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The Great British Sewing Bee: Episode 5, Tartan Fabrics, Suits and Corsets.

Gerat British Sewing Bee Croft Mill

On the last episode of The Great British Sewing Bee we had two shocks. Firstly that the next episode would be the semi-final. How did that happen? We are sorry to see the series getting closer to the end; if we could, we would just keep the series going on forever. There is nothing better than watching sewing on the TV, other than actually sewing, obviously. The second shock was that two people would be leaving the Sewing Bee. We find it terribly hard watching one person leave, so we were dreading having to watch two people go. If you haven’t watched this episode yet, don’t worry we will try to avoid any spoilers and won’t say who went.

The first challenge of the episode was to create a corset, Ryan started the challenge off feeling fairly confident; apparently he had made a few before. As such we had high hopes for him, when we chose a blue and cream/ivory fabric we weren’t overly convinced by it, but trusted it would work out well. Neil also admitted that although he had never made a corset, he had once made a wedding dress that was based around a corset style top. He had designed the wedding dress while on tour in the army, for his tank driver that was getting married. I like to think that I can sew, however the idea of designing and making a wedding dress scares me a little, never mind doing it in a warzone.

One of the main talking points of this challenge was Amanda’s decision to make her own bias binding. If the time restraints had not been in place, this could have been a lovely touch to the garment and a chance to show off her skills. With the time restraints in place though, it meant that her corset was not as finished or polished as most of the others. Whilst we love Amanda, we do think she had the tendency to try and show off a bit, and that it often back-fired on her.

For the second challenge, the sewers had to alter an 80s power suit. There was some great transformations, but as always there were some that could have just been a bit more drastic. While we love an 80s power suit as much as the next person, this challenge wasn’t the highlight of the show.

The Great British Sewing Bee Power Suit Challenge Croft Mill

The final challenge however, really tested the contestants’ skill. They had to make a kilt, either a traditional men’s kilt or a kilt for a woman; Patrick Grant had dressed for the occasion, wearing a kilt of his own. Most of the contestants went for a traditional tartan or plaid, and if you are feeling inspired you can view our tartan fabrics here.

Royal Stewart Red Tartan Fabric - cu

The kilts were judged on being the correct length, the quality of the pleats, and how the garment was structured. All of the contestants fared well, however the judges did note that a lot of the garments could have done with a bit more structure; or to just wrap round a bit more. Nobody wants a kilt that risks flashing.

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