Hammocks, Air France and Marie Antoinette….yes really!!
The pattern challenge started bang on trend with a puff sleeved, shirred bodice, elasticated waist midi dress. Think Laura Ashley, think milk-maid, think Marie Antoinette… yes… Marie Antoinette and her shepherdess dress for her summer retreat at the beautiful Palace of Versailles!
In France this dress was known as ‘la chemise de rien’, which literally translated means ‘the shirt of nothing’, as it was so lightweight and floaty. I just love the snippets of history from Amber Butchart...
Long floaty midi dresses with voluminous sleeves have been all over the high street and really popular with home sewists for the last couple of years. Lots of members of our Stitch Sewcial Facebook group have made the Tilly and the Buttons Indigo Dress, the Friday Pattern Company Wilder Gown, and the Nina Lee Spring Dress. The McCalls 7969 has been especially popular, so much so it was our first Start to Stich and Stitch Sewcial TnT post.
But I digress… back to the sewing bee chosen pattern. So, this had a shirred top, something which prompted a lot of discussion in the Stitch Sewcial live Sewing Bee Chat.
Brogan was in her element this week, in fact I think she has worn a similar style dress to this for all her Sewing Bee appearances! So she in particular had a lot to live up to with this challenge.
The fabric choices were amazing, with most of the sewists opting for lightweight cotton lawn and some choosing gorgeous liberty prints. The nursery rhyme ‘wind the bobbin up’ came to mind as we watched the contestants hand winding the shirring elastic around the bobbin, not too tightly or too loosely, to ensure the fabric would gather.
Tension was rising in the work room, Bogan advised setting it at 7!! And, with a stitch length of 4 most of the sewists then generally got to grips with the shirring technique.
So onto the transformation challenge, and the Bees were tasked with making a summer outfit from garden hammocks, adding in some of the ropes, fringing and macrame to style it up. The criteria from Patrick was ‘the important thing is it ends up not looking like a hammock!’.
The contestants didn’t hang around (sorry 😉) but took this on board and produced some interesting and considered transformations this week. Unfortunately Steve failed to impress the judges again in this challenge with the design of his top and shorts outfit looking off-line.
And somewhat surprisingly Marnie found herself in 9th place as Patrick and Esme felt her dress was not a summer outfit. Brogan went nautical with her use of the rope in her skirt and came second, but it was Angela who won, with her use of the macrame on the front of her dress impressing the judges the most.
However the Stitch Sewcial group felt that the festival jacket made by Christian was amazing, this came third but was certainly up there as a fabulous and totally wearable transformation. At one point it was modelled by Sara Pascoe who totally rocked it!
And just like that it was time for the Made to Measure Challenge.
This week the contestants were tasked with making a fun in the sun two piece coordinated trouser outfit. With two disappointing makes behind him Steve needed to shine in this challenge. His look took inspiration for a shirt and shorts combo from the shirt worn by Leonardo DiCaprio in Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet, immediately giving himself a high standard to live up to when Esme declared she had made Leo’s shirts for the film! However he was unperturbed and produced a very good outfit for the catwalk.
Again the standard was high with some stunning outfits made by the Bees. This is where we saw the first ‘hungry bum' of the series - the award for which goes to Marnie for her trousers.
Patrick felt Annie’s Ankara top was just about on the right side of descent, but did say that Brogan’s Spanish influence in the outfit she made showed as it was reminiscent of a flamenco dancer. She was criticised by Esme for choosing to have a tie at the front and the back of her top. The Stitch Sewcial group felt this was a bit harsh and personally I thought this looked just fine and worked for the pattern.
Richy opted to use a self drafted pattern for harem pants, which included 30 pleats, probably more pleats than I’ve had broken machine needles!! However he admitted he had not tested the pattern, which begs the question ‘’WHY ON EARTH NOT?????’
This ‘oversight’ showed when had to give up on the pleats and gather the fabric instead due to a miscalculation in his pattern drafting. He also had a problem inserting the zip, which left his model pinned into the trousers for the catwalk …ouch!!
The Garment of the week went to Debra with her Business Class Air France outfit, unfortunately once Patrick had described it as this it was hard to see it as anything else!. It was however, impeccably made, with a crisp clean finish and was a well deserved winner.
Sadly for Richy his mistakes this week were too much for the judges, and as Steve had redeemed himself in the final challenge it was Richy who was sent home.
Reduce, Reuse and Re-cycle is the theme for next week’s episode and with the up-cycling of duvet covers it will be a must watch for Stitch Sewcial members. We were ahead of the Sewing Bee game with our very own #GetSetSew duvet transformation challenge last year.
I wonder if the Bees can live up to the stunning creations that were made by our amazing group members? Not long to wait to find out now, see you in the live chat 😊
If you want a roundup of the patterns in this episode check out our favourites The Fold Line who have written a fabulous post!
Sewing. pattern cutting, teaching, tea and Jelly Babies!