Women Who Create / Wendy Ward

Women Who Create / Wendy Ward. This week I have the pleasure of talking to Wendy Ward of MIY studio and best selling author fame. I was mega lucky to get to know Wendy whilst I lived in Brighton and am constantly inspired by her drive, creative passion and sheer brilliant business focus. Her no nonsense attitude and keen eye for details continues to propel this women in business to new heights. Find out more about what inspires her creative life below!

Tell us a little about your background…

I’m Wendy Ward and I’m the owner of MIY Workshop in Brighton where I teach sewing, dressmaking and pattern cutting. I’ve been teaching adults to sew since 2007. Before that I spent 7 years working as a designer and product developer in the fashion industry. I have a degree in fashion and MA and I’m a qualified teacher. I also design my own range of sewing patterns called MIY Collection and have written a bestselling dressmaking book “The Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking”, I’m currently working on book number 2 and I also write a regular column for Love Sewing magazine.

Do you have creative habits or rituals within your work that help you stay focused and happy?

I can’t function without a list. I’ve recently added a selection of highlighter pens so that I can prioritise the items on the list! I get outdoors regularly (having 2 dogs helps that) and love going to the gym to unwind.

What two things can’t you live without?

Yorkshire Gold tea and my 2 dogs – Gypsy and Marmite.

What is your biggest source of inspiration? 

Materials, techniques, how people wear their clothes and the way clothes need to function. I suspect in another life I could’ve been an engineer or an architect!

What is the meaning of ‘craft’ to you? 

Something made by the human hand. A practice that requires skill. The creation of something with soul, character and meaning.

If you could collaborate on a creative project or idea with anyone… who would it be & why? 

Cristobal Balenciaga – an absolute master of pattern cutting, shape and silhouette, I love how he challenged the accepted idea of what a woman’s shape “ought” to be even back in the 50’s and 60’s when most things were hourglass shaped. His attention to detail and the way he made the most complex construction appear simple I find really inspiring. He was a true master of his craft.

Do you have a favourite piece of equipment that inspires your day to day process?

I’m more inspired by materials and techniques and playing around with fabric and shapes.

What is the best thing about running your *business/blog/working for yourself? 

Not having to answer to anyone else; not being told when I can take my lunch break and when I can have time off. Being able to follow through creative ideas without needing to convince someone else of their merit.

What is your proudest creative moment in your journey so far?

The success of my first book “The Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking”. I loved writing that book, I love the look of it and I’m still blown away by how successful it is. Over a year since it was published it’s still in Amazon’s top 3 bestselling Dressmaking books.


 Find more inspiration, projects and products including her best selling pattern cutting book on the MIY shop now!

interviewsAmy Phipps