In the semi final of The Great British Sewing Bee, the sewers were challenged to create amazing garments without using a pattern. They had to design a dress, customise by adding sleeves and recreate a favourite item of clothing.
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!
The first challenge was to create a dress by cutting, pleating, gathering and draping fabric on a mannequin. Heather draped her fabric on the bias, which gives the garment a better finished look. Once the fabric had been draped on the mannequin, the sewers tacked (basted) in place before sewing. Heather and Tamara both chose to drape the fabric around the neckline, but Heather’s garment was more successful. Lynda and Chinelo both made stunning strapless dresses, but Lynda won this challenge with her pretty draped bow and well-fitting bodice.
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For the second challenge, the sewers had to transform a high-street dress by adding a pair of sleeves. They had to measure the depth of the armhole, the circumference of the armhole and around the arm in order to create their own pattern piece. Most of the sewers created gathered sleeves, but Lynda chose to make straight set-in sleeves, which required more accurate measuring and sewing. Lynda and Heather made long sleeves, but Chinelo won the challenge with her bold puffed short sleeves.
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Finally, the sewers were asked to make a replica of a favourite garment from their own wardrobes. They had to create a pattern based on the existing garments, and they used tailor’s chalk to mark the fabric. Tamara made a complicated yoga outfit with panels of contrasting fabrics, and Chinelo made an impressive skirt with organza strips. Heather chose to make a simple shift dress, which the judges criticised for being a little too easy at this stage of the competition. Tamara’s yoga outfit was Garment of the Week and sadly Lynda left the Sewing Bee.
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In the final next week, Heather, Chinelo and Tamara will go head-to-head to find out who will win The Great British Sewing Bee! If you missed last week, check out our Episode Six round-up blog post to catch up.
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, 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 Seven, shown on 1st April at 8pm, BBC Two.