On The Move

peak district walking

News of the upcoming sale at MIY Workshop might have made some of you wonder if something is going on behind the scenes at MIY HQ. Well yes, you’d be right, there are some massive changes ahead for both MIY Workshop and me personally.

We’re on the move and will be re-locating to Sheffield at the end of February!

A view of Sheffield city centre (just 3 miles away) from the wild open ground 5 minutes from my parent’s house where I roamed free with friends and our dogs as a child.

Most of you probably know that Sheffield is my hometown, it’s where I grew up, it’s where my mum lives and it’s where my oldest friends are.

My two oldest friends, we’ve known each other for almost 40 years!

Another precious group of Sheffield friends, we all started out working for the same insurance company in 1992. This picture was taken on a weekend away together to celebrate our 25th “friendiversary”! 

Sheffield also has some of the most stunning countryside right on the doorstep and well, let’s be completely honest, it offers me something fundamentally important to most people’s lives – the chance for me and my partner to own our own home, something that I long ago accepted was impossible for us here in Brighton.

On holiday in Sheffield last summer.

The reality of living and running a craft business in Brighton quite honestly doesn’t live up to the hype. Trying to earn even just a modest living in the craft industry feels as impossible as finding a unicorn on the South Downs and that makes saving to buy a home in one of the most expensive parts of the UK a bit of a sick joke. I have a very long blog post in the works (that I started writing in 2016!) about the financial realities of working in the UK craft industry, but that’s for another day.

Some of you might also know that my beloved dad died last year, 9 months ago yesterday in fact. I’m an only child and was most definitely a “daddy’s girl”, he was my rock and I still haven’t recovered. I suspect I won’t for a long time.

My mum and dad in one of those beautiful spots just after my dad got ill in 2017.

Me and my dad with the infamous Cliff at Ernest Wright, famous Sheffield scissor-makers.

The loss of my dad was the final straw for me, I just knew in my gut that I needed to be back in Sheffield, it was one of those shocking life events that gives you the clarity of vision to see what’s been right in front of your face all along. It was like I’d been treading water and someone had pulled me out and let me catch my breath. You only get one life, you need to thrive and I realised that for far too long I have simply been surviving, emotionally as well as financially.

I’m definitely not disappearing from the sewing world just yet though. My business is not closing completely – I will no longer have a physical presence in Brighton (MIY Workshop will be leaving its current premises at 33 North Road on 28th February), but I will be teaching again in Sheffield (locations and dates TBC) and all my online, writing and pattern activities will remain exactly the same.

I’m still working on book number 4 which is due to be published in January next year and you’ll still be able to buy my books, patterns and tools from the MIY Collection online shop. I have plans to launch lots of new MIY Collection patterns later this year too.

It’s been a pleasure to teach so many eager students since I opened MIY Workshop in 2011 and for 4 years before that at various adult education centres around Brighton. I’m looking forward to meeting lots more people just as keen up in Sheffield and to the creative journeys that await me.

38 responses to “On The Move

  1. I am very excited to hear you are coming to Sheffield – my hometown. I will be excited to attend workshops you might organise up here! Welcome back to your home city!


  2. Wendy you’re one of the best teachers I ever had the pleasure to learn from. You are talented, inspiring, patient and kind. Thank you so much for helping me discover something I still absolutely love doing. And I look forward to the next book! Brighton’s loss is Sheffields gain. Wishing you all the luck in the world.


    • Ah Cathy, what a lovely message to read, thank you!! You were an absolute pleasure to teach and a joy to have in class, you always put a smile on everyone’s face :o) I’m very glad to hear you’re still sewing.


  3. Thank you for such an honest & heart felt update. I wish you all the best Wendy, Sheffield looks like a lovely place to live. Jane


  4. Good luck with the move. Hope all goes well.


  5. Rachel Pattinson

    Good luck with the move! I knoe exactly what you mean. I grew up in Worthing and house prices are so crazy. I now live in the North East, and my house is about 1/3 of the price it would be if I still lived in Sussex.


  6. Wishing you all the luck for your move back up north. Sheffield (and the Peak District) are lovely, and being surrounded by friends can get you through a lot. As someone who’s lived north and south, I’m always torn between the two and I appreciate it can’t have been an easy decision for you.


  7. Great news for us in the North East. I did something very similar 3 years ago. Welcome home and good luck with the move. X


  8. Good luck for your move up north. I’m sure Brighton’s loss will be our gain, I hope you settle in and settle down very quickly.


  9. Sheffield looks beautiful! Sounds like definitely the right decision at the right time. All the best Wendy!


  10. Caroline Joynson

    Good luck with your Sheffield adventures. It seems like the right time for you and I am sure your emotional well-being will benefit greatly! All the best and I look forward to reading about your future plans x


  11. Congratulations on embarking on your own hero’s journey! I wish you love, light and luck for your new adventure, returning to your routes. Sarah xx


  12. Wishing you all the luck in your move and new life. Enjoy every moment.


  13. I’m sure you will miss Brighton but I think you are doing the right for yourself and I wish you all yhd luck in the world with your move and future plans. I shall look forward to seeing more of your books being published. Kindest regards


  14. Richard Clark-Monks

    Good luck Wendy. It’s an honour to have worked for you and a pleasure to know you. Big love!Rxx


  15. Sounds like a very positive change Wendy.


  16. A completely understandable move. My sister moved up to Nottingham a few years ago as she could not live in London nor ever own her own home. So much to look forward to for you in the future. Many good wishes and I look forward to the lure of those wonderful photos!


    • Thanks Pam. I feel very fortunate to have the means, a willing partner and a community I already know all in place. I know it’s not such an easy escape for lots of people. I’ve met so many lovely, talented incredibly hard working people in Brighton who are working their arses off just to keep their heads above water.


  17. Song Of The Sewing Machine

    It sounds like the reasons for you to return outweigh any reasons for staying in Brighton. Massively! Wishing you all the success as you deserve it so, and happiness on your relocation. Hope you find the home of your dreams lovely. Sheffield is ace X


    • Thanks so much Josie. Brighton’s a fun place but it’s not the same place I moved to 18 yrs ago and it’s really just becoming a London suburb. Impossible for humble working class creatives without pots of money. It’s going to be so nice to have that landscape and my oldest friends right on my doorstep again after all these years. X

      Liked by 1 person

  18. A tough decision but obviously the right one for you. You’ve always sounded so happy when you’ve written about Sheffield. It’s a great place. I hope the move goes well and wish you every success ‘back up North’!


  19. I’m so excited for you and this post has me in tears. Ive heard your struggles, as much as an blog and instagram follower can) and felt for you. I even felt a bit guilty as we have had the privilege of being able to buy an affordable house in my home town. Wishing you heaps of best wishes and smoothness as you move.


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