Tag Archives: learn to sew

Make Your Christmas Gifts at MIY Workshop

Make a Cowl – Sunday 20th November

Parkwood Cowl Sewing Pattern

Spend a day making a cosy Parkwood Cowl; the perfect accessory for winter and in-between seasons and an ideal project for beginners. The cowl makes an ideal project for gift sewing and every year I always have a few students whipping up a batch in time for Christmas! This class includes beautiful quality bouclé wool fabric to make your cowl and a copy of the pattern to take home and make more.

This class will be taught by Candy. Find out more about Candy here.

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

• Class size limited to just 5 people         • 10.30am to 4pm         • £120

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Make Pyjama Trousers – Sunday 27th November

pyjama class brighton

beginners guide to dressmaking

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. We’ll be using the easy trouser pattern from my first book “The Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking” to make these most luxurious of pyjamas trousers. Price includes a signed copy of the book to take away and make more. 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 Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking” book to take home & make more!

This class will be taught by Candy. Find out more about Candy here.

• Class size limited to just 5 people      • 10.30am to 4pm            • £120

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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

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.

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.

MIY Workshop Gift Vouchers

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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! !

Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking – Book Launch Party

booklaunch-bookcake

Read all about Saturday night’s book launch shenanigans here.

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.

Love your Sewing Machine and get familiar with it!

 

sewingmachineinfographic

A little whistlestop tour of some of the main features of most sewing machines and some tips on what some of them actually do!

Get familiar with your machine and get the best out of it…..

 

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 – impressively 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: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Great-British-Sewing-Bee/dp/1849492875/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1364978516&sr=1-1 and you can catch up any missed episodes here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0165nj8

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!

alineskirt

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: https://miyworkshop.co.uk/sunday-workshops-with-wendy/