Category Archives: Weekly classes

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:

View this post on Instagram

Denim @anncancan handmade unique kimono. ūüíô

A post shared by Wendy Ward (@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***

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¬†‚ÄúThe Beginner‚Äôs Guide to Dressmaking‚Ä̬†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 ‚Äď pay per class at ¬£35 each¬†(must be booked and paid for in advance).
  • Option 2 ‚Äď ¬£90 for 4 classes¬†payable before the block starts.¬†¬† You don‚Äôt have to come on 4 consecutive weeks, however, your 4 sessions must be used within 6 weeks of your first class.
  • Option 3 ‚Äď ¬£195 for 10 classes¬†payable before the block starts.¬†¬† You don‚Äôt 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.

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]

Another New Teacher Joins the MIY Workshop Team!

Richard Clark Monks

Meet Richard Clark-Monks better known as Ricky! I’m so happy that he’s joining my teaching team.

Ricky will be teaching the Wednesday evening and Thursday morning classes from next week.

Ricky’s sewing journey began in the mid 90s starting in adult education classes at Kensington and Chelsea college and he was soon cutting his own patterns and sending outfits down the catwalk at the end of year show. After the unimaginable luxury of studying with a sewing teacher who was trained in Paris in the 40s he went on to do a Fashion BA at Middlesex Uni and graduated in 2002 with a BA Hons 2/1.
Since graduating he’s made wedding dresses, made the pattern and finished garment for a TV commercial, cut a waistcoat for Fallow Denim and worked on several private commissions.
Ricky has been teaching since 2012 and continues to feed his passion for the art of pattern cutting; always looking for interesting pattern cutting solutions and collecting books on the subject.
He’s also sings in a choir and bakes like a demon, but don’t expect that in your sewing class!!

If you’d like to meet Ricky, he’s going to be doing a talk at the Dressmaker’s Social on Monday 21st September all about sewing menswear. I love the posters Emma designs for these events, here’s Ricky in all his glory! Find out more about this event and previous socials here.


Thinking of Starting Sewing Classes in Brighton this Autumn?


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…..


Saturday Sewing Classes Start this September!!

It’s been a long time coming (and a long time asked for!), but finally, Saturday dressmaking classes are now open for booking at MIY Workshop!

These classes will be in addition to the¬†existing timetable of Weekly Sewing & Dressmaking classes and can be booked as single classes or as parts of blocks of classes. ¬†There will be 2 back-to-back classes each Saturday; 10am-12 and 12-2pm, if you’re really keen you can book both classes and start your weekend with a 4 hour sewing sprint!

To start with they will be on the 3rd Saturday of the month with the first 2 dates being Saturday 19th September and Saturday 24th October.

Now, here’s the bigger news……I’m not going to be teaching these classes. ¬†It’s taken me a long time to take the plunge and invite other teachers to teach at MIY Workshop. ¬†I’m a fussy one (not to mention a bit of a control freak) and have very high standards, so I’m absolutely over the moon that my first guest teacher is going to be Zo√© Edwards!!!

Saturday Sewing Classes Zoe

Here’s the lovely lady herself and for those of you in the sewing know, you’ll recognise Zo√© as being the brains behind the phenomenally successful annual event “Me Made May”.

Here’s a bit more about Zo√©:

Having graduated with a degree in Fashion Design, Zoe Edwards went on to work in the fashion industry in a variety of roles for a number of years. The distaste she developed for mass-produced clothing and production practices fuelled her growing passion for creating her own clothing by hand and she set up a now successful sewing blog that has an emphasis on sewing sustainably with style. Her passion for sewing, refashioning, and the UK handmade scene has continued to grow. Currently she teaches sewing in London, develops her own sewing patterns and runs a regular contemporary craft market called Brighton Craftaganza. She’s also the creator of the popular annual Me-Made-May challenges which ask sewers/knitters/crocheters/refashioners to wear hand-created clothing every day for a month. The aim of these challenges is to encourage people to bring the DIY and handmade ethos into their everyday lives, and to help them develop a better relationship with their handmade wardrobe. Zoe blogs at¬†

So, there you have it. Want to book a class?! You’d better be quick, as with all weekly classes there will only be 5 places available at Zo√©‚Äôs classes.

To book your place email me (Wendy) on miyworkshop[at] or call MIY Workshop on 01273 693451.

Some Fabulous Work from Students

Confession: I’ve been a bit slow at adding pictures of some of the fantastic work that my students have been producing recently.  So here’s a bit of a box-set for you to feast your eyes upon…..

leggings-june14 leggings-june14-2One legging pattern ‚Äď so many variations. ¬†Clair even managed to make two pairs in one workshop!

pc-dresses2-june14Some beautifully fitting dress toiles at the Pattern Cutting for Dresses 2 workshop.

summerfrockmaking-july14-webFabulous frocks at the Summer Frock Making workshop, all made using MIY Collection sewing patterns.

studentcollageAnd a brilliant collection of makes from my some of my weekly sewing & dressmaking students:

Top row ‚Äď Joy in her beautiful pink wool skirt which is fully lined, Salva in her dress with beautifully matched print at the seams and Lou in her fold-over waist skirt made from this¬†MIY Collection pattern.

Middle row ‚Äď Lou again in her denim shift dress made using my soon to be available MIY Collection shift dress pattern, Lizzie in a really well-made shirt*, Debbie in one of the many dresses she‚Äôs made from¬†this pattern¬†of¬†mine and ¬†Assuntina in her gorgeous shift dress** using the same pattern as Lou.

Bottom row ‚Äď Lizzie again in my¬†loose shift pattern¬†and Lou in her cosy cowl (another pattern soon to be available from MIY Collection).

*Lizzie started classes with me about a year ago as a complete beginner, not sure if she would enjoy sewing or be any good at it.  Hasn’t she made amazing progress?!  Partly thanks to sticking with it and practising on her new sewing machine that she went out and bought once I’d got her hooked after a few classes (!) and partly thanks to following a progressive approach to her sewing by making sure that each project she tackled challenged her with something more than the previous one.

**Assuntina is another example of a student that‚Äôs made fantastic progress ‚Äď starting last year as a nervous absolute beginner she has also taken a progressive approach to her sewing, starting with some easy cushions and now making gorgeous, well-fitting dresses, with skirts and tops along the way. ¬†Shirts next Assuntina‚Ķ..!

Inspired?  If you need that extra push to find time to sew or have always wanted to learn, join us at some weekly classes.  You can come to as many or as few as you like and start at any time when a space is available.  Get in touch with Wendy to book your sewing time on 01273 693451 or miyworkshop[at]

Inspired by the Great British Sewing Bee?

great british sewing bee

So, after many years of waiting sewing has finally made it onto prime time national TV.  The last time I remember this was when I was inspired as a teenager by the Clothes Show with Selina Scott, Jeff Banks and Caryn Franklin!  Those of us working in the world of sewing have seen a renewed interest in making gathering pace for a few years now, but finally the nation has caught up and realised that there is an alternative to baking and the cutesy perfect world of Kirsty Allsop.

I have to admit I was anticipating the programme with equal amounts of excitement and dread; while over the moon that sewing has made it onto national TV I was also envisaging myself ranting at the programme for presenting the subject in either a patronising or “oh it’s just so easy anyone can do it” way. Thankfully this didn’t happen and I was very pleasantly surprised!!

The mix of presenters works – Patrick Grant will make sure the twee is rationed and is a fabulous bit of eye candy (!), May Martin has super high standards of which I approve and while I thought that having a sewing novice in Claudia Winkleman as a presenter wouldn’t work, I actually think that her lack of knowledge adds to the show – she asks the questions that any sewing novice would ask, but maybe would feel too afraid to ask. ¬†As I always tell my students; there’s no such thing as a stupid question, it usually means that I haven’t ¬†explained something thoroughly enough.

As for the contestants, well, they’ve got in all the stereotypes haven’t they?! ¬†I think they come across really well and there (so far!) appears to be no ruthlessness and they seem pretty supportive of each other. ¬†I did feel for them though, the pressure of some of those tasks was not nice and having to do it all ¬†while being filmed and trying to look your best and occasionally being interrupted by the presenters was no mean feat! ¬†Impressing me the most last night were:

Ann – an amazingly accomplished sewer, who tackled every task perfectly because she absolutely knows what she’s capable of and knows how long things take (the hardest lesson of all to learn in sewing!).

Sandra – who managed to recover from a silly mistake and didn’t crumple under the pressure of it.

Lauren Рimpressively aware of her abilities, she managed to show off her skills without trying to do too much.  I also loved the fact that she still has the first bit of sewing she ever did!

I did feel very sorry for Michelle. ¬†I think she was let down by her fabric choice in that dress and nevertheless managed to overcome it, admittedly with a dress that wasn’t a perfect fit, but it wasn’t the worst gaff made on the show and ¬†I don’t think she should have left. ¬†Nope, I’m not going to reveal who I think should have gone!!

Judging by the activity on Facebook and Twitter on the subject last night and this morning, I’d say the show is a hit and hopefully they’re already working on series two. ¬†I’d encourage any of my students to apply. ¬†The book is already out:¬†and you can catch up any missed episodes here:¬†

Maybe we should have a MIY Workshop Great British Sewing Bee day……now there’s an idea………

Last but not least here’s our very own A-line skirt success from last night’s class!


Naz came to my “How to use your Sewing Machine” workshop as a complete novice at the start of this year and in 6 subsequent classes has made 2 cushion covers and this gorgeous skirt that fits like a glove. ¬†Having said that she did make me laugh last night when the skirt was almost finished by asking me if there was much more to do and “is there light at the end of the tunnel Wendy?” !!! ¬†She then assured me that she really was enjoying herself!

If you fancy having a go at making your own A-line skirt the next date for my popular Skirt Making Workshop is Sunday 28th April, full details here:

New Sewing Class Memberships

I’m lucky enough to have lots of very dedicated students who keep coming back for more and more classes. ¬†I think some people get “addicted” to sewing and want to keep learning and gain more confidence before going it alone, for some a class is the only way to make time for sewing and some definitely find some nice new like-minded friends at their sewing classes.

Whatever your reason, if you know you’d like to come to more than just the standard block of 4 of my Weekly Sewing & Dressmaking classes I’ve introduced some longer term options………..

*    12 classes.
*    3 months to use the classes.
*    This is a saving of £20 (when compared to booking 3 blocks of 4 classes at £150).

*    24 classes.
*    6 months to use the classes.
*    This is a saving of £50 (when compared to booking 6 blocks of 4 classes at £300).

Memberships must be paid for in full before attending your first class.

To book your creative time contact Wendy on 01273 693451 or 775951 or email miyworkshop[at]

Coming soon to MIY Workshop – City & Guilds courses

I had a bit of good news yesterday – I’m going to be able to offer City & Guilds Fashion courses at MIY Workshop.

City & Guilds qualifications are nationally recognised and have a deservedly high reputation.  They offer courses of high standards providing focussed, skills-led qualifications.

You can read a slightly more rambling version (!) of this story over on my blog:

In the meantime, keep an eye out for my new C&G Fashion courses that will be available from 2013.