Category Archives: For sale @ MIY Workshop

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

mabbottgibson@googlemail.com

www.michelleabbottart.com

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……

MIY Workshop Gift Vouchers

image

Have you got some creative types to buy for this Christmas or do you want to drop some hints about you own Christmas wish list?!

MIY Workshop gift vouchers are available in any monetary amount of your choice and can be used as full or part payment for any class, 1-2-1 session or MIY Collection products. All vouchers are valid for 6 months from date of purchase.

Contact Wendy at MIY Workshop on miyworkshop@gmail.com or 01273 693451 to get yours.

Give the gift of sewing – the gift that keeps on giving! !

A Pop-up Shop at MIY Workshop

POP-up shop at MIY Workshop

For the next 2 Saturdays MIY Workshop will be turning into a pop-up shop selling gorgeous leather goods, screen printed scarves and jewellery by local designer-makers: Holly Murray, Sophie Darling and Marie Walshe.

We’ll be open on Saturday 29th November and 6th December from 11am to 6pm.

MIY Workshop is at 33 North Road in the North Laine area of central Brighton, just up the hill from Infinity Foods.

Treat yourself to a bit of quality Christmas shopping and maybe a treat for yourself too?!  That is if I haven’t bought everything myself before you get there…..

The Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking – a peek inside…..

For how many years have I dreamt of writing this post?!  A lot.

You’ve heard me going on about it for long enough, but now it’s finally here. Last week the first delivery of my book “The Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking” arrived and I’m very excited that you can now buy a signed copy online!! Advance copies have been winging their way out to magazines and reviewers over the last month, so you should hopefully start seeing it out and about in the virtual sewing world very soon.  In the meantime, I thought you might like to have a little sneak preview between the pages……

beginners guide to dressmaking coverThe simple and gorgeous cover – I love this image.

The book is divided into 3 sections: Projects, Techniques and Customising.

There are 6 projects (all garments – no cheating with accessories!) with full-scale multi-sized patterns printed in colour on pull-out pattern sheets at the front and back of the book.  All you have to do is trace the pieces you need and off you go.

beginners guide to dressmaking projectsThe projects section with an inspiring page of outfits made from the 6 patterns to get your creative juices flowing!

beginners guide to dressmaking techniquesThe techniques section covers all the techniques used in the 6 projects: Working with Fabric / Using Paper Patterns / Taking Measurements / Sewing Machine Basics / Sewing Seams / Sewing Hems / Sewing Darts / Gathering / Creating Pleats / Adding a Centred Zip / Using Bias Binding / Understitching / Setting in Sleeves / Sewing Knit Fabrics. If you work your way through the projects in the order they appear in the book, by the end you will have a thorough set of really good basic dressmaking skills to stand you in good stead for further projects.

beginners guide to dressmaking customisingThe Customising section includes easy ideas for adapting the basic patterns to make them your own style and create different versions of the garments. Customising techniques covered are: Adding Custom Seams / Adding Ruffles / Adding Patch Pockets / Adding Side Seam Pockets / Adding Collars. All pattern pieces required are also included on the pattern sheets, ie. collars and pockets.

beginners guide to dressmaking pattern sheetsOne of the two pull-out pattern sheets.  They’re inside the front and back covers and are printed both sides and colour coded by project making it easy to find the pieces you need, trace them onto a new piece of paper and start making!

Who is it for?

The Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking is aimed at anyone who would like to make their own clothes but feels a bit daunted by many of the sewing patterns available. Basically like the majority of people I teach! It explains absolutely every step in detail in both words, diagrams and photographs and I hope the fact that I spend a lot of my time teaching adults how to sew shows through in clear, user-friendly instructions. I wanted to create a book that was both beautifully designed and inspiring to look at, but would actually be used. I don’t want your copy to be a pristine coffee table book, I want it to be well thumbed, scuffed and battered and be full of your own notes.

beginners guide to dressmaking projects summaryHere’s a summary of the 6 projects along with examples of how easy it is to make completely different versions from the same pattern.

Each project is laid out like this:

beginners guide to dressmaking t-shirtA description of the pattern with a shot of a couple of different versions (Gyspsydog didn’t manage to photobomb all of them…), a summary of the techniques and customising ideas used and jargon-free descriptions of what kind of fabric to choose.

beginners guide to dressmaking t-shirt instructions1Next, a chart showing the measurements of the garment when made up in the different sizes so you know what size it will turn out (something which is often missing from sewing patterns and dressmaking books but which my students find really helpful), and how much fabric you will need.

beginners guide to dressmaking t-shirt instructions2Then, how to lay your pattern pieces on the fabric, followed by detailed instructions with diagrams explaining how to put the garment together.

beginners guide to dressmaking t-shirt make it your ownAnd finally, ideas using techniques from the customising section on how to change the basic pattern to make it your own.

After spending 7 years teaching adults to sew I felt I had a good idea what people wanted from a sewing book and I also thought there was a huge gap in the market for a sewing book that included full-size patterns for everyday clothes with a modern contemporary look. There are lots of sewing books available now with a very particular, often vintage style. Just because someone likes to sew or wants to learn to sew, doesn’t mean everyone likes the same kind of design, just like when you’re shopping for ready-to-wear clothing, we each have our own style. That’s where I wanted to use my experience in the fashion industry and design background to create everyday simple clothes that can be further adapted to suit different styles.

The team at David & Charles my publishers have done an excellent job and were a pleasure to work with, as was my amazing editor Lin Clements.  They took on board every single one of my ideas, preferences and whims and ran with them to create a book that I’m really proud of and which is pretty much what I had in my mind’s eye when I started the book 10 months ago.

I was lucky to have all the photographs in the book shot by the very talented photographer Julian Ward (no relation!) and they were all styled to perfection by my good friend Lauren Courtney who can work wonders with anything.  They were a fantastic team to work with and I already miss our photo shoot days where we worked our socks off, but always at some point ended up almost crying with laughter at something or other!

Yes the book is available at a discount on Amazon and yes I’m selling it full price. I just can’t compete with Amazon. But, if you want a signed copy, I’m the only place you can get it! Buy yours here.

**NOTE ADDED 30/10/14** the patterns are printed full-scale in 5 sizes which cover the following range: bust 84-101cm (33-40″), waist 68-85cm (27-33.5″), hips 92-109cm (36-43″). Three of the patterns are for stretch fabrics so aren’t very fitted, the other three patterns are for woven fabrics and two of them are fairly fitted.

The Perfect Accessory for Stitchers!

While getting my last lot of tools laser cut I was looking at the logo for MIY Collection and in particular the scissors………….

MIYcollection-logo

…..and thought, I’ll bet that would look nice in laser cut perspex or wood.  So the lovely Joe at Heritage Inlays humoured me, did some samples and I was right!

You can have your very own sewist / stitcher accessory in the form of a badge:

scissor badge scissor badge

or a pendant to hang on your own chain:

scissor pendant scissor pendant

They’re available now in my Etsy shop for a snip (!) at £5.

Neon Orange Sewing Tools now available on Etsy!

pattern cutting tool and sewing tool miy collection miy workshop

At last, my neon orange sewing and pattern cutting tools are now available online from my Etsy shop: www.etsy.com/shop/miycollection

The little sewing tool available in cm’s and inches is £10, the big pattern cutting ruler (in cm’s only) is £16, or you can buy a set for £23, all with free P&P in the UK!  Go on, treat yourself (or that stitchy friend of yours).

Making your own Christmas Presents? How about a Christmas Shrug!

My MIY Collection shrug pattern is proving popular with Christmas present makers this year. Lots of MIY Workshop students have been making them, one student has made five!!  They’re a really quick, easy sew and simple to fit.  You can buy your pattern here.

But, can you beat the current speed shrug sewing record set by one of my students this week?!……

shrug sewing pattern