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Sewing Bee Week 4 Patterns & Techniques

It’s Reduce Reuse and Recycle week on The Great British Sewing Bee 2022. Episode 4 encourages you to use up every scrap of fabric and supplies in your makes – So we’re sharing tips for maximise your stash and minimising wastage along with sharing the patterns and techniques from the workroom.

Made to Measure Challenge

The Bees had to create a maxi dress from a old duvet – such a great way to re-purpose secondhand fabric. Here are the patterns we saw them use or the closest designs we could find. Unfortunately we haven’t found anything quite like Debra’s amazing double layered dress but please let us know on social media or contact us if you know what pattern to use!

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Annie wowed the judges with her version of our pattern V9311. She used a dark bedsheet with bright yellow and white flowers, and added crochet trim around the sleeves and bodice for 70s styling.

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Marni was inspired by a catwalk dress she’d seen with beautiful pink trim. Her strappy wrap dress looked very much like N6493 in a speckled print sheet where she recreated the pink details with hand dyed ribbons!

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Angela’s outfit  was super familiar, they even showed the pattern envelope on screen. M7950 is technically a midi dress but Angela lengthened it to make it a maxi. Clever thinking there!

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Steve wanted to create 80s rock inspiration with his dress. We saw on the show he used B6678 because he liked the dramatic hem ruffle. To amp up the drama he adapted it to be cut with an asymmetric seam.

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There was so much pattern hacking going on this week. Gill talked about hacking her dress to add extra chevrons and splitting the sleeves. We think she did this with S8875 as it has the same neckline and single chevron/angled seam at the hem. A clever reworking of the pattern to achieve her final look!

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Brogan made a beautiful big collar dress which we don’t actually have anything like. But we bet you clever people could hack M8180 which has the large collar and dramatic sleeves that Brogan used and turn it into a dress. Challenge accepted?

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Man Yee chose a tiered shirt dress for her pattern. We recommend using S9114 to recreate the look by leaving off the sleeves and sewing only the stand part of the collar. You could even add extra ruffles between the tiers if you like!

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Christian appeared to self-draft his pattern but it has very similar lines to V1735 with grown on sleeves that extend from the bodice and a deep v front bodice. This is one of our smash hit patterns, such a big seller that it was reissued after many years under the number V9253.

To get even more inspiration for maxi dress sewing, check out our dedicated Sewing Bee Collections – themed around each episode they’ll have you itching to sew the trends you saw on the show.

Did you know we stock over 100 maxi dress patterns! You’re guaranteed to find the style you want to sew.


Patchwork Coat Challenge

GBSB Week 4 featured a patchwork jacket made of scrap squares stitched together into a new fabric before being the pattern pieces were cut out. This method is a fantastic way to repurpose scraps and doesn’t require you to alter your pattern as you’re effectively constructing the fabric before getting started on the project.

To recreate the Bee’s style, we recommend Burda 6123 – the perfect shell style to accommodate patchwork fabric.

And we actually think S8845 would be a great jacket project for mixing fabrics. It’s a classic jean jacket just like Marni and Steve used in the transformation challenge to create colour-blocked outerwear!

If you’d rather play with a pattern that has lots of seam lines where you can mix fabric scraps of different sizes and skip the fabric creation stage, check out our list of 15 scrapbusting patterns.

Don’t forget to use up your scraps by making beautiful bias binding for your projects! Bias tape can be used to finish raw edges, as a facing or a decorative trim. Its used in dressmaking and quilting, so our handy machine includes bias and quilting tips to make multiple tape in multiple sizes and styles!

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