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The Sewing Bee is Back!

The new series of the Great British Sewing Bee is airing on the 12th of February and we could not be more excited! It’s time to look back at the last series (from 2016) to get us in the Sewing Bee mood and see which patterns inspired the contestants for their challenges.

In the 1st episode they sewed a panelled women’s top, a women’s skirt and refashioned a maternity dress.

Simplicty Pattern 1200 – Misses 3/4 circle skirt with length variations.
Misses’ Easy to Sew three quarter circle skirt can be 20″ or 30″ with or without waistband, 25″ with contrast lower band, and 20″ with stylish 25″ overskirt and waistband.

In the 2nd week the contestants were asked to sew patterns for children and babies. They made a baby gro, refashioned a bridesmaid dress into a child’s outfit before finally creating a child’s cape.

Butterick B5585 – Infants’ jacket, dress, top, romper, diaper cover and hat.
Loose-fitting jacket, pullover dress A, tops B, C or rompers D, E, F have narrow hems. Jacket: long sleeves. A: dirndl skirt. A, B: above elbow sleeves. C, D, E: long sleeves. D: elastic legs. D, E: snap crotch.The 3rd episode was all about sewing lingerie and nightwear patterns. In the first task they made a soft cup bra, then they refashioned a silk scarf before fitting a luxury robe to a model.

Vogue Patterns – V8888 Misses’ Robe, Slip, Camisole, and panties.
Loose-fitting, wrap robe has shawl collar, bias inside ties, back tucks with tie ends, side pockets, bias loops, and stitched hems. A: sleeve bands. Close-fitting, bias camisole or slip has shoulder straps, seamed (lined C,D) bodice, front yokes, elasticised upper back, and narrow hem. All have bias binding, armhole E extends into shoulder straps. Semi-fitted, bias panties (below waist) have elastic waist.

Episode 4 was International Week! Contestants sewed a Chinese inspired top, refashioned a Sari and made a garment using African wax prints to fit a model.

New Look 6203 – Misses’ Special occasion dresses.
Misses’ Evening Tops (sleeveless, short sleeve and long sleeve), Tunics, Skirt and Trousers.

Sewing Bee Week 5 was all about the 1960’s and according to Joyce, sex, drugs and rock’n’roll! Contestants made a colour block dress for the pattern challenge, refashioned a shower curtain for the second challenge and finally fitted a coat or jacket to a model.

Simplicity Pattern 1586 – Misses’ and plus size amazing fit dress.
Misses’ & plus size dress with sleeve and neckline variations. Individual patterns for slim, average & curvy fit & B, C, D cup size for miss & C, D, DD cup sizes for plus. Amazing Fit Collection by Simplicity.

The 6th week was all about sewing activewear. In the first task, contestants has to sew a men’s cycling top using Lycra® fabric. In the alterations challenge, contestants had to refashion a 1980s style ski suit into a children’s jacket. In the final challenge, contestants had to sew and fit a yoga outfit to a model.

Butterick B6295 – Misses’ Bra top, top and leggings.
Partially lined, pullover bra top and top have elasticised shoulder strap variations and casing. Purchased bra inserts. B: Built-in bra. Leggings have elasticised waistband, pockets, seam detail, and no side seams. D: Gathered lower sides. C, D: Serge, overcast or regular finish. B, C, D: Stitched hems. All are close-fitting. For two-way stretch knits only.

Episode 7 was the semi-final. It week was all about puzzling patterns and pattern cutting. The first task was to sew a asymmetric skirt inspired by Japanese pattern cutting. In the refashioning challenge, the contestants has to create a garment from a duvet and use all the fabric. In the final challenge, the contestants had to draft their own day dress pattern and fit it to a model.

Butterick B6318 – Misses’ tie waist dress.
This dress has semi-fitted bodice, short dolman sleeves, wide single-layer tie ends (wrong side shows), narrow hem, full gathered skirt and back zipper. B: Contrast tie ends. Circa 1961.

The 8th week was the big final! It focused on evening wear. The first task was to make a men’s shirt with collar and stand. In the refashioning challenge, the contestants had to create a little black dress from a men’s dinner suit. In the final ever challenge of the series, the contestants wowed the judges with fitting a gown to a model.

Burda Style B6442 – Woman’s V-neck evening dress.
An extravagant dress with a clever twist in front just below a deep V-neckline. Dress view A is sleeveless and the long, flared skirt makes it suitable for an evening event. Dress view B with 3/4-sleeves is an all-rounder for women who like to feel well dressed everyday.


Don’t forget to share your latest makes with us on social media using the hashtags #simplicitybyme or #mccallsbyme. We can’t wait to see what you’ve been making. There are prizes to be won each month too!