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The Great British Sewing Bee: Episode 2

Last night we saw the second episode of The Great British Sewing Bee, which was entirely dedicated to children’s wear.

The first round was doubly challenging, as not only were the contestants sewing on a smaller scale; they would also be sewing with stretch. Given a pattern by the judges, each contestant had to create a baby grow using cotton knitted jersey, you can see our top tips for sewing jersey here if last night left you all inspired. If you are inspired, we have some dinosaur print fabric jersey here, and start print jersey here,  here and here. The judges specified that they would be paying extra attention to the gusset area, and expected the contestants to make the garment without any gathering or holes.  They were also required to add poppers and use binding along the collar and down the front opening. Jamie decided to go his own way slightly, and used a different finish, rather than the standard binding. Watching at home, he seemed to think that this would make the garment easier to sew, as he would not need to worry about applying the binding round curves and risk stretching the jersey out of shape.

The judges however did not take kindly to his individualism, noting that his self-made binding would not have offered enough strength to the poppers. Patrick said he was worried that after a few wears or washes (and let’s be honest, with a small child there is often a lot of washes) the poppers may tear off. The binding was not the biggest mishap of the challenge however, as it proved just too much of a struggle for Ghislaine. The baby grow seemed both ill-fitting and badly put together, with the gusset appear at an angel near the middle of the leg. Patrick tried to console the obviously disappointed Ghislaine by suggesting she put that challenge to the back of her mind and the garment to the back of the closet.

For the second round, the contestants were given a bridesmaid’s dress to alter into anything they could think up – the only condition being that it had to fit the child’s mannequin provided. Most of them made party dresses, with Rumana going all out and creating a handmade butterfly for the front of her dress. Joyce meanwhile handstitched sequins along the waist of her dress, creating a very simple yet pretty garment. Ghislaine managed to win this round, after her disastrous start by bucking the trend of dresses and making boxing shorts and matching jacket. Josh also attempted a jacket, or gilet to be precise… however he fell down due to the exceedingly simple design and the fact it didn’t fit the mannequin.

If you want to create a party dress (or indeed a gilet) our silky satin range would be perfect.

The third and final round saw the contestants creating capes, with a pattern of their own choice. We saw some lovely creations, using a mixture of wools (buy here) and tweeds (shop here). This challenge saw Esme baring her teeth again telling one contestant that the small bow on the back looked like “a dog’s biscuit.”

Both Joyce and Tracy decided to use applique, to give there capes a little something extra, but one of our favourites had to be Jamie’s traditionally smart cape. Ghislaine again seemed to be struggling with this challenge, rather than using a pattern she had opted to free sew a scalloped edged cape with white boiled wool, you can view our ‘boiled wool’ here. Esme noted that the scallops would require her to be precise “which she is not”.

As the models displayed the creations, Ghislaine’s looked both too short (almost verging on the white fur ceremonial fur of a coronation robe) and untidy. Out of all the creations, it seemed to stand out but for the wrong reasons. Ghislaine too seemed to know she was slightly out of her depths, with nerves written across her face as Claudia announced who would be leaving. Although we were sad to see her go, she did leave us with some very good advice “never be afraid to try something new” Hear Hear!

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