Sew Different brings you their new sewing retreat set in the amazing mill complex of Dean Clough in Halifax. Spend a long weekend browsing fabrics, learning new techniques and creating a stylish piece of clothing that is completely unique. In between stitches you can indulge in a delicious afternoon tea and chat with like-minded sewists.

Choose your project from the Sew Different range of sewing patterns and, with the help of our expert advice and tuition, create a dress, top or jacket that fits you beautifully.

YOU CAN SEE FOOTAGE OF A PAST RETREAT HERE  

Please note, the venue has changed since the filming of this video.

The Course

Our sewing retreat is suitable for all levels of experience. There is tuition on hand for beginners and intermediate sewists who have perhaps done some small sewing projects or made simple garments in the past.

The more experienced will enjoy the communal sewing spirit, the creative atmosphere and the trip out to the famous Fabworks Mill Shop where there will be time to browse and select from the vast range of fabrics. There will be help and advice in choosing your fabric from Fabworks’ resident experts.

After this, it is back to our dedicated sewing studio where you will have the benefit of a small teaching group (max 10) so that there is plenty of opportunity for one-on-one help if needed.

Our sewing teachers, Emma (right) and Tara (left), have many years experience with beginners, as well as more able sewists. Help and advice is there every step of the way, from choosing your fabric, to cutting your pattern and putting your garment together.

Every project is individual so we can tailor it to your own style and ability level. You can feel confident tackling new techniques knowing that technical help is always to hand.

Choose your project from the Sew Different range of multisize patterns. The designer, Laura, is often there on day one to “show you round” the patterns and assist with your choice.

We will be very happy to guide you towards a project that is right for your level of expertise and there are plenty of clothing samples in the studio to inspire you.

In the past we have helped to customise and pattern hack for our sewists to reflect their creative urges(!) so that each project is unique.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FULL SEW DIFFERENT RANGE

Our Machines

Our sewing retreat is sponsored by Bernina. We use one of their high quality entry level models – the Bernette b35.

More information about these machines can be found here.


The Venue

Sew Different is located within the Dean Clough mill complex in a dedicated sewing studio with lots of natural light. All equipment is provided, although you are welcome to bring your own sewing machine if you prefer. We are located on the first floor with lift access.

Dean Clough is a thriving 22-acre mixed-use mill complex, stretching half a mile in length and consisting of 16 Grade II listed Victorian mills. Where it was once a working textile mill, it is now a community encompassing work spaces, art galleries, a theatre, restaurants, bars, shops and a hotel!

Crossley Gallery at Dean Clough

The Area

Halifax has some stunning Victorian architecture and a strong industrial heritage. The Shibden Hall Estate (home of Anne Lister) and the Piece Hall are on your doorstep.

Yorkshire is famous for its rolling green countryside and hosts some fantastic places to visit further afield, including the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Cannon Hall, Leeds city centre with its Victorian shopping arcades. There are also great walking and cycling routes for anyone who is thinking of bringing along a non-sewing partner!

Travel & Accommodation

Accommodation is not included in the retreat. However there is a Travel Lodge on site located a 2 minute walk from the studio as well as many hotels in Halifax centre. Halifax town centre, bus station and train station are a ten minute walk from the studio. There is parking on site.


Itinerary • Friday – Sunday

  • 10am Meet at the studio on Friday for coffees, teas and an introduction from *Laura and Tara, where you can choose your project from the Sew Different range of patterns.
  • 10.45pm Our minibus arrives to take us to Fabworks Mill Shop, a fabulous Aladdin’s Cave of every type of fabric you can imagine. There is a short tour of the mill shop and on-hand advice for selecting your fabrics. You will have a couple of hours to browse and purchase all the fabric you want – no limit as long as you can carry it!
  • 1.30 We take a short walk across town for lunch at the Cocoa Lounge
  • 2.30pm Our minibus arrives to take us back to the studio where we can make a start on taking measurements, choosing sizes and cutting our patterns. The studio closes at 5pm.
  • 9.30am Arrive Saturday at the studio to meet our other expert seamstress and tutor, Emma, who will be there for the duration of the course to help and advise you with the making of your garment. Whether you need help with the basics or fine tuning for a professional finish, you can work at your own pace knowing that there is always help at hand. There are plenty of tasty snacks to keep you going, but save yourself for the decadent afternoon-tea-style lunch. The studio stays open for sewing until 5pm
  • 9.30am The studio opens again on Sunday morning. You can request a demonstration and extra tuition of any techniques you would like to learn and get help you with your finishing. For those who finish their garment early, they can make a start on their Quick Makes pattern. Lunch will be served in the studio on Sunday and the afternoon is for you to finish off your sewing.
  • 4pm The studio closes leaving plenty of time for those of you who have come from afar, to travel home.
  • *Please note that although Laura is there most of the time, she is not always present on the retreats as she is can be away at events

What’s included

  • Dedicated studio sewing with expert teaching – max 10 students
  • Design, colour and styling advice
  • A trip to Fabworks Mill shop
  • Sew Different paper pattern of your choice
  • Free Quick Makes paper pattern of your choice
  • A retreat discount voucher for Fabworks – 10% off fabric purchases under £100 or £15% off purchases over £100
  • Help and advice choosing your fabrics
  • Lunch out at the Cocoa Lounge on Friday
  • A decadent afternoon-tea-style lunch with Prosecco on Saturday
  • A delicious buffet lunch on Sunday
  • Teas, coffees and snacks available every day in the studio
  • A 30% discount on all other Sew Different patterns
  • A 10% discount on Sew Different fabrics

Cost £350 – £100 deposit required to book your place and the full balance required 6 weeks before the retreat starts. Please note that deposits are non-refundable. Available dates:


2024 – available dates

12th – 14th January 2024

9th – 11th February 2024

8th – 10th March 2024

5th – 7th April 2024

10th – 12th May 2024

7th – 9th June 2024

…Feb 9th-11th deposit £100
…Jan 12-14th deposit £100
…March 8th-10th deposit £100
…April 5th-7th deposit £100
…May 10th-12th deposit £100
…June 7th-9th deposit £100
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