I’ve just started sewing, which sewing machine do you recommend?

Have a read of my guide to which sewing machine to buy.

What tools and equipment do I need in my sewing kit?

Here is my list of the 15 essential tools you need.

Do I need to buy an overlocker?

No, although they can be very handy. Have a read of my guide to decide whether one will be right for you.

Where do you buy your fabric?

Take a look at the “Where to buy Fabric” links on the right hand side of my blog.  Have a read of my guide to where to buy stretch knit fabrics here.

Can I teach a class using your sewing patterns?

Yes, but you must purchase a pattern for each student attending the class from me and not use copied patterns, you can buy all my patterns here. Get in touch if you need more than 3 copies of the pattern and I will be able to work out a wholesale price for you.

Will you come and teach a class at my shop/studio?

If you’re in or near Sheffield, then possibly. Get in touch with me to discuss your ideas.

What sewing books do you recommend for beginners?

My book, “The Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking” is aimed at newbie sewers and dressmakers who have used a machine a tiny bit and are feeling a bit daunted by making their own clothes. Full-scale multi-sized patterns are included.

For a book just about good solid dressmaking techniques, I’m always recommending “The Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing”, I’ve never come across a better one and I’m still sometimes referring to it today.

What pattern cutting books do you recommend?

My first pattern cutting book was “Metric Pattern Cutting” by Winifred Aldrich. It’s clear and well explained. I’ve also recently started to enjoy “Pattern Cutting” by Dennic Chunman Lo that has some really modern inspiring ideas alongside some good solid basics. Finally “Pattern Cutting and Making Up: The Professional Approach” by Janet Ward and Martin Shoben, one of the few pattern cutting books that has sewing techniques alongside each pattern cutting technique which can be a real help for beginners.

Do you have sponsored or affiliate links in posts?

No, definitely not. If I recommend something it’s because I personally use it regularly and rate it, so think you may like it too!

Can I advertise on your site?

No, personally I hate reading blogs that are littered with adverts, I find it really distracting when I’m trying to focus on the content. I want you to have a focussed, clutter-free experience on my blog.

Can I use images from your blog?

Depends what you’re using it for. If you want to link to something in my blog and want to use an image in the link – that’s ok, but please credit the photograph to http://www.wendyward.co.uk and include a link back to the original source of the image. You’d be surprised at what some people will try and it’s easy to find.

Can I reproduce your blog posts?

Please don’t copy and paste any part of my blog posts and pass them off as your own (again, it never fails to amaze me, but I have experienced this too). All content on my blog is original content written by me, Wendy Ward, copyright of which is owned by me. Writing original content takes a lot of time and draws on my years of experience. Copying is not good, not flattering and definitely not ok. If you’re writing your own blog post on a related subject and you would like to link to one of mine, then of course please do. If you also let me know, I’ll be happy to share links to your new blog post.

Can I sell garments I make from your patterns?

Copyright for all MIY Collection patterns and the patterns in all of my books remain with me, Wendy Ward.  These sewing patterns are for personal home sewing only, not for commercial use so please don’t sell garments you make from my patterns, or reproduce any part of the patterns or the instructions without my permission.  If you want to sell clothing you make yourself, why not come to some pattern cutting classes and learn how to make your own?!

Do you teach patchwork and quilting?

No, I stick to what I know best: dressmaking and pattern cutting, but I know some people that do!  Try Liz at Quilty Pleasures (have a look at her book, “The Beginner’s Guide to Quilting”) or Sara Cook.

Do you teach machine embroidery?

Again, no, but Wendy Dolan does!

6 responses to “FAQ

  1. Hi Wendy,
    I have been scouring the internet for gender neutral patterns that includes sizing for larger people and I found ‘Sewing Basics for Everybody’! . The styles in the book seem exactly for me, and it has a good size range but I’m about a size or 2 larger than the largest size. your blog post on the book stated that the patterns can be adjusted to fit other sizes, I’m wondering if it will be easy for a kinda beginner? (I have sewed from a pattern once) What would I need to size up a pattern?

    Thank you!


    • Hi Deb, I’m so happy you found my book! All of the patterns in there are loose fitting and mostly simple shapes making them easy to adjust. There is a section of the book devoted to fitting and instructions for how to adjust length, width and how to do a full bust adjustment. If you’ve never tried pattern adjustments before I’d also recommend the book The Perfect Fit (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Perfect-Fit-Practical-Adjusting-Professional/dp/1845430581) which has clear, easy to follow instructions for a much wider range of fitting adjustments than I could include in my book.
      You do mention that so far you have only sewn once from a pattern, I recommend following a few more patterns that you don’t need to adjust before diving into pattern adjustments unless you are confident in how clothes are put together (if that makes sense?) I think it’s important to have a good foundation knowledge of following patterns to make garments before trying to adjust patterns. When you do tackle your first pattern adjustment, make it something really simple and straightforward such as a pull-on garment like a t-shirt or sweatshirt.
      I hope that helps and good luck on your sewing journey :o)


  2. Hi Wendy,
    I’ve just bought your ‘A beginners guide to making skirts’ and am starting with the A line on the front cover with no pockets and a front seam in denim. I’m struggling to find the two facing pieces in lilac on the pattern…. The pocket facings don’t look like the shapes in the cutting plan 2 on page 54.
    Can you help at all please? I’m so looking forward to making it.
    Warm regards,


  3. Hello Wendy –
    I live in Canada and recently purchased ypur wonderful book A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO SEWING WITH KNITTED FABRICS via Amazon.com in the USA.
    Because I purchased this book online I was unable to ascertain if I could photocopy the patterns for personal use only since I find tracing ny hand difficult.
    I am seeking.one time permission to photocopy the patterns contained in my purchased copy. This is not for.commercial use, the copies will not be shared, and I am not.making gatments for others or for sale.
    Kind regards,
    Kate Cook


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