I’m back with another YouTube video, reviewing the 1st episode of the new series aired on the 22nd of April 2020.

**SPOILER ALERT** I talk about the person who was eliminated!

I’ve been looking forward to the Great British Sewing Bee returning to our screens in the UK for what seems like an eternity & was even more excited to find out that my sewing pal Ali, who blogs over at Thimberlina, was going to be on the show, along with Fiona, who I met at the last meet up, both of them are lovely ladies, it’s a pity that they can’t both win, as I know that they are both capable of it.

Patterns & Fabric mentioned in the video

I was able to spot quite a lot of the patterns as the show was being aired, as unusually they let the camera linger a bit longer than usual & some, like the Betty dress I recognised straight away. After watching Kate on the Foldline, I was able to confirm some of them & one of her kind viewers spotted Peter’s as he had me foxed. I have no idea what Alex’s pattern was or the pattern & fabric for Hazels.

Minerva crafts posted quite a lot of fabrics that had been used on their Instagram feed, which is why I was able to consolidate the information, however, most are probably available elsewhere, so I haven’t linked them all, it would take too long & I’m not on commission! The Denim Company ones I recognised immediately as I have had those fabrics!

Round 1 – Wrap Skirt

The Wrap Skirt in the 1st challenge was almost certainly the skirt that is included in the book, see my previous blog & video. If you don’t have the book, here is a link to a free wrap skirt pattern from love sewing magazine, you will need to register. It probably won’t have instructions with it, as they are generally inside the magazine & this particular one is asymmetrical but with a bit of guile & imagination I’m sure that you can work it out!

Below are a couple of the fabrics that were used in the wrap skirt challenge, the first 2 are from the Denim Company: The lovely embroidered Barbara light used by 2 of the contestants Fiona & Therese & the Rosemary used by Ali. The gold shiny one was the one made by Nicole & the red crepe below is very similar to the sample shown on the show, both fabrics are available from Minerva Crafts. Peters winning skirt was made with the popular Lady McElroy Crowded Faces fabric, which Sherwoods & Minerva stock. Alex’s was another Lady McElroy called showering dots. Funnily enough I had been eyeing this fabric up a couple of months ago but thought it was expensive! I haven’t been able to find the exact fabric for Liz’s but it’s most likely to have been a Alexander Henry fabric.

Fabrics & Patterns Used in the Made to Measure Round

Matt’s 1940s Prim & Proper Tea Dress was from an Etsy shop called My Vintage Wish no: 147403. The fabric that he used looked like the same Lady McElroy Showering dots that Alex used for his skirt in 2 different colour ways. I couldn’t find the colour way of the fabric that Matt used, his was yellow & black.

Clare must have been in her element as she loves going to vintage events. She used the Butterick B6485 & chose to colour block with a floral & solid, I haven’t found the fabric for hers.

Clares Pattern choice

Peter’s interpretation was mix between Hepburn & Festival, with a bold, almost tie dye effect fabric, again, I didn’t find a fabric match for this but the pattern looks as though it was Butterick 6130 with perhaps an extension to the funnel neck.

Peter Made view A of this dress

Therese went for a very elegant 50s swirly tea dress, which I’m sure was the So Over It Betty Dress but apparently Lisa Comfort said not, the Simple Sew Ruby dress Phas also been suggested but my money is on the Betty. Again her fabric was from Minerva Crafts and although probably the simplest it was fully lined & looked to be well executed.

Mark opted for a nod to the 60’s with his Flower Power Tea dress; Vogue V9239, with another Minerva Crafts fabric.

Nicole went back to her roots with a Caribbean Carnival Dress using a vintage Vogue dress, with extremely long ties, godets & a bit of pom pom trim. It actually looked quite elegant.

Vintage Donna Karan for Nicole

Liz’s interpretation was to go down the 90s line, with a ditsy grunge fit & flair dress, using the Shelby dress by True Bias & more fabric from Minerva, this time a vintage leaves viscose. Lots of buttons & more Rouleau loops will have made this a challenge.

Fiona went for a floral ruffle tea dress, in a beautiful painterly fabric. The pattern that she used was Simplicity 8875.

I really loved Angillia’s choice of pattern, very elegant in a plain blue with Simplicity 8248. I loved all the gathering across the bodice & hips, which would have needed a lot of skill to get right.

Angillia almost made the long version of this!

Our Girl Ali went for a Country Fair dress with a contrast button placket & handkerchief hem with Simplicity 8384 & another fabric from Minerva.

Hazel went for an African wax print tea dress, using the print across the bodice & ruffle with a plain bright yellow for the rest of the dress. I couldn’t find either the pattern or fabric for this but it looked a lot nicer than it sounds!

And finally we have Alex’s little number, a Dancefloor Tea Dress. As Patrick said it had a lot going on from across the eras, with cold shoulders, a dropped waist & a split front. Made in a pink double gauze, again from Minerva Crafts but I think it’s sold out as it’s not linking me through to it, but didn’t they have a good day! I’ve had a fail with the pattern here, potentially he drafted the pattern himself but he has only been sewing for 3 years, so hats off to him if he did!

Alex’s double gauze

My Challenge

In the video I talk about the some of vintage patterns that I have & consider what I would have made had I been a contestant. I think that I may have been tempted to make the Sew Over it Vintage Shirt dress in a nice floral print, it would fit the bill nicely plus I’ve made it a couple of times so that, theoretically, I know what I’m doing! I love going to vintage events though & although it’s unlikely that any will be going ahead this year, I wanted to challenge myself to sew a pattern inspired by the Bee, with patterns & fabric that I already own. I know that I won’t be able to sew it up in the 5 hour time frame but I want to time myself to see what I can get done in 5 hours!

I’ve chosen the Simplicity 1777, as it’s quite similar to Matt & Clare’s in a way but without the collar detail. I have a ditsy print viscose or a solid teal green silk & acetate mix, either would be perfect but I need to see which I have enough of, as the pattern requires just over 2 metres of 60″ wide fabric or 3 metres of 45″ wide & I don’t think either of them are very wide. Just look at all those gathers & pleats, just after I said I don’t like doing them! But it has some lovely vintage details with darts on the back shoulders & sleeves, perfect for next time I am allowed to go to a vintage event & pretend I’m Lauren Bacall!

If anyone knows what patterns Hazel or Alex used, let me know below & will update this. And if anyone fancies joining me in this little mini challenge of inspired by the Bee, feel free to leave me a comment let me know what inspired you, maybe it was the transformation challenge or you fancy making the wrap skirt form the book? You’re spoilt for choice in this episode.

So that’s it. My review of the first episode, I really enjoyed it & it’s lovely seeing someone that you know taking part, Ali blogs @Thimberlina & organises a lot of the local meet ups.

2 thoughts on “GBSB Series 6 Episode 1 Review & Challenge”

  1. I really enjoyed reading this, especially the information on the third challenge. I always try to work out what patterns the contestants are using, thanks for identifying so many of the ones I missed!

    I’ve made view A of Simplicity 1777 three times now (I wore the first version the one time I managed to go to the Howarth 1940s weekend). As you’ve said that you don’t like doing pleats and gathers, here are a couple of things I’ve learned. You don’t need to pleat the bodice sides as well as gather them; the original pattern just has gathers, so that’s what I did the second and third time. You do need to thoroughly pin or baste the skirt pleats however – there are a lot of them to keep under control. The original pattern also has a tie belt attached in the side seams, which then ties at the back. I added this in the second and third dresses, and it makes the fit much easier – on my first attempt I really had to pull the front side pieces in to stop the bodice from looking shapeless.

    1. Sam Chandler

      Hi, thanks so much for your comment, boy do I wish I’d seen this before I started, I couldn’t fathom why there were both pleats & gathers in it, as by the time the pleats are in there is a minimum amount to gather! It has been pulled out more than once, as then the pleats weren’t even on either side, so I couldn’t leave it. I don’t think my fabric choice has helped either! Just finishing it off today, so that hopefully I can film tomorrow. Thanks for the tips, so glad you enjoyed reading the blog, I thought it would be useful to keep all the information together like this, as on a video, it’s harder to find. Best wishes
      Sam
      x

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