing demos by Megan & assistant instructor on a variety of topics, with an emphasis on clothing & accessory creation

  • Mini classes throughout the day Saturday & Sunday with topics including garment & accessory construction, sewing tips & tricks, new sewing skills

  • Sewing instructions and guidance throughout the entire weekend on any sewing projects you choose. There will not be more than 8 students. With 2 instructors for the weekend, that’s a 4:1 ratio of student to teacher!

  • Megan’s personalized fitting and sewing help with any garment project you bring along

  • Two nights stay at the beautiful Turquoise Barn B&B

  • Breakfast on Saturday & Sunday

  • Boxed lunch on Saturday & Sunday

  • Additional Refreshments to keep us fortified while sewing

  • An old fashioned good time making beautiful things in a beautiful setting & you might even make a new friend or two

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Vegetarian Breakfast & Lunch on Saturday & Sunday are included in the price. There is a vegetarian kitchen in the house we’ll be staying in so feel free to bring snacks and extra beverages. We’ll be heading into town for a group dinner on Saturday at one of the tasty local restaurants.

The main area of the B&B is big and open and gives us plenty of room for sewing machine tables, design space & cutting room. We recommend that you bring your own sewing machine, but machines can be rented from M Avery Designs for the weekend for the low cost of $20.

We’ve done our best to keep the price very reasonable.

We’ll be offering the low introductory price of $475 per person if you commit  by paying the $225 non-refundable deposit before March 15th, 2014.

All spots for the retreat are now full – Please send us an email if you’d like to get on the waiting list

We’ll follow up with you regarding your room choice as soon as we get your registration.

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Tenative Weekend Schedule

Friday May 2nd:

Arrive anytime between 5 & 8pm
8-12pm Dig right into some Sewing

Saturday May 3rd:

Breakfast 8am
Sewing & Mini Classes 9am-12pm
Lunch 12pm
More Sewing, Mini Classes & Free Time 1-6pm
Dinner 6:30pm
More Sewing & Free time 8pm-Midnight

Sunday May 4th:

Breakfast 8am
Sewing & Mini Classes 9am – 12pm
12pm Check out & Bag Lunch for the Road

Please note: All guests are responsible for getting to & from the B&B for the weekend. We are happy to try to help facilitate ride shares if requested.

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More about the Turquoise B&B

Rustic . . Simplistic. . . Elegance……..Our 3-story 3,000 sq. ft, converted 1800’s Carriage House has large loft-style open spaces with high ceilings, artist designed & renovated with handcrafted furnishings and art throughout the house.Upstairs are four large bedrooms, each equipped with a private bathroom, tastefully designed and decorated, and each with AMAZING views of the sunrise, sunset, moonrise, mountains or pond.

Downstairs has an additional 5th full bathroom, open kitchen (vegetarian), large handcrafted dining table, radiant heat floors, wood stove and back sun porch.

NATURE THERAPY…….Outside are acres of meadows, mountains, wooded areas, organic flower & veggie gardens, a fishing/swimming pond and streams. Fire pit for evening gatherings and open large field for special events. Also on the property are chickens, roosters, ducks, & cats (outdoor only). Hiking in our backyard or up the mountain road and just minutes away from the Catskill Scenic Trail for biking/walking/running/skiing.

Taking the time to relax & create is very good for all of our souls! This M Avery Designs Retreat is designed for anyone who shares a love for creativity, no matter where your skill level lies. Whether you’re a seasoned crafter or have yet to thread a needle, you’re welcome to join us for this weekend of sewing fun & creativity.

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Interested in adding a special activity to your visit?  Turquoise Barn offers a variety of additional services for our guests including:

​♥ Bicycle & snowshoe rentals
♥ Botanical culinary workshops & retreats
♥ Dietary & Lifestyle consultations
♥ Wild edible ID walks & Herbal consultations (seasonal)
♥ Massage
♥ Private or Group Yoga
♥ Reiki
♥ Raindrop Therapy
♥ Aromatherapy
♥ Re-connective Healing (Energy Work)
♥ Intuitive readings

Advance registration required – Contact the Turquoise Barn directly for pricing and availability. info@turquoisebarn.com

Ottoman Cover Tutorial

Need a quick way to refresh your living room without spending big bucks? That is exactly what I was looking for when I decided to recover our well worn ottoman. The old ottoman has been been around about 7 years. It is covered with stains and I am just plain sick of it.

I began scanning upholstery fabrics on fabric.com and found so many that I fell in love with. That’s when I knew this was a must-do project. Sew easy!

Okay so here are the steps to creating your very own cover that can be easily removed for washing.

Step 1: Measure the length, depth and height of your existing ottoman.

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Step 2: Cut your first piece of fabric, the top. This will be the size of the top of the ottoman, but you’ll add 1″ to the length & 1″ to the depth.

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So in my case, my ottoman measured 45 1/2″ long x 27″ wide. So my first piece of fabric measures 46 1/2″ long x 28″ wide.

Step 3: Cut your front & back fabric pieces. Front & back will be the same size and will measure 1″ larger than the length x 3″ larger than the height.

Step 4: Cut your two sides pieces. The two sides pieces will be the same size and will measure 1″ larger than the depth x 3″ larger than the height.

Step 5: With 1/2″ seam allowance and with right sides together, sew the front piece to the longer side of the top piece. Then repeat with the back piece, sewing it to the opposite side.

Step 6: With 1/2″ seam allowance and with right sides together, sew the first side piece to the shorter side of the top piece. Then repeat with the other side piece, sewing it to the opposite side. Quick hint: Leave about 1″ on either side un-sewn, this will help make the corners more symetrical.

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Step 7: With right sides together and using 1/2″ seam allowance, sew the side of the front piece to the side of the side piece. Repeat with the other side of the front piece and the other side piece.

Step 8: With right sides together & using 1/2″ seam allowance, sew the side of the back piece to the side of the side piece. Repeat with the other side of the back piece and the other side piece. Should start to resemble a 3D cube similar in size to your ottoman.

Step 9: Try it on your existing ottoman (after you’ve cleaned and febreezed it) and if it needs to be tighter you can reinforce your existing seams with slightly larger seam allowances.

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Step 10: Fold up the bottom edge of the cover to just above the floor and pin in place all the way around the cover.

Step 10: Sew this hem in place all the way around and you are finished.

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Bye Bye Bell Sleeves – Sewing Tutorial

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I have been putting off altering this dress for a long time. I love it, but just can’t stand the bell sleeves.

I had an extra few minutes (seriously that’s about how long it took) and I thought, let’s do this.

So here are the step by step instructions for how to get rid of the bell sleeves on a top or dress. (It took longer to write this post in WordPress then it did to alter both sleeves. Not kidding!)

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Step 1: Determine how big you want the arm opening. You can figure this out by measuring the circumference of your arm where the end of the sleeve is on your arm. Then divide this number in half to determine how big the sleeve opening should be. If the fabric has some stretch, you’re golden. If the fabric doesn’t have any stretch, you may want to add 1/2″ – 1″ just so it’s not cutting off the circulation of your arm. This is your preference.

Step 2: Make a line in pins (or tailors chalk if you have it handy) from the armpit seam to your sleeve opening point.

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Step 3: Sew along this line. (Check out the photo below with the tape measurer showing you the line to follow.

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Step 4: Repeat on the other sleeve. Don’t forget to back-stitch at the beginning & at the end. And voila – There you have it. A more tapered short sleeve. LOVE!

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Please forgive the photography on this post. It’s not the best & I was a little lazy, not bothering to make my bed for the shots. Ah well.  So much for the illusion that I am some sort of together person. Don’t hate me.