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 seven: World Sewing
In the seventh episode of the show, contestants had three challenging tasks starting with sewing a pair of Indian dhoti pants. Take a look at our pattern suggestions below to recreate this look at home.
Kwik Sew 3701
These very loose fitting harem style pants have pockets in the side seams and a waistband with elastic and a drawstring. The pants are fitted to just below the waist. The pattern also comes with a close fitting pull over top with scoop neckline and both the armholes and neckline are finished with narrow hems.
Vogue® Patterns 1355
These trousers are very loose-fitting through the hips and have a waistband. The pattern is designed so there is drape to the inside leg. These trousers therefore have no side seams and a tapered lower edge. Make these with two-way stretch knits only. The pattern also includes a pullover lined top, which is close-fitting through bust and has cut-in back armholes.
Kwik Sew 3835
These are loose fitting pull-on pants that come in two length with gathers at the waist and a wide fold down waistband. There are also gathers at the bottom edges of the legs with cuffs. The pants can be made with knit fabrics with little or no stretch but the waistband and cuffs must be made from at least 50% stretch knits. The pattern also includes a racer back style pull-over top.
These harem trousers are designed for fashion daredevils or just for lounging about. The fashion hit has been designed for ladies (variant A) and for men (variant B). They are quick and easy to sew, easy to combine with other handmade items in your wardrobe and so very comfortable to wear.
These Burda trousers are more fitted and come in two versions, both with an elastic waistband. Version A has a cross over crotch with pleats and pockets whereas version B has a straight stitch crotch with drawstring waistband.
These are great leisure pants with lots of leg room and will put you in a vacation holiday mood. The legs of view A taper nicely toward the bottom and the waistband has elastic shirring. View B comes in 3/4-length with elastic leg bands, patch pockets and a tie belt made of trim.
The second challenge was reusing West African men’s tunics. A range of styles were used by contestants so we have shared our favourite patterns inspired by the show for you to peruse below.
These are very loose-fitting, pullover tunics or caftans with dropped shoulders. If you were inspired by the garments used to create the refashioned outfits this could be the pattern for you!
New Look 6145
This knee length shift dress has a wide round neckline and can be made with or without a bias-cut stand collar. It also has sleeveless or 3/4, short or pleated sleeve options. Recreate Riccardo’s high wide collar refashioned look with this pattern as your base.
Vogue® Patterns 1544
We also love this fitted, lined dress with back invisible zipper and collar that extends into back tie. You could also hack this dress to recreate Riccardo’s refashioned look.
Vogue® Pattern 9107
How about making Leah’s upcycled dress? Although this dress doesn’t have pleats, it does have the diagonal seam detail and shaped hemline. You can make this pattern as a tunic or dress, which are both close-fitting through the bust and have a back zipper. Make sure you choose a fabric where you are happy to show the wrong side for this pattern.
This sewing pattern designed by Gertie is a one shoulder dress with a fitted, lined and boned bodice. It has gathers at the shoulder and also the skirt with a side zipper. Recreate Juliet’s dress with this vintage inspired outfit.
Alternatively you could try the McCalls 7741 dress with neck flounce, asymmetric hem and tie waist. This loose fitting one shoulder top and dress also comes with different length variations, a double neckline flounce option and shoulder tie. There are so many options to style this to suit you!
We also wanted to share this Butterick 6557 dress, which is fitted and partially lined with length and sleeve variations. It closes with an invisible zipper and can be worn with a contrasting cape.
Vogue® Pattern 9008
These shorts have a contour waistband, mock fly zipper and pocket variations. Version A, B and C are semi-fitted through the hips with a button waistband and narrow hem. Versions D, E and F are very loose-fitting through the hips, have front pleats, a back yoke and stitched hems.
The final challenge involved creating a origami top using Japanese pattern drafting skills. 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.
Vogue® Patterns 9317
If you were intrigued by Jen’s origami top then we would recommend you try this pattern. It is a loose-fitting top with tucks, length and sleeve variations, and a shaped hemline. You can definitely achieve an easier version of an origami top with this pattern!
Vogue® Patterns 9333
In the final challenge Leah made a really interesting top with pleated collar detail. This pattern is the closest match we could find with loose-fitting button front and a choice of collar and cuff variations.
To recreate Juliet’s origami top, you could try this loose-fitting button front top with back yoke and length and sleeve variations. These statement sleeves are a real show stopper!
This loose-fitting top with dropped shoulder has neck, length, hem and sleeve variations and a back hook and eye closure. Version A has a side detail with two-part grommets and ribbon, as show below whereas Version D has the sleeve with pleat detail.
Vogue® Patterns 9285
We also wanted to share this loose fitting top with back hook and eye closure and sleeve variations. This version has lovely large sleeves, which gather into a deep cuff. The top also features dramatic pleats, which gather into a raised close fitting collar.
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!