We’ll be following along with the second series of The Great British Sewing Bee, so join us here every week for a round-up of all of the action from the show. The first episode started last night with a focus on the most common fabrics used by dressmakers – cotton, wool and silk.
WARNING: This blog contains spoilers, so make sure you don’t read on until after you’ve watched the show if you don’t want to ruin any surprises!
For the first challenge, the sewers were given a basic pattern to create a simple sleeveless top. They used a range of patterned cotton fabrics and were asked to add a hand-stitched button loop on the back. We loved Chinelo’s top, which used two different patterned fabrics, and Tamara’s delicate trim details. Heather won with her perfectly executed garment made in a classic pale blue and white polka dot fabric.
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The second challenge involved re-designing a plain wool maxi skirt. The sewers were very creative and made very different variations of the skirt by adding godets, peplums, trims, inserts and pleats. We were impressed with Jenni’s idea to add dungaree straps to the skirt, and her garment really stood out in the line up! Simon’s inserted fabric panel and lined pocket were impressive too! Tamara won by adding a panel of patterned fabric and gathering the edges to create a pretty ruffle skirt.
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For the final challenge of the first episode, the sewers had to make a nightgown using silk fabric. There were some different types of silk used, and many of the sewers struggled to cut the slippery fabric. Tamara chose to use a rotary cutter, as the fabric tends to move less with the swift motion of the cutter. Chinelo’s clever corset-style back meant that her garment fitted wonderfully, despite the fact that she worked without a pattern. Julie won with her extremely elegant nightgown, embellished with black lace and diamantes.
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Join us next week to find out what happens when the sewers take on patterned fabric! Check out our Meet The Contestants blog post to find out more about this year’s sewers.
If you’d like to start dressmaking, you’ll find a huge selection of patterns available from BurdaStyleUK. And if you’ve been inspired by anything from The Great British Sewing Bee episode one, please share it with us on Facebook and Twitter!
NOTE: The images in this blog are not suitable for third party use. Images taken from The Great British Sewing Bee Episode One, shown on 18th February at 8pm, BBC Two.