Tag Archives: sewing classes sussex

New Sunday Workshop Timetable Now Booking!!!

how to choose a sewing teacher

My new timetable of Sunday workshops for July to December 2014 is now open for booking and they’re filling up fast!

See the full list here.

British Sewing Awards – MIY Workshop was 3rd!

SEW 3rd Place Logo

I had some pretty impressive news last week, MIY Workshop came 3rd in Sew Magazine’s British Sewing Awards in the “Best for Sewing Courses/Workshops” category.

I have to admit that usually nothing less than the best is good enough for me, but this was a national competition open to the many businesses teaching people to sew across the UK, so I’m actually rather chuffed with 3rd.

And, dear reader, this is mostly down to you, as I relied on you first of all to nominate me back in September of last year and then to vote for me, so a big thank you bear hug from me to you.

MIY Workshop seems to be on a bit of a roll this year……

A Mini Lesson on Sleeves

If anyone feels tempted to have a go at the alteration challenge that was set on the Sewing Bee last night (don’t worry, no spoilers contained in this post if you haven’t seen it!), here’s a bit of background knowledge to help you.

Putting a sleeve into a sleeveless armhole is never a good idea, take note from the most successful version last night – Chinelo’s pleated sleeve head.  A sleeveless armhole is much smaller than an armhole designed for a sleeve, with good reason – so that it doesn’t gape!  This makes for a snug armhole that is completely the wrong shape to then go adding in a sleeve.

I’ve also seen the term “set-in sleeve” not being used properly this morning.  So, as I like things to be just so and as I believe that if you’re learning a new skill, it’s best to get it right from the start, here’s a little starter for ten on sleeves…..

sleeve-explanation-web

So, if ever you’re trying to put a sleeve into a sleeveless armhole, remember……you need to add some kind of fullness into the top of the sleeve, be it in the form of gathers or pleats.  That is, if you want to be able to move in the garment!

Sewing with Stretch Knits Workshop

This workshop is becoming increasingly popular and I’m not surprised because each time I run it students walk away with fabulous new garments.  Yesterday’s workshop was no exception and two of my students even went home in their creations!

It always amazes me how people with the same pattern can make such different garments.  Here’s a perfect illustration – all three garments below were made from the same pattern – my Straight Neck Vest and Dress:

how to sew jersey fabricHere are from left to right; Louise in her straight neck vest in a lovely lightweight loopback sweatshirt fabric from The Cloth House in London, Debbie in her fabulous straight neck dress (which has a plain black back to it!) in lightweight jersey from Fabricland and Katie in another lovely straight neck vest in a teal ponte roma from Fabricland (loving that colour!). 

how to sew knitted fabricAnd here’s the same pattern and Louise again in a lovely sporty straight neck dress for summer using a gorgeous flecked teal sweatshirt fabric, again from The Cloth House.

how to sew stretch knitsLast but not least is Kate in a lovely cowl neck dress in the perfect drapey printed jersey from John Lewis.  This pattern will be the next one available as a multi-sized MIY Collection pattern, just as soon as I’ve finished my sewing book!  Impressively, once Kate had finished this dress, she then cut out and almost finished a shrug

The only person we didn’t get in front of the camera was Tess.  She was soooo close to finishing a drapey cardi, but the sewing gods were against her – we had to really juggle the pattern and fabric to get it out of not quite enough fabric and then her bobbin ran out right at the end.  You know how it always does, just when you think you’ve nearly done…?!

Here’s what the five students thought of the workshop in their own words:

“Brilliant!  Loved it!  Wendy is super knowledgeable and super helpful.  I came away with a lovely top that I’ll certainly be wearing a lot, as well as a lot more confidence.  Already looking forward to my next workshop.”  Katie

“What a great day.  made a dress and wore it home.  FABULOUS!  Lovely people, patient teacher, lots of laughs.  A lovely way to spend a Sunday.”  Debs

“Great fun day – so pleased with my results and have two great garments to wear.  Wendy was a great teacher and very patient.”  Louise

“What a great way to spend a day.  And to think, I walk away with something new to wear.  Fantastic.”  Tess

“A really great day!  Wendy was brilliant at helping me get to grips with sewing with jersey.  I’m totally converted.  Thank you!”  Kate

Wow, thanks folks!  Sounds like a job well done.

If you’re feeling tempted to have a go yourself, I will be announcing more dates for this workshop soon.  To be able to book your place before workshops are advertised (and they often book up before I get chance to advertise them on my website), join my mailing list here.

Look forward to seeing you…..!

Spring Skirt Making

Yesterday was the first Skirt Making workshop of 2014.  Five keen students arrived feeling a bit apprehensive with bundles of fabric, not sure if they were going to be able to finish making a wearable skirt by the end of the day.

Look at them six hours later!

skirtmaking-feb14From left to right; Rose in a summery striped number from my fabric stash, Joy in a beautifully lined skirt using up some of her fabric stash, Penny in a really cute apple print from Ditto, Jo in the first of her collection of “storybook” skirts – a Quentin Blake Charlie and the Chocolate Factory print which everyone loved (and she went home in!) and last but not least, Debbie in a rather fab metallic denim skirt which she was planning to wear today….!

I always enjoy my Sunday workshops; they’re fast paced and students always achieve such a lot in the day, but sometimes I get a group of students who seem to instantly gel together which this group definitely did and we all shared a really enjoyable sunny Sunday.  For three of these students this is the first garment they’ve made and I think they definitely all made wearable skirts which they really weren’t sure was possible at 10.30 that morning!

Here’s what they all thought of the day:

“An excellent day with lots of support, encouragement and giggles!  I have a beautiful skirt and lots of new skills.  Thoroughly recommend and I cannot wait for my next course!  Thank you Wendy.”  Jo

“A lovely day with lovely people.  Wendy created a really relaxed atmosphere – but I managed to sew my first skirt with ease.”  Penny

“A day making a skirt which was easy and enjoyable.  I also met some lovely friendly people.  Wendy is a fantastic tutor – very patient!”  Joy

“Fabulous day – made a lovely skirt, learnt more techniques and had great fun!”  Debbie

“A wonderful day!  Wendy is an excellent teacher – can’t wait to learn more!”  Rose

If you want to have a go at making a skirt in a day, I will be running this workshop again.  To get priority booking on all my classes before they’re advertised, sign up for my newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/EVEYn

A New Series for Sewing World Magazine – Finishing Touches

The March issue of Sewing World magazine is out now and has the first article of my new series on pages 68-71.  The series is called Finishing Touches and will explain how to add beautiful and professional details to a garment.

The first in the series shows you step-by-step how to make a perfect bound buttonhole.  They’re not as scary as you may think and look a squillion times better than a machine made buttonhole, especially on coats and jackets.

Go on, try one.  You might just surprise yourself and start putting them in everything you make…..!

ft-boundbuttonholes-web

How to use your Sewing Machine for Dressmaking

Last Sunday five students arrived at MIY Workshop armed with new sewing machines that they were determined to get to grips with!

After a few hours practicing some basic techniques and generally getting more familiar with their machines, here’s what they thought of the day:

“A brilliant course if you’ve got a new machine and you need to learn the basics.  Takes the fear out of sewing!” Jayne

“I thoroughly enjoyed the class.  Perfect for beginners who need to get to know and make friends with their machine :o)  Now I can practice these new skills to help me get ready for other classes!  Can’t wait to come again.  Thank you Wendy.”  Jess

“Demystifying – I can go home and actually use my machine now!”  Karen

“Really useful workshop – I’m no longer scared of sewing machines!  Definitely gave me the basics and inspiration to start some projects.  Thanks!”  Harriet

“Wendy was great!  She explained sewing in a simple, easy-to-understand way.  It doesn’t seem so scary now!  I’m ready to experiment with sewing.”  Serena

If you’ve been thinking about buying a sewing machine, have a read of my guide to which one to buy: http://wendyward.wordpress.com/2011/03/17/which-sewing-machine-should-i-buy/

And if you need a few basic sewing tips to get you started, there are lots over on the MIY Collection website, including:

I will be running this workshop again later in the year.  If you’d like to get a chance to pre-book before the workshop is advertised, you can join my priority mailing list by contacting me (Wendy) at post[at]wendyward.co.uk

Happy sewing!