Tag Archives: pattern cutting classes brighton

New Classes Now Booking at MIY Workshop

I’ve got loads of new classes now open for booking at MIY Workshop:

  • 2 summer schools – a whole week to immerse yourself in either pattern cutting or dressmaking,
  • 1 back-to-school course – when the dust settles after the summer madness, get re-focussed on your dressmaking with a week of classes timed to fit around the school run,
  • 14 one day or half day master classes including something for all levels of sewing experience from learning to sew in a day, to making pyjama trousers, to making your first dress, to mastering zips and buttonholes to drafting your own trouser pattern!

BOOKASUMMERSCHOOL

BOOKAMASTERCLASS

New City & Guilds Pattern Cutting Course – now open for booking!!

Full details here.

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Some Fabulous Work from Students

Confession: I’ve been a bit slow at adding pictures of some of the fantastic work that my students have been producing recently.  So here’s a bit of a box-set for you to feast your eyes upon…..

leggings-june14 leggings-june14-2One legging pattern – so many variations.  Clair even managed to make two pairs in one workshop!

pc-dresses2-june14Some beautifully fitting dress toiles at the Pattern Cutting for Dresses 2 workshop.

summerfrockmaking-july14-webFabulous frocks at the Summer Frock Making workshop, all made using MIY Collection sewing patterns.

studentcollageAnd a brilliant collection of makes from my some of my weekly sewing & dressmaking students:

Top row – Joy in her beautiful pink wool skirt which is fully lined, Salva in her dress with beautifully matched print at the seams and Lou in her fold-over waist skirt made from this MIY Collection pattern.

Middle row – Lou again in her denim shift dress made using my soon to be available MIY Collection shift dress pattern, Lizzie in a really well-made shirt*,  Debbie in one of the many dresses she’s made from this pattern of mine!

Bottom row – Lizzie again in my loose shift pattern, Assuntina in her gorgeous shift dress** using the same pattern as Lou in the row above and Lou in her cosy cowl (another pattern soon to be available from MIY Collection).

*Lizzie started classes with me about a year ago as a complete beginner, not sure if she would enjoy sewing or be any good at it.  Hasn’t she made amazing progress?!  Partly thanks to sticking with it and practising on her new sewing machine that she went out and bought once I’d got her hooked after a few classes (!) and partly thanks to following a progressive approach to her sewing by making sure that each project she tackled challenged her with something more than the previous one.

**Assuntina is another example of a student that’s made fantastic progress – starting last year as a nervous absolute beginner she has also taken a progressive approach to her sewing, starting with some easy cushions and now making gorgeous, well-fitting dresses, with skirts and tops along the way.  Shirts next Assuntina…..!

Inspired?  If you need that extra push to find time to sew or have always wanted to learn, join us at some weekly classes.  You can come to as many or as few as you like and start at any time when a space is available.  Get in touch with Wendy to book your sewing time on 01273 693451 or post[at]wendyward.co.uk

New Sunday Workshop Timetable Now Booking!!!

09students-web

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

City & Guilds Pattern Cutting Summer School

City & Guilds 7160(02) Level 2 Award 214 – PATTERN CUTTING FOR SKIRTS & TROUSERS

If you can never find what you want when looking for sewing patterns, maybe it’s time to have a go at pattern cutting to design your own and gain a nationally recognised qualification.

5 day Summer School 10-5.30pm (35 hours teaching):

Monday 4th to Friday 8th August

 COST:  £300 course fee plus £35 C&G registration fee

WHO IS THIS COURSE FOR?

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.

 There will be a maximum of 4 people on the course.

WHAT IS COVERED ON THE COURSE?

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.

NOTE – this course teaches flat pattern cutting techniques, not draping on the stand.

TO BOOK YOUR PLACE CONTACT WENDY:

miyworkshop@gmail.com  |  01273 693451

You can have a look here to see what last year’s summer school students produced.

First Sunday Workshop of 2014

My Sunday workshops for 2014 got off to a flying start last Sunday with a Dress Pattern Cutting workshop for the London Dressmaking Club.  This is a group of very enthusiastic sewers who regularly meet up to sew, help each other out with  sewing problems, visit exhibitions, go fabric shopping and organise sew-alongs.  I was really impressed with their commitment to the craft (they travelled to this workshop by coach from London due to engineering works on the train line!) and their infectious enthusiasm for anything sewing related.

Here they are, heads down working hard….!

ldc-jan14

Sewing clubs like this are such good news.  Traditionally sewing work has often been done in groups and as I often find in my classes, the act of keeping your hands busy means that people have a tendency to chat much more and in much greater depth!  As this group said themselves they get to meet like-minded people with similar interests who they probably never would have met in their everyday lives.  The supportive and encouraging atmosphere they seem to have created in their group adds that extra level of motivation when trying to make time for sewing after all the other chores of the day (such as work!) are out of the way.  Sewing on your own at home without any feedback from anyone but family can be difficult; how do you really know if you’re doing things the best way or if that dress you’ve just finished really does fit well and look great on you?!  I don’t think it’s going too far to say that this group seem to be like a big extended happy sewing family!

Anyway, enough from me, here’s what they thought of the day:

“Thoroughly thoroughly enjoyed the Dress Pattern Cutting day.  I came away with a usable full length dress block that I can use straight or easily adapt.  Wonderful value for money and very supportive, encouraging tuition.  Thank you Wendy, I am already looking forward to my next course here.”  Giselle

“Brilliant class thank you very much!  We covered a huge amount in just a day and it’s great to go home confident that I can make properly fitted dresses and develop my own ideas.  Hopefully see you again!”  Imogen

“I thoroughly enjoyed myself during this class and I learned a lot.  My finished toile is the best fitting fitted dress I have ever had.  I loved it so much I have signed up for the trouser pattern cutting workshop!”  Dibs

Dibs also writes a great blog about her sewing adventures which I’m sure you will enjoy reading here.

If you would like to organise a workshop for your sewing club, I have a limited number of days available each 6 months (I can take bookings now for July to December 2014), get in touch on 01273 693451 or miyworkshop[at]gmail.com

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!

knitworkshop-dec13

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.

City & Guilds Pattern Cutting Course – open for booking!

New dates for the next C&G Pattern Cutting course are now available for booking.  Full details here.

New Sunday Workshop Dates for 2014

Hooray, my programme of Sunday workshops for the first half of 2014 is now open for booking!  There are some regular favourites and some exciting new workshops to tempt you.  Please check your diaries to ensure you can make the date before booking a workshop and ensure you read the classes – important info section of my website which gives important details about cancellations.

You can read what previous students have thought of my workshops here.

Sunday 26th January – How to use your Sewing Machine for Dressmaking

Got a sewing machine for Christmas and no idea how to use it?!  Bring it along to this workshop.  The day is aimed at beginners to find your way around a sewing machine including; different stitches, changing the tension, the different settings, cleaning, changing needles, changing feet, threads, using different fabrics and of course threading and sewing!

  • Class size limited to 5 people
  • 11am to 3pm
  • £35

Sunday 9th February – **NEW WORKSHOP** Easy Appliqué

An introduction to the addictive technique of appliqué.  Use leftover scraps of fabrics to decorate garments, bags, home furnishings or even art for your walls!  This technique can be used for traditional designs or more modern ideas including collaging and bold stencil shapes.  Bring along something you’d like to put the appliqué onto (finished item or piece of fabric – note, this technique isn’t suited to fabrics like velvet and cord) and some scraps of other fabrics.  Suitable for complete beginners, some machine and/or hand sewing is optional.

  • Class size limited to 5 people
  • 11am to 3pm
  • £40 including some materials

applique workshop brightonHere are some examples of what’s possible at this new workshop….

Sunday 23rd February – Make an A-line Skirt

Want to learn to sew? Fancy a new skirt? Want to make a present for a friend?
 Come to this one day intensive workshop and learn some sewing basics whilst making an A-line skirt. This workshop will teach you the basics of reading a pattern (pattern provided, no need to buy one!) and using a sewing machine.
Suitable for beginners and those with a bit of sewing experience.


  • Class size limited to 5 people
  • 10.30am to 4.30pm
  • £45

See what previous students have made at this workshop here and here.

Sunday 9th March – **NEW WORKSHOP** Fabric Printing using Stencils

Want an easy way to customise your garments without the cost and mess of screenprinting?  Come and have a go at fabric printing and painting using freezer paper.  You’ll get neat professional looking results with the minimum of fuss.  Templates and stencils will be available to use or you can have a go at designing your own.  Just bring along a garment you’d like to customise.  All fabrics need to be washable and without surface texture ie. velvet or cord.  Suitable for complete beginners – no sewing involved!

  • Class size limited to 5 people
  • 11am to 3pm
  • £40 including materials

stencil printing workshop brightonHere are some examples of what’s possible at this new workshop….

Sunday 30th March – Sewing with Stretch Knits

Sewing with stretchy jersey fabrics can be tricky on a domestic sewing machine, so at this workshop I’ll show you the best ways to cut and sew knitted fabrics.  I’ll provide you with a choice of patterns specifically designed for jersey fabrics for you to whip up something to wear by the end of the day. All you need to bring is some jersey fabric of your choice and matching thread.  You need to know how to use a sewing machine to do this workshop and it’s best if you’ve done a bit of sewing.

  • Class size limited to 5 people
  • 10.30am to 4.30pm
  • £45

See what previous students have made at this workshop herehere and here!

Sunday 13th April – Beginner’s Pattern Cutting

Not sure if pattern cutting is for you?  Try this one day intensive workshop, suitable for beginners.

At this workshop you will draft a skirt block and pattern and make a skirt toile (sample) to your own measurements.  I’ll also show you how to make the skirt block into a pencil skirt and a-line skirt.  This workshop is only suitable for people who have made clothes from patterns and are confident using a sewing machine. 

  • Class size limited to 4 people
  • 11am to 4pm
  • £40

See what previous students have made at this workshop here and here.

Sunday 27th April – **NEW WORKSHOP** Make your own Leggings

Leggings, they’ve become a staple of all our wardrobes and they’re very easy to make.  Come and make yourself a pair at this workshop, all you need to bring is some fabric, patterns are provided, no need to buy one!  You’ll be able to make them the length you want, I’ll show you a few different ways to finish the waist and a few other ways to make them your own.  Please note, patterns available in sizes from approx. UK size 8 to 18.  You need to know how to use a sewing machine to do this workshop and it’s best if you’ve done a bit of sewing.

  • Class size limited to 5 people
  • 11am to 4pm
  • £40

Sunday 11th May – Pattern Cutting for Dresses 1 – The Basics

Tired of buying dresses that don’t fit properly?  In the first part of this intensive workshop you will draft the perfectly fitting dress block.  We’ll make a toile (sample) of your dress block then go on to look at sleeveless adaptations and fitting problems common in dresses.  There is the option to attend a second workshop to draft a sleeve for your dress and start adapting the style of the dress – see “Pattern Cutting for Dresses 2 – Sleeves and Style Adaptations”.   This workshop is only suitable for people who have made clothes from patterns and are confident using a sewing machine.  It is NOT suitable for those who have never done any pattern cutting or dressmaking.

  • Class size limited to 4 people
  • 10.30am to 4.30pm
  • £50

See what previous students have made at this workshop here.

Sunday 25th May– Pattern Cutting for Trousers

Tired of buying trousers that don’t fit properly? Try this one day intensive workshop to have a go at pattern cutting and draft the perfectly fitting trouser block. By the end of the day you will have drafted a basic trouser block and pattern and made a toile (sample). You will get the most out of this workshop if you have previously made clothes from patterns and are confident using a sewing machine.
This workshop is suitable for those new to pattern cutting & those who have done a bit of pattern cutting.

  • Class size limited to 4 people
  • 11am to 4pm
  • £45

Sunday 8th June – **NEW WORKSHOP** Make your own Leggings

Leggings, they’ve become a staple of all our wardrobes and they’re very easy to make.  Come and make yourself some at this workshop, all you need to bring is some fabric, patterns are provided, no need to buy one!  You’ll be able to make them the length you want, I’ll show you a few different ways to finish the waist and a few other ways to make them your own.  Please note, patterns available in sizes from approx. UK size 8 to 18.  You need to know how to use a sewing machine to do this workshop and it’s best if you’ve done a bit of sewing.

  • Class size limited to 5 people
  • 11am to 4pm
  • £40

Sunday 15th June – Pattern Cutting for Dresses 2 – Sleeves and Style Adaptations

Aimed at students who have previously drafted a basic dress block either elsewhere or with me.  We will be drafting a sleeve for the dress and I’ll show you the best way to set in a sleeve, we’ll look at the basics of dart manipulation and some basic style adaptations including: princess line, collars and some sleeve adaptations.  You will need to bring your original dress block with you in order to draft the sleeve! This workshop is only suitable for people who have made clothes from patterns and are confident using a sewing machine.  It is NOT suitable for those who have never done any pattern cutting or dressmaking.

  • Class size limited to 4 people
  • 11am to 4pm
  • £45

 Sunday 29th June – Summer Frock Making

Fancy making a unique summer dress to take on holiday or just to waft around town?!  Come along to this workshop where I’ll have a choice of dress patterns for you to use to whip up a new frock by the end of the day.  Specific sewing techniques covered will include pockets, zips and facings.  Just bring your fabric and matching thread.  Please note, patterns available in sizes from approx. UK size 8 to 18.  Suitable for beginners and those with a bit of sewing experience.

  • Class size limited to 5 people
  • 10am to 5pm
  • £55

See what previous students have made at this workshop herehere and here!

To book any of these workshops or if you have any questions, please ring Wendy on 01273 693451 or email miyworkshop[at]gmail.com