September, 2019 | Mid-Winter Getaway- sew to your hearts content

September, 2019 | Mid-Winter Getaway- sew to your hearts content


Several times a year my friend, Claire and I, travel to a family beach bach (very basic holiday home, furnished with original artefacts from the last 70 years) to undertake uninterrupted sewing for 4 days. When I say sewing, this covers all genres, from quilts, to clothes, and even the odd spot of mending.

The week before sees the list of projects formulated, the largest suitcase I own open on the sewing studio floor, and things tossed in as I walk past. To ensure I have all the extra bits I need to make stuff I use a the packing app Pack Point. I have created a special Pack List for sewing weekends. This has been a lifesaver because nothing is more annoying than forgetting  your height adjustable sewing stool or extension power cord.

Setting Up

We arrive on a Wednesday evening, haul all our stuff inside and set up. Over the years we have got better at packing. I used to bring enough for 5 weekends not one, and this is just silly because it is heavy, distracting and gives opportunity for fickleness (on the other hand my friend sometimes doesn’t bring enough).

By being very focused about what I bring, I get more complete, and have better makes.

We setup a SEWEZI Portable Table with a sewing machine and a SEWEZI Extension table with an overlocker on top. One workstation on each side of the room, so we can cut out stuff on the floor in the middle. The iron is set up in another room down the hall.

Move it Move it 


I want to talk about moving, your body that is. I have designed all these tables so you are more ergonomically working when sitting, but that is only part of the equation. We need to move and stretch our bodies, especially when you have spent the last hour, doing buttonholes and some several times over.


At the bach we place the iron down the hall in another bedroom to make us get up and walk. We cut out on the floor, so we are getting up and down. 

This movement is very important, because sitting and sewing for 4 days straight might be the psychic ideal but it is not the physical one. My mind loves it, but my body gets grouchy. We also try to go for a good walk each day, stepping out and swinging our arms.


And this is the reason movement is good, it keeps you fresh. I find that taking mini movement breaks, helps prevent sewing misadventures.

The wholistic experience

The sewing weekend, is about making, friendship, and the luxury of time. These three things are very important, and in my life help keep the balance within the daily whorl.

Making provides a creative outlet, feeds all our haptic receptors, and if we are having a good day, provides something new and exciting to wear.

Friendship and connection is the sustenance we need to exist, and sewing friendships have a honesty all of their own. There is the knowledge sharing, critical feedback, encouragement and finally trust. Knowing that when your friend says ummmmm, or really? You may have to rethink. LOL

The luxury of time is precious

Making provides a creative outlet, feeds all our haptic receptors, and if we are having a good day, provides something new and exciting to wear.


Both Claire and I are big All Black rugby fans, and we do accommodate sporting fixtures within our sewing schedule.

The last day

On this morning I query what is the most important thing to complete before I head back to reality, I try not to rush as this defeats the experience of the weekend.

Then the clean-up, vacuuming, picking those pins out of the carpet, deciding whether I can get anything out of that scrap left over and lastly making sure we have another date in our diaries for the next sewing get away!

Ohhh and lastly the makes

Now I can only tell you what I made, as I have put Claire’s list somewhere safe, so safe I can’t find it. I do know she made tops, skirts, pants and children’s leggings(she is such an over achiever, she always has more completed items than me).

I made my favourite top pattern of the moment. You know me, when I like something I love it.

Burda 6502 7 times, I did cheat, I had pre cut these out at home.

I altered 3 of these tops I already had in my wardrode, so I worked on 10 of the same top, it didn’t seem crazy at the time. Now it does seem a little OTT.

To add to the mix, I also made Closet Case’s Pietra pants and the Kalle shirt.

In my next blog I will talk about these patterns and my sewing experiences with them.

Happy Sewing from @theportablesewingroom.


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Some things about me you need to know…..

I am obsessional, therefore I collect, and have collections.

I am passionate, I either love it or hate it there is no in between.

I am a perfectionist when it comes to sewing, and struggle with the just ok finish I achieve sometimes.

I garden. I collect plants too, especially deciduous magnolias.

I need colour and texture to nurture my soul.

I read, research, and study because it excites me.

I am a mum to three twenty somethings, an attendant to three cats, and partner in all things to David of more than 30 years.