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 six: British and Irish fabrics
In the sixth episode of the show, contestants had three challenging tasks starting with sewing a linen worker’s style jacket. Take a look at our pattern suggestions below to recreate this look at home.
Look chic in this oversized boyfriend blazer from Simplicity. The pattern includes four styles that will give you a one of a kind look that is uniquely you. Sizes for misses and women’s’ include 10-28W and the pattern features a notched or shawl lapel. This jacket would look great in a linen or lightweight tweed, alternatively go for a modern look and choose a floral print.
This unlined jacket features a lapel with on seam pocket details and optional tie belt. It’s perfect for fleece or contrast fabrics, it has a loose fit style with clever pockets that form part of the front seam. Choose a contrasting collar fabric or go sleeveless in the warmer months. Designed by Karen Z for Simplicity.
Simplicity’s pattern hack collection is designed to put the creativity in your hands. Starting from basic shapes use these patterns and instructions to create unique pieces and build your perfect wardrobe. We present several options but challenge your creativity to look for other clever ways to hack the sewing patterns. See how far you can take it! This Women’s utility jacket includes long or short length with options to recreate alternative sleeves and bodice. It has a boxy fit, which is classic of a worker’s style jacket. Here the jacket is styled in green with complementary metallic buttons, giving it a military feel.
This lined blazer has a collar and lapel with shoulder pads, two button closure, side panels and two-piece sleeves. Version A has a decorative breast welt pocket and lower welt pockets with flaps whereas version B has patch pockets. It looks great with a contrasting fabric lining that shows through when the sleeves are rolled up. This jacket is slightly more fitted with front darts but it would still look great in linen and paired with boyfriend style jeans.
This men’s unlined jacket has front darts, patch pockets, inside patch pockets, two-piece lined sleeves and button trim with notched collar, topstitch trim, front button closure and stitched hems. It’s a great pattern for linen fabric and ideal to wear for less formal occasions or evenings out.
This fitted, unlined jacket has a collar, collar band and shoulder pads. The front extends around the side to the back with welt pockets (in and out side), in side right button tab, back vent and interfaced, lined, two-piece sleeves with a button vent. We had to share this pattern with you to show how well a striped linen fabric would work for a jacket like this, perfect for summer holidays.
This semi-fitted, partially interfaced, lined jacket has shoulder pads, sleeve headings, side panels, no side seams, back vents, and two-piece sleeves with vent, button/buttonhole trim. Version A has a collar and collar band. This jacket is more fitted with front darts but as you can see in the model shoot below, make this pattern in a fun bold colour and pair with casual jeans, t-shirt and trainers and it creates a complete relax look for tailoring.
The second challenge was reusing fabric from beach parasols and deck chairs. 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 pleated skirt has a waistband and the pleats run all around your body. The pleat underlay pieces are stitched on separately to let you play with colours and fabrics. Alternatively use stripy fabric as seen on the TV show to recreate the look with contrasting colours for the pleats.
This dress has a close-fitting, self-lined, boned bodice with bra, princess seams, bias band, elasticised side back, skirt variations, and back zipper. Version A has inside buttoned shoulder straps and a skirt cut on crosswise grain. Version B is a semi-fitted skirt with right front pleats and narrow hem. Separate pattern pieces are included for cup sizes A/B, C, D. This dress really is a show stopper and certainly a challenge for the intermediate maker but what a knockout the outfit would be!
This fitted dress has front and back princess seams and a collar with medium-weight flexible wire.Version B has godets and ribbon with hem shaping. It has really unusual gathering and pleating details that create this completely unique outfit. Suitable for the more intermediate maker, this dress has a fascinating construction. Find out more in our video with the designer below.
Watch our video where we talk through this dress with designer Kathryn Brenne.
The final challenge involved creating a coat using British wool fabrics. 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 loose-fitting, unlined jacket has shoulder pads and stitched hems. Version A has a Collar and lapel. Versions A and B have side pockets whereas versions B and C have fold-back facings. Version A of this coat was used by Juliet for her final challenge. She made the coat in a stylish on trend camel wool for her real life model.
This Mimi G Style wool coat has a notch lapel in two lengths. The pattern also include a straight legged pant requiring a zipper and one hook closure. Transition from day to night with ease in this polished look. There is also a sew along video available for this pattern to give you all the tips and tricks needed to make this coat, watch below. We love the modern cut of this coat designed by Mimi G and in this on trend camel wool fabric it could take you from work to evening, all the while keeping you warm.
Keep warm and stylish with this 1960’s vintage cape. The cape features patch pockets, button front and retro style collar. Head scarf pattern also included! Although a cape pattern wasn’t featured in the show this week, the similar button and collar style with raglan sleeves and pockets was featured in a few designs by contestants. We love the vintage styling of the cape and those patch pockets are a must!
This coat has a shawl collar style and top-stitching trim is optional. Version A has three-quarter length raglan sleeves with turn back cuffs whereas version B has long raglan sleeves with turn back cuffs. Both versions B and C have welt pockets whereas version C closes with one button at neck and has a band at lower edge of the one-piece raglan sleeves. This is a Simplicity authentic vintage sewing pattern from circa 1950.
This loose-fitting, unlined coat has a collar, dropped shoulders, self-lined yoke back with forward shoulder seams, no shoulder seams, back-belt and stitched hems. Version C also comes with the all important side pockets. This coat is similar to the style used by Janet and we love the funnel neck, which would keep you nice and cosy in cold weather.
This coat is very loose-fitting and unlined coat with collar variations. Versions A and B come with patch pockets whereas versions C and D have side seam pockets. Why not sew up this coat with a contrast fabric collar? This coat is ideal for a confident beginner maker who is looking to try a coat for the first time. It’s loose fit a-line style is ideal for getting to grips with tailoring.
This lined jacket has shoulder pads, side-front and side-back seams, and two-piece sleeves. Version A comes with a collar. This is a great coat to colour block different fabric colours and prints with. Use a darker coloured fabric on the side panel to produce a flattering silhouette.
The coat designer for Simplicity by Dottie Angie uses pre-quilted fabric and comes in sizes XS to XL. It features pocket variation, contrasting elbow patches, with hood or mandarin collar options. Edges are finished with 1/2″ wide double fold bias tape. It pairs perfectly with buttons or toggle closures. To save time look for double-faced pre-quilted fabrics.
This coat is semi-fitted and lined featuring princess seams and front button closure. It also comes with a fitted lined dress with v-back and strap detail. You may recognise it from our previous cocktail dresses sew-along. This dress and jacket combination is ideal if you are looking for an outfit to make for a wedding this summer.
This fitted coat has princess seams, back yoke with forward shoulder seams, two-piece sleeve, collar and pocket variations. Version A includes the design for a round collar, whereas version B a pointed collar and version C a funnel neck. Separate pattern pieces are also included for cup sizes A, B, C, D. A classic style, this coat is ideal for everyday wear and will never go out of fashion.
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!