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Meet Leonie

Leonie Pratt set up The Sewing Shed in 2010, and now teaches sewing to around 40 students a week – covering all aspects of sewing, alterations and mending. Her classes are always fully booked (so do book ahead!), with many repeat customers. Leonie teaches dressmaking, home furnishings, patchwork & quilting, how to make curtains and Roman blinds, and lots more in-between! She has a great sense of humour and lots of patience, so classes are not only fun but she’ll help you achieve your sewing ambitions. Why not take a tour of our photo gallery?

Leonie has carefully hand picked similarly minded, professionally trained crafters to extend the range of classes on offer. Leonie is now delighted to offer Sewing for Beginners, Beginners Upholstery, Crochet, Knitting, Flower, Felting and Patchwork Workshops.

Qualifications & training

Leonie holds a first-class BSc (Hons) degree in Textiles, so she’s trained in pattern-cutting, pattern-making, pattern-grading and garment construction. This means you’ll be learning from someone who’s fully qualified to guide you, rather than just a sewing hobbyist herself. The rest of the team of tutors also hold professional qualifications in their specialist area.

Success stories

You can see from our testimonials that our students have a great time learning to sew, but they also learn to a very high standard. So high that several have set up in business as a result, and one got backing from The Prince’s Trust.

The sewing studio

The Sewing Shed is a housed in a lovely old converted chapel in Ilkley. Leonie completely refurbished it before setting up there, with the help of an award-winning interior designer, so it’s the ideal place to learn to sew – modern, bright, spacious and private. It’s beautifully furnished, and equipped with modern sewing machines and bespoke cutting tables. Leonie even keeps a small stock of haberdashery and artisan dress-making patterns.  See the studio….

Leonie’s career history

Before setting up The Sewing Shed, Leonie worked in the textiles industry. She worked in buying, product development and sales & marketing, and also as a brand manager in the greeting-card sector. Now The Sewing Shed is in its 9th year she is passionate about The Sewing Shed wanting to offer the very best courses in the North and extend the warm, professional welcome to many more crafters.

Love your clothes!

Leonie is a Master Crafter and ambassador for, a UK charity which encourages and educates the home sewer to care for, repair, alter and upcycle clothes to get more from their wardrobe and help protect the environment.

"Thank you for your expert guidance and endless enthusiasm"

"Just want to say thank you so much for your continued help, support and patience over the last year whilst I have learned to sew. I'm amazed at how much I have developed with your close guidance and teaching expertise, from my first cushion, to a king size patchwork quilt!!! Some other successful projects include a kimono jacket, bunting and cushions made for my sons classroom from old duvet covers, numerous clothing alterations, bags, purses and much more....I truly love The Sewing Shed and just wish I could come every day... "