Last week it was the semi-finals of the Great British Sewing Bee, so contestants were whittled down from four to the final three. I do think they’ve had some tough challenges this series.
The first challenge this week was to make a Japanese inspired asymmetical skirt. The pattern is in the new book that goes with the series. The pattern pieces are very weird shapes so it took a while for them to get their heads round this one. It called for very accurate cutting, pinning and sewing! Just look at those pattern pieces!! I love the draping effect of the skirt, but I’m not sure I’ll be rushing off to make one any time soon!
One thing I’ve particularly noticed this series is how supportive they are of each other, they may all want to win but they are prepared to help each other along the way with the challenges, it’s lovely to see.
The big challenge last week was to make a dress from a basic pattern block, like they had to design it themselves, altering the pattern block to get the effect they wanted as well as making it fit their model. I think I’d have struggled with that one!
I decided to make a summer dress for my Little Bee challenge. It turned into a bit of a pattern hack…
My starting point was Simplicity 2917, I sewed a top from it last year which I’ve worn a lot and I always wanted to make the dress from the same pattern.I like the fit of the top and the flow of the skirt. I chose one of the fabrics I bought last week in Goldhawk Road, it’s a Liberty Tana lawn, so it feels lovely. It’s a lovely rich shade of red, what I would describe as the bluey end of red.I bought 2.5m and the sleeveless version took 2.4m, perfect!
…Only I hadn’t realised that the sleeveless version is also shorter, I like my summer dresses long and I didn’t have quite enough for the longer length.My next thought was to use the top and have a full gathered skirt from hip level, I cut out and sewed the bodice, it’s quite flared below the waist so I took in some of the seams so it would sit nicely. Having a separate bodice also made it easier to line the bodice, I checked my lining box and found I had a remnant of red lining, just big enough for the bodice. Even better I found I had a red dress-length zip too!
Whilst I was trying the bodice on I held the skirt length up against me…and decided I rather liked the slimmer skirt look. Having consulted with the oracle (namely my daughter Helen!) I decided to have a longer, slimmer skirt, gathered from the waist with a split in the back seam to ease movement. More of a maxi dress really.
The skirt is just one width of fabric, so there is only a back seam and no raw edges to worry about.I actually gathered it and basted it onto the bodice before I actually cut it to the right length, just in case I changed my mind!
I hemmed it this morning and wore it this afternoon! It’s lovely to wear, cool and comfortable. I made a sash to wear with it too, I still haven’t decided which look I prefer.
It’s the GBSB final tonight, so we will find out who wins, I think my favourite to win is Charlotte, she’s made some lovely things and she comes over as being such a nice, genuine person. I have to say though that Jade has done amazing, she’s only 18, I think what she lacks in experience she makes up for with enthusiasm and the fearlessness of youth!