For the quarter final of The Great British Sewing Bee, the 5 remaining sewers returned to the sewing room to face their biggest challenges to date. Their sewing machines were replaced with basic models from the 1930s and they were asked to make “the clothes we used to wear” using authentic techniques.
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 blouse based on a 1930s pattern. The pattern required a soft drapery fabric, and many of the sewers chose vintage-style fabrics to suit the era of the garment. The complex blouse had a two-piece collar made of four sections, a gathered bodice, puff sleeves and a shaped peplum at the waistline. There was also a placket opening at the waist, which was commonly used as a cheap alternative to zips in the 1930s. Heather won this challenge, as her collar and gathering was well executed.
Sew a pretty blouse
Treat yourself to a sewing machine
For the second challenge, the sewers had to completely transform a man’s suit into a wearable piece of women’s clothing. Not being able to use the haberdashery for this challenge, they had to be creative with their use of fabric and embellishments contained in the suit. Most of the sewers chose to create dresses, but Heather made a fitted strapless top. As always, the finished garments were really varied, and the judges were delighted when they were revealed! Chinelo won the challenge for the first time with her beautiful and innovative dress, which used numerous elements from the original suit.
Make a vintage-style bouclé dress
Master iconic looks from the 1920s to 1980s
Finally, the sewers were asked to make a made-to-measure historic coat using authentic techniques. The sewers all chose different styles of coat from the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s, but struggled with sewing through layers of thick fabric. Most of the sewers gave their coats more structure with interlining, and Chinelo went for the time-saving option of using fusible interfacing. David chose to make a traditional police coat from the 1940s. Lynda’s 1950s coat was Garment of the Week and David left the Sewing Bee this week.
Try one of our coat patterns
Get 25% off all interfacing! (offer valid this week only)
In the semi final next week, Tamara, Lynda, Chinelo and Heather will go head-to-head for a place in the final. If you missed last week, check out our Episode Five 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 Six, shown on 25th March at 9pm, BBC Two.