Come & Make A Skirt From “A Beginner’s Guide to Making Skirts”!

In celebration of my new book “A Beginner’s Guide to Making Skirts” being published in October I’m teaching 2 one-day classes based around the book.

These are the only 2 dates that I’ll be teaching one day classes based around my book this year, so once they’re booked, that’s it!

The first date is suitable for absolute beginners that have never made clothes before, the second date is for those who already know how to use a sewing machine and have done some dressmaking. Both classes include a signed copy of the book to take away with you and make more skirts!

To book, email me at I look forward to hearing from you!




Join bestselling craft book author Wendy Ward for a day of dressmaking. You will make a pull-on stretch pencil skirt from her new book “A Beginner’s Guide to Making Skirts”. The class includes a signed copy of the book to take away with you to make more skirts and even all your fabric and thread. All you need to bring is yourself!

This class is ideal for beginners and don’t be scared of sewing knitted fabrics, we’ll be using a regular sewing machine and Wendy will guide you through setting up the machine to sew stretch fabrics – it’s a lot easier than you think. There are lots of different ways to make this skirt; different lengths, adding gathering to the side seams and colour blocked panels so you will be able to make it really suit your own style.

  • Suitable for absolute beginners.                                                                                             
  • Class size limited to just 5 people.
  • £125 includes a copy of “A Beginner’s Guide to Making Skirts” and materials.

SUNDAY 4TH DECEMBER 10am – 4.30pm



Join bestselling craft book author Wendy Ward for a day of dressmaking to make your choice of skirt from her new book “A Beginner’s Guide to Making Skirts”.

There are 8 skirt styles to choose from and the class also includes a signed copy of “A Beginner’s Guide to Making Skirts” to take away with you to make more skirts!

This class is ideal for those who have just started sewing and those with more experience but need a refresher, some new ideas or just a confidence boost.

You will be able to choose to make one of the 8 different skirt styles in the book and with each skirt having at least three different style options you can really make the skirt your own style. Wendy will teach you how to perfect lots of dressmaking techniques; from pockets and pleats to zips, gathers and different ways to finish waistbands using her own tried and tested methods.

  • Best for those who know how to use a sewing machine and have done a bit of sewing.
  • Class size limited to just 5 people.
  • £125 includes a copy of “A Beginner’s Guide to Making Skirts”.

Want to Teach at MIY Workshop?

MIY Workshop

MIY Workshop has a reputation for being the best studio in Brighton to learn dressmaking and we’re looking for a freelance Dressmaking Tutor to join the team and maintain that reputation.

The position initially is to cover  existing tutor Zoe’s maternity leave from August 16 to March 17, however, there may also be the possibility of the position becoming more permanent for the right person.

Want to join the MIY Workshop team and teach some fortnightly sewing and dressmaking classes to super keen and enthusiastic adult learners?

MIY Workshop Sewing class

Here’s what you can expect:

  • Fully equipped bright airy studio across 2 rooms
  • All classes are limited to just 5 students
  • Industry quality card patterns available to use
  • Access to using a whole library of teaching resources
  • Central Brighton location in the North Laine close to public transport routes
  • Current model Janome sewing machines, updated every 18 months
  • Use of 2.4m long cutting table at the correct height for comfortable cutting
  • Freelance basis paid weekly.

MIY Workshop sewing classes brighton

Are you:

  • An experienced teacher?
  • An experienced dressmaker?
  • A qualified teacher?
  • Enthusiastic, down-to-earth and friendly?
  • Organised?
  • Self-motivated?
  • Patient and calm?
  • Reliable and punctual?

Is this you?! If so, get in touch with me, Wendy Ward, to arrange a meeting. Emails only please at this stage:

Beautiful Obscenities at MIY Workshop

A window installation by Michelle Abbott

Have you walked past MIY Workshop recently and seen the new window display? It’s full of embroidery and quilting hoops displaying abstract stitched canvases by local Brighton artist Michelle Abbott. The pieces are actually insults that have been used against people and I love this contrast of angry (often obscene) insults with the gentle art of hand sewing. I think rendering the insults this way takes all the anger out of them and almost neutralises the sentiments.

Anyway, I’ll let Michelle tell you all about the work herself………

“Beautiful Obscenities” questions the façade of domestic bliss and relationships.

Do we ever really know what goes on behind closed doors?

As outsiders do we ever really know what goes on in others’ relationships?

What do you question when the love dies?

Friends, family, strangers, the public have been asked to donate their insults – some anonymously, some singing them loudly.

“What’s the worst insult you have ever hurled at a loved one, or the worst you’ve ever received?” I asked. Whilst many donations fuelled an army of expletives and derogatory terms, some responses were chillingly simple:

“Is this it?”

And surely there is no greater insult you could receive from your lover than being told that you’re like “Cold Porridge”.

Using vibrant silk threads, hand sewn onto embroidery wheels these insults have been reinvented as beautiful bursts of abstraction. The comforting familiarity of sewing conjures up cosy associations of “Home Sweet Home” – aaahhh the cross stitch hanging by the hearth. Yet scratch behind this veneer of comfort and love and the more brutal reality of domestic bliss and relationships appears. The front portrayed to onlookers can often mask a harsher reality within – what really does go on behind the curtains. And when domestic bliss breaks down, what takes its place by the hearth? What words should replace “Home Sweet Home” when two people no longer share the love. Answers on a postcard please.

If you would like further information or make a purchase please contact Michelle on:

07770 580572

Commissions undertaken, discretion guaranteed.

Have a wander past and see if you can “see” the insults. All works are for sale and there is an accompanying price list in the workshop window, pieces range from £90 to £260. Or why not commission your own insult in honour of that “special” person in your life……

Saturday Sewing Classes – Weekly From 11th June!!

saturday sewing class brighton

That’s right, you can now sew every Saturday at MIY Workshop. There are two sewing and dressmaking classes at 10am to 12 and 12-2pm every Saturday from 11th June.

Who are sewing classes for?

Whether you’re a complete sewing novice; have got as far as buying a sewing machine that’s now gathering dust in a cupboard; or are a more experienced sewer in need of a bit of help with a new project, a few classes can help set you off in the right direction and boost your confidence.  Come along and make clothes, accessories, do your own alterations, or whatever takes your fancy!

What can I make at sewing classes?

Bring along your own pattern, a favourite garment to copy or learn how to do your own alterations.

All MIY Collection sewing patterns and all patterns from Wendy’s bestselling book “The Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking” are also available for students to use in classes at no extra cost.

You can make clothes for yourself and your family, accessories such as bags and purses or cushions, curtains and other home furnishings.

How much do the sewing classes cost? How many do I have to book?

These classes can be booked in blocks of 4 or 10, or paid per class, giving you the freedom to come to as many or as few as you feel you need.

  • 8 Weekly Class Times: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday evenings 6.30-8.30pm / Thursday & Friday mornings 10am-12pm / Saturdays 10am-12 and 12-2pm.
  • Option 1 – pay per class at £35 each (must be booked and paid for in advance).
  • Option 2 – £90 for 4 classes payable before the block starts.   You don’t have to come on 4 consecutive weeks, however, your 4 sessions must be used within 6 weeks of your first class.
  • Option 3 – £195 for 10 classes payable before the block starts.   You don’t have to come on 10 consecutive weeks, however, your 10 sessions must be used within 12 weeks of your first class.

Who teaches the sewing classes and how many people will there be in my class?

All MIY Workshop classes are limited to just 5 people, ensuring you get plenty of one-to-one help from your teacher and no queueing to use equipment.

Zoe Edwards teaches the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month and Wendy Ward teaches the 2nd and 4th Saturdays. Find out more about your teachers here.

How do I book?

Just email Wendy Ward using the form below to book your place or ask any questions. With only 5 places per class make sure you book soon and don’t miss out!

Read what previous students at MIY Workshop have thought of their classes here.

When booking blocks of classes you will receive a 10% discount card to use in Ditto; a great fabric shop on Kensington Gardens, just around the corner from MIY Workshop.

MIY Workshop Class Reviews

wendy ward review

There are lots of reviews from past students about what they thought of their classes at MIY Workshop. Have a read here.

Sunday Sewing Classes in Brighton

sewing classes brighton

After many requests over a long time I’ve finally given in!

Starting from Sunday 12th June there will be 2 Sunday time slots available for weekly sewing classes: 10am-12 and 12-2pm.

You can book just one class or both and you can mix and match these sessions with all the other weekly classes (see full timetable here).

These classes will happen on one Sunday per month starting on Sunday 12th June. From July they will run on the 1st Sunday of the month.

Prices are the same as for all the MIY Workshop Sewing and Dressmaking classes, ie. a block of 4 classes for £90, a block of 10 for £195 and single classes at £35. The only difference is that if you want to only do Sunday classes, you must do consecutive Sundays.

As with all other MIY Workshop classes there are only 5 spaces available per class, that means I only have space for 10 people to do regular Sunday classes. 

You can work on your own choice of project at the classes and they are open to all levels of ability from absolute beginners to more experienced stitchers. The common theme whatever your ability is that I won’t teach you shortcuts, I’ll teach you how to sew well and I won’t just teach you the standard way to do things that you can find in any sewing book you pick up, I’ll show you my own techniques that I’ve developed over years of sewing and teaching.

I’ve been sewing since I was 12 and pattern cutting since I was 16. I’ve got a 1st class degree in fashion, an MA and a teaching qualification. I spent 7 years working in the fashion industry (read a bit about that here) and I’ve been teaching adults to sew since 2007. I also write a regular column for Love Sewing magazine, my first dressmaking book “The Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking” which came out in 2014 is a bestseller and my second book “A Beginner’s Guide to Making Skirts” will be published this Autumn.

So, you’re in safe hands! I’ll teach you how to sew well and make clothes to be proud of.

But don’t just take my word for it, have a read of what previous students have thought here.

To book your place, email me at miyworkshop[at]

Overlockers for the Terrified!


Fearless Overlocking with Deborah Smethurst

  • Are you guilty of buying an overlocker and never getting it out of the box?
  • Do you have an overlocker and hardly ever use it?
  • Did you buy an overlocker, use it once, then put it away again after you couldn’t figure out the tension?
  • Have you recently got an overlocker and now find yourself wondering why?

You are not alone! Bring your neglected overlocker to this class, make friends with your overlocker, take the terror out of overlocking and open up a whole new world of sewing techniques.

This workshop is designed for the person who has bought an overlocker and is still somewhat hesitant about using this machine to its full potential. Perhaps the overlocker purchase was a bold idea, but when it was nestled in amongst the other sewing gadgets, it seemed a little daunting and the tasks assigned to the overlocker seemed a little too ambitious. This is a workshop for those who have looked inside the overlocker at all those threads and moving bits and thought that as long as nothing broke, you would be fine with this intrepid machine.

Let Deborah help you with your confidence using this machine. After this class you will be able to thread your machine confidently, remove parts of your machine and manipulate your overlocker so that it gives you the desired finish you are wanting to add to your sewing.

The class will cover:

  • Your overlocker accessories, including the kit – what’s needed/ what to throw away/what you should add
  • Identifying parts of the overlocker
  • What your overlocker can do/can’t do and how it is different from a sewing machine
  • Threading the overlocker, focusing on three-thread overlocking
  • Tensioning your overlocker threads
  • Sewing with your overlocker – an introduction
  • How to incorporate your overlocker into your current sewing needs
  • Troubleshooting your overlocker’s idiosyncrasies.

What you need to have and be able to do to get the most out of this class:

  • You need to bring your own overlocker so that you can continue to use it after the class!
  • You need to be confident using a sewing machine and be a fairly confident sewer/dressmaker.
  • This class isn’t for complete beginners to sewing and dressmaking who don’t already confidently know their way around a sewing machine.

Dates, times, cost & class size:

  • There are 2 dates available: Sunday 6th March and Sunday 24th April
  • Time: 10.30am to 4.30pm
  • Cost: £120
  • Class size: just 5 people – the smallest class size to learn how to use your overlocker in Brighton, ensuring you will get plenty of 1-2-1 help and go home confidently able to use your overlocker.

Your tutor:

Deborah is exactly the sort of tutor we love at MIY Workshop: a fully qualified teacher and a proper industry professional with a vast amount of fashion industry experience:

“I have been sewing for a long time. Even a long time before it was trendy. I remember being embarrassed to say that my only skill of note was that I knew a sewing machine and I could make that baby sing. But I could, and I still can.

I have a fashion design qualification that lends some credibility to what I do and have completed some excellent training with top companies who provide overlockers (Babylock, Viking Husqvarna, Janome). I have also had a number of business projects that have had varying degrees of success (bridal wear, Africa school project, business development, teaching), but I think over and above this, it’s the passion for the craft that lends the heaviest weight. And more than that, I love helping people with their passion for this wonderful skill.

Having dodged through many sewing and design alleys for a lot of years, I would like to show you the shortcuts to getting the most out of your craft. I will show you what works quickly and easily and what you have to put the time into to get the best results. Overlocking is one of those areas I can help you with in this regard and I would love to help you get the best out of your machine.”

Here’s what Ce thought of Deborah’s class when she took it:

“Deborah is a lovely attentive teacher. I now feel confident to re-thread and make adjustments to the many settings on my overlocker. I’m also no longer scared of its speed and that I might cut too much fabric. I highly recommend this class!”

Learn from a qualified and highly experienced industry professional how to use your overlocker at MIY Workshop – a fully equipped specialist design and sewing studio in central Brighton in the heart of the North Laine with everything you’ll need for the day close to hand.

***Don’t miss out – BOOK YOUR PLACE NOW! Phone 01273 693451 or email***