The Great British Sewing Bee is back! We are beyond excited to see Patrick Grant, Esme Young and Joe Lycett returning to our screens. And even better, this is the biggest Great British Sewing Bee to date, with 12 contestants and 10 episodes. That's 30 challenges to look forward to!
The first episode aired on Wednesday and the 3 challenges the contestants were faced with included sewing a wardrobe staple wrap skirt, refashioning two men’s work shirts and making a made-to-measure tea dress for a model.
To keep you posted on all things Great British Sewing Bee we will share our pattern picks every week here on the blog, so you can re-create the fabulous 'Bee' looks for your own homemade wardrobe! Browse the whole collection of specially curated sewing bee patterns here.
Challenge 1: Sew a wrap skirt
The very first challenge for the 12 new sewing bees was to sew a wrap skirt. The skirt design featured a wrap over to the left side which was held in place with a button and rouleau loop, a waistband, two back darts, and a diagonal front seam. We've gathered some fabulous wrap skirt patterns so that you can re-create your favourite skirt from the first challenge at home!
Pattern: Simplicity 8612.
An easy to sew wrap skirt designed by Ashley Nell Tipton. Skirts can be made in mini, knee and midcalf lengths. Create a raw edge ruffle or add trim to elevate the look.
Pattern: New Look 6456.
Choose from 4 different skirt lengths and go for maxi, midi, knee length, or mini. Midi and knee length skirts feature side patch pockets.
Pattern: Simplicity 8133.
With this Learn to Sew skirt pattern, you get specialised easy to follow instructions for first time sewers. Learn to cut a pattern, sew a shaped waistband with tie end, sew a patch pocket, and apply trim.
Pattern: Butterick 6605.
The wrap skirt is fitted and has side pockets and contrast ties. This pattern also includes a fitted blouse with a hidden front button closure.
Pattern: Burda 6733.
This wrap skirt features darts for shaping, and a waist tie to secure the wrap in place. Choose from midi length and midcalf length.
Pattern: Vogue 8956.
A semi-fitted, wrap skirt with a button and/or hook & eye closing, and a narrow hem. Make it with a straight hem or choose to add one or two sides that will extend into a draped hem.
Pattern: Burda 6340.
A quick and easy to sew flared wrap skirt in two lengths. Fasten the skirt with tie bands at the side which allow easy adjustment to fit any figure.
Pattern: Butterick 6547.
Choose from a flared or straight wrap skirt. This design includes a waistband with tie ends and inseam pockets.
Pattern: McCall's 7960.
Sew this wrap skirt with gathers or flat and choose between different length variations to make it suit your wardrobe. Other options are: patch pockets or inseam pockets and a tie closure or a hook and eye closure.
Pattern: Burda 6375.
A midi length wrap skirt with patch pockets, angled bands and leather lacing as a finishing touch. The knee length wrap skirt has decorative topstitching and pleated frills at the pockets and upper edge.
Pattern: Simplicity 8699.
A classic buttoned wrap front skirt. Make it in mini, midi, maxi and knee length and add buttons to secure the wrap in place.
Challenge 3: Sew a made-to-measure Tea dress
In the third and last challenge the contestants had to make a tea dress to fit a model. We've seen classic vintage style tea dresses, modern tea dresses and everything in between. Some of the contestants used a pattern that we currently have in stock and you'll be able to find a link to those below the images. For others we've looked for a pattern that is very similar to what they've used so you can re-create your own Sewing Bee inspired tea dress at home!
Claire used Butterick 6485 for her stunning tea dress, which is a design from 1944!
Recreate the look of Peter's dress with Butterick 6130 which has a bias collar, lined bodice and midriff, and back zipper while being semi-fitted through hips.
Mark's showstopper of a dress was created using Vogue 9239.
Nicole added a lovely little trim to her Vintage Vogue 2784 dress.
Simplicity 8875 comes with a fabulous ruffled hem and it's the pattern Fiona picked for her tea dress.
Angillia choose Simplicity 8249, which is a 1940's vintage pattern. Gorgeous!
Do you want to re-create Alex's floaty tea dress? McCall's 7381 would give you a great start!
The unusual handkerchief hem we spotted on Ali's dress is from Simplicity 8384.
A similar shape to Hazel's bright yellow frock is Vogue 9328.
If you fell in love with Therese's dress then you might want to consider making New Look 6508.
McCall's 8020 looks similar to what Liz used to create her 90's inspired tea dress.