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Sewing Bee episode 5 wardrobe ideas

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 five:  recycled fabrics

Challenge 1

In the fifth episode of the show, contestants had three challenging tasks starting with sewing a pussy bow blouse. Take a look at our pattern suggestions below to recreate this look at home.

Vogue® Patterns V8772

This is a fitted blouse with collar, sleeve and hem variations. Versions A and B have a pussy bow blouse collar that extends into tie ends. Versions A, B and D have a continuous lap with pleats and button cuffs on sleeves. All of the versions  C, D, E and F have a collar and collar band.

Vogue® Patterns 1527

This pattern comes with a complete outfit. One of the garments included is a loose-fitting blouse with collar extending into tie, back yoke extending into forward shoulder seams and French cuffs. It also has a pattern for a semi-fitted lined jacket with princess seams, single-button closure, shawl collar, in-seam pockets, two-piece sleeves, back vent and contrast inset. The simple semi-fitted skirt has back invisible zipper.

Burda Style 6840

This smart, feminine blouse from Burda allow you to mix and match. Options include sleeveless with collar or with long sleeves and bow-tie. Both versions come with concealed buttonhole bands and four short-stitched tiny front folds, caught by the shoulder yokes.

Burda Style 6460

This classic shirt blouses from Burda also include a neck tie version to recreate the Sewing Bee look. Blouse view B highlights the plastron detailing with ruffled trim. The pattern offers different hem variations together with a choice of either a stand collar or a collar with collarband and tie bands.

Butterick 6419

This Butterick blouse is semi-fitted with front and back darts, back button closures and sleeve variations. Version B also comes with a neck tie, as featured below. Version C has a contrast neck tie, sleeve, and yoke whereas version D comes with a collar, contrast upper sleeve and yoke.

Vogue® Pattern 9029

This fitted blouse has princess seams, front button bands, sleeves with continuous lap, pleats, button cuffs, and French seams. It also has a narrow hem and sleeve ruffles. To recreate the sewing bee look try version E and F, which has a bias collar extending into tie ends.

Challenge 2

The second challenge was reusing fabric scraps from previous challenges. A range of styles were used by contestants so we have shared our favourite patterns inspired by the show for you to peruse below.

New Look 6507

Easy to make off the shoulder ruffle top and dress in two lengths can be worn off one or two shoulders and straps can be added for more support. All garments have a flounce at neckline that can be double layered and trimmed. Just extend this top to create a dress version as seen in the show.

Vogue® Pattern 8956

This wrap skirt is semi-fitted with a button and/or hook & eye closing, and narrow hem. Versions A,B,C and D also have a waistband. You can choose to have a dramatic drape to one side by using versions A,B,E or F. Just to note though that you will need fabric where you are happy to see the wrong side if you choose this option.

Simplicity 8746

This wrap skirt is available in two lengths, let this accented D-Ring skirt drape perfectly from your waist. The attached tie-waist adds a simplistic feminine touch, along with sleek front pockets for added functionality.

Burda Style 6547

The is a glamourous evening or cocktail dress from Burda with interesting seam lines. One person has a fitted bodice and a slim skirt just to the knee, the other with shoulder straps and a long flared skirt. This is great for using fabric scraps up to create an interesting style.


Challenge 3

The final challenge involved creating day dresses using recycled household fabrics such as curtains. 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.

New Look 6341 – as seen on screen!

This dress was used by Leah on the Sewing Bee and it has princess seams and scoop back, which is perfect for any occasion. The dress can be just above the knee with or without lace sleeves, floor length with short sleeves, or sleeveless with floor length high low. We love the dramatic pleats on this dress.

Vogue® Patterns 9252

This dress is very similar to the one used by Juliet in the final challenge. It is a close-fitting dress, has front and back princess seams with a lined bodice. The dress also has in seam pockets and high low hemline. Just a note, the wrong side of fabric will show. The pattern also comes with A, B, C and D Cup Sizes.

Simplicity 8635
Whether you’re looking for a dress, jumpsuit or romper this pattern has it all. Featuring strappy back detailing with neckline options and invisible pockets. Combine this pattern with the one featured above to recreate Juliet’s complete look.
Gertie for Butterick 6453
The Butterick dress has a close fitting bodice with princess seams, a back zipper, adjustable straps with ring and slider. The full skirt gathers into the bodice to give this dress lots of swish. You could easily gather the hem on this dress to create the ‘bubble’ look by Mercedes.
Simplicity 4070
Add straps to this Simplicity 4070 dress to recreate the Sewing Bee look with bubble skirt. This dress has a fitted bodice with princess seam and optional waistband.
Simplicity 1080
Play with pretty prints and patterns with these “granny chic” frocks for Simplicity. The pattern includes cap sleeve dress with optional contrast band, or tunic, all with large contrast patch pockets. Designed by Dottie Angel for Simplicity.
New Look 6526
Be the best dressed at your next big event with this New Look dress. The pattern features sleeveless, drop shoulder, and long sleeve dresses that can be made short, maxi or high low. For a romantic look make your bodice in lace and add a bow around waist.


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!

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