Great British Sewing Bee | Episode 1

The Great British Sewing Bee is back! Series 4 kicked off last night with 10 fresh-faced home sewers entering the studio. The theme was Basic Construction, however it was deceptively tricky with the sewers required to make a top sewn on the bias and create a chevron pattern down the front and back.

Warning: This post contains spoilers! 

This year’s Sewing Bee contestants include the youngest contestant ever on the series, 18-year-old Jade, who sews tutus for her pet bulldogs, Rumana, a junior doctor, who started dress making by creating matching Eid dresses for her Barbie, and Duncan, a Physics and Maths tutor and Vlogger, who took up sewing when he became increasingly bored of the menswear available in shops.

Let’s take a look at what happened in the first episode shall we?

Great British Sewing Bee

Basic Construction was the theme, with Patrick and new judge Esme chucking contestants in at the deep end. They were tasked with creating a basic top, cut on the bias and with a chevron pattern down the front and back – so not so basic!

Jamie, a stay at home dad, started off by being daring and using georgette, which had the judges feeling both impressed and concerned. Ghislaine, an office manager from French Martinique, had to start her top from the beginning after realising an hour and a half in that her fabric wouldn’t work, and Tracey, a retired primary school teacher, finished her top super quick and had time to sit down and have a cuppa!

Jamie won the challenge with his daring fabric choice paying off and his chevrons matching perfectly.

Great British Sewing Bee

Next came the alteration challenge, my favourite! They were tasked with turning a monstrosity of a maternity dress, made from lightweight viscose, into something wearable. Patrick and Esme wanted the contestants to be brave and make something imaginative with the large amount of fabric available and show their sense of style.

A lot of contestants like Charlotte, Angeline and Josh, all chose to make skirts however, Joyce decided to make a dress with added godets. The judging for this challenge made for uncomfortable viewing with Esme declaring “I am really disappointed.” She did not hold back!

Tracey was also bold in her design, making a top with lace. However, her bravery did not pay off landing her in 10th place. Jamie on the other hand, once again took the top spot, impressing the judges with how different he made his garment from its original form.

Great British Sewing Bee

For the made-to-measure challenge they had to make a fitted skirt. During the preview we saw a sneak peek of Angeline’s peplum skirt with Esme saying it was sexy! And it was! Her skirt was my favourite. Rumana’s choice of fabric was beautiful and the finished skirt was very stylish.

The Judges weren’t happy with Duncan’s freehand hemming, and thought Jamie’s ruching should have gone the full way around the skirt, but the overall winner of the challenge was Angeline with her super sexy BurdaStyle peplum no less!

Duncan was unfortunately sent home and we are so sad to see him leave. We will miss his talent and his presence in the studio (as well as his amazing jacket!). As Esme said ‘Keep sewing’ and we really hope he does.

Stay tuned for next week’s episode, and follow us on Twitter for live updates and to follow our “Chart of Doom” – as Patrick Grant has lovingly called it!

3 thoughts on “Great British Sewing Bee | Episode 1

  1. Maria Stones

    Hi There!! 🙂

    I am a fan of Burda Style since a loooong time ago, (won’t say when you do your bets, but I have still Burda mag issues with the editorial page from Anne Burda herself!! those readings where absolutely a delight!!).

    Now here we go my question, what Burda pattern do you think is suitable to make the first top? Stripy Matching/Bias Cut?

    Do you think any top will do? I could draft my own pattern, but I am looking for a pattern already with instructions to follow for a beginner sewist from your collection.

    I am starting to teach in September with commercial patterns and I would like to promote your patterns, so it will be fab to identify which I can use and I am afraid I search in your site but no a suitable patterns comes up easily, and I am spending far too much time on the search. You may have other way to do it and help me if you can please?

    Well, atm I have physically 8 1/2 years Burda Style collection on my bookshelves but it’s a nightmare to search a suitable pattern as I have to open all magazines at once, Could you help please?

    Thank you and really pleased to read your blog!

    Maria :-), head stitcher @ The Jolly Stitch

    1. BurdaStyleUK Post author

      HI Maria,

      It is lovely to hear such great feedback. It’s fantastic to hear you have long been a lover of Burda!

      You are right, we dont have an exact pattern for the chevron top cut on the bias unfortunately. I have scoured our site for a similar top and the closest, in terms of look of the top (although not technique) is Pattern B.

      I hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your classes, so let us know how they go.



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