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Tutor biographies

Leonie has hand picked similarly minded, professionally trained crafters to broaden the range of classes on offer at The Sewing Shed. All the tutors at The Sewing Shed hold professional qualifications in their specialist subject but just as important – they all have bucket loads of patience, years of experience, huge enthusiasm for crafting and a great sense of humour. Put this together in the calming surroundings of The Sewing Shed at the north chapel Ilkley, West Yorkshire, where we hold our craft courses, and you have a lovely nurturing and fun environment to learn new skills and have time away from day to day distractions.


Leonie Pratt started teaching sewing lessons at The Sewing Shed in 2010 from a posh shed in her back garden – hence the name The Sewing Shed. Fast forward to 2020 and The Sewing is now based at The North Chapel, still in Ilkley, West Yorkshire providing a beautiful space to accommodate the wide variety of courses now on offer and all the students that come and learn each week.

Leonie is still very much a hands on teacher and currently teaches 8 sewing classes a week as well as offering 1:1 private sewing tuition,  monthly Curtain and Roman Blind workshops, Young Designers After School Club and children’s sewing classes in school holidays. Leonie’s passion for sewing and learning combined with a wealth of experience and expertise means she is perfectly placed to inspire students to achieve their sewing ambitions. She also has a great sense of fun which makes classes very enjoyable.

Leonie holds a first class BSc (Hons) degree in Textiles and is trained in pattern cutting, pattern making, pattern grading and garment construction and before setting up The Sewing Shed, worked in the textiles industry. As The Sewing Shed approaches its twelth 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.

Leonie is also a Master Crafter and ambassador for LoveYour 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.

Work with Leonie

Stitching exhibitions – Leonie has taught sewing workshops at The Knit & Stitch Show and led creative classes on on-trend subjects. She always draws a crowd, creates interest and ensures fully booked workshops. If you’d like to book Leonie to inspire your exhibition attendees or conference delegates, or indeed demonstrate in your store, please contact us

Speaking opportunities – Leonie is a confident and experienced public speaker who knows how to bring her subject alive. Whether leading a break-out session at a conference or exhibition, or addressing the Women’s Institute, she will always enthuse and motivate the audience.

click here to view Leonie’s classes


With professional training in fashion, Becky worked for over 15 years in the costume department of the BBC and a host of independent companies. She is an expert in dressmaking, pattern cutting and grading and pattern making. Balancing her life as a Mum with her love of sewing Becky returned to what she loves best – making clothes and has now established her own business specialising in bespoke vintage commissions here in Ilkley.

Becky has a passion for both hand and machine sewing and a wealth of knowledge to draw upon, she has recently discovered her enjoyment of sharing these skills with others which has brought her to teaching.

Her good sense of humour, patience and expertise ensure that all levels of student are nurtured so they can grown in confidence and skills, she has become very popular with students at The Sewing Shed. Becky teaches sewing classes and our Saturday sewing workshops

click here to view Beckys classes


Ania has ben teaching upholstery courses to beginners in Yorkshire for several years. Her ability to share her expertise and nurture students in a calm and relaxed atmosphere ensures her classes are very popular. Ania has been teaching at The Sewing Shed since 2008 and alongside teaching produces commission pieces in her local workshop for top interior designers and private clients and enjoys making beautiful handmade candles.

click here to see Ania’s classes


We are delighted to welcome Clare to our team of hand picked tutors. I have personally known Clare for a number of years and have finally persuaded her to cross the border from North Yorkshire to teach upholstery regularly at The Sewing Shed. Clare is a qualified teacher with a great sense of fun and a very approachable teaching style. Having run her own upholstery business for almost a decade Clare has been teaching upholstery for most of those, having recently formalised her knowledge completing City & Guilds training in modern and traditional upholstery.

Clare will be teaching our Monthly Sunday Upholstery Workshops for Beginners.

click here to see Clare’s classes


Susan is a mixed media textile artist based in Ilkley with a passion for textiles. She is a firm believer in the power of making for wellbeing. She is experienced in hand and machine sewing and uses them both in an imaginative, creative way as a form of self-expression. She sums up her classes as being mindful, reflective and fun.

Susan has taught mixed media textiles classes in the region for 10 years and is studying for her (another) degree in Textile Practice at Bradford School of Art.

click here to see Susan’s Creative Textiles classes



Kylie has been teaching papercrafts and card making for nearly a decade, giving up her desk job five years ago to turn her passion for sharing hand-made paper crafts with others into a business – Hello Crafter, based in West Yorkshire. Kylie has a loyal following of crafters and has taught across the region and regularly demonstrates her papercrafting techniques to WI groups and at national craft shows. We are delighted that she is bringing her talents to The Sewing Shed in this new weekly papercraft class which we are sure will be very popular.

click here to see Kylie’s classes


Experienced patchwork and quilting tutor, Denise has a City & Guilds qualification in design, patchwork and quilting and came recommended to us because of her great teaching style and approachability.

Denise has been teaching for nine years in Lancashire and North Yorkshire and we tempted her to come further east with our fabulously well equipped studio and great team!

Denise has exhibited at the National Quilt Exhibition in Birmingham and in Harrogate, and in recent years has won ‘judges choice’ for her quilt, we are delighted she has joined our team of professional tutors. Denise teaches our monthly patchwork and quilting classes.

click here to see Denise’s classes


Work with us

The Sewing Shed is looking for professionally trained designer makers that would love to share their passion with others. If you can deliver high quality teaching in an appropriate friendly enthusiastic manner and have original crafting ideas that can be commercially delivered to a time scale – then this is the place for you!

You should have a passion about your topic and the patience to be able to deliver your skills to a small group of students, no more than 8 in a class. Preferably professionally qualified or with your own established making business we would like teachers on a weekly basis, monthly basis, or 3-4 times a year, bringing something new that our current team don’t offer. You would be self employed. Contact us.