Last night was the Semi Final of the Great British Sewing Bee 2016 and what an episode it was; brain teasing pattern pieces were flying around the studio and tensions were at an all time high. What else would we expect from the semi-final!
Lets take a look at what happened shall we?
WARNING: This post contains spoilers!
The first challenge was described by Claudia as sewing meets sudoku, maybe that should of been the first clue that this week was going to be a toughie. You could just seen the nerves on the sewers face’s when the pattern was passed out. Jade was shaking her head and Charlotte had her mouth wide open and declared the pattern looked like a map.
The challenge didn’t start well for Tracey, she made an error early on and snipped her notches instead of just marking them, this meant that she had to recut her fabric. Luckily Charlotte was on hand to let her know. When the top part of the skirt was complete it looked like a fabric wave but attaching the top to the bottom was harder than an episode of Mastermind and Jade sewed her pattern piece the wrong way round.
Considering the difficulty of the pattern all the sewers did a fantastic job, many other sewers would of run a mile. The judges were very impressed with Charlotte’s garment despite her seam being a little too big and this got her the top spot in the first challenge. Tracey didn’t fare as well and struggled with the pattern, not matching the notches and a visible zip. This meant she was fourth in the challenge. Jade felt the wrath of Esme during the judging when she said she didn’t realise her pattern bits had to meet at the seam, so the shock on her face when she didn’t come fourth was noticeable.
The alteration challenge was something no one expected, it was a ‘no waste’ challenge, where they had to transform a child’s duvet into a wearable garment. Yes you read that correctly!
Esme wanted them to create something really different, and luckily for the sewers, they were given a child’s pillow case they could practice on using a half size mannequin first. The vision the sewers needed for this task was incredible and the garments they made were just fantastic. They were architectural, goddess like and wow; some of the garments wouldn’t look out of place at a V&A exhibition.
Patrick said he was massively impressed with the final results and so he should be. Jade’s garment was the most wearable of the four and it even had the buttonholes from the duvet still on the bottom hem, but the judges didn’t mind and Esme said you could use them to turn it into a jumpsuit. A Grecian jumpsuit… of course!
Esme and Patrick were so pleased with Charlotte’s garment that Esme had to nit pick at the shoulder knot just so she had a critique to give. This got her the top spot once again. Joyce made a seaside inspired poncho, but the judges weren’t impressed, saying that it wasn’t creative enough and this put her in fourth place for the alteration challenge.
And so we arrived at the made-to-measure challenge, the final chance for the sewers to secure their place in the final. The challenge sounded simple enough, a beautifully fitted day dress, but it’s the semi-final, so of course the garments have to be nothing short of perfect. To make it just that little bit harder as well the sewers had to create their own pattern using a pattern block. It is a template that they have to recreate and transform to make their day dress, so not so easy.
This challenge is not just about the sewing, it is also about the designing. Tracey decided to make a 50’s inspired dress with a statement collar and Jade chose to make a skater dress with a cut out back with a wonderful fabric choice. Charlotte wanted to go for the hat trick and her dress with a cowl neck looked like it would deliver that wish.
The judges were worried about Tracey, who has struggled with the fit throughout the competition. Once again it wasn’t right and the initial fit didn’t go over the models bust. Jade spent a long time trying to pattern match the bodice to the skirt and this meant she didn’t have enough time to fit the back properly and it gaped on the small of the models back.
I always say it, but all the garments were wonderful. All the sewers should be very proud of themselves. Patrick said Charlotte’s dress was a delight, and Esme said it was kind of sexy, which it was. It was so well put together. The judges weren’t as impressed with Tracey’s dress however; they weren’t keen on the collar and wanted the neckline to be slightly lower. The judges also picked fault in Joyce’s collar, although it was sewn beautifully, they thought it should be thinner.
Now, divert your eyes if you don’t want to know who the finalists are!
Early on, it was let slip that both Charlotte and Jade were in the final whilst talking about their garments. It was Charlotte who took garment of the week with her alteration garment. She was shocked to come top in every challenge this week.
With a tear in our eye we were told that it was Tracey who had to leave the Sewing Bee this week. She has been hilarious throughout the series and the sewing room wont be the same without her in it.
So this is it, we have our finalists. Charlotte, Joyce and Jade. Come back next week for all the gossip from the sewing room and see who will be the winner of the Great British Sewing Bee 2016.
Don’t forget to catch us on Twitter for live updates during the show and for the ever-terrifying ‘Chart of Doom’.