THE SEWING BEE IS BACK!!
At last - slightly later than in previous years - we have Sewing Bee back in our Wednesday evenings. A line-up of contestants from a variety of backgrounds, with lots of personality, skip into the sewing room for the first time and we all share their excitement in that beautiful space. Surely, this is a dream for most home sewers - to have a sewing machine, overlocker, a whole table and stocked haberdashery, with no interruptions by people in the household who want to use the table for dinner. The fabrics are fresh, the sewers full of hope, Patrick and Esme are all smiles as they introduce the first task.
Classic With a Twist
A top with cape sleeves and a twist at the centre front seems a little daunting as the pattern instructions alone will be a challenge to understand (I wonder if they are allowed to examine the displayed sample) but here comes trouble: French seams around the armhole! Sacré bleu! They are a game bunch and they cheerfully get stuck in. Asmaa shows her class straight out of the blocks with accomplished pattern placement and a silky fabric which would intimidate many sewers (it has a wayward tendency and cruelly highlights any flaws). Her twist top is perfect and she is sitting pretty with her first win.
Patrick is looking for ‘not an office skirt and not an office shirt’ so there’s work to be done here as the contestants have been given an office skirt and an office shirt. Controversial as ever, the results are a mix of frankenstein garment parts, outlandish trims and bondage gear. Patrick and Esme are dazzled by Matthew’s Westwood references and despite it being still half of a shirt, it nudges Vicki’s ‘well engineered and beautifully constructed blouse’ into second place.
Sarah gets the cut-out dress challenge under way by explaining the judges are looking for ‘bonus holes in unexpected places’ and the tape measures are flying. Fitting to a model can be tricky if you don’t understand the construction of the garment and several contestants said they have not tried it before. Tony W went rogue with a jersey fabric - easier to fit perhaps? One design (the Vikisews Oona Dress) was used by three contestants with varying success. Really elegant dresses came from Asmaa, Vicki, Fauve and Lizzie and Tony’s stretch fabric dress looked great.
The first person to leave the sewing room this year was Catherine, who had really struggled with timing in the Made-To-Measure challenge and didn’t complete her dress. The garment of the week was Tony’s stretch dress - surprising in the face of such strong performances from Asmaa and Vicki. The wait has been worth it though - sewing bee buzz is back.
Pull quote: ‘It's not about the end goal, it's about the journey’ - Mia
MCCALLS DRESSES M8175
This looks like Fauve’s pattern pick,