The one with Heroes, Fashion, Rebel Rebels and Changes, but definitely no Absolute Beginners
The pattern challenge was a Parka coat, a complex garment to put together, with many different pieces and a particularly tricky placket construction for the contestants to master. Patrick and Esme agreed it was one of the most difficult pattern challenges they had ever set. The fun history facts came early this week with Amber Buchart documenting the Parka’s early use by indigenous arctic peoples when it was made from sealskin or caribou for warmth when kayaking. The ‘fishtail' element with drawstrings was added for the Korean war so US soldiers could tie each side around a leg for extra warmth. After the war the Parka became a uniform for Mods in the 1960s and later for Oasis - who most of the Bees seemed to associate the coat with.
It is that time in the series when, with fewer contestants left, we get to see more of the garments in detail and hear the judges' comments for each, and they are not holding back this year.
Brogan came second with her embellished mini skirt and halter style top but it was Gill who bounced back from final place in the previous round to win this challenge. With her fringed and star embellished mini skirt and bikini style top, this outfit was perfect for a country icon like Dolly to wear on stage.
Imaginations were taken to the next level in the made to measure challenge with outfits inspired by David Bowie. The judges wanted the outfits to be fabulous, iconic and stylistically original, like Bowie himself. What a spectacularly flamboyant catwalk this was going to be. Esme was name dropping again with her story of sitting on a window sill to watch the Notting Hill Carnival with David Bowie; honestly what an amazing life this woman has had!! I loved this challenge, from watching the montage of truly amazing Bowie outfits to seeing the individual interpretations of the Bees outfits. There was everything on offer, with inspiration taken from songs such as Rebel Rebel, Ashes to Ashes, Life on Mars, the Magic Dance from Labyrinth, Ziggy Stardust,Let’s Dance and of course Fashion. This was my kind of theatrical made to measure.
The story of Gill making her practice outfit at home and the sequins shedding everywhere to the point that her dog had sparkly poop 🐕😱 is a reminder that sequins are not always the answer to everything! Debra sewed one arm of her jacket inside out which meant her correction left the arm really tight, this was such a shame as she had created a beautiful trouser suit complete with ostrich feather cuffs. Cristian’s one armed and one legged catsuit was topped with a dramatic cape, which was just as well as it covered a very ‘hungry bum’!! The big sleeves on Brogan’s dress were certainly dramatic, but the rest of the outfit failed to wow the judges. It seems it wasn’t a good week for Man Yee and jackets as her Chinese patterned Blazer and skirt outfit didn’t work for the judges.
But her dress coat was rather more steampunk than Bowie-esque and, with her low finishes in the previous two rounds, she was unfortunately the sixth contestant to leave the sewing room.
Stitch Sewcial members in the sewing bee chat felt this had been one of the best episodes of the series so far. The sewists really are amazing and this weekly dose of sewing bee sunshine and Stitch Sewcial chat is truly a highlight of my week. As always the fabulous Fold Line have pulled together pattern inspiration, hints and tips from this week's episode, if you fancy getting musical with your sewing.
So that leaves us with six contestants for next week's sewing room challenges, which will all be themed around underwear. So which of the sewists will be waving their knickers in the air and who will be curled up in the corner in comly pjs?? I can’t wait to find out. Hope to see you there in the Stitch Sewcial Sewing Bee Chat 🐝
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Sewing. pattern cutting, teaching, tea and Jelly Babies!