Category Archives: Patterns for jersey fabrics

Make Your Own Leggings


Yesterday was the first “Make Your Own Leggings” workshop at MIY Workshop, using my new leggings pattern.  They’re so quick and easy to make and such a useful basic item for most women’s wardrobes, especially for our charmingly unpredictable climate in Britain!  The pattern will be available to buy very soon.

If you can’t wait for the pattern and feel inspired to make your own leggings, I still have availability at the next date for this workshop which is Sunday 8th June.  Get in touch to book your place!

Here’s what the five students thought of the workshop:

“What a lovely way to spend a rainy Sunday!  The ever-patient Wendy and the four other ladies made for a relaxed and productive atmosphere and I even got to wear my new leggings home!  Another splendid workshop and I cannot wait for my next one.”  Jo

“Leggings are way easier than I thought and Wendy’s pattern is so much nicer than the ones in the shops!  (No outside seams down the legs!)  All my relatives (male & female) are going to get leggings for Christmas!”  Emma

“Loved the day spent with other sewing lovers.  Learnt lots and went home a very happy lady with a brilliant new pair of unique leggings.”  Maria

“Great workshop on making leggings.  Good fun, good day and fab results.  Can’t wait for the work shirt and trouser making day ahead (!)”  Debbie

“Wendy’s legging day was fantastic fun, a lot to learn in an enjoyable environment.  A great confidence boost for sewers of different abilities.  Will be looking forward to continuing classes.  Thank you!”  Rachel

This workshop came about thanks to a request from one of yesterday’s students a few months ago.  A few more ideas were added to the list yesterday!  Do you have any ideas for workshops that you’re desperate to do and that you think others would enjoy?  I’m always open to suggestions!

Sewing with Stretch Knits

My ever-popular workshop on sewing with stretch knits happened again at MIY Workshop yesterday.  You can read a full write-up of it here.

MIY Collection patterns are used at the workshop and here are some of the brilliant creations that my students whipped up in only 6 hours…

sewing patterns for knit fabricspatterns for knit fabrics

These 4 garments were all made from the MIY Collection Straight Neck Vest and Dress pattern.  You can get such a different look depending on what fabric you use.  In the top picture from left to right we’ve got a lightweight loopback sweatshirt fabric, a lightweight jersey and a ponte roma and in the second picture above, another sweatshirt fabric.

how to sew stretch knit fabric

This is going to be my next MIY Collection pattern – a cowl neck long sleeve top or dress.  This one is made in the ideal fabric: a lightweight drapey viscose jersey.

If you don’t know your jersey’s from your ponte’s have a read of my little fabric dictionary here.

If you fancy having a go yourself, MIY Collection sewing patterns are available on Etsy, just follow this link to my shop:

Sewing with MIY Collection Patterns at MIY Workshop

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  vest dress in grey rib from Ditto, Dawn in a very cute 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.

Making your own Christmas Presents? How about a Christmas Shrug!

My shrug pattern is proving popular with Christmas present makers this year.  Lots of MIY Workshop students have been making them, one student has made five!!  They’re a really quick, easy sew and simple to fit.  You can buy your pattern here.

But, can you beat the current speed shrug sewing record set by one of my students this week?!……

shrug sewing pattern

New Pattern and Tools Available From my Etsy Shop

After much talking about it, my Pull-on Loose Fitting Shift Dress sewing pattern is now available to buy from MIY Workshop and online from my Etsy shop.  It was a very popular purchase at the Knitting and Stitching show this weekend at Alexandra Palace!shift patternThe pattern is suitable for beginners; there are no fastenings or openings to deal with and there are lots of ways to make it your own style – it can be made with or without the collar, optional side seam pockets and the pleat can be put in the front and/or back or completely left out.  There’s also an optional tie belt.  It works in woven and knitted fabrics and I’m planning on making a few that mix different fabrics for the skirt and for the bodice……..

It’s a quick pattern to make, here are a few made by students this summer at my Summer Frock Making one day workshops:

shift-studentsMy neon green perspex tools are also now available at MIY Workshop and online from my Etsy shop:


The perspex is called “live edge” and you can see why!  There’s no way you’re going to loose either of these tools in your sewing stuff.  Even when they’re just sat on the table with not much light around, they somehow seem to glow…..


You can buy the little sewing tool and seam gauge in cm’s and inches and the bigger sewing and pattern cutting ruler in cm’s only.

And well I hate to say it but……Christmas is just around the corner…….one for your own list or for your crafty friends?!

Sewing with Knits Workshop using MIY Collection Patterns

On Sunday I taught my popular Sewing with Knits workshop at MIY Workshop.  The day started with an interesting discussion during which everyone agreed that knit fabrics made the kind of clothes that they actually want to wear.  It’s true, when you think about the kind of clothes that you wear most often (and usually feel most comfortable in), I’ll bet that most of them are made from knitted fabrics.  Yet most sewers that I meet, even experienced ones, feel daunted by the prospect of sewing knitted fabrics.

Well I’m happy to say that this workshop is the cure to that fear and here are Sunday’s fantastic and wearable results……

octknitsFrom left to right Debbie, a long-time sewer but a self-confessed knit-phobe was very happy with her drapey cardi.  Elena who hadn’t sewn since school came in with a dress made of very slippery fine jersey knit fabric and went home with it transformed into a separate skirt and top!  Amandine has been loving sewing Colette patterns using lots of woven fabrics, but now is a convert to knit fabrics after making my straight neck dress and matching up her stripes perfectly.  Laura has also done a fair bit of sewing, but has avoided knits and couldn’t find a way of edging knitted fabrics nicely, she was surprised by how quick and easy my fold-over waist skirt was to make and took it home very neatly and professionally hemmed using a twin needle.

octknits-cowlAnd last, but not least, Tricia was camera shy so Elena stepped in to model her lovely cowl neck top.  This one got lots of admiring comments from the rest of the class!  Tricia was another experienced sewer and knit-phobe at the start of the day and now feels confident in being able to tackle slippery lightweight jersey knit fabrics.   This pattern isn’t yet available to buy but is one of the next ones on the list….!!

Here’s what the students themselves thought of the workshop:

“Enjoyable day as always – Wendy’s patterns are so easy to use and well designed.  Am delighted with my skirt, thank you!”  Laura

“I really enjoyed the workshop – lovely atmosphere, lovely people, a day very well spent.  Thank you Wendy!  I had a great time and I am happily back to sewing after some 20 odd years!”  Elena

“Really enjoyed the day.  Very informative and now feel more confident to work with jersey.”  Tricia

“Thanks for a great day.  Tacking tacking tacking – essential for a perfect finish!!”  Debbie

“Thank you very much Wendy for a lovely Sunday!  I feel much more confident sewing with knit fabrics with your advice regarding stitches and needles to use.  Jersey fabric is so great to sew with and I loved using your dress pattern.”  Amandine

By the end of the day everyone’s fear of knitted fabrics had been overcome and I feel sure that these 5 garments are going to get plenty of wear!

If you’d like to overcome your fear of sewing knitted fabrics the next date for this workshop is Sunday 8th December.  Get in touch on 01273 693451 or miyworkshop[at] to find out more and book a place.

If you want to have a go at using one of my patterns to sew knit fabrics at home, you can buy them online from my Etsy shop:

Recently created from MIY Collection Patterns

Students at my sewing classes at MIY Workshop are often using MIY Collection sewing patterns.  Here are a few recent creations:

karen-cardiThis is the third Drapey Cardi that Karen has made!  She’s used a woven fabric for this one, which works just as well as a knit in this style and has added some  lovely pieces of embroidered and beaded ribbon tape down the front edges.

naz-vestdressThis is Naz’s first time sewing knitted fabrics and she’s made this gorgeous summery Straight Neck Dress.  Naz only learned how to use the sewing machine a few months ago at one of my “How to use your sewing machine” Sunday workshops.  This dress took her only 2 classes to make from start to finish!

I’ve realised that one of my next patterns really needs to be an a-line skirt.  A good bog standard, easy skirt pattern with easy to follow instructions!

I have the pattern at MIY Workshop already and it’s used a lot by students.  Here’s the results of a recent Sunday Skirt Making workshop…..


I just need to get the instructions written up and the whole thing packaged and ready to go.  Watch this space!

MIY Collection Shrug


Emma is gradually working through all the MIY Collection patterns in her classes at MIY Workshop!

Here’s her latest – MIY Little Shrug.  A useful piece for Spring when the weather can’t quite make up its mind and you want to get rid of all your big woolly jumpers……

Also a good one (as pointed out to me by several people at the Spring Knitting & Stitching Show) for keeping upper arms under wraps without feeling like you’re swaddled under loads of layers.

More creations using MIY Collection patterns


Emma made this gorgeous skirt using my Asymmetric Skirt pattern in super quick time at her weekly sewing classes at MIY Workshop – the skirt was cut out and started at one 2 hour class, and finished at the next and worn home!

We also realised that although I’d originally designed the draped section to be to the side of the skirt, it also looks great at the back!  A very versatile pattern even if I do say so myself…..!


This is Abby in a top which is strictly speaking not a MIY Collection pattern.  Abby adapted it from my snood/cowl pattern which is available for students to use at MIY Workshop (where all my patterns get a good road test from my students!), but I haven’t yet put it together as a pattern to buy.  One for Autumn/Winter 2013 me thinks??!!!

The first MIY Collection shrug

My little shrug pattern has been popular over at MIY Workshop recently, I guess it’s that time of year.  Here’s the first one to be finished:

Salva made a lovely version combining a print jersey with a plain black to perfectly frame the print.  She finished it in only two classes, has worn it twice and has been asked where she bought her new shrug, which then enabled her to say with a smug smile, those wonderful words, “Thanks, I made it myself!”

She’s now combining the two left over fabrics to make a straight neck vest.