bringing together craft-lovers for
very special weekends

Hello there!

I’m Sarah Brangwyn – lifelong sewer, owner of the cuddliest dog in Sussex and mother of two fabulous grown-up girls.

There’s only one thing I love more than crafting, and that’s spending time with others who love crafting.

That’s what Sarah Brangwyn Retreats are all about: shared experience

They’re a chance to come together and forget about the outside world, just for a weekend.

They connect people who share the same passion. You can chat all day about bias bindings, crochet stitches or long-arm quilters without boring anyone. Marvellous!

With group sizes of 20-30, there’s always a variety of ages, abilities and personalities. Many people come on their own and leave with new friends for life. Or you can book with a friend and enjoy treasured time together.

Designing the retreats I’d always yearned for

For me, there’s literally nothing better than a couple of days immersed in sewing, crochet or craft. Especially when it happens away from home in a luxurious hotel.

But other retreats I’ve attended have simply been too full-on. The packed timetables often left me feeling stressed, with not enough time to fit everything in. That was not the point of a retreat!

So my weekends are designed to be utterly relaxing. We offer you really useful ‘how to’ sessions, but it’s up to you which to attend.

There’s simply nothing you need to think about other than your favourite pastime. And no reason to stop what you’re doing unless you fancy another cuppa.

Most importantly, we have fun.

Our tutors can be summed up with one word

As well as being fully involved in each retreat myself, I’m joined by tutors with their own specialisms. They are, without exception, knowledgeable and experienced.

But the word that comes up time and time again in our reviews is ‘lovely’. And it’s true.

The roots of these events are in a sunny studio near Brighton

Tucked behind the South Downs Nurseries and Garden Centre, I’m the proud owner of Made and Making – a busy sewing and contemporary craft centre. Here I witness, every day, the benefits of creativity and connection.

The first ever retreat came about when I heard customers talking about the value of being in the studio, and the space it gave them to concentrate. These women were also enjoying the community that was forming, and seeking ways to develop those friendships.

I knew I was in a position to offer them something really special.

Our very first retreat nearly didn’t happen

Working closely with my colleague Louise, we planned our first ever weekend for February 2017.

Determined to make it the experience our customers deserved, we worked our socks off and planned every detail.

But the one thing we couldn’t control was the weather. Heavy snow was forecast! Thankfully, crossing our fingers and praying to the weather gods worked, and everyone was able to get there.

By the end of the two days we were exhausted but exhilarated. The reviews were glowing and we knew we needed to do more.

A growing programme to choose from

With our retreats in sewing, crochet and quilting selling out every time, we’ve now added dressmaking and general crafting to your options.

If you have any other suggestions to make, please let us know!

We work hard so you can relax

It’s no exaggeration to say that each retreat is a year in the making.

As soon as one is over, and our boxes are cleared out of the hotel, we go through our notes, and the feedback from participants, to see what we can do to make the next one even better.

We do this by:

  • carefully choosing (and trying out!) the hotels, their restaurants and facilities
  • laying out and setting up the sewing room so that it’s comfortable, attractive and sociable
  • recruiting the very best tutors to join the team
  • planning ‘how to’ sessions that match the interests of those attending
  • providing information that’s clear and detailed
  • making sure we can always say ‘don’t worry, we’ve got one!’ when equipment is forgotten.

In short, we do everything we can to make your experience seamless, relaxing and enjoyable.

We’re pretty sure you deserve two days off

Life is busy, I know. Things to do, and people to look after. But if you don’t plan a break for yourself – to rest and focus on what you love – then who will?

We can’t wait to look after you.

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