Tag Archives: sewing workshops

2020 Sewing Classes & Workshops in Sheffield


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Two New Summer Sewing Classes at MIY Workshop Brighton

I’ve just added two fantastic summer sewing workshops to the MIY Workshop timetable to make all your holiday essentials:

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Inspired by the Great British Sewing Bee?

great british sewing bee

So, after many years of waiting sewing has finally made it onto prime time national TV.  The last time I remember this was when I was inspired as a teenager by the Clothes Show with Selina Scott, Jeff Banks and Caryn Franklin!  Those of us working in the world of sewing have seen a renewed interest in making gathering pace for a few years now, but finally the nation has caught up and realised that there is an alternative to baking and the cutesy perfect world of Kirsty Allsop.

I have to admit I was anticipating the programme with equal amounts of excitement and dread; while over the moon that sewing has made it onto national TV I was also envisaging myself ranting at the programme for presenting the subject in either a patronising or “oh it’s just so easy anyone can do it” way. Thankfully this didn’t happen and I was very pleasantly surprised!!

The mix of presenters works – Patrick Grant will make sure the twee is rationed and is a fabulous bit of eye candy (!), May Martin has super high standards of which I approve and while I thought that having a sewing novice in Claudia Winkleman as a presenter wouldn’t work, I actually think that her lack of knowledge adds to the show – she asks the questions that any sewing novice would ask, but maybe would feel too afraid to ask.  As I always tell my students; there’s no such thing as a stupid question, it usually means that I haven’t  explained something thoroughly enough.

As for the contestants, well, they’ve got in all the stereotypes haven’t they?!  I think they come across really well and there (so far!) appears to be no ruthlessness and they seem pretty supportive of each other.  I did feel for them though, the pressure of some of those tasks was not nice and having to do it all  while being filmed and trying to look your best and occasionally being interrupted by the presenters was no mean feat!  Impressing me the most last night were:

Ann – an amazingly accomplished sewer, who tackled every task perfectly because she absolutely knows what she’s capable of and knows how long things take (the hardest lesson of all to learn in sewing!).

Sandra – who managed to recover from a silly mistake and didn’t crumple under the pressure of it.

Lauren – impressively aware of her abilities, she managed to show off her skills without trying to do too much.  I also loved the fact that she still has the first bit of sewing she ever did!

I did feel very sorry for Michelle.  I think she was let down by her fabric choice in that dress and nevertheless managed to overcome it, admittedly with a dress that wasn’t a perfect fit, but it wasn’t the worst gaff made on the show and  I don’t think she should have left.  Nope, I’m not going to reveal who I think should have gone!!

Judging by the activity on Facebook and Twitter on the subject last night and this morning, I’d say the show is a hit and hopefully they’re already working on series two.  I’d encourage any of my students to apply.  The book is already out:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Great-British-Sewing-Bee/dp/1849492875/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1364978516&sr=1-1 and you can catch up any missed episodes here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0165nj8

Maybe we should have a MIY Workshop Great British Sewing Bee day……now there’s an idea………

Last but not least here’s our very own A-line skirt success from last night’s class!


Naz came to my “How to use your Sewing Machine” workshop as a complete novice at the start of this year and in 6 subsequent classes has made 2 cushion covers and this gorgeous skirt that fits like a glove.  Having said that she did make me laugh last night when the skirt was almost finished by asking me if there was much more to do and “is there light at the end of the tunnel Wendy?” !!!  She then assured me that she really was enjoying herself!

If you fancy having a go at making your own A-line skirt the next date for my popular Skirt Making Workshop is Sunday 28th April, full details here: http://miyworkshop.co.uk/sunday-workshops-with-wendy/

Workshops now booking for 2013

My programme of Sunday workshops from January to June 2013 is now booking!

Have a look at what’s happening here, there’s more dates for my most popular workshops and a couple of new ones, hopefully something for everyone!  Remember, if you see something that you think a creative friend might fancy, gift vouchers are also available.

To book a place at any of these workshops get in touch with Wendy by email on post[at]wendyward.co.uk or call 01273 775951 or 693451.

2 more guest tutors at MIY Workshop

Sally Goodyer is a whizz at freehand machine embroidery and fabric manipulation and will be teaching a range of machine embroidery workshops on the following dates:

  • Sunday 18th March – Introduction to Machine Embroidery
  • Sunday 1st April – Embroidered Cushion Workshop
  • Sunday 22nd April – Create your Own Fabric Workshop
  • Sunday 17th June – Customised Clothing Workshop

Suzanne Rowland has many talents – she regularly gives lectures on the history of fashion and is an experienced costume maker.  She will be teaching two very different workshops:

  • Saturday 31st March – Make Your Own Garment Bag
  • Saturday 28th April – Corsage Making Workshop

Full details on all workshops can be found here http://miyworkshop.co.uk/guest-tutors/


Creations from recent Drop-in Sewing and Dressmaking classes

I keep meaning to upload more photographs of my students’ work as the variety and quality of what they produce always impresses me.  So, here’s a few to impress you.

Brenda in a silk frock that she made by taking a pattern from an old favourite dress.

Ela in a sunny skirt made from a bought pattern.

Kate in her winter skirt made from a bought pattern.

Jen’s creative use for her old band t-shirts!  Better than keeping them in a bag under the bed.

Good aren’t they?!