Slow Stitching in the Barn - March 2017

This event is SOLD OUT!!

Waiting List

Please email if you would like to be added to our waiting list.

Slow Stitching in the Barn is a weekend where we step into slow. We sit together, learn together, eat together and take time out to live a little differently. This weekend has been created to feel like a total treat - divine food in the most beautiful space - spending time with the amazing Melissa Wastney and Elizabeth Barnett, who are two of The Craft Session's favourite teachers. This retreat holds a space where we can take the time to replenish, connect and drop in to a weekend of making.

Slow Stitching in the Barn is a special event and offers a different format to our annual spring retreat. A non-residential weekend offering participants the opportunity to dive deep into hand stitching in a more intimate setting.  We will spend our days making projects based around beautiful handwork. A magic retreat where we will stitch, embroider, handquilt, sew and if you want to, draw and paint.

This is a small event and tickets are very limited.

Registration will open on Sunday November 13th at 5pm.

Who is teaching?

Teaching Slow Stitching in the Barn are Melissa Wastney of Tiny Happy, Felicia Semple of The Craft Sessions and artist Elizabeth Barnett. Melissa and Elizabeth have been two of our absolute favourite teachers at The Craft Sessions Annual retreat over the last four years. Each year their classes sell out, with people on the waitlist pleading to get in. So, based on your feedback, we have brought them together for this very special event.

When - Friday 6pm March 31st until Sunday 4pm April 2nd 2017.

The retreat will begin on Friday March 31st at 6pm with a welcome dinner to get to know one another, and the beautiful space we will be working in. We begin making on the Saturday morning at 9.30am, with a combination of workshops, projects and delicious food until late in the afternoon. We then meet again on the Sunday morning at 9.30am, finishing up at 4pm on Sunday April 2nd.

The Venue

The retreat will be held in the Barn at The Estate Trentham. This space is simply stunning and can be seen here on their website and at on instagram @theestatetrentham. Also check out the hastag on instagram for many more images of this lovely space #theestatetrentham.

Trentham is about just over an hours drive from Melbourne, 20 minutes from Daylesford and one hour from the airport.


There will be workshops over the weekend in botanical embroidery, traditional embroidery, and sewing that we will undertake as a group. These workshops are all project based - we will be making project bags, needlecases or journal covers.

Splitting off into smaller groups you will attend either a workshop on hand quilting with Felicia, watercolour painting with Elizabeth or garment embroidery with Melissa.

All workshops will be interspersed with making time where one-on-one help will be readily available from Elizabeth, Melissa and Felicia. This is a weekend where while we aim to come away with finished pieces, you will work at your own pace.

The Flow of the weekend!

The weekend will begin on the Friday night at 6pm, when we come together for a communal gathering and feast on the Friday night. This late summer's evening will be spent getting to know one another and will finish up about 9pm, so that we can be fresh for the morning's making.

This weekend is different to our annual retreat, in that we are all together in a group, working on a variety of handwork projects with Melissa, Elizabeth and Felicia.  Workshops will be interspersed with making, snacks and good conversation in this beautiful space.

We meet in the Barn on Saturday morning at 9.30am with a cup of tea and snack to begin our day. Starting with an embroidery session for which Melissa and Elizabeth have designed special patterns and projects for us to work on just for this weekend. We will spend the day looking at different embroidery techniques and tricks making either a project bag or a needlecase (or both!) while enjoying the surrounds of the Barn and it's beautiful gardens. Finishing late afternoon we will disperse to our own accommodation for a nights rest.

The Sunday morning starts a little differently with a choice of either hand quilting with Felicia, an embroidered top with Melissa or watercolours with Elizabeth. We come back together at lunch, before spending the afternoon stitching and finishing up our weekends projects around 4pm on Sunday afternoon.

There will be homemade cordial, lots of tea and free flowing cake on tap. And of course an abundant lunch on both days.

Costs and What's Included?

This retreat is a little different from our annual retreat as it is non-residential. A bit like the day places at our annual retreat.

Costs for the weekend is $695 and includes;
- Friday night welcome dinner at the Barn
- Two full days of teaching and workshops by Elizabeth, Melissa and Felicia on the Saturday and Sunday
- Delicious, thoughtful food including morning teas, lunches and afternoon teas on the Saturday and Sunday
- All materials* you need to create the beautiful projects we will be working on. This includes beautiful linen, embroidery floss, hoops, watercolours, batting etc.
- A welcome gift.

*There is one small exception - garment embroidery with Melissa will involve you bringing an existing garment OR the front piece of a garment like the Alice top or Annie dress by Tessuti. You will be sent more details after registration.


Accommodation is readily available in this beautiful part of Victoria. However if you are coming alone (as over half of you do!), and would like us to hook you up with a couple of people to share a place with, then let us know when you are filling our your registration form.

Suggestions for finding accommodation include DayGet, AirBnB and Stayz. Most of the accommodation in the area is in the beautiful spa town of Daylesford which is about a 20 minute drive away from Trentham but a spectacular place to stay. Great coffee, pretty stores, walks and day spa's abound. You could spend an extra day or two and take advantage of what's on offer?

How to Register

Registration will open on Sunday November 13th at 5pm.

The registration fee is $695.

Registration will involve the payment of a $150 deposit. The remainder of the registration fee will be due on February 1st 2017.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellation is available in writing up until February 1st 2017 however a $150 admin fee will be applicable.

The Craft Sessions reserve the right to cancel the event. You will be entitled to a full refund. However, we cannot cover any travel or other expense you may have in the event of cancellation. Please ensure you have separate travel insurance to cover this, in the event The Craft Sessions is cancelled.

What if I've never stitched, embroidered, quilted or painted before?
No worries at all. This weekend is suitable for all levels of ability, from total beginners to people with sensational existing skills. We will break you into skill based groups where appropriate, ensuring that everyone will be supported while having their skills extended.

I'm coming alone. Can you help me connect with someone to share accommodation or transport?
Yes. If others are also interested, we would be able to share your details with others like you after registration is complete. The type of accommodation or transport you wish to arrange is then up to you.

How far away from the airport is the Barn?
The Barn is one hour away from the airport, with Daylesford being an extra 20 minutes from Trentham. The drive between Trentham and Daylesford is pretty!

Do I need materials or a sewing machine?
No! All materials are provided. The only exception is if you wish to do the embroidered top with Melissa on the Sunday morning, in which case more information will be sent to you after registration about what you would need to bring.

Can you cater for special dietary needs?
Yes! We will collect this information from you after registration.

Email us at with any questions - anything at all!