Great British Sewing Bee | Episode 6

It was the quarter-finals of the Sewing Bee this week and the focus was on active wear. With more Lycra than you knew what to do with, three different types of sewing machines and some 80’s ski suits to refashion it was quite possibly the hardest week so far.

Let’s take a look at what happened shall we?

WARNING: This post contains spoilers. 

The first challenge of the Sewing Bee this week was to create a cycling top for a man. Everyone looked really nervous when this was announced and Tracey said she was terrified. Lycra is really hard to work with because it has a four way stretch and can pucker if it is over worked and pulled in different directions. Even Claudia wondered why you wouldn’t just buy a cycling top instead of making one!

This task required the use of a cover-stitch machine, which makes for a more professional finish. None of the contestants had used this machine before and it proved to be everyone’s worst enemy.

During the judging Patrick and Esme were particularly hard on the sewers, picking at hems that didn’t line up and a slight pull in the zip, which was barely noticeable. They did love Tracey’s garment however, with Patrick saying it was ‘extremely well sewn’ and ‘near on perfect’. This got her the top spot in the first challenge but Rumana really struggled in this challenge with her neckline being over stretched and she landed in 5th place.

Sewing Bee E6C1

The alteration challenge was my favourite challenge of the entire series. Sewers had to create a piece of children’s outerwear using an adult 80’s all-in-one ski suit. AMAZING! As you can imagine there were some jazzy fabrics flying around the studio and some fantastic, yet extremely complicated patterns to be made. Because there are so many layers to a ski suit, the sewers had a lot of fabric to work with.

Joyce decided to make a bomber jacket with her orange ski suit and Rumana made a pink flamingo jacket. It had a beak and wings and everything! As Claudia said “Flamingo outerwear, why haven’t they made that already” Well, our thoughts exactly Claudia!

Jade’s jacket had some fabulous winged sleeves, which almost started at the waist. This really impressed the judges and she took the top position. Tracey, who has struggled with the fit of her garments throughout the series, struggled again and her jacket was very snug. This put her in the bottom spot for this challenge.

If you would like to make your own kid’s coat, you can find a wide variety of patterns here.

Sewing Bee E6C2

Look at Rumana’s flamingo jacket – Isn’t that fabulous!

The made-to-measure challenge was to create a yoga outfit. As yoga pants are traditionally tight fitting this was going to be a tough challenge. They needed to be fitted, but not restricting so that the wearer will actually be able to do yoga in them!

Tracey had a lovely idea to create a leg cuff that had a criss-cross pattern. Charlotte was the only contestant not to make a tight fitting outfit. She did have to create a tight fitting bra under her loose fitting top because as she said ‘You don’t want your bosoms falling out when your doing downward facing dog’.

Joyce was so ahead in her outfit, that she finished with an hour to go and decided that she would make a cardigan as well! However, the judges weren’t overly impressed with her garments as they were neither fitted nor loose and the proportions were off. Despite the lovely idea of Tracey’s criss-cross leg cuff, the judges didn’t think it worked but Jade triumphed again as the judges thought she nailed the brief.

For the second time in a row Jade took home garment of the week and secured her place in the semi-final. Unfortunately it was Rumana who had to leave the Sewing Bee this week. She moved us all to tears with her leaving speech and her design skills are something we won’t forget.

If this week hasn’t put you off active wear and you would like to make your own yoga pants. We have a yoga pant pattern here.

Sewing Bee Rumana


Come back next week for all the highlights of the semi-final where the sewers face puzzling patterns and pattern cutting. Catch us on Twitter for live updates during the show and for the ever-terrifying ‘Chart of Doom’.

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