Quarter Finals - Hello Sailor with Hollywood Glitz and Glamour
First up was the pattern challenge. In episode 6 the judges said they had set the most difficult pattern challenge ever with the parka, they clearly decided that they could better this by giving the contestants a 1930s pattern for sailor trousers. This pattern had a bibbed front and a really complex pocket construction that had the contestants scratching their heads and working together to decipher. The pocket pieces formed a real puzzle for the Bees to understand and make up and were the marker by which Patrick and Esme judged the garments they produced.
Annie had placed some of her pieces incorrectly meaning the wrong side of the fabric was showing. There were issues with the thickness of the fabric that Debra chose as there were 5 layers that needed to be sewn though and she ended up with a hole in her pocket corner construction. But as an aside the buttons she used were gorgeous, I think they might well have been from Pigeon Wishes.
Cristian decided early on he wasn’t going to pick a fabric that was too thick….or one that was too thin…I suppose he chose a medium weight fabric then 😉
The transformation challenge this week was to make a 1930s blouse from two men's shirts. To look at the finished garments you would have been forgiven for not realising this was the transformation challenge, the sewists really did exceptionally well. The judges kindly gave them hints of the kind of details they were looking to see bu placing 1930s pictures in the sewing room. The Bees focused on puff sleeves, nipped in waists, collar details and trims. Cristian lost confidence in his initial thoughts and changed his design halfway through the challenge. Whilst he still produced a good garment Patrick and Esme were of the view the lace tie did not provide enough contrast.
Whilst Annie did offer some contrast details in her blouse again the judges felt this was not enough. Debra’s blouse had a very deep frilled neckline that was a big contrast to her leopard print top, and this was favoured by both Partick and Eseme. However, whilst you probably know that I am a great advocate of #everytingmustbeleopardprint, I am not quite so sure this really fits a 1930s brief 🐆
Brogan had puff sleeves and contrast frills aplenty in her make but the judges were disappointed she had not changed the collar from the original shirt and personally I am not so sure that broderie anglaise trim works well for a 1930s blouse. So despite her efforts Brogan found herself in last place for this challenge.
So it was time for the made to measure challenge. Both Brogan and Cristian needed to excel in this challenge to be in with a chance of a place in the semi finals, and the judges also felt Annie was in a slightly precarious position too. The contestants were asked to make a body skimming bias cut dress, reminicent of the Hollywood actress style of that era. Ohh the absolute epitome of glamour 😍 Cue Amber Butchart's mini history lesson!
This week we learned that the dress was, popularised by French designer Madeleine Vionnet in the 1920s. With strict rules around revealing costumes that could be worn in films at this time, the bias cut dress and could be revealing in the way it clung to the body and was not included in the list of costumes that were banned. When made in satin the added bonus was that the dress was perfect for providing photographic contrast.
I do love this history bits, but back to the Bee🐝
This would be the 'Battle of the Gowns' for Man Yee and Annie who had both chosen the same pattern. All the contestants except for Cristian used satin for their dresses, but christian chose to use a four way stretch velvet, which whilst gorgeous somewhat defeated the point of the exercise of using the bias for stretch. Continuing his 'redesigning halfway though a challenge' theme Cristian also chose to tweak his dress by adding a band across the open back. which the judges felt was a shame.
Debra's dress also featured a draped back which hung beautifully. The whole dress was well constructed with french seams throughout but unfortunately she had stretched the fabric a little around the front of the arm meaning it gaped slightly. At this stage in the competition the judges are getting very picky. Brogan had opted to make a paneled dress and had lined up the points beautifully, however it stat a bit high at the front as the straps were too short, and she had an anxious wait to see if she had done enough to save herself from going home this week.
Brogan's wait was over as Sara revealed that it was Cristian wo was leaving the sewing room this week. Unfortunately his choice of fabric and last minute changes of mind about design meant he had not been able to produce his best work.
As always the lovely people at the Fold Line have done a round up of the patterns used in this week's episode. And with that its onto the all female semi final with Japanese Week. There will be a Kimono pattern challenge from a collaboration between Esme and a Japanese designer, a Japanese embroidery transformation challenge, and an origami made to measure. Lots for the semi finalists to master in this episode.
Don't forget to join us for our weekly Sewing Bee chat in Stitch Sewcial.
But before then, I do need to ask......was it just me who saw a slight resemblance between Debra's toiled mini mannequin doll and Esme this week??
Sewing. pattern cutting, teaching, tea and Jelly Babies!