Last night we settled down with a good cup of tea, slippers on, ready to watch the opening show of The Great British Sewing Bee. And what a good start to the series it was! I’ll try to avoid spoilers, because I know a few of you have told us you were unable to watch the show and so were rely on the BBC iPlayer to catch up.
That said, I am going to serve up one spoiler, but as it was a hot topic of debate I’m guessing most of you will have already heard about it.
The beard is gone.
Yep, you read that right, Patrick Grant is no sporting a beard… this season he is showcasing a moustache. Now, I’m not normally a bit fan of beards but I think we can all make an exception for Patrick.
Back to the business of the show however, the first challenge was to make a pair of ladies trousers. This being the Sewing Bee, it was not any old pair of trousers though; they were trousers that contained the dreaded invisible zip.
We’ve been tweeting with a few of the contestants of this series of the sewing bee and Alex mentioned that she doesn’t think she was ‘ever so terrified like during the trousers challenge’ I think that a lot of the contestants were feeling the pressure of this pattern. Knowing that the darts, zips and seams would all have to be perfect or the judges would notice.
A few of the contestants seemed to make things a bit harder for themselves by choosing large scale patterns that would require pattern matching. Pattern matching, in itself can be tricky sometimes, however all of the contestants who choose patterned fabrics faired reasonable well.
There were no major mishaps with any of the trousers, so it all rested on the detail and skill. Naturally the judges took their time to point out even the minutest of faults, however we felt the overall standard was very high.
Next up was the sewing bee alterations challenge. We love how this challenge tests both the skill and the creativity of the contestants. It’s one thing to be able to think about transforming a garment and another to actually be able to do it. If you’re like me, there are probably plenty of times you have thought about upcycling but never been quite sure you know enough techniques to get the finished thing just right. (If you do like upcycling you can read our post on upcycling furniture here)
The contestants were given a denim shirt, and told to do with it as the please… the more radical the transformation the better. They certainly got radical. There were skirts, dresses and masses of tulle. Unfortunately Annie didn’t fair to well on this task, with her creation still remaining pretty much the same, bar the addition of some contrasting capped sleeves. It was a nice garment, it was just not changed as much as it could have been.
For the final challenge, the contestants had to make to measure. Now maybe I am just being forgetful but I didn’t think made to measure challenges happened this early on in the Sewing Bee. Nevertheless, all of contestants cracked on, with all of the garments having a bit of a vintage feel. We loved the pattern Neela used for her dress and she has since told us that although it wasn’t shown, she even had time to line the bodice – which is some going!
Meanwhile, Lieutenant Colonel Neil showed us the benefits of military precision when he decided to redo his garment after realising that his pattern matching of the polka dots were ‘a millimetre’ out. I won’t say any more than that it paid off greatly for him. Even if we viewers were having a mild heart attack thinking about the time limit.
Another moment that stuck pure panic into our hearts was when we discovered young Ryan had a lot of gathering to do for his skirt. A lot as in 2 metres worth of fabric. It did look spectacular however.
As much as I want to discuss the person who left, I won’t just in case I spoil the ending. So if you haven’t watched this episode yet, please do so because I would love to hear your opinions.