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Sewing Bee series 7 episode 1 – wardrobe ideas

The Great British Sewing Bee is back on our screens for the 7th time! Next to the two judges Patrick Grant and Esme Young, and the comedian Joe Lycett, there are twelve amateur sewers who will be fighting for the title of Sewing Bee of the year.

The theme this week was Wardrobe Staples. As always there were three challenges: for the first one they were sewing a shell blouse, for the second challenge they had to transform a t-shirt into a wearable garment, and lastly the contestants had to make a buffet dress 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.

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Challenge 1: Sew a shell blouse.

For the very first challenge of series 7 the contestants were asked to make a perfectly sewn shell blouse. A shell blouse is a sleeveless, slip-on collarless blouse, and sometimes a cap sleeve. The pattern that was featured in this episode was sleeveless with bust darts, a full facing and button closing at the back. The pattern was formed of seven pattern pieces and finished with a double turned hem.

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Pattern: Simplicity 4552.

This pattern fits perfectly in this week’s theme, not only does it include a simple sleeveless top with bust darts, it also includes a sleeveless dress, a loose fitting jacket with grown on sleeves, a skirt, a pair of trousers, and a scarf/ sash. Talking about wardrobe staples!

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Pattern:New Look 6483. 

New Look 6483 includes a top with bust darts, a facing, a keyhole opening in the back seam, and little slits in the side seams. Choose to make it sleeveless like on the show, or add short sleeves.

Challenge 3: Sew a made-to-measure buffet dress.

In the final challenge of week one, all the contestants had to make a buffet dress to fit a model in just five hours. The buffet dress is a loose fitting fall dress without a defined waist, so you can eat as much as you like when wearing it! All the Bees got to choose their own pattern, some of which we have available in our shop! For others we have found similar designs so you can go and re-create the look.

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Pattern: McCall’s 7970.

Cathryn chose McCall’s 7970 and a fabulous cacti print for her buffet dress. This pattern is a loose fitting pullover dress with an elasticized waist. It includes two skirt lengths and lovely variations such as a flounce round the neckline, and bell sleeves.

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Pattern: Simplicity 8872.

Do you want to sew a dress with a fabulous crochet neckline feature just like Andrew? Simplicity 8872 is the one! This pattern comes with different length, sleeve, and neckline variations, so you create a dress that suits your style.

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Pattern: Simplicity 8551.

Damien’s dress had a pretty lace up neckline feature with eyelets. If you want to sew something similar then Simplicity 8551 would be a great start. The pattern includes a dress and tunic, each with neckline and sleeve variations.

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Pattern: McCall’s 7948.

Both Julie and Jean went for McCall’s 7948 and we can see why! This stunning design features a dartless bodice and a back opening that closes with an eye and thread loop. Choose from a gathered skirt with multiple tiers or a pleated skirt. It also includes 4 different sleeve designs.

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Pattern: McCall’s 7969.

The garment of the week was sewn by Ralph in four different types of Broderie Anglaise which he hand dyed himself. If you would like to create something similar then McCall’s 7969 would be a good start. It’s a very loose-fitting, pullover dress with different length, sleeve, and ruffle variations.

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Pattern: McCall’s 8085.

Serena and Lawratu made similar dresses with a lovely ruffle skirt. McCall’s 8085 is a loose-fitting, pull-on dress that would be great if you want to make your own version. With different sleeve, length and hem ruffle variations this pattern is a great basic to start with your dream dress.

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Pattern: Vogue 9239.

Farie went for beautiful long bell sleeves and you could create something similar with Vogue 9239. This pattern also comes with other sleeve options and a full and slim skirt variation.

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Pattern: Simplicity 8875.

Rebecca chose to make this stunning dress with the beautiful V shaped ruffle at the bottom. Simplicity 8875 also includes different neckline and sleeve variations.

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