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Sewing Bee Week 8 Patterns & Techniques

Vintage week is here. One of the best ones in our opinion, and quarter final didn’t disappoint. Tricky button bibs? Shirt to blouse transformations? Bias cut dresses!? There was so much to enjoy from this episode.

Sailor trousers

GBSB Week 7 featured a tricky button-front trouser. The bib opening certainly had the Bees scratching their heads! We have a near identical pattern for you to try plus two easier interpretations if you just want the look without the challenge.

Vogue 1815 is a wide leg trouser pattern with sailor inspired front button closure. This is the only way to get into the trousers, just like you saw on the show. It’s a really interesting construction method, and our Vogue Patterns instructions take you through easy to follow steps with helpful images.

We recommend twill, silk crepe, linen and LIGHTWEIGHT denim (don’t get in a pickle like some of the contestants did with their heavy denim). Plus you can choose between trousers and shorts! Better for the heatwave that’s on the way, or to pack in your case if you have a holiday planned.

There are also TWO Burda Sailor-inspired trouser patterns for you to try. And they’re both half price right now

Burda 6573 has a mock button-bib front (easier than what you saw on the show) with clever seam positions and wide flared trousers legs.

Burda 6032 offers a different spin on this style with a buttoned front overlay and leg fastenings.

Made to Measure Challenge

This week the challenge was to make a pair of glamorous bias cut gowns! We saw some really spectacular designs using our patterns (I love it when they show the envelopes on screen to share the inspiration!). There were a couple of out of print patterns you might find on eBay or Etsy but we’ve also provided alternatives for you to check out too.

Don’t forget to read our guide to slippery fabrics here. And remember French Seams are a lovely fancy fabric finish!

Plus we have a new guide to sewing on the bias with top tips for success and have an amazing range of patterns that use bias cut fabric.

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Debra chose our beautiful Vogue Patterns 1697 halter dress that is reminiscent of the green dress Keira Knightly wears in Atonement… only Debra chose a gorgeous golden yellow satin. She was rushing to finish her bias binding trim and accidentally stretched her armholes! But she did make sure to take time for perfect French side seams and to stabilise the long bias seam around the dress two tips you can read about in our Sewing On The Bias Guide.

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Brogan decided to use Vogue Patterns 8814 a recent design with beautiful seams and bias cut panels. She made one small mistake with her cutting out, did you spot it? Satin needs cutting out with a “nap” layout just like you would a fur or velvet fabric. The colour and shine looks different when held in different directions so you have to cut everything out single layer and all pattern pieces positioned the direction “top to toe”. Her dress still looked beautiful in the stunning pink satin she chose.

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So Christian went rogue and chose stretch velvet when all around him sewed satin. Kind of admirable! He found a copy of our iconic Butterick 5710 (now long out of print) BUT doesn’t the way Christian hacked it look quite similar to McCall’s 8037 which is actually designed for stretch fabric like velvet, and has the beautiful cowl front! An excellent alternative if you can’t find B5710 on Etsy or eBay.

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Man Yee and Annie chose Vintage Vogue patterns they found online. As a modern interpretation of their design why not take a look at M7775 which has a beautiful cross over neckline just like their dresses from the episode. You can use silk crepe de chine for this design for extra glamour!

With over 100 years of designing patterns, you can find a lot of our designs available to buy secondhand. Just watch out to ensure you buy the correct size as we used to offer single size patterns in past decades. And if buying a cut pattern, try to find out if all the pieces are included.

Get all the looks from Episode 8

Whether you want to make a bias draped gown like the show or want to sew something a bit simpler, 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. We’ve got a wide range of modern sewing patterns for sewing on the bias, button front trousers, and blouses. Plus we threw in a few of our favourite vintage looks for good measure!

(Or if you’re a real lover of vintage patterns head straight to the dedicated Vintage Sewing Patterns section of our site with over 90 patterns to choose from.)

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