A Tale Of A Sewing Workshop and Its Prelude!

Wow!  I had a great weekend!  I attended one of Heather Ross’ Sewing Workshops in Vermont at the Blueberry Hill Inn.  Where to start? How about the beginning?

The Prelude to the fun weekend…

One of my biggest fears (I have many) is flying.  I dislike it immensely!  Flying on a large airplane is bad enough and I have spent my life avoiding small planes.  If there is a small plane involved in any leg of my traveling, I just won’t go.  Simple as that!

Well, I am sure you can see where this is going.  Jim drove me into the Boston airport, I probably chose to leave from Boston as opposed to Hyannis to avoid a small plane.  Not the case.   I was looking at my ticket on the way in and the aircraft description was “CSA”, I quickly googled CSA, and I found out that this meant Cessna!  Now, I am not an airplane expert, but I was pretty sure that Cessna meant, tiny tonka sized!  Jim didn’t seem to know this so I didn’t really give it too much attention.

When I got to the airport I approached the ticket counter, no line.  First red flag.  The nice representative for Cape Air asked me to set each of my 3 bags onto the scale individually to be weighed.  No biggie I thought.  THEN she asked me how much I weighed.  Second red flag.  Hmm, I thought.  Probably not a good time to lie about my weight.  I knew I shouldn’t have had that ice cream last night!  Truth (my real weight) or Consequences,  (the weight that my driver’s license reflects)this would be my goal weight.  🙂  That would be the lie that could result in some pretty bad consequences!  I am not even going to explain what those could be, because at this very moment, I am waiting for my flight home.

I told the truth, actually, I whispered the truth.  That’s between her and me.  If I tell you this I will have to kill you.   🙂  Hehehehe, let’s just say it is a good 20 pounds over my driver’s license weight.  🙂

So fine I got over that hurdle, all is good.  So I thought.  Well, I did visit the “Life Is Good” store at my gate before boarding my plane.  I did view this as a good sign.

My plane ended up being a 9 person plane.  Well, 9 people and a dog.  I haven’t ever had to exit the airport and walk onto the tarmac to board my plane.  This is how the rich and famous do it huh?  Well, I don’t like it.  I didn’t apply ample enough sunscreen that morning and it was darn nearly 100 degrees that afternoon, radiating off of the blacktop.  The pilot chose who should sit where on the airplane, and there was a moment there when I nearly fled- pulling what my husband has coined a “rainman”.  Ugh.  The dinky stairs barely supported my weight and I just couldn’t imagine how this tiny sardine box could support the weight of 9 people and a dog!

Arriving to the airport in Rutland, Vermont was a relief!  I had to restrain myself from kissing the ground!  It was like the airport on the show “Wings”.  The airport was so small that the same lady that gathered our luggage was the same lady that got my rental car for me!

My drive to the Inn was very pleasant!  Thank goodness for Nigel (my GPS) he showed me the way and is was very easy!  I stopped to buy 3 bottles of wine for the weekend and just kept on driving until Nigel said “you have arrived”!

So if you are unfamiliar with Heather Ross, you can find information on her here.  As for Liesl Gibson, who also led this workshop, you can find information of her here.  Most everyone was there by 6:30 P.M.  We acquainted ourselves over wine and cheese by the lovely pond, while beating off those nasty black horse flies!

Heather Ross and Liesl Gibson took the reins and told all of us what they had in store for us.  Basically you bring what sewing projects you would like to work on and they can both assist you in however much you would like.  Both Heather and Liesl are very seasoned seamstresses, designers and crafters and their wealth of knowledge is infinite.  When they unite, they are unstoppable.  The two of them actually pitched a teepee and this is where they slept!  Can you believe this?  While all of us had running water and beds to sleep in, they were sleeping on blow-up mattresses under the apple trees!  I guess there could be worse places to camp.

At the Blueberry Hill Inn, there is a never-ending supply of chocolate chip cookies.  A large glass jar is full of them.  Mmmmmmm!

On my first night I stayed up sewing until midnight.  I was bushed and on my way to bed that evening,  I found Ms. Liesl Gibson maneuvering around that same cookie jar in the dark with a headlamp attached to her forehead!  I just love watching these stylish pattern designers in their natural habitat!  Liesl can even make a headlamp look stylish!  Anyway I grabbed a cookie for myself!

When Saturday morning arrived, I went for a short hike before coffee and breakfast.  One of the other workshoppers was returning from her hike looking as if she was doing some fancy new dance with her arms flailing back and forth.  Upon my return from my hike I was doing that same fancy dance.  You don’t need lessons for this dance, just move as if you are trying to keep those darn black horse flies off of you!!!

We all sewed through Saturday and enjoyed a quite lovely lunch and dinner.  The food at the Blueberry Hill Inn is quite delicious.  We had Salmon the first night and Chicken the second and sandwiches for both lunches on Saturday and Sunday.  All the ladies in my workshop were great gals. There wasn’t a bad one in the bunch.  Sewing is an amazing past-time that brings all kinds together.  It is kind of like music.  There is something for everyone!

Six ladies opted to sew the Mendocino Sundress, that Heather Ross designed.  She has a free downloadable pattern here.

They used elastic thread in the bobbin to make the top portion of the dress.  I am going to give this a try and I am also going to sew this and this!  I must also tell you that seeing Liesl’s sewn patterns in person I am also going to sew this and this!  Liesl adds delicate details to her patterns.  From the Lisette package you wouldn’t know what to look forward to on your completed project.  Seeing Liesl wearing her designs in person sold me on her patterns, more to add to “the list”.

I sewed another pair of Iris Shorts.  Is everyone so tired of me sewing this pattern?  I do enjoy the pattern and they fit so nicely.  I guess I got my money’s worth out of this one!

I also started McCall’s M6560.  I am making the top.  I started this in Vermont and I haven’t touched my sewing machine since my return.

Blueberry Hill came with 2 Inn dogs.  Griffin, an Irish wolfhound and Wheezy, a pug.

Heather whipped together a very nice flag and presented it to Tony, the owner of the Inn.  Next year upon our return Tony will be able to add this one to the pole that currently holds the American flag.  Here is a shot of the whole group.

I am really not THAT short, I was kneeling….. !!!!

That was the weekend!  I am very happy to report, that I made it home safe and sound!


Happy Sewing!


  1. I have been on one of those leetle planes before where the pilot looks back and asks someone to move to the other side of the plane because they just added another bag on board 😛 I feel for you! Thanks for describing this weekend – it sounds like a wonderful time!

    • Yes- first of all I don’t want any interaction with the pilot and being able to make any eye contact with him, was really weird! The weekend made up for it though! It was totally worth it!!!

  2. Have been wanting the Mendocino Sundress Pattern. However the squarespaqce link or URL is broken. This is the only style dress my daughter wants to wear who is now 6 months pregnant.
    Can anyone help? Thank you in advance. Beginnng to feel like this dress is one of those urban legends………….LOL.

    • Hi Diane! You’re right!! The link isn’t working. However, it was working when I put up this post. I am wondering if Heather is working on her website. I will try to e-mail one of the gals that works for her- although, they are probably aware of the situation. Don’t give up on it Diane- I am sure that it will be fixed soon! Congrats on your daughter’s pregnancy! One of the gals that sewed this dress was pregnant, and she looked really cute in it!!

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