Leah is delighted to be collaborating with Galloway Escapes  to host sewing retreats right here in Dumfries & Galloway and we can't wait to welcome guests next year.


As well as a whole weekend of stitch, you'll also have time to relax and enjoy your home for the weekend at Craigbittern, a stunning Victorian house & cottage located just a stone's throw away from the beautiful Sandyhills beach on the Solway Coast.


The weekend promises relaxation, gentle stitch, inspiration, creative friendships, fresh air, breathtaking views, delicious food and deserted beaches. We hope that we can share this creative adventure with you.

Leah Halliday

Leah is co-founder and the creative force behind Create Escapes. Leah has an eye for detail and can be a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to her work. To relax she loves walks in all weather along the many beaches near where she lives usually with a camera in hand. She also enjoys pottering about in her garden, growing vegetables and lots of flowers. Leah combines her love of nature and flowers, so expect flower filled details from her garden during the retreat, inspired by the seasons. She can't wait to share this new adventure with you. 

Ruth Osman

Ruth is co-founder of Create Escapes. She is busy working behind the scenes organising your bookings & making sure that you have the perfect stay at the retreat. Ruth always wanted Galloway Escapes to be more than just renting out holiday homes, she wanted to show case the beautiful region and help people get the most of what it has to offer. She felt Craigbittern lends itself to retreats with its location, space and outdoor studio. It's the perfect place to get away from it all and host a social gathering. Ruth is thrilled to be working with the multi-talented Leah and really thinks Create Escapes is adding something extra to Dumfries and Galloway. 

  • Two nights accommodation in one of Craigbitterns beautifully appointed rooms. You can choose from single occupancy or share a room with a friend.
  • Your food for the whole weekend. There will be a welcome meal on the Saturday evening with your host Leah, Sunday evening will be a celebratory occasion​ where you will enjoy canapes before we sit down together and enjoy a three course meal. There are breakfasts and light lunches on Sunday and Monday, tea/coffee throughout the weekend and of course cake during the workshops on Saturday, Sunday & Monday.
  • Three sewing workshops led by your tutor Leah. There will be a three hour workshop on Saturday afternoon, on Sunday a full day workshop and then another three hour workshop on Monday. 
  • All materials are provided for each of the classes. 
  • A personalised goody bag designed exclusively for the sewing retreat and each guest.
  • Access to tools and equipment  in the studio during your time at the sewing retreat. 
  • The use of all the facilities at Craigbittern (Wi-Fi, gardens/outdoor area etc)​

  • Your travel to and from Craigbittern at Sandyhills, Dumfries & Galloway. We can of course happily help with and arrange transfer according to your arrival whether it be by train, plane, automobile or bus! Our private Facebook group will allow you to make plans with other retreat guests and possibly share transport to get to Craigbittern.
  • Personal insurance. 
  • Alcohol is not provided at the retreat, but if you fancy a tipple or a glass of wine with your meal then its best to bring this with you as the nearest shop is a short drive away!

"Magical location that provided the ideal place to relax and enjoy the retreat. It was a fantastic weekend led by a patient teacher Leah ,with a group of supportive ladies that made the experience even better. Fabulous food with cake and tea throughout the day, paradise! I felt at ease and supported in my attempts at creativity. I highly recommend it and I will be doing it again"

During the weekend you can expect the usual fun, relaxed and informative workshops Leah's customers have grown to expect at the classes she has hosted over the last 9 years in Dumfries. But at the sewing retreat you'll also get time away from life's usual distractions for a whole weekend in an incredible setting & surroundings. You can take time to relax, recharge and enjoy a whole weekend of hand sewing. We will provide all the equipment and experience needed so you can create beautiful hand stitched creations that you can be proud of. 


Leah loves nothing more than sharing her passion, skills and expertise for sewing and the joy you feel of making your own. There will be two inspiring workshops over the weekend where you'll learn a variety of different techniques and skills. During the weekend Leah will transform the games room at Craigbittern into a beautifully designed inspiring space for our guests to learn in, with thoughtfully curated details and lots of materials on hand to use at each class.

During Saturdays workshop guests will work on a hand embroidery design inspired by Leah's original illustrations and created especially for the retreat. It's a relaxing start to the weekend and will also allow time to get to know your fellow guests as we sit and stitch and chatter around the table. There will be expert tuition and plenty of guidance, Leah will share her know how on different stitches. So whether you are a complete beginner or a more experienced stitcher Leah will make sure you are able to embroider your design. 


On Sunday you will enjoy a full day of stitching, learning to make your very own heirloom doll or angel. You'll learn doll making techniques, tips on stuffing, creating faces and hair using hand stitching techniques. Use fabrics from our stash, we've some lovely vintage linens, silks, embroidery and lace plus colourful fabrics too. Or why not create a heirloom keepsake angel and bring along some special fabric that means something to you, this could be grannies linen, some children clothes or special mementos which can be incorporated into your design. 


On Monday inspired by newly acquired embroidery stitches, fragments of antique quilts, hand cut vintage florals, simple words and text you'll create a handstitched piece that can be framed, incorporated into a cushion or quilt. Leah will teach you a number of techniques, exploring the delights of hand embroidery and different appliqué techniques, working with colour, pattern and learning to design a finished piece of textile art.


Guests will leave with memories of an inspiring weekend away, treasured creations, newly formed friendships and everything they need to continue honing their skills at home.

"I truly loved every aspect of the Retreat. Being able to walk along the beach and take in the stunning views and landscape added another special element."

The setting for our weekend retreat is an area in Dumfries & Galloway surrounded by a coastline of endless variety, sheltered bays to long exposed shores, from mudflats and sandy beaches to rocky coasts and cliffs. You can also enjoy a landscape of woods, irregular fields stretch over rolling hills, bounded by dry-stone dyke and hedges, with many fields containing the distinctive Galloway cattle. Discover the breathtaking scenery and coast in one of Scotland’s National Scenic Areas. Its significant historical and scientific interest makes this part of the Solway Coast a unique landscape shaped by the sea, the wind and the people who have lived here. Here Robert the Bruce opposed the English and the landscape's natural beauty inspired Robert Burns, the national bard of Scotland, to write some of his greatest lyrics and poems. 


The nearby villages of Rockcliffe and Kippford have been tourist attractions since Victorian times. The setting remains relatively unchanged giving it a strong sense of remoteness and tranquillity. Much of the coast is only accessible by path, which will lead you to numerous secret bays and secluded beaches. 


It's the perfect location for a weekend away to relax and switch off, where you can escape the pressures of everyday life and enjoy a creative adventure. We will make time outside of the workshop sessions to enjoy this hidden gem in Dumfries & Galloway. Leah will happily join you for a walk along the beach or one of the many coastal paths in the area, don't forget to pack your wellies or a sturdy pair of shoes! She will share with you some of her most favourite places along the coast.  

During your stay at the retreat, all your food is included. Your meals will be prepared by Hullabaloo To You, based in Dumfries. Alanna Rogerson prides herself on creating innovative and eclectic seasonal menus made from the freshest ingredients, and whenever possible locally sourced. 

All dishes are fresh, flavoursome and always look as good as they taste. They will cater to your individual needs and can happily work around any dietary requirements you may have e.g vegan, vegetarian, gluten and dairy free.


During the workshops there will also be unlimited tea/coffee, refreshments and of course cake to keep you fuelled throughout the day.