The Great British Sewing Bee – Week 2 – All about Mini Makes
I’ve been really looking forward to Week 2 since they announced it was going to be Children’s Week! Since I sew so much for my two year old son, I was keen to see what challenges they’d be setting for the contestants.
The Pattern Challenge was…..a Babygrow! Including teeny cuffs, binding, a gusset and snaps. Eeek, good luck contestants. The binding and snaps would have had me running for home I think. It became apparent that a lot of them had never sewn with jersey or stretch fabrics before, I’ve been sewing with stretch fabrics for around a year now and it’s definitely a learning curve compared to woven fabrics.
Patrick said the key to this challenge would be to understand the stretch of the fabric they chose and their fabric handling skills. They’d also need to ensure accurate stitching on the gusset or they’d be risking holes.
Both Jade and Rumana seemed to be a little ahead of their peers, having sewn for children before (how adorable was Rumana’s 4 month old neice?!), I was curious to see if it would give them the edge with their makes.
Lots of pattern weights, rotary cutters and cutting mats being used in this challenge. All a must for sewing with stretchy fabrics that like to shift a lot. My favourite pattern weights tend to be whatever it closest when I’m sewing, TV remote, my phone, the odd toy car!
I did really love some of the fabrics chosen by the contestants, particularly Tracy’s star fabric and Charlotte’s red and white stars. Lovely and gender neutral too! Charlotte’s was my definite favourite, with Jade’s a close second.
Wanting to try out a similar pattern? Here are a couple I’ve found
You’ll also need our very popular Sewing with Stretch Fabrics Kit – you can find it here.
Next up, the alteration challenge! This week they were given an adult sized bridesmaids dress made up of a variety of slinky fabrics including satin and chiffon. They were asked to make an outfit for a boy or girl, that would fit their teeny mannequin and that was imaginative and creative!
Having heard what all the contestants were making, I was most looking forward to seeing how the Mermaid and Butterfly inspired projects would turn out.
Interesting to see Jamie and Rumana draping their fabrics directly on the mannequin, not something I’ve ever tried but it does look like fun. A completely different way to ensuring you get a good fit from your garment. Lots of hand sewing going on too, something fairly challenging with such thin slippery fabrics.
I don’t think I personally would have excelled at this challenge, mainly sewing for myself and Thomas I don’t get a lot of opportunity to work with such feminine floaty fabrics. Maybe it’s something I should look at trying some time, I’m always looking to improve my sewing skills.
And the third and final challenge, the Made to Measure round. This week with Children-sized Woolen Capes. Not a particularly summery project but interesting to watch nonetheless. Patrick suggested the key to nailing these patterns were the collars, shoulders and hems!
I really did love seeing all the different types of wool chosen by the contestants, the pink chosen by Joyce was lovely and the tweed by Jamie was so smart looking. By necessity, a lot of pattern matching going on too. This is something I’ve recently had a go at myself (in my case, matching stripes) and it really is quite time consuming and fiddly. But it definitely gives a more professional, finished, look to a garment. I was very proud when my stripes matched on both sides of my son’s t-shirt that’s for sure!
My favourite makes were Joyce’s cape, with the lovely pink and grey wool and the fantastic applique she added to the back, it was beautiful and really stuck out as well executed, and Jamie’s gentleman’s cape. It looked super smart and appeared to be the most technically advanced of the contestants creations.
And that was that, another week down. I really enjoyed the children’s challenges, I guess it’s most familiar to me these days. It certainly makes me want to go sit at my sewing table now and be creative, even though it is 10.30pm!
Next week…lingerie. Another one to look forward to!