Tag Archives: jersey sewing patterns

Sewing with Knits (again!)

Yesterday was the first weekday Sewing with Knits workshop. As usual it was a popular one with a long waiting list and yielded some great garments at the end of it.

sewing with knits vest easy sewing patternHere’s Georgia in her floral print vest (doesn’t it look great with blue jeans?!), she finished this and got a lovely black and grey striped one cut out and tacked ready to finish at home. This was Georgia’s first attempt at sewing with knits and I think we’ve got her hooked! This fabric was from Raystitch. The pattern is available from MIY Collection and you can make a dress version too.

sewing with knits cowl neck dress easy sewing patternNext up, Claire in a gorgeous blue and red striped cowl neck dress. Another newbie to sewing with knits I love this frock and I think Claire was rightly proud of it, she even managed to wear matching tights! This will be available as a MIY Collection pattern very soon. Claire’s fabric was from Brighton Sewing Centre.

sewing with knits leggings easy sewing patternIf you love leggings, get a load of this pair! I don’t think I could live without leggings in my wardrobe and I love this pair that Erica made. Another convert to sewing with knits, Erica has spent many years sewing but always been a bit wary of sewing stretch fabrics, hopefully she’s now cured! This fabulous fabric was from Funki Fabrics – they have a huge selection of high stretch knits that are perfect for leggings in prints much wilder than this!  Erica also got a second pair cut out and well on their way to completion. My leggings pattern will also soon be available to buy from MIY Collection.

The day also saw two drapey cardigans tantalisingly close to being finished, I’m looking forward to seeing pics soon.  **Update 28/5, here’s Dee’s finished cardi!

sewing with knits - drapey cardiEven more impressive considering that this is Dee’s first ever garment and it seems to have instantly become a new favourite in her wardrobe.  Result!!

Anyway, enough from me – here’s what the students thought of their day:

“Great day, can’t believe I’ve mastered stretch fabric and actually finished the dress! Many thanks!  Claire

“Thank you Wendy for yet another brilliant day. Very pleased with my t-shirt.  Georgia

“Did the sewing with knits workshop today. Wendy was very thorough and patient and her patterns very clear to understand. I haven’t used a sewing machine for 24 years and have a beautiful cardi to show for my day’s work. Thank you Wendy and look forward to doing the next course soon.  Dee

“A fun day! Learnt plenty of techniques to take home and an almost finished cardi! Thanks so much!  Charlotte

“Thanks Wendy! I made a great pair of unique leggings. I am an experienced sewer but had no confidence with knits and I’ve learned so much today.  Erica

If you want to know as soon as my new patterns are available, sign-up for the MIY Collection newsletter here.

This workshop will be running again soon, I’m currently working on my timetable for July to December, if you’d like to get access to priority booking and hear about new classes before they’re advertised online, sign-up for the MIY Workshop newsletter here.

Some Recent Student Work

I’ve been storing up a bit of a backlog of fabulous student work recently.  The photos are no good just sitting on my computer, you need to admire and be inspired!

Here they are:


Remember the customising project on turning old jeans into a skirt that I did for Sewing World magazine (have a look here if you missed it)?  I have a few students working on theirs at classes and here are the first two to finish.  Assuntina and Karen looking fab and very pleased with themselves!  I don’t think any two skirts make like this would turn out the same, but they do all result in a very wearable new garment from something that would have gone to the charity shop or the bin!


And what a fine collection here!  Starting from the top from left to right we have: Joy in her gorgeous pink wool skirt, Salva in her beautiful Prada-esque dress that she persevered with and was rewarded with a new dress that got all her work colleagues asking where it was from, Orsi in her black jersey version of my drapey cardi, Tasha in her first skirt, Mary in her lined a-line skirt and vest, Hollie in her spotty version of the same dress, Salva again in her version of my drapey cardi and last but not least, Karen in I think possibly her third version of my drapey cardi!

If you’re feeling inspired you can make your own version of Mary’s vest and Hollie’s dress with my Straight Neck Vest & Dress MIY Collection sewing pattern or your version of Salva, Orisi and Karen’s MIY Collection Drapey Cardi.  Patterns are available to buy online from my Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/miycollection

To spruce up your sewing skills, gain some new ones and meet like-minded sewers, full details of my classes are here.

Where to Buy Organic Fabrics?

Organic and fair trade fabrics are becoming more and more popular, just like organic and ethical fashion, although it’s not always easy to know where to find organic fabric.  As I’ve been asked this question a few times, I’ve put together an organic fabric shopping list, although I must credit most of the research to one of my students – Mary Parnwell.  Mary came to me initially for a one-to-one session to get to grips with her sewing machine, then started some weekly sewing classes and did a Summer Dress Making workshop and now is regularly walking around in outfits she’s made herself!  Particularly keen to work with organic natural fabrics, this list is the result of Mary’s search.



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**UPDATE**  It seems that Bishopston Trading is about to be no more which is very sad.  You can read the reasons why on their website: http://www.bishopstontrading.co.uk/shop/article.php?article_id=210



Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 09.00.10Not the easiest online shop to get around, but they’ve got a pretty big range of fabrics.



Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 09.02.09Another online shop that’s a bit busy on the eye, but it is pretty well organised and there is a comprehensive range of fabrics and you can also order a comprehensive sample pack.



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And if you live near Brighton, “The Cloth Collective” in Lewes (which used to be Gossypium) has some organic cotton jerseys and wovens alongside vintage French furnishing fabrics and naturally dyed fabrics from India.  The Cloth Collective is at 19 High Street, Lewes and is open 9.30-5.30 Monday to Saturday and 12-4 Sunday.  MIY Workshop students can get a 10% discount by getting a card from me!


Sewing with Knits Workshop

Sunday saw 5 students at another of my popular “Sewing with Knits” workshops.  It always amazes me how quickly these days whizz by, especially when I have such a lovely bunch of students.

The day always starts with a look at everyone’s fabrics and these students had found some really nice ones from a wide range of places; Leeds market, John Lewis and of course, Ditto.  There are always a few confessions of a fear of sewing knitted fabrics at the start of the day too…

After a little trying on session to choose which of the MIY Collection patterns they were going to make I soon set them to work….

knitworkshop-june3Here’s Joy, Wendy and Lynn who all decided to make the Drapey Cardi, Lynn had the extra task of stripe matching……!

Joy runs her own knitting business and has written about her experience of the workshop on her blog: http://theknittinggoddess.wordpress.com/2013/06/17/this-may-make-your-eyes-go-funny/  Thanks Joy and I hope you’re now enjoying wearing your cardi!

Here’s what the other 2 students made:

knitworkshop-june2Hèlène chose the straight neck dress and this gorgeous fabric is from online fabric shop Fabric Godmother.

knitworkshop-juneFiona made this gorgeous cowl neck dress with fabric from John Lewis.  Fiona has only recently started sewing after coming to one of my Skirt Making workshops so I was extra impressed by what a good job she made of this!  I’m still in the process of putting together the instructions for this pattern, but it will soon be available to buy.

All 3 cardis were also tantalisingly close to being finished by the end of the day and the 3 students making them went home confidently knowing what to do to get them finished.  A picture of Joy’s finished one is on her blog post.

Here are some of the students’ thoughts on the day:

“Wendy’s workshop was fun, relaxing and a great way to spend my Sunday.  She was very friendly and available for support throughout the day.  I’ll be back for more sewing, thank you very much!”

“Thanks for a great day!  Learnt lots and no longer afraid of stretch fabrics!”

The next Sewing with Knits workshop is on Sunday 6th October.  More details here.

Pattern Competition Winner

WebThe lucky winner of a MIY Collection sewing pattern is………….

Debbie Tomlinson!!

Congratulations to Debbie, she’s chosen the skirt.  I hope she’ll soon have a wardrobe full of lovely new skirts for when the sun decides to return!!