Are you watching the new series of The Great British Sewing Bee? We were thrilled that the TV show has returned with ten new contestants battling it out to be named the best sewer in Britain. This year the show has a new judge, Joe Lycett, who joins Patrick Grant and Esme Young. If you haven’t seen all the latest news about the show, take a look at the BBC’s dedicated site about all things Bee! You will find contestant profiles, interviews with the judges and episode guides. Also take a look through our blog for other sewing bee posts.
We will be continuing our blog series about the sewing bee today and each week we will be sharing our pattern picks here and also listing them in our shop for easy browsing. All the patterns have been selected for their similar design features and styles to help you recreate these looks at home for your own handmade wardrobes.
Week eight, the final episode: Evening wear
In the eighth episode of the show, contestants had three challenging tasks starting with sewing a double-breasted waistcoat. Take a look at our pattern suggestions below to recreate this look at home.
Butterick 6339 – as seen on screen!
This waistcoat is a close-fitting, partially interfaced, lined, single and double-breasted vest with front extending to upper and side back. It has no shoulder or side seams but features welt pockets and back and belt cut of lining fabric. Versions A, B, C feature upper welts, versions B, C feature a notched collar whereas D, F has a shawl collar.
This waistcoat and cummerbund has a collar and back belt. Version B has a contrast collar, versions C and D have welts, shawl collar, front button closure, adjustable back neck button closure and back elastic with clip.
Vogue® Patterns 7488
This lined vest has low armholes, shaped hemline and a back belt. Vest A has welt pockets whereas vest B is double-breasted with welt pockets. Vest C has mock-welt pockets.
Vogue® Patterns 9273
If you are looking for a double vested womenswear pattern, this semi-fitted, lined vest has front and back princess seams and length variations. Version A is double breasted.
Burda Style 6380
This long vest/waistcoat has lapels and creates a self-confident and mature impression. You can use satin for the facings and it’s a great evening garment. You can use a different fabric for a more sporty daytime look.
Burda Style 6321
This trench style dress is also double breasted. View A is sleeveless and fastened quite decoratively with buttons to accent the sporty design. View B is made up with short sleeves and has an invisible snap fastening. Both styles are finished off with coordinating belts.
The second challenge was reusing net curtains to create an evening wear outfit. A range of styles were used by contestants so we have shared our favourite patterns inspired by the show for you to peruse below.
This special occasion dress is a gorgeous open back mermaid style gown. The pattern is versatile and the sleeveless halter dress can be made short, long with a leg slit or with a mermaid tail of tulle. The dress also features an invisible zipper and a button and loop closure on neck band.
If you are looking for an alternative mermaid fishtail dress to recreate Leah’s transformation challenge then the McCalls 7569 is a great option. It has a close fitting bodice with halter neck or sleeved options. The skirt is also close fitting with length variations or mermaid flounce.
This is the statement piece your wardrobe has been longing for! Misses’ tulle skirts in three lengths are perfect for any occasion. Dress it up for an evening out, or dress it down for a sweet everyday look. It’s a great way to use tulle or lace to add drama to an outfit as Juliet did for her transformation challenge.
The final challenge involved creating a strapless evening gown. There was a range of styles featured in the final challenge this week and we thought we would share some of our favourite patterns that could be hacked to create the looks in the show.
This show stopping dress is close-fitting and self-lined with boned bodice and bra, princess seams, bias band, elasticised side back, skirt variations and a back zipper. Version A has inside buttoned shoulder straps and skirt cut on the crosswise grain. Version B has a semi-fitted skirt with right front pleats and narrow hem. Separate pattern pieces are included for cup sizes A/B, C, D. This would be a great option to recreate Juliet’s garment.
Vogue® Patterns 1533
This knock out close-fitting, lined and strapless dress has bodice foundation and boning. You will need to sew in the interfacing and the design features this unique contrast front drape and bow. A great challenge for an advanced maker.
Leah used this pattern as her inspiration for her final made-to-measure model outfit. It has a fitted princess seam and boned bodice. The skirt has semi-fitted variations with an invisible back zipper. The circular skirt is cut on the crossgrain and the overskirt has a very narrow hem. Note that the wrong side of the fabric will show.
New Look 6454
This New Look dress comes with four variations. It has a princess seam lined fitted bodice with the option of straps, halter neck or strapless. The skirt is fitted through the hips with godets. Version B has a back bow tie.
Burda Style 6388
An evening gown like this one could be seen on a red carpet celebrity. The slender silhouette accentuates your figure with a bustier bodice. The draped folds on the bodice are true eye catchers as is the single strap. The shorter cocktail dress also features an asymmetric peplum.
This Butterick dress pattern is close-fitting with a boned strapless bodice as the foundation. The self-ruffle gives this dress elegance and drama. The full skirt comes in two lengths. Shawl is with or without self-ruffle also.
Our final pattern suggestion is the McCalls 7306 costume dress, which could form the basis of recreating Riccardo’s jellyfish outfit for the final. It has a fitted lined corset with boning. This hoop skirt could easily be fitted with fabric for an authentic jellyfish look!
Don’t forget to share your latest makes with us on social media using the hashtags #simplicitybyme or #mccallsbyme. We can’t wait to see what you’ve been making. There are prizes to be won each month too!