But the best thing was that it was so lovely to have our weekly Facebook Stitch Sewcial sewing bee group chat back again, I’ve missed this so much!
The theme for week one was to create a capsule wardrobe of three items. In honour of their new location in an historic woollen mill in Leeds, the first Pattern Challenge was to make a wool mini skirt. The contestants were tasked with creating a skirt with a faced waistline and two piped edge patch pockets, both of which require sewing precision. The sample skirt that Patrick and Esme discussed the construction of with Sara raised a few eyebrows in the Stitch Sewcial chat, as the pockets certainly looked to be uneven! But that aside the first challenge was underway and the Great British Sewing Bee was back! Understandably the nerves of some of the new sewists was evident, with pattern instructions not being fully read (Patrick always knows!!) and piping edging being trimmed too short. However, some of the bees managed to keep their cool and produce some fabulous skirts, with Angela winning the first challenge. Her blue wool skirt with the contrast cotton piping that she made herself received high praise from the judges.
So onto the Transformation Challenge and given that comfy clothing has been a wardrobe staple for many of us during the lockdowns the contestants were asked to up-cycle ready to wear loungewear into a top for going out. Think disco, think glam, think party, that’s certainly what they needed to be thinking for this challenge. As ever with the transformation challenge the results were somewhat mixed. Patrick was reminded of Dennis the Menace by Mitch’s make, whilst both Marnie’s and Man Yee’s creations impressed the judges. It was Marnie who won the challenge with her fabulous 80s inspired top with big pouffy sleeves and a contrast pink bodice
And so to the final challenge and one of my favourite parts of the show, the Made to Measure. This time it was a wrap dress. You may know, I blooming love a wrap dress so I was super excited to see what the contestants would make.
However, being something of a pedant, especially when it comes to sewing terms, I found myself super frustrated by the repeated descriptions of a flounce as a ruffle, you could say my flounce was truly ruffled!!
Anyway, back to the sewing bee wrap dresses! All the contestants produced a dress for judging although some were not totally finished. Man Yee deserves a special mention here for using organza for her dress, a notoriously difficult fabric to work with.
Overall, there were some really made lovely wrap dresses and it was hard to call the winner. Annie’s Ankara dress was one of my favourites. I have my own version of an Ankara wrap dress which makes me feel so chic so I may have been a bit biased here (it was a flounce and not a ruffle on this dress!!), I also really liked the keyhole back of ChiChi’s dress. It was a hard choice for the judges as the standard in this round was very high with lots of the sewists including features such as flutter sleeves, puff sleeves, colour blocking, contrast edging and did I mention flounces?! The winner was Debra with her beautiful watercolour wrap dress with contrast edge binding.
The contestant who left the competition this week was Mitch. After his mini skirt with uneven pockets and Dennis the Menace transformation, I think the rather too short for a dress length of his wrap dress meant his fate was sealed. As much as I would have like to have seen him stay, I think this was the right decision.
The verdict in Stitch Sewcial was that this was an amazing start to the series. If you’re itching to sew any of the garments made in the episode The Foldline have done their regular round-up of sewing patterns similar to those used.
Next week is sportswear week. This is not usually one of my favourite weeks,, but the Bee has upped their game this year (see what I did there !!) with the inclusion of a challenge to make high top trainers. This has definitely piqued my interest no end and now I really can’t wait until next week’s episode.
Don’t forget to share your makes with us in Stitch Sewcial ... we love seeing sewing bee inspired garments. Oh, and come join us for our live chat and quite possibly a cheeky G’n’T!
Sewing. pattern cutting, teaching, tea and Jelly Babies!