Tag Archives: miy collection

Make Your Own Leggings

That’s certainly what yesterday was all about!  Five students, five lots of very different fabric, five hours later…..four and a half pairs of leggings finished! Yes, one pair will be finished at my class on Tuesday evening thanks to a pesky bobbin running out at just the worst minute – don’t they always do that?!

Here’s what was finished yesterday…..

make your own leggings

This is what the students thought of the day:

“Wendy as usual makes everything work, I could not believe that I would go home with a perfectly fitting pair of leggings and the day was such fun.”Brenda

“Fantastic course and a fab pair of leggings at the end of it.  Don’t know what all the fuss was about on the Great British Sewing Bee!” Naz

“I have had a fantastic day, Wendy taught me so much and the other girls were great fun.  I will certainly make more leggings now!” Joy

“Brilliant day, learned lots and was really good fun!” Mel

Of the four pairs that were finished by the end of the day, three were proudly worn home!  Now that’s a good day’s work.

This legging pattern will soon be available to buy from MIY Collection.

Do You Know Your Weft From Your Selvedge?

If not, here’s a little reminder…..

understanding fabric

Download MIY Collection Sewing Patterns

It’s one that seems to divide stitchers – you either love using PDF download sewing patterns or you hate them!

This is what people have told me are the positives of using digital sewing patterns:

  • ease of storage
  • ability to re-use once size has been cut – just print out another
  • no taping together tatty old patterns – just print out another
  • cheaper to buy initially.

And these are the things that put people off using them:

  • cost of printer ink
  • size of printouts being accurate
  • time and hassle involved in taping the pieces together
  • accuracy of the pattern once it’s been taped together.

Well, in an attempt to keep everyone happy I’m starting to make my sewing patterns also available as downloads.  I feel like I may be slightly doing things back to front as every other indie sewing pattern company I look at seems to have done it the other way round ie. PDF patterns first, then hard copy, but hey ho, I like to be different!

The first PDF pattern available is my straight neck vest and dress.

MIY Collection digital sewing patternsHere are some examples of MIY Workshop student makes from this pattern:

MIY Collection digital sewing patterns

They’re available at just £7 from my Etsy shop and once you’ve ordered, the files will be automatically available to you to download and get started on, including a step-by-step guide on how to print your pattern and how to piece it together!

What are you waiting for?!

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.

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 – 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 – 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 – 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’s made from this pattern of mine and  Assuntina in her gorgeous shift dress** using the same pattern as Lou.

Bottom row – 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’s made fantastic progress – 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…..!

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]gmail.com

How to Use Bias Binding

It’s my last article in the Finishing Touches series for Sewing World magazine this month and it’s all about bias binding – how to make your own and different ways to use it.  It’s the August issue which is out now and is on pages 68-70.

how to use bias binding

I won’t be leaving Sewing World for good – I return in the November issue to start a new series!  Nope I’m not telling you what it is for now but both me and Julie the editor are really excited about it…….

Is Your Sewing Progressive?

I went to the gym today where there is a poster reminding us all to “Keep Your Training Progressive”.  Meaning?  To keep changing your exercise routine by adding new exercises and increasing the difficulty of existing ones.  The way to push your body to increase strength and fitness.

Now, I’ve written in the past about the similarities between exercise and sewing (stay with me, you’ll be surprised) and it was while chatting with two of my students today (Assuntina and Lizzie) that I realised this progressive approach also applies to your sewing.

Assuntina asked me what sort of project she should tackle next to keep improving her new found sewing skills (so far in classes she’s made cushions, my A-line skirt and my shift dress – all great successes, which have provided the encouragement and motivation for Assuntina to want to learn more).  Lizzie has taken this progressive approach to her sewing since she started with me as a complete beginner last year.  She started with my A-line skirt, has had a go at a dress sewing pattern, made my pull-on shift dress, had a go at knits with my cowl neck dress and drapey cardi and recently took on the key challenge of making a shirt and made a fantastic job of it.  She’s now making loose covers for a chair!

If you choose a sewing teacher with lots of experience in the areas in which you’re interested (be that home sewing, dressmaking or craft sewing), you’re going to progress too, but if your teacher doesn’t have much experience you’re never going to move beyond the basics.

Here are some ideas for a progressive approach to sewing your own clothes:

A PLAN FOR PROGRESSIVE SEWING

The First “Make Your Own Leggings” Workshop

And what a success it was!  Look at the fantastic end results:

leggings-april14

All finished bar a couple of hems, Emma (2nd from right) not only finished the pair she’s wearing in the picture but also started a second pair which she finished yesterday evening and three of the leggings above were worn home!

I think this new workshop can be officially considered a success and a popular addition to my list of Sunday workshops.

If you feel inspired to make your own leggings, I still have availability at the next date for this workshop which is Sunday 8th June.  Get in touch to book your place!

Here’s what the five students thought of the workshop:

“What a lovely way to spend a rainy Sunday!  The ever-patient Wendy and the four other ladies made for a relaxed and productive atmosphere and I even got to wear my new leggings home!  Another splendid workshop and I cannot wait for my next one.”  Jo

“Leggings are way easier than I thought and Wendy’s pattern is so much nicer than the ones in the shops!  (No outside seams down the legs!)  All my relatives (male & female) are going to get leggings for Christmas!”  Emma

“Loved the day spent with other sewing lovers.  Learnt lots and went home a very happy lady with a brilliant new pair of unique leggings.”  Maria

“Great workshop on making leggings.  Good fun, good day and fab results.  Can’t wait for the work shirt and trouser making day ahead (!)”  Debbie

“Wendy’s legging day was fantastic fun, a lot to learn in an enjoyable environment.  A great confidence boost for sewers of different abilities.  Will be looking forward to continuing classes.  Thank you!”  Rachel

This workshop came about thanks to a request from one of yesterday’s students a few months ago.  A few more ideas were added to the list yesterday!  Do you have any ideas for workshops that you’re desperate to do and that you think others would enjoy?  I’m always open to suggestions!

Rouleau Loops in Sewing World Magazine

ft-rouleauloops-web

Rouleau loops are a real display of top notch sewing skills.  In the first series of the Great British Sewing Bee they were included in a challenge to make a girl’s dress and described as a “couture” technique.

Well, if you’re looking for a bit of a sewing project this Easter weekend, rouleau loops aren’t just for making dainty shoulder straps or button loops.  Have a look at my article for the May issue of Sewing World which is out now.  I show you two different ways to make beautiful rouleau loops and hopefully leave you inspired use them in some ways you might not ever have considered.

It’s on pages 64 to 66 and Sewing World is only £4.99 which includes full size pull-out pattern sheets.

Happy sewing!

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:

Jeanstoskirts-april-web

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!

aprilstudentwork-collage-web

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.