Tag Archives: learn pattern cutting

New Sunday Workshop Timetable Now Booking!!!


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.

Pattern Cutting for Dresses

Sunday 11th May was a day of dresses at MIY Workshop!

It’s a full-on workshop this one, but the effort students put in is worth it.  They were all thrilled by the end result of a perfectly fitting dress.  It always surprises me when students are so surprised with their results!

We all agreed that when a garment fits you properly it is just about the most flattering and nice to wear garment that you will ever put on.  Also confirmed by the fact that one student arrived for the workshop in one of 5 perfectly fitting skirts she’s made herself after attending my Beginners’ Pattern Cutting workshop.  What better way to spend a Sunday?

Here’s what they all thought of the day:

“Absolutely amazing!  To be able to draft a perfectly fitting dress so quickly was brilliant.”  Dianne

“Great class, I now have a dress block that is a perfect fit and what a difference it makes!  Really wonderful class and Wendy is a highly knowledgeable teacher.”  Kate

“It fits!  Great day had by all thanks to Wendy’s very patient nature.  Dresses galore for the summer.”  Delia

“So looking forward to the next session and my dress will have sleeves too.  Thanks so much!”  Tess

Last Two Sunday Workshops of 2013

Last Sunday was another “Sewing with Knits” workshop.  I had 4 eager students all new to and a bit fearful of sewing stretch knit fabrics.

But, after 6 hours of hard work look at what they left with!


From left to right: Teruka in her very wearable MIY Collection vest dress in grey rib from Ditto, Dawn in a very cute MIY Collection asymmetric red jersey skirt and Michelle in another asymmetric skirt made in 2 different fabrics from Ditto – one half of her skirt is a lovely heavy ponte roma, the other side a jersey covered with tiny black sequins.  A perfect party season skirt!  Jingya also got a good way along with making a lovely draped neck dress from a Vogue pattern.  (You see, those other patterns just aren’t as quick to finish as mine….!!)

Here’s what the group thought of the day:

“I had a lovely afternoon at MIY Workshop, Wendy was always on hand to help with my garment.  I’m looking forward to wearing my new skirt!” Dawn

“I have never made anything with jersey fabric before and really enjoyed this workshop.  Wendy was friendly and very helpful and I would like to do more workshops.” Teruka

“The day was very interesting, I really enjoyed sewing the skirt.  Wendy is very friendly and patient and I will be back for sure.” Michelle

If you want to learn how to sew knitted fabrics my next workshop is on Sunday 30th March 2014.  Full details can be found here.

Then yesterday was “Pattern Cutting for Trousers”.  Another 4 eager students spent a rainy Sunday creating their own trouser block, making a pattern from it and putting together a toile.

Pattern Cutting classes always generate interesting discussions about body shapes and buying clothes.  Dresses and trousers always come out top in the “I can never buy ones that fit properly” category!  We women vary such a lot in body size, shape and proportion that it’s a wonder any of us can buy readymade clothes and wear them.  At least if you have some sewing skills, lots of readymade garments can be tweaked to give a better fit, but that’s often impossible with trousers; you can alter the length, the leg shape and the fit on the waist, but not much else.  The place that’s key with trouser fitting is body length and if your readymade trousers aren’t right in this area there’s not much you can do about it, that’s got to be right from the start.  So obviously the best thing to do is draft your own trouser block!  If you can’t do that, then buy a trouser pattern, but I wouldn’t ever recommend making a pair of trousers straight from the pattern in your actual fabric – always make a toile (sample garment) first to try out the fit and make any adjustments.  If you’re going to take the time and effort to make yourself some trousers you might as well make sure they’re going to be right!

Here’s what some of yesterday’s students thought of their day of trouser pattern cutting:

“A great session, Wendy is very patient and informative and makes everything so easy to follow.  I look forward to seeing my finished trousers.” Suzanne

“I really enjoyed my first class at MIY Workshop and am inspired to go home and get sewing!” Beverley

“A very productive workshop which has given me an in-depth insight into pattern cutting for trousers.  Wendy explained everything very well and in a way that I could understand and take away with me for future use.  Can’t wait to finish my trousers!” Alison

If you fancy having a go at drafting your own trouser block, the next Trouser Pattern Cutting workshop is on Sunday 25th May 2014.  You can find full details here.

Recent Pattern Cutting Workshops

Yesterday I spent the day showing four eager students the delights of pattern cutting at the Beginner’s Pattern Cutting Workshop.

They started the day with just a piece of fabric and a blank piece of paper.  Five hours later they were all amazed (I’m always amazed that my students are amazed!) to have created a basic skirt block, made a toile that fitted perfectly and learnt enough to be able to turn their basic skirts into either a pencil skirt or an a-line skirt.

One of the main things my pattern cutting students seem to leave with is the delight of having a garment that fits them perfectly.  I guess if you’ve always tried to make yourself fit shop bought clothes and wrestled with fiddly pattern adjustments when working with dressmaking patterns, a garment that fits your body perfectly must be a bit of a revelation.

Here’s what they thought of the day in their own words:

Yet another great day learning to sew…..again.  Finally I can wear something that fits!”  Deb

So lovely to have a pattern that truly fits ME!!  Great workshop covering everything from pattern through to stitching the skirt together.”  Mary

A wonderful day I understood everything that Wendy said and I was very pleased with the end result.  I’ve started with the skirt block and I will be coming back to do the dress block!”  Georgia

Brilliant day, only 4 in the group so really had time with Wendy to learn.  Would love to come back for the dress course!”  Claire

And speaking of the dress pattern cutting workshop, here’s what some recent students thought of that one!

An informative, fast paced and fun day. And I got a made-to-measure dress toile and pattern, drafted by me (under the watchful eye of Wendy), to my personal measurements. What a great way to spend a day.”  Cathy

I attended the dress block pattern course and it was excellent, very informative and very productive (especially for a Sunday!), I cant believe after one days work I now have a dress pattern which I can make again and again and for it to fit perfectly every time. And if I ever do loose that stone I planned on loosing in January, I’m confident that I can now redraft the block on my own with all the handouts provided. I had a really good time and I’ve already brought some fabric to make my first proper dress from the pattern! Thanks Wendy”  Sarah

If you’d like to have a go at pattern cutting I’ll be doing more Sunday workshops after Christmas and more City & Guilds courses.  To get priority booking for workshops which will be announced in the next few weeks get yourself on my mailing list!  Email me on miyworkshop[at]gmail.com to be added.

New City & Guilds Pattern Cutting Course Dates!



Anyone who has used dressmaking patterns and is interested in designing their own clothes.  You will get the most out of the course if you can do the following:

• use a sewing machine
• read a dressmaking pattern
• basic arithmetic with or without a calculator.



Your final assessment will be based on a folio of your work, there is no written exam.  The course will cover the following:

•  drafting a basic skirt and trouser block
•  making a toile (sample garment) for the 2 blocks
•  making fit adjustments to toiles
•  looking at the historical, cultural and contemporary design of  skirts and trousers
•  producing your own design for a skirt or trousers
•  making a pattern for your own design
•  making a toile for your own design.
•  understand the basics of pattern cutting and basic style adaptations
•  take accurate body measurements
•  adjust patterns to get a better fit
•  use research to produce your own designs
•  use templates to draw up your own design ideas
•  understand how to choose the best fabric for your designs
•  plan the making of a garment and understand the costs involved.

If you’re interested in pursuing a career within the fashion industry or setting up your own business, a City & Guilds course is a nationally recognised qualification focussed on the practical skills needed in that industry.   This qualification is endorsed by Creative Skillset (the Sector Skills Council for creative industries)

Following a structured, nationally recognised course will demonstrate your interest and commitment to potential employers.


35 hours of teaching with a choice of daytime or summer school:

7 Tuesdays 10am – 3.30pm: June 4th 11th 18th 25th / July 2nd 9th 16th

5 day Summer School 10am – 5.30pm: Mon 19th to Fri 23rd August


£300 course fee plus £35 C&G registration fee.