Tag Archives: MIY Workshop

Beautiful Obscenities at MIY Workshop

A window installation by Michelle Abbott

Have you walked past MIY Workshop recently and seen the new window display? It’s full of embroidery and quilting hoops displaying abstract stitched canvases by local Brighton artist Michelle Abbott. The pieces are actually insults that have been used against people and I love this contrast of angry (often obscene) insults with the gentle art of hand sewing. I think rendering the insults this way takes all the anger out of them and almost neutralises the sentiments.

Anyway, I’ll let Michelle tell you all about the work herself………


“Beautiful Obscenities” questions the façade of domestic bliss and relationships.

Do we ever really know what goes on behind closed doors?

As outsiders do we ever really know what goes on in others’ relationships?

What do you question when the love dies?

Friends, family, strangers, the public have been asked to donate their insults – some anonymously, some singing them loudly.

“What’s the worst insult you have ever hurled at a loved one, or the worst you’ve ever received?” I asked. Whilst many donations fuelled an army of expletives and derogatory terms, some responses were chillingly simple:

“Is this it?”

And surely there is no greater insult you could receive from your lover than being told that you’re like “Cold Porridge”.

Using vibrant silk threads, hand sewn onto embroidery wheels these insults have been reinvented as beautiful bursts of abstraction. The comforting familiarity of sewing conjures up cosy associations of “Home Sweet Home” – aaahhh the cross stitch hanging by the hearth. Yet scratch behind this veneer of comfort and love and the more brutal reality of domestic bliss and relationships appears. The front portrayed to onlookers can often mask a harsher reality within – what really does go on behind the curtains. And when domestic bliss breaks down, what takes its place by the hearth? What words should replace “Home Sweet Home” when two people no longer share the love. Answers on a postcard please.

If you would like further information or make a purchase please contact Michelle on:

07770 580572

mabbottgibson@googlemail.com

www.michelleabbottart.com

Commissions undertaken, discretion guaranteed.


Have a wander past and see if you can “see” the insults. All works are for sale and there is an accompanying price list in the workshop window, pieces range from £90 to £260. Or why not commission your own insult in honour of that “special” person in your life……

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.

MIY Workshop Class Reviews

wendy ward review

There are lots of reviews from past students about what they thought of their classes at MIY Workshop. Have a read here.

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]gmail.com

Overlockers for the Terrified!

overlocker-class

Fearless Overlocking with Deborah Smethurst

  • Are you guilty of buying an overlocker and never getting it out of the box?
  • Do you have an overlocker and hardly ever use it?
  • Did you buy an overlocker, use it once, then put it away again after you couldn’t figure out the tension?
  • Have you recently got an overlocker and now find yourself wondering why?

You are not alone! Bring your neglected overlocker to this class, make friends with your overlocker, take the terror out of overlocking and open up a whole new world of sewing techniques.

This workshop is designed for the person who has bought an overlocker and is still somewhat hesitant about using this machine to its full potential. Perhaps the overlocker purchase was a bold idea, but when it was nestled in amongst the other sewing gadgets, it seemed a little daunting and the tasks assigned to the overlocker seemed a little too ambitious. This is a workshop for those who have looked inside the overlocker at all those threads and moving bits and thought that as long as nothing broke, you would be fine with this intrepid machine.

Let Deborah help you with your confidence using this machine. After this class you will be able to thread your machine confidently, remove parts of your machine and manipulate your overlocker so that it gives you the desired finish you are wanting to add to your sewing.

The class will cover:

  • Your overlocker accessories, including the kit – what’s needed/ what to throw away/what you should add
  • Identifying parts of the overlocker
  • What your overlocker can do/can’t do and how it is different from a sewing machine
  • Threading the overlocker, focusing on three-thread overlocking
  • Tensioning your overlocker threads
  • Sewing with your overlocker – an introduction
  • How to incorporate your overlocker into your current sewing needs
  • Troubleshooting your overlocker’s idiosyncrasies.

What you need to have and be able to do to get the most out of this class:

  • You need to bring your own overlocker so that you can continue to use it after the class!
  • You need to be confident using a sewing machine and be a fairly confident sewer/dressmaker.
  • This class isn’t for complete beginners to sewing and dressmaking who don’t already confidently know their way around a sewing machine.

Dates, times, cost & class size:

  • There are 2 dates available: Sunday 6th March and Sunday 24th April
  • Time: 10.30am to 4.30pm
  • Cost: £120
  • Class size: just 5 people – the smallest class size to learn how to use your overlocker in Brighton, ensuring you will get plenty of 1-2-1 help and go home confidently able to use your overlocker.

Your tutor:

Deborah is exactly the sort of tutor we love at MIY Workshop: a fully qualified teacher and a proper industry professional with a vast amount of fashion industry experience:

“I have been sewing for a long time. Even a long time before it was trendy. I remember being embarrassed to say that my only skill of note was that I knew a sewing machine and I could make that baby sing. But I could, and I still can.

I have a fashion design qualification that lends some credibility to what I do and have completed some excellent training with top companies who provide overlockers (Babylock, Viking Husqvarna, Janome). I have also had a number of business projects that have had varying degrees of success (bridal wear, Africa school project, business development, teaching), but I think over and above this, it’s the passion for the craft that lends the heaviest weight. And more than that, I love helping people with their passion for this wonderful skill.

Having dodged through many sewing and design alleys for a lot of years, I would like to show you the shortcuts to getting the most out of your craft. I will show you what works quickly and easily and what you have to put the time into to get the best results. Overlocking is one of those areas I can help you with in this regard and I would love to help you get the best out of your machine.”

Here’s what Ce thought of Deborah’s class when she took it:

“Deborah is a lovely attentive teacher. I now feel confident to re-thread and make adjustments to the many settings on my overlocker. I’m also no longer scared of its speed and that I might cut too much fabric. I highly recommend this class!”

Learn from a qualified and highly experienced industry professional how to use your overlocker at MIY Workshop – a fully equipped specialist design and sewing studio in central Brighton in the heart of the North Laine with everything you’ll need for the day close to hand.

***Don’t miss out – BOOK YOUR PLACE NOW! Phone 01273 693451 or email miyworkshop@gmail.com***

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!

MIY Workshop Gift Vouchers

image

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! !

What Happens When You Have a Good Teacher….

Some of you will know this smiley person, it’s Emma aka Crafty and Cake aka organiser of Brighton’s Dressmaker’s Social events.

This is her amazing entry for the Refashioners Get Shirty project that I was part of in August. Gorgeous isn’t it? Read all about how she did it here.

I also have some other exciting news to share about Emma….from next week she is going to officially be my “Right Hand Woman” not sure that’s an official job title, but she’s certainly going to be taking on loads of admin and helping me out with lots of other stuff. So, from now on you may be receiving emails and responses to your emails from Emma rather than me.

As Emma used to work in events management I think we can say we’re in safe hands!

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.

dressmakers-social