Little T's Haberdashery | Happy Sewing!

The Great British Sewing Bee – Week 8 – THE FINAL!!

Oh yes, it’s final week! Just three super talented sewists remaining, the lovely Joyce, Jade and Charlotte. Both completely different sewists, with different experiences and approaches to sewing. It gives a great example of how sewing can be loved by everyone!

I was really excited to see what tricky and challenging projects the judges had up their sleeves for this week and I certainly wasn’t disappointed! Gentleman’s evening wear was a hit!

First up, the pattern challenge. The ladies were given a lovely pintuck dress shirt to re-create. OOh pin tucks, 12 to be precise, 6 on either side of the shirt. That in itself would be a challenge, but then you add the sleeves / plackets / collar etc and suddenly the time they are given is running away.

For the pin tucks, the ladies were introduced to a pin tuck foot for the sewing machines. A clever little gadget that creates the pin tuck and then had additional ridges on the edges so that it ensures the next tucks run in a parallel line to the first. The ladies took a slow and steady approach to the tucks, taking a long time to make sure they were as even as possible.

The collar composition seemed a nightmare! Making sure it measured correctly, had nice pointed edges and then they had to add the collar stand too. I really felt for Charlotte here when she was umming and ahhing about the collar allowance, after all it didn’t specify in the pattern.

When it came to the judging, there was no leeway given, with both Patrick and Esme getting the tape measures out to check the pin tucks on the shirts. I was impressed with Joyce’s creation, all but the top button hole was spot on! This was the first time in the series I successfully guessed who the judges would place in first, second and third place.

Next came the alteration challenge, definitely Charlotte’s event. The contestants were asked to create a glamorous little black dress from a mans dinner suit! A fantastic challenge! Changing something so masculine into such a feminine garment was going to be fun to watch.

I looooveed the sequins! Both Charlotte and Joyce did some wonderful things with the sequins, I especially liked the black sequins Charlotte used. Very little black dress!

All three ladies definitely pulled all the stops out in this challenge, they nailed the brief and really used all their sewing creativity.

Annnd then came the final ever Made to Measure challenge. This weeks was slightly different, it being finals week and all. The contestants had been allowed to hand pick their own models. Joyce chose her granddaughter, Jade chose her mum’s best friend and Charlotte chose her ex-husbands new wife (and step-mum to her children). The ladies had also been allowed to cut their pattern pieces before the show and practice the fit of their garment on their model.

The challenge was a great one, a floor length evening gown made from luxury fabrics. Such a treat to watch. The use of such beautiful fabrics was definitely something saved for the best and final week suited it perfectly. Patrick explained that the ladies would be using such delicate fabrics and that the handling and pressing of the fabrics would be paramount to ensure their success. All the skills and experience they had gained from the previous seven weeks would be needed for this challenge.

The patterns that were chosen by the sewists were fantastic, I loved Joyce’s choice of a bustle skirt with a peplum top. Jade’s dress with the beaded train and straps was so unique, her fabric choices were brilliant. I especially liked that she needed to get a hammer and pliers out to construct her garment (Patrick was equally as impressed!).  Charlotte’s satin and diamonte gown was equisite, the fabric was a stunning colour and draped beautifully.

Once again all three contestants nailed the brief, even though they had issues with timing and pattern pieces not fitting together as they remembered. They all did fantastically well and were right to be very proud of their final GBSB creations. The judges talked about how evenly matched the three finalists were and that they definitely had quite a dilemma on their hands deciding who to crown the winner.

The intelligent and wonderful Charlotte was crowned the winner and deservedly so! As much as I would’ve liked Jade to have won, I think Charlotte was the right choice. She had been consistently good throughout the series, had developed her skills and she seemed to just have a natural affinity for fabrics and how they worked. Her comments at the end of the show just proved how worthy she was of the winners title (and the awesome trophy!)…..

Congratulations Charlotte!

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