DIY Bobbin Holder

DIY bobbin holder

Have a read of a new post on my blog about how to organise your bobbins!

How to Thread a Sewing Machine – Picking up the Bobbin Thread

Find my latest video tutorial explaining how to pick up the bobbin thread once you’ve threaded-up your sewing machine over on my blog.

how to pick up the bobbin thread

New Classes!! Make a Kimono | Make Your Own Knickers | Fabric Stamping

I’ve found some wonderful new teachers for MIY Workshop this Autumn and they’re going to be teaching some fantastic classes, in fact I think I want to do them all myself! They’re now all open for booking so if you fancy making a beautiful bespoke kimono, your own knickers or want to have a go at fabric stamping read on to find out how to book your place:


how to make a kimono / kimono making class

Make your own ultimate casual jacket, or beautiful evening cover up.
Your style will be shown off and your wardrobe enhanced by this completely timeless easy wear garment.
Be inspired by Michelle who sells her beautiful handmade kimonos on how to combine colours and textures as a detail and alter the basic pattern blocks to create a completely bespoke garment that will become a lifelong friend.

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen 2 of Michelle’s kimonos that I treated myself to earlier this year:

Denim @anncancan handmade unique kimono. 💙

A photo posted by Wendy Ward – MIY Collection (@thatwendyward) on

I can personally vouch for how beautiful they are and so easy and comfortable to wear. They’re the perfect garment for showing off great fabrics.

Suitable for beginners who have never done any dressmaking. You will make faster progress if you already know the basics of using a sewing machine.

Dates, times, cost & class size:

  • There is a choice of 3 dates for one-day workshops 11am-5pm: Sunday 18th September |  Sunday 9th October | Sunday 23rd October.
  • OR you can choose to do this class at a 3 session weekly course, 7-9pm on Wednesdays 2nd, 9th and 16th November. 
  • Cost: £100
  • Class size: just 5 people – MIY Workshop offers the smallest class sizes in Brighton, ensuring you will get plenty of 1-2-1 help.


knicker making class

A frivolous, fun & flattering piece of underwear you will treasure. A lovingly designed comfortable retro shape with 2 style options. Covers sizes 6-20.
Learn a great way to attach frilled elastic neatly and go bonkers with bows!
A choice of cotton fabrics, frilled elastics and ribbons is included in the class price for you to create something unique.
Price also includes an Anncancan pattern & elastic bundle to take home.

Suitable for beginners who have never done any dressmaking. You will make faster progress if you already know the basics of using a sewing machine.

Dates, times, cost & class size:

  • There is a choice of 3 weekday mornings 10am-12: Thurs 15th September | Weds 5th October | Tues 1st November.
  • Cost: £40 (including materials)
  • Class size: just 5 people – MIY Workshop offers the smallest class sizes in Brighton, ensuring you will get plenty of 1-2-1 help.

Your tutor for Kimono and Knicker Making classes is Michelle:

Michelle is an experienced and highly talented maker; as well as selling her beautifully make kimonos, she’s also a freelance costume designer.

“Sewing has always been central to my life.

From a very young age I remember paper patterns and textiles, strewn across the living room floor. Mum cursing under her breath that the fabric she’d bought hadn’t been cut to grain. I was hooked.

Designing and making specialised performance costumes that inspire the artists are a love of mine.  Particularly the challenges and problem solving creating them presents.

When it comes to everyday garments. I always start with beautiful natural fabrics and classic silhouettes. Simply cut. Combining prints, colours and textures to create something individual.”

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


fabric stamping class

Join Nula Shearing for a fabric stamping workshop where we will be stamping on your choice of a tote bag, a tea towel or a square of fabric suitable to be made into a cushion cover. Nula will bring a variety of her stamp designs featuring geometric shapes, a decorative hare design, and some simple flowers.

Nula will take you through the simple steps of inking up the stamp correctly for printing on fabric and how achieve a crisp strong stamped image on fabric. Nula will advise on combining colours together for grey effect, and to match your home decor. There will be lots of stamped samples for you to look at and have a go at recreating for yourself.

Suitable for absolute beginners – no sewing involved!

  • There is a choice of 3 Sunday workshops: 10.30am-12.30pm: 11th September | 2nd October | 16th October.
  • Cost: £40 (including materials)
  • Class size: just 6 people – MIY Workshop offers the smallest class sizes in Brighton, ensuring you will get plenty of 1-2-1 help.

Meet Nula, your fabric stamping tutor:

Nula Shearing

I’ve known Nula now for 15 years since we worked together on projects at Gossypium. She is incredibly creative and a very down-to-earth and encouraging person – a great combination in a teacher!

“I set up Noolibird in 2003, being a new mum the focus was then on children’s fabrics and wallpapers. Since then we have continued to evolve and the collection of stamps has grown, often guided by customers requests. 

My childhood was spent in the beautiful viIlage of Firle in East Sussex with three boisterous brothers and numerous furry friends for company! My Mum and Dad set-up and ran one of the UK’s first mail order businesses Clothkits which was a huge inspiration to watch grow and be a part of … literally, as my brother’s and I and various friends and relations ended up modelling for the brochures!  

I have no doubt these early experiences helped shape my love of pattern and design and I went on to study textiles at Winchester school of Art, then for 2 years I worked freelance designing prints for fashion for the European, Japanese and American market. From there I was fortunate enough to work full time as an in-house designer for Jane Churchill for three years designing wallpapers and fabrics. 

I now live just outside Brighton with my husband Daniel, who as a photographer has the enviable job shooting all the noolibird products!” 

***To book your place at the Fabric Stamping workshops contact Nula direct on or 07512 156339***

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.