Category Archives: Sewing & dressmaking

2016 Master Classes Now Open For Booking!

All Master Classes are taught by me; Wendy Ward, owner of MIY Workshop, a qualified teacher I have been teaching since 2007, spent 7 years working in the fashion industry, write for national sewing magazines and wrote the bestselling book “The Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking”. I hope you find a class to tempt you whether you’re a complete beginner or a more experienced stitcher looking for a new challenge!


Sunday 10th January – Make a Cowl NEW CLASS!!

make a cowl

Spend a day making a cosy Parkwood Cowl; the perfect accessory for winter and in-between seasons and an ideal project for beginners. The class includes beautiful quality bouclé wool fabric to make your cowl and a copy of the pattern to take home and make more!

Suitable for absolute beginners and those with a bit of sewing experienceincludes pattern to take home & make more cowls.                                      

• Class size limited to just 5 people         • 10.30am to 4pm         • £135


Sunday 17th January – Start Sewing in a Day

start sewing in a day

Got a sewing machine and no idea how to use it? Bring it along to this class and become the master of your machine! The day is aimed at absolute beginners to find your way around your sewing machine and use your new-found skills to make a simple fabric bag, zipped make-up bag/purse or cushion cover. You can use one of our machines if you haven’t got round to buying your own yet. Just bring fabric and thread.

Suitable for absolute beginners.

• Class size limited to just 5 people        • 10.30am to 4.30pm        • £90


Tuesday 26th January – How to Sew Knits on Your Sewing Machine NEW CLASS!!

Sew-knits-on-your-sewingmachine

Sewing with stretchy knitted fabrics is easier than you might think.   At this class you’ll learn the best ways to cut and sew knitted fabrics using just a regular sewing machine. Learn how to sew seams and hems and finish necks and armholes. Fabrics provided, all you need to bring is some thread and a basic sewing kit.

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 
         • 10am to 1pm             • £60


Tuesday 16th February – Master Zips

zips master class

Struggle with zips? Avoid putting them in your you-made clothes? New to dressmaking and terrified of zips? It’s all in the preparation. Join us for a half-day of focused zip sewing and master the perfect centred (slotted) zip, lapped zip and invisible zip.

Suitable for those with just a bit of sewing experience.

• Class size limited to just 5 people            • 10am to 1pm            • £60


Sunday 21st February – Make a Shrug NEW CLASS!!

make a shrug

Spend a day making a chic little Brightside Shrug; a great cover-up for an evening out or for layering with t-shirts and jeans. It’s an ideal first garment project for beginners. The class includes beautiful quality lightweight sweatshirt fabric to make your shrug and a copy of the pattern to take home and make more!

Suitable for absolute beginners and those with a bit of sewing experienceincludes pattern to take home & make more shrugs.

• Class size limited to just 5 people          • 10.30am to 4pm         • £125


Sunday 13th March – Make Pyjama Trousers

pyjama trouser making class

Looking for the perfect sewing project for gifts or a nice easy project for yourself? Pjyama trousers make the perfect home-sewn gift and are a great beginner project for yourself. I’ll show you 2 different ways to finish the waist. Just bring fabric and thread. Indulge yourself and make a pair for every day of the week!

Suitable for beginners and those with a bit of sewing experience, Includes a copy of the pattern to take home & make more!

• Class size limited to just 5 people      • 10.30am to 4pm            • £110


Tuesday 15th March – Master Buttonholes

buttonholes master class

Struggle with buttonholes? Avoid putting them in your you-made clothes? Join us for a half-day of focused buttonholing and master the perfect machined buttonhole and learn the art of the couture bound buttonhole to really up your game!

Suitable for beginners and those with a bit of sewing experience.

• Class size limited to just 5 people             • 10am to 1pm              • £60


Sunday 17th April – Make a Skirt

make an aline skirt

Want to learn to sew? Fancy a new skirt? The Kelham A-line skirt will teach you some good solid dressmaking techniques and how to use a pattern. The skirt can be made in different style variations including pleats & pockets depending on your skill level.

Suitable for beginners and those with a bit of sewing experienceincludes pattern to take home & make more skirts!

• Class size limited to 5 people           • 10.30am to 4.30pm         • £110


Tuesday 19th April – How to Sew Knits on Your Sewing Machine  NEW CLASS!!

Sew-knits-on-your-sewingmachine

Sewing with stretchy knitted fabrics is easier than you might think.   At this class you’ll learn the best ways to cut and sew knitted fabrics using just a regular sewing machine. Learn how to sew seams and hems and finish necks and armholes. Fabrics provided, all you need to bring is some thread and a basic sewing kit.

Suitable for beginners and those with a bit of sewing experience.

• Class size limited to just 5 people  
       • 10am to 1pm             • £60


Sunday 8th May – Make a Cowl Neck Dress or Top NEW CLASS!!

make a cowl neck dress

The Wisewood is possibly the most flattering and comfortable dress you’ll ever wear! Cowl necks are easy to wear and this pattern includes 2 different cowl options. You can make a top or dress, with or without sleeves. You will also learn how to sew knitted fabrics on a sewing machine.

Suitable for those with a little bit of sewing experience as well as more experienced sewists – includes a copy of the pattern to take home and make more.

• Class size limited to just 5 people        • 10.30am to 4.30pm      • £110


Tuesday 17th May – Make Your Own Bias Binding NEW CLASS!!

make your own Bias Binding

With this clever method, which uses just one square of fabric you can make metres of bias binding and use it to add a special detail to all your sewing projects. Fabrics provided, just bring thread and a basic sewing kit.

Best for those who know how to use a sewing machine.

• Class size limited to just 5 people            • 10am to 1pm              • £60


Sunday 22nd May – Sewing with Knits

sewing with knits class

Sewing with stretchy knitted fabrics is easier than you might think.   At this workshop you’ll learn the best ways to cut and sew knitted fabrics using just a regular sewing machine.  You can choose from a range of MIY Collection patterns specifically designed for knitted fabrics for you to whip up something to wear by the end of the day. All you need to bring is some stretch knit fabric of your choice and matching thread.

Suitable for beginners and those with a bit of sewing experience – includes a copy of your choice of pattern to take home.

• Class size limited to just 5 people 
   • 10.30am to 4.30pm       • £110


Sunday 12th June – Make a Pull-on Shift Dress NEW CLASS!!

make a pull-on shift dress

The Fulwood pull-on shift dress is one of my most popular patterns – it’s easy and super versatile; with options to add pleats, pockets and a roll-over collar. It can even be made as a top. It’s an easy project and makes an ideal first garment project for beginners. The class includes beautiful quality denim fabric to make your dress and a copy of the pattern to take home and make more!

Suitable for absolute beginners and those with a bit of sewing experienceincludes pattern to take home & make more dresses.

• Class size limited to just 5 people 
   • 10.30am to 4.30pm       • £150


Sunday 26th June – Master Zips & Buttonholes NEW CLASS!!

zips master class buttonholes master class

A combined day of the Master Zips and Master Buttonholes classes. Conquer all your dressmaking demons in one day!! You will learn how to insert perfect centred (slotted) / lapped and invisible zips and also master the perfect machined buttonhole and learn the art of the couture bound buttonhole to really up your game!

Suitable for beginners and those with a bit of sewing experience.

• Class size limited to just 5 people            • 10.30am to 5pm        • £120


To book a class telephone 01273 693451 or email miyworkshop@gmail.com

Remember, if you want to buy a class as a gift or suggest that you receive one (!) gift vouchers are available, more details here.

A Perfect Pyjama Making Sunday

I know, I’ve been very bad at not uploading write-ups of classes over the last few months. There’s been lots going on what with books, magazines and new patterns! I will post some write-ups of previous classes, but in the meantime, here’s what we did today at MIY Workshop.

On a grey, wet, chilly Sunday what could be better than spending a day making cosy pyjama trousers?!

pyjama making class

Five students worked super hard and finished 5 1/2 pairs of pyjama trousers by the end of the day!

I could only persuade 3 of said students in front of the camera (well they are in their pj’s!) but you can see from these 3 what a great job they did.  For 2 of these students these were the first garments they’ve ever made!

I think a lot of people around the Brighton area are going to be getting pj’s for Christmas……

Here’s what today’s students thought of the class in their own words:

“A great day. It’s been creative and fun. Wendy is an excellent teacher and guided me through the difficult parts. I’m delighted with my pyjama trousers. Thank you!” Hilary

“My second workshop with Wendy and it was brilliant! Even when I made some mistakes Wendy knew how to still make it work! Can’t wait to do another class in the new year. Thank you.” Georgia

“Great day. I always felt that I could ask for help and was also comfortable to use my initiative and have a go on my own. The day went too fast!” Jo

“Very thorough, thank you so much for all your help!” Rebecca

“A thoroughly enjoyable day and much learnt! Look forward to the next one!!” Fiona

I will be repeating this class in the new year. If you’d like to have a go at making your own pyjama trousers sign up for the MIY Workshop newsletter here to get priority booking onto new classes before they’re opened up for booking online. Hope to see you at a class soon!

Thinking of Starting Sewing Classes in Brighton this Autumn?

howtochooseasewingteacher

It’s that time of year already when we start thinking about fresh starts, learning something new, curling up indoors with a new hobby and, if you’re like me, buying stationery!

Anyway, I digress, this isn’t a post about buying stationery, it’s a post about how you start that new sewing journey you’ve been mulling over all summer.

Sewing and dressmaking get more popular by the day (hoooray!) but one of the pitfalls of that to the sewing newbie is the overwhelming choice of where to start your new hobby. So, if you’d like a bit of help in working out how to choose your new sewing teacher, have a read of this blog post I wrote a while ago…..

HOW TO CHOOSE A SEWING TEACHER!

MIY Collection Fold Over Skirt in Sewing World’s “Pattern Showcase”

My MIY Collection Fold Over Skirt pattern has been picked to be featured in this month’s Sewing World magazine “Pattern Showcase” feature:

SewingWorld-foldoverskirt-july15-web

I love this pattern – it’s so quick and easy and the skirt is super comfy. The a-line and asymmetric versions are both included in the pattern. A perfect sew for your summer holiday wardrobe……. Here’s MIY Workshop student Tam in the one she cut out and finished (apart from hemming) in class this week!

If you’re inspired to have a go, get your pattern here.

New Master Classes – BOOKING NOW!!

I’ve been working hard over the last couple of months on these new classes and I’m really pleased with the final selection. It’s a varied list, with lots of new classes and something to suit every interest and ability. Let me know what you think!!

To book a place or for more information contact Wendy on 01273 693451 or miyworkshop[at]gmail.com

Sunday 12th July – Draft Your Own Culottes NEW CLASS!!

CULOTTEs pattern cutting class

Culottes are the way to be stylish and practical and comfortable for the summer and are everywhere this year! If you have previously drafted a skirt block, bring it along to this class and learn how to turn it into culottes, we’ll go through pleated, flared and plain and touch on how to add pockets. We’ll draft a culotte pattern and make a toile.  Suitable for people who have previously drafted a basic skirt block and are confident making clothes from patterns.

  • Class size limited to just 4 people
  • 11am to 4pm
  • £115

Thursday 23rd July – Skirt Making ***

skirtmaking class

Want to learn to sew? Fancy a new skirt? Want to make a present for a friend? This class will teach you some good solid dressmaking techniques and how to use a pattern. The skirt can be made in different style variations including pleats & pockets depending on your skill level. Suitable for beginners and those with a bit of sewing experience – includes pattern to take home & make more skirts!                                                                     

  • Class size limited to 5 people
  • 10.30am to 4.30pm
  • £110

Sunday 26th July – Pattern Testing Day *** NEW CLASS!!

pattern testing class

Be one of the first to try out one of Wendy’s new patterns and get an insider peak before it’s launched. This time it’s the cowl neck top and dress. Learn how to sew knitted fabrics on a sewing machine and put this new pattern through its paces. This design can be made as a top or dress and with or without sleeves.  Suitable for those with a little bit of sewing experience as well as more experienced sewists & includes a voucher for an advance copy of the pattern as soon as it’s released.                                                                                                                                  

  • Class size limited to 5 people
  • 10.30am to 4.30pm
  • £85

Wednesday 2nd September – Learn to Sew in a Day

learn to sew in a day

Got a sewing machine and no idea how to use it? Bring it along to this class and become the master of your machine! The day is aimed at absolute beginners to find your way around your sewing machine and use your new-found skills to make a simple fabric bag, zipped make-up bag/purse or cushion cover. You can use one of our machines if you haven’t got round to buying your own yet. Just bring fabric and thread. Suitable for absolute beginners.                                          

  • Class size limited to just 5 people
  • 10.30am to 4.30pm
  • £85

Sunday 13th September – Sewing with Knits ***

sewing with knits class

Sewing with stretchy knitted fabrics is easier than you might think.   At this workshop you’ll learn the best ways to cut and sew knitted fabrics using just a regular sewing machine.  You can choose from a range of Wendy’s patterns specifically designed for knitted fabrics for you to whip up something to wear by the end of the day. All you need to bring is some stretch knit fabric of your choice and matching thread. Suitable for beginners and those with a bit of sewing experience – includes a copy of your choice of pattern to take home.                     

  • Class size limited to just 5 people
  • 10.30am to 4.30pm
  • £110

Sunday 25th October – Make Your Own Leggings ***

make your own leggings class

Leggings, they’ve become a staple of all our wardrobes and they’re very easy to make. Come and make your perfect pair – all you need to bring is some fabric, patterns are provided! You’ll be able to make them the length you want, I’ll show you a few different ways to finish the waist and some other ways to make them your own. Suitable for beginners and those with a bit of sewing experience, Includes a copy of the pattern to take home & make more!

  • Class size limited to only 5 people
  • 11am to 4pm
  • £90

Wednesday 28th October – Trouser Pattern Cutting

trouser pattern cutting class

Tired of buying trousers that don’t fit properly? Join us and draft the perfectly fitting trouser block. By the end of the day you will have drafted a basic trouser block and pattern and made a toile (sample). You will get the most out of this workshop if you have previously made clothes from patterns and are confident using a sewing machine.    This workshop is suitable for those new to pattern cutting & those who have previously had a go at pattern cutting.

  • Class size limited to only 4 people
  • 10.30am to 4.30pm
  • £140

Tuesday 3rd November – Master Zips NEW CLASS!!

zips master class

Struggle with zips? Avoid putting them in your you-made clothes? New to dressmaking and terrified of zips? It’s all in the preparation. Join us for a half-day of focused zip sewing and master the perfect centred (slotted) zip, lapped zip and invisible zip. Suitable for beginners and those with a bit of sewing experience.

  • Class size limited to just 5 people
  • 10am to 1pm
  • £60

Sunday 8th November – My First Me-Made Dress *** NEW CLASS!!

my first dressmaking class

Just started sewing and want to have a go at a frock but feeling a bit daunted? Fancy making a unique dress for the festive season or nights out? Join us at this class and choose from three of Wendy’s easiest dress patterns designed specifically for scared beginners! Learn some new techniques and good habits and whip up your new frock by the end of the day. Just bring your fabric and matching thread. Suitable for beginners and those with a bit of sewing experience, Includes a copy of the pattern to take home & make more!

  • Class size limited to just 5 people
  • 10am to 5pm
  • £130

Tuesday 17th November – Master Buttonholes NEW CLASS!!

buttonholes master class

Struggle with buttonholes? Avoid putting them in your you-made clothes? Join us for a half-day of focused buttonholing and master the perfect machined buttonhole and learn the art of the couture bound buttonhole to really up your game! Suitable for beginners and those with a bit of sewing experience.

  • Class size limited to just 5 people
  • 10am to 1pm
  • £60

Sunday 22nd November – Embellished Tops & Dresses *** NEW CLASS!!

embellished top dress class

Want to make a garment that will wow for the festive season and nights out? Looking for something to make your you-made clothes completely unique? Come and make a top or dress and embellish it with one of Wendy’s unique lace motifs in a choice of patterns and colours. Just bring fabric and thread. Suitable for beginners and those with a bit of sewing experience, includes a pattern of your choice & lace embellishment.                                                                                    

  • Class size limited to just 5 people
  • 10am to 5pm
  • £150

Sunday 6th December – Make Pyjama Trousers *** NEW CLASS!!

pyjama trouser making class

Looking for the perfect Christmas present project or a nice easy project for yourself? Pjyama trousers make the perfect home-sewn gift and are a great beginner project for yourself. I’ll show you 2 different ways to finish the waist. Just bring fabric and thread. Indulge yourself and make a pair for every day of the week! Suitable for beginners and those with a bit of sewing experience, Includes a copy of the pattern to take home & make more!

  • Class size limited to just 5 people
  • 10.30am to 4.30pm
  • £110

Tuesday 8th December – Master Zips NEW CLASS!!

zips master class

Struggle with zips? Avoid putting them in your you-made clothes? New to dressmaking and terrified of zips? It’s all in the preparation. Join us for a half-day of focused zip sewing and master the perfect centred (slotted) zip, lapped zip and invisible zip. Suitable for beginners and those with a bit of sewing experience.

  • Class size limited to just 5 people
  • 10am to 1pm
  • £60

Sunday 13th December – Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking ***

beginners guide to dressmaking

Make a garment from Wendy’s best-selling dressmaking book. You will be taken step-by-step through using one of the 6 patterns from “The Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking” and should have a new t-shirt, skirt, dress, trousers or jacket to take home at the end of the day! Just bring fabric and thread. Suitable for beginners and those with a bit of sewing experience, includes a signed copy of the book to take home & make more!

  • Class size limited to just 5 people
  • 10.30am to 4.30pm
  • £125

*** ALL CLASSES THAT USE WENDY’S PATTERNS COVER THE FOLLOWING MEASUREMENTS: bust 84-101cm (33-40″), waist 68-85cm (27-33.5″), hips 92-109cm (36-43″) if your measurements are outside of this range contact Wendy to see if the workshop will still be suitable for you.

To get priority booking before new dates are advertised online, sign-up here: http://eepurl.com/EVEYn

Please check your diary to ensure you can make the date before booking a class and ensure you read the  Classes – important info which contains important information about cancellations.  Thanks!

Read what previous students have thought of classes here.

Summer Frock Making Workshop

A few weeks ago was the first Summer Frock Making workshop of the year. An industrious (but camera shy!) group of students they were too, here’s what they made:

frockmaking-may15-3-webJen’s vest dress – a great example of showing off a bold print with a simple pattern.

frockmaking-may15-1-webErin’s gorgeous tube dress – jersey boob tube style top with a full skirt in a matching woven cotton print. This was Erin’s first ever garment and first time using a sewing machine! Super impressive.

frockmaking-may15-2-webHelen was on a mission with a day away from her new baby and was a one woman production line; she finished this black jersey vest dress and jersey shrug to wear with it and got a vest version of the dress cut out and started!

pull-onshift-zoe-webThis is Zoe’s pull-on shift dress in denim that was finished bar the hemming on the day and she finished at her next weekly class.

We had one more pull-on shift almost finished too!

Here’s what the students thought of their day:

“Another great class with Wendy.  Such a nice way to spend a Sunday!  Left with something I will actually wear.  Wendy was a great teacher – very patient.  Chris

“The Summer Frock Making workshop was my first ever attempt at sewing and using a sewing machine. I walked away with a gorgeous dress for my holiday.  Looking forward to making a new wardrobe now!” Erin

“This is the 2nd workshop I’ve done and already feel so much happier and confident at my machine. Wendy is an excellent teacher.” Zoe

“A fantastic 1 day workshop, easily able to finish a jersey t-shirt dress and shrug which I’m very pleased with! The workshop is small in number so Wendy was able to provide plenty of equal attention to each student.” Helen

“Thank you for another great class where I felt like I learnt a lot and left feeling I could go home and make some more garments by myself. Your patient and relaxed style of teaching makes it very easy to learn.” Jen

If you fancy making yourself a new dress in a day, this workshop will be running again between July and December this year.  I’m working on the new timetable as we speak!  If you’d like to be one of the first to hear about new classes and get priority booking before they are advertised online, sign-up to my newsletter here.

Another Sewing with Knits Workshop

I’ve been a bit slow at posting write-ups of workshops and pictures of students’ fabulous creations recently, so here’s the first of a few belated posts, this one from my ever-popular Sewing with Knits workshop.

sewing with knitsFirst up Chris in her really cute little floral print version of the MIY Collection Vest.

sewing with knitsNext Sharon in the dress version of the vest above.  This fabric had a lovely texture which you can’t really see in the picture.  (Sharon has since gone on to make several more of these!)

sewing with knitsAnd Kate in another printed jersey.  Kate used to be a regular at MIY Workshop before she started writing best-selling cook books, but she wanted to get back into sewing again and made an excellent start here!

We also had two almost finished drapey cardigans.

Here’s what the students thought of their day:

“I love coming to MIY – it’s a great escape from normal life as you get so lost in the sewing, and the ‘sewing with knits’ workshop was fantastic: lots of advice and personal attention to help you make a whole garment in a day. I was really pleased with the result, especially as I haven’t been near a machine in about 18 months, but I will be wearing my new dress all summer.  Kate

“Excellent day. I came full of apprehension about working with jersey fabric. I left with a fully completed beautifully fitting top and full of enthusiasm to start another garment at home. Many thanks Wendy.  Lesley

“Great day – was far easier than I expected and will be making lots more knit garments! Thank you.  Suzanne

“A great day with patient, helpful guidance using a lovely pattern. Thanks Wendy!”  Chris

“Knitted fabrics demystified for me thank you! Great to see so many types of knits and the different finished achieved. A good pace for learning and thrilled to take home a finished garment. Thank you Wendy for sharing your skills and enthusiasm.  Sharon

This workshop will be running again between July and December this year.  I’m working on the new timetable as we speak!  If you’d like to be one of the first to hear about new classes and get priority booking before they are advertised online, sign-up to my newsletter here.