Escape to the Chateau - Sewing Weekend

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On a misty day in November I made the short drive to a beautiful old cottage in the Northamptonshire countryside. Having made acquaintance via instagram, as soon I walked into Erica’s sewing room I knew I had met a kindred spirit. I immediately spotted a chippy old cabinet, stuffed full of squishy balls of yarn, in colour order, of course. I could see that Erica’s colour preferences matched my own: cool and creamy neutrals, muted blues, soft greys and dusty pinks. Curiosities adorned the old stone walls; a display of antique scissors, decorative picture frames and antique sewing supplies with beautiful labels.

All manner of soft, handmade toys were perched lovingly on every surface. Sweet dolls with enviable hairstyles and whimiscal woodland creatures wearing cosy hand-knitted jumpers. A fire burned brightly in the grate and French cafe music played quietly in the background. It was the cosiest setting imaginable and I knew I was going to have a truly special day.

Bonding over a love of antique buttons, lace and trims, we talked a little about France, brocantes and dreamy chateaux so I was delighted when Erica contacted me to see if I fancied joining her for a Chateau Dolls sewing weekend in the idyllic setting of Chateau Domaine de la Salle. Erm, yes please!!!

If you have watched Escape to the Chateau DIY you will be familiar with the owners, Mariam and Johnno, who have moved to France from Dubai to renovate their chateau for a B&B and retreat venue. The chateau is light and airy, the food delicious. Set in acres of woodland, it is the perfect setting for a magical weekend sewing dolls and making tiny dresses.

I cannot wait to go and you can join us too!

Arriving on Friday 14th June and leaving after breakfast on Monday 17th June, we will spend the weekend making Erica’s beautiful heirloom Chateau dolls with dresses made from delicate antique linen and lace. Small shoes made from antique kid leather gloves and fastened with tiny buttons. Hand-knitted shawls in the softest, natural yarn. I will show you how to embroider the dresses with sweet little details; perhaps a row of pale pink rosebuds along the hem or tiny daisies on her bloomers. I am planning everything that I need to take and experimenting with naturally dyed linens and embroidery threads for special, one-of-a-kind, embroideries.

You can come alone or with a sewing friend and if you want to incorporate the weekend into a longer visti to France, your non-stitching partner can join you in a double bed for the extra cost of just Β£150 to include all meals and accommodation for the weekend. There are plenty of places to relax, read and wander during the day as we sew.

A brochure is available with more details and prices. Please drop me an email at hello@nickifranklin.com and I will send it across to you. Have a look at Erica’s lovely blog for more information and photographs, too. I hope you can join us for a truly magical weekend.

Nicki x