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Sewing Bee series 6 episode 4 – wardrobe ideas

We’re back with a Great British Sewing Bee update! Sadly we had to say goodbye to Fiona last week. And with only nine contestants remaining, this weeks theme was sportswear. We saw lots of fiddly techniques, tricky materials, and stretchy fabrics throughout this week’s episode!

The three challenges consisted of: sewing a traditional men’s rugby shirt, transforming cagoules into miniature waterproof onesies for toddlers and sewing a made-to-measure tennis outfit to fit their 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! You can also browse the whole collection of specially curated sewing bee patterns here with a special discount offer on selected patterns.

Challenge 1: Sew a man’s rugby shirt.

The pattern challenge of this weeks episode was to sew a man’s rugby shirt. The pattern that featured on the show consisted of 11 pattern pieces including a button placket, cuffs and a collar. It was quite a tricky pattern to sew as the button placket and collar didn’t leave much room for error and the contestants needed to combine and sew with 4 different types of materials.

If you want to try your hand at sewing a rugby shirt, then the below patterns will help you on your way!

Pattern: Kwik Sew 4005.

This unisex pattern from Kwik Sew features a wider button placket, dropped shoulders, a self-faced back yoke, and side slits. Choose from 3/4 sleeves and a V-neckline or go for the ‘rugby look’ with long sleeves, a collar, cuffs and pockets.

Pattern: Vogue 9378.

Designed by Ron Collins, this shirt has a button placket that is very similar to the pattern on the Sewing Bee. Up for a challenge? Make this pullover shirt with multiple contrasting fabrics, a collar and collar band. This pattern is made for moderate stretch knits only.

Pattern: McCall’s 6973.

Go for a more casual look with McCall’s 6973. This pattern features a button placket and a round neckline that is beautifully finished with a neckband. Finish the look with semi fitted shorts that have an elasticised waistband and pockets. The pattern also includes a men’s tank top.


Challenge 3: Sew a made-to-measure tennis outfit for a model.

In the final challenge of week four, all the contestants had to make a tennis outfit for their models. We saw a wide range of styles and a lot of vintage inspired outfits! Below you can find the patterns that some of the contestants used, and we’ve added some similar patterns to what they’ve made, so you can re-create your favourite look at home.

Mark chose to use this fabulous vintage Simplicity 5696. It is a sports dress pattern from the 1970’s!

Liz made a tennis set with a ra-ra skirt, a drop sleeve tank top and a sport bra. You can re-create the look with the sports bra from Kwik Sew 3660 and the skirt from Kwik Sew 3661.

Therese’s beautiful dress was made with the vintage McCall’s 4466. This pattern was printed in 1975 and it features a tennis dress pattern with shorts and bonus racket cover.

Peter used Butterick 6241 to create his ‘going for cocktails’ tennis dress! It’s a wonderful pullover dress with a high collar, side-front seams, oversized draped pockets, and an exposed front zipper. This pattern is sadly out of print.

Nicole used a similar vintage pattern to Butterick 5378. We absolutely loved the look of her crew neck retro top, paired with terry towelling shorts!

Did you love Matt’s tennis outfit? He used McCalls 7574 for his raglan top and a pattern that is similar to Simplicity 1616 for the skirt.


Have you caught the activewear sewing bug? You could consider using these patterns for your next sporty outfit:

Pattern: Kwik Sew 4163.

Make a whole outfit with Kwik Sew 4163. This pattern comes with a racerback top with contrasting fabric features and a pair of ankle length leggings or shorts with contrasting features.

Pattern: Simplicity 8560.

Workout in style and comfort with a sports bra that includes band sizes from 30 through 44 and cup sizes A through G. Use the detailed instructions to help determine your correct band and cup size combination. The pattern includes a V front with optional mesh or crisscross insets, and three different back openings to choose from.

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