NEW Dressmaking Retreats 2017!

What: A weekend devoted to sewing dresses in the beautiful Hudson Valley

Where: Beetle and Fred, an all-new spacious and fully-stocked sewing boutique in the heart of Beacon, New York. Located on Main Street in the midst of the galleries, vintage shopping, boutiques, and fabulous restaurants of this charming small town. 171 Main Street, Beacon, NY 12508

When: Choose from three sessions this spring:

Session 1: March 17-19
Session 2: April 21-23
Session 3: May 19-21
NEW Session 4: June 23-25

What's included: 
  • Personalized sewing and fitting instruction 
  • Sewing demos on a variety of sewing topics, with an emphasis on fitting and dress construction
  • The use of machines and basic sewing/pressing equipment
  • Access to my archive of handmade and vintage dresses for sewing instruction and inspiration
  • Muslin and pattern making paper as needed
  • Friday night welcome dinner at a local Beacon restaurant
  • Transportation to and from your hotel as needed 
Cost: $795 (half due on sign up, half due 30 days before the retreat, non-refundable)

Who: Advanced beginner all the way up to Experienced!  The demos will be geared toward the interests of the group and all levels will benefit from the individualized instruction.

How: Register here! 

All the Details

Join me in lovely Beacon, New York, for a fabulous weekend of dressmaking! Following the success of my past Hudson Valley Sewing Retreats, I'm partnering with sewing studio Beetle and Fred to host three new retreats this spring, with a maximum of five students each. These small retreats will allow participants to get away from it all, and focus entirely on sewing for a full weekend. You'll sew the pattern of your choice from my book Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book--whether your personal style is modern or retro, there’s something for everyone. You’ll arrive with a bodice muslin ready for a personal fitting and leave having finished (or made very good progress on) a killer new frock. 

We’ll begin Friday night with a festive included welcome dinner and then spend the rest of that evening having your bodice muslins custom-fit. That leaves all day Saturday and Sunday for pattern tweaks and dressmaking, with one-on-one guidance along the way. Students will leave with a custom-fit dress pattern that you can use again and again, tons of new sewing knowledge, and a stunning new dress.

I will give demos throughout the weekend on skills like lapped zipper insertion, working with steel boning, lining and underlining. My ginormous “archive” of dresses (handmade and vintage) will serve as inspiration and education.

My hometown of Beacon, NY is the perfect place for a weekend of sewing! This charming Hudson Valley town is just over an hour by train from Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan, but it has a lovely small town feel. It’s full of amazing restaurants, galleries, vintage shopping, boutiques, live music, natural beauty, and more. (Don’t worry, I’ll make sure we take a few sewing breaks so you can see the town!)

Ideas for lodging:
Ready to register? Click here

Have questions? Please email me at

Want to learn about upcoming retreats? Click here to sign up for the retreat mailing list.


  1. Oh, I would love to come but I already have commitments for those two weekends. I hope you will do some more.

    1. Thanks, Heather! I hope to add some spring dates as well!

    2. I have just discovered you and your site because I was looking for rose fabric. Mine is for a quilt though. On another note, My Aunt was named Gertie. And on yet ANOTHER note, your patterns and dresses are sooo fabulous! Where can I find your patterns?

  2. Wow, this sounds amazing, and what a gorgeous wee town! I'm in New Zealand and while I'm not in a position to travel this year I will keep this on my bucket list for when my wee one is older. What an incredible weekend it would be. I love following your journey, so interesting. X

  3. Sounds so fantastic. I wish I could join, but Denmark is just too far away... Can't wait to see the amazing products of the retreats. :)
    / Trine

  4. Giovonnia, December 27, 2016 8:00PM
    I would love to go on one of these! But I am on disability and cannot afford it. I love your books, I received the latest one as a Christmas gift. Sew helps me with my illness. )PSTD Thank you for the books and web site. Looking forward to the next one.

  5. Hi! Gertie thanks for sharing your knowledge with others. I would like to know the total cost of this awesome Dressmaking Retreat 2017.

  6. Hi Gretchen! Just bought tickets to attend one of your classes at a sewing expo! Can't wait!!

  7. I'm new to Portland, OR, but not new to following your beautiful work! Anyway, don't know if you have been to Portland yet or not, but there are at least 2 great fabric stores that would probably LOVE to have you teach there - Fabric Depot or Modern Domestic. And I would love to take one of your dressmaking workshops! Just a thought for sometime in the future. :)


Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

© Gertie's Blog For Better Sewing. Powered by Cake