Great British Sewing Bee :: Series 2, Week 5…working with nylon, leather and velvet
Posted in SewingUK Talent

Great British Sewing Bee :: Series 2, Week 5…working with nylon, leather and velvet

Ooooh, another tricky week. This week the contestants on the Great British Sewing Bee had to work with nylon, leather, velvet

Sewing from a Pattern:  Showerproof Anorak with ribbing (3 hours)

Once a hole is made, it’s made, and if you want a waterproof garment you don’t want holes! Most of the contestants pinned their pattern pieces within the seam allowances, but you could also try using bulldog clips, quilting binding clips or even hair or paper clips! Same goes when you are working with leather (as in the second challenge)

Nylon is slippery and slides here there and everywhere. The contestants this week moved onto a new machine with a walking foot. For most machines you can buy a walking foot as an ‘optional extra’. Prices do vary between the brands though…beware, if you have a Bernina like I do, the walking foot isn’t cheap. Having said that mine is hardly off my machine, I use it all the time!

We All Sew has a great description on how a walking foot actually works. They really are great…have I sold it to you yet?

Excellent description of how a walking foot works

Creative Bug has a blog post on working with ripstop nylon

Alteration challenge: Turn a high street top (double knit jersey) into something new using leather (1hr 30 min)

Sewing with leather does seem very daunting. The first time I had to cut into leather I was very nervous. It cuts like a hot knife through butter so you’ve got to make sure of what you are doing.

As with all sewing projects, choosing the right needle for the job is so important. It really can make a difference. Just check out how sharp that leather needle is in the illustration below!

Sewing Machine Needles

Seamstress Erin has some great tips for sewing with leather

Tips for Sewing with Leather from Craftsy

Craftsy also have some good tips for working with leather

Create a Made to Measure Garment :  Velvet Trousers (6.5 hours)

Gerties Blog for better sewing has a great selection of tips on working with velvet from cutting through to pressing, sewing and finishingTips for sewing with velvet from Gertie

It wasn’t used on the show but I believe that a needle or velvet pressing board is great for preserving the nap on velvet and reducing the risk of shine. Check out the blog post from Whip Stich, it has tips on how to work withe velvet and how to use a needle board

Whip Stitch tips for using a velvet needle board

Planning on making your own pair of velvet trousers? Not me, but I might be tempted to make them out of a slightly less ‘luxurious’ fabric. If you are looking for some tips on getting the right fit in your trousers check out A Fashionable Stitch. Sunni has a very comprehensive trouser sew along. Here is a link for the first blog post in the series of her Burda #127 trouser sewalong

a fashionable stitch trouser sewalong

Craftsy also have a course on pant (trouser) fitting techniques. I’ve not done this course, but I have done other Craftsy courses and I can highly recommend their learning format.Craftsy Course, pant fitting techniques


Thanks again for coming to read my weekly roundup of the Great British Sewing Bee. Same time next week? Make sure you check out my Great British Sewing Bee pinterest board for lots of other tips.

Round up posts from previous weeks can be found here…. Week 1Week 2Week 3 and Week 4


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