Vote for July’s MIY Maker

July MIY Makers

It’s that time again. OK, so it’s a bit early! That’s because I’m off on holiday on Friday so get your votes in today for who you think deserves to the the July MIY Maker.

What a lovely selection to choose from (clockwise from top left):

Leave a comment with your choice and I’ll be announcing the winner tomorrow (Thursday).

Voting will also be open on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Start Thoughtful Sewing With My Sewing Planner


Stop making garments you never wear and get your sewing on track with my Sewing Planner! I’ve had a lot of fun putting this together, it was inspired by my recent ideas on summer sewing and the proliferation of colouring books…..

The downloadable 12 page A4 PDF booklet includes:

  • fashion drawing croquis that you can trace and use to plan your garment sewing
  • fashion drawing croquis that you can draw straight onto
  • a sheet for each of my patterns with flat drawings of all the different options so you can play around with colours and prints and really make it your own style
  • a fun colouring page of outfits
  • a copy of my Sewing With Knits shopping checklist.

To get yours just join my newsletter here and you’ll automatically be sent a link to download your copy.

Happy planning!

The Walkley Vest & Dress – Now Available as a Complete Making Kit

MIY Collection walkley vest dress kit

At long last, the MIY Collection Walkley Vest & Dress is now available as a complete making kit.

The kit contains everything you need to make a vest or dress:

  • printed pattern
  • beautiful quality viscose/lycra ponte roma in a choice of 4 colours (enough to allow for shrinkage when you pre-wash your fabric)
  • and matching thread.

All delivered straight to your door with free P&P (UK only) so you can just get sewing.

See inspiration for how to make the Walkley on this Pinterest board as well as links to blogger reviews of the pattern from Handmade Jane, Scruffy Badger Time, Paprika Patterns and more!

Come & Make A Skirt From “A Beginner’s Guide to Making Skirts”!

In celebration of my new book “A Beginner’s Guide to Making Skirts” being published in October I’m teaching 2 one-day classes based around the book.

These are the only 2 dates that I’ll be teaching one day classes based around my book this year, so once they’re booked, that’s it!

The first date is suitable for absolute beginners that have never made clothes before, the second date is for those who already know how to use a sewing machine and have done some dressmaking. Both classes include a signed copy of the book to take away with you and make more skirts!

To book, email me at I look forward to hearing from you!




Join bestselling craft book author Wendy Ward for a day of dressmaking. You will make a pull-on stretch pencil skirt from her new book “A Beginner’s Guide to Making Skirts”. The class includes a signed copy of the book to take away with you to make more skirts and even all your fabric and thread. All you need to bring is yourself!

This class is ideal for beginners and don’t be scared of sewing knitted fabrics, we’ll be using a regular sewing machine and Wendy will guide you through setting up the machine to sew stretch fabrics – it’s a lot easier than you think. There are lots of different ways to make this skirt; different lengths, adding gathering to the side seams and colour blocked panels so you will be able to make it really suit your own style.

  • Suitable for absolute beginners.                                                                                             
  • Class size limited to just 5 people.
  • £125 includes a copy of “A Beginner’s Guide to Making Skirts” and materials.

SUNDAY 4TH DECEMBER 10am – 4.30pm



Join bestselling craft book author Wendy Ward for a day of dressmaking to make your choice of skirt from her new book “A Beginner’s Guide to Making Skirts”.

There are 8 skirt styles to choose from and the class also includes a signed copy of “A Beginner’s Guide to Making Skirts” to take away with you to make more skirts!

This class is ideal for those who have just started sewing and those with more experience but need a refresher, some new ideas or just a confidence boost.

You will be able to choose to make one of the 8 different skirt styles in the book and with each skirt having at least three different style options you can really make the skirt your own style. Wendy will teach you how to perfect lots of dressmaking techniques; from pockets and pleats to zips, gathers and different ways to finish waistbands using her own tried and tested methods.

  • 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.
  • £125 includes a copy of “A Beginner’s Guide to Making Skirts”.

Summer Sewing Plans & A Summer Discount


Do you have any summer sewing plans? I love sewing for summer; quick, easy pieces that you just know you’re going to love wearing.

How do you plan your sewing? When I started planning mine recently I thought it would be nice to share some of the process with you – I do line drawings of the patterns I’m planning to make and then colour them in or add fabric swatches, a bit like in the image above.

To help you with your summer sewing plans, here’s a little thank you:

Will you spend just a few minutes to write a review of any products you have bought from MIY Collection in return for 15% off your next order? You can have bought them online, direct from me at MIY Workshop (or have used them at a MIY Workshop class), at a show or from another shop who stocks MIY Collection.

Honestly, it’s really easy – you don’t need to create an account or anything, just go to the product you want to leave a review for on the MIY Collection website then follow these 5 easy steps:


  1. click on “write a review” under the product description and the box will expand
  2. fill in your name
  3. fill in your email address (don’t worry, it won’t appear on the review!)
  4. enter your rating from 1 to 5 stars
  5. write your review then click “submit review”.

That’s it! Your email address won’t be collected by any 3rd parties, it’s just used to submit the review and won’t appear on the website.

Once your review has been submitted, you will receive a single use 15% discount code by email to be used on anything in the shop before 1st August.

Happy planning!

Fulwood Dresses, Brightside Shrugs & Shared Nostalgia for Sheffield

Kate Brookes is a sewing blogger based in Sydney Australia, but she’s originally from…..yes, you guessed it, Sheffield!! All good things come from Sheffield!

So, inevitably Kate and I occasionally reminisce about all things Sheffield online and I was chuffed when she recently chose to buy my Fulwood Dress and Brightside Shrug patterns.

She’s now written a lovely review of them which includes some Sheffield nostalgia, sewing, squeezing a pint out of a half pint pot (in fabric terms) and inspiring one of her 11 year old sewing students to also make a Brightside Shrug!

It’s a great read, have a look.

How Do You Get Your Sew-Jo Back?

Has your enthusiasm for sewing ever left you temporarily? I think this is a perfectly normal phenomenon, but how do you get it back? After working 60 hour weeks to write my new book whilst keeping the rest of my business going for the last 9 months, mine was on the wane.

Although I do a lot of sewing that’s not necessarily just for me, such as making samples for my books and developing new patterns, I still enjoy it. Most sewing I do is enjoyable, I stopped doing the things I don’t enjoy (making wedding outfits for other people and doing alterations) years ago.

So I decided the way out of my sew-jo doldrums was to make something purely just for me using someone else’s pattern, so that I could just wallow in the joy of making the damn thing!

And here’s what I decided to do: big comfy knickers!! (Note for readers outside the UK – I will use the terms knickers and pants interchangeably and I know a lot of you will call what I refer to as trousers, pants. I’m sure we’re still all on the same wavelength though, yes?!)


  1. I wouldn’t have to spend a lot of money on loads of fabric and could even use up some of my leftover jersey fabrics (of which I have rather a lot…)
  2. I needed some new pants and always buy them slightly begrudgingly from M&S, resenting the rubbish fabric and cheap scratchy trims.
  3. The ones I buy never fit 100% as I’d like them too.
  4. It’s a quick project which suits me as I didn’t allow myself much “playtime”.

Here is my first wearable toile:

big knickers

I know, I know, they don’t look all that, but I decided to suck it up and brave some pics of them on, as honestly, they’re the most comfortable pants I have ever donned. So, look away now if the sight of me in my pants is likely to offend…..

scrundlewear boy shorts

Let’s pretend they’re bikini bottoms right? Then it’s not so weird.

I really enjoyed making them, they took maybe an hour tops (as I was fiddling around with different ideas and techniques) and they are super easy. I reckon even a beginner could have a go at these, I made this pair without my overlocker as I was just toiling and trying things out as I went along.

The fabric is a bamboo / lycra jersey from Raystitch and it’s dreamy fabric to use for pants – cool, soft and comfortable to wear next to the skin.

The pattern is the Boy Short pattern from Stitch Upon a Time’s Scrundlewear pattern. Strange name, but don’t let that put you off!! There are 3 different styles of pant in the pattern, numerous finishing methods and 7 sizes.

I have to thank Kerry Green for bringing the pattern into my radar.  She’s made a few of them now and look what she made most recently…..


…a gorgeous PJ set using the Scrundlewear pants and my t-shirt from Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking. That looks like a match made in comfort heaven to me!

So, back to the original question:

How have you got your sew-jo back? 

I’d love to know and I’m planning to write about this in my Love Sewing column, so I might just feature your story (with permission of course)!