In episode three of The Great British Sewing Bee we saw the sewers take on their most difficult challenges yet! They faced the fastest pattern challenge so far, alterations that stretched them to the limit and created a tricky made-to-measure dress – all using clingy stretch fabrics!
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 pattern challenge this week was to create a pair of leggings. They only had 90 minutes to complete their garment, and the hardest part was ensuring that the leggings fitted their mannequin correctly. Many of the sewers hadn’t used stretch fabrics before, so it was interesting to see the results! They used an overlocker (serger) for sewing the seams of the leggings, which is essential as it creates a stitch that stretches with the fabric. They also had to sew an elastic waistband into the leggings, which proved to be technically challenging for some, as the tension has to be kept even whilst sewing to ensure a perfect finish. Lynda finished first and won the challenge with her excellent handling of this difficult fabric.
Make your own leggings
Treat yourself to an overlocker
The second challenge was to take a baggy T-shirt and adapt it into something new. The sewers instantly got creative and there were so many different ideas bouncing around! Most of the sewers created dresses from the T-shirt and used different techniques and trims to embellish their garments. David and Julie both unfortunately stretched the fabric too much with their alterations. Jenni used an unusual slashing technique to decorate the back and added zips to the front of the top. Chinelo came second with her beautiful maxi dress, but Cerina won the challenge with the most dramatic transformation, creating a sparkly children’s leotard.
Get creative with zips!
Browse our stretch fabric patterns
The “big stretch challenge” this week was to create a figure-hugging wrap dress. It’s even easier to stretch the fabric with the wrap style of the dress, so they had to be very careful when cutting and sewing. Jenni made a retro-style dress, Chinelo chose to use velvet and Julie added a faux fur collar. Heather and Tamara both made simpler sleeveless dresses. Heather unfortunately stitched her skirt on inside out and wasted a lot of time attempting to unpick the stitching, but eventually had to cut it off! Chinelo won Garment Of The Week with her beautiful purple wrap dress, and Julie left the Sewing Bee.
Sew a wrap dress
Embellish your garments!
Join us next week when the sewers are challenged to make children’s clothes and prom dresses! They also face a very fancy alteration challenge. If you missed last week, check out our Episode Two 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 Three, shown on 4th March at 8pm, BBC Two.