Great British Sewing Bee :: Series 2, Week 6, ‘making the clothes we used to wear’
Posted in SewingUK Talent

Great British Sewing Bee :: Series 2, Week 6, ‘making the clothes we used to wear’

This week on the Sewing Bee was all about making the clothes we used to wear, using traditional techniques that tailors and dressmakers used to use. The contestants even had mechanical, rather than electronic sewing machines to use – how brilliant!

Sewing from a Pattern:  1930s ‘Bette Davis’ blouse from a vintage pattern (4 hours)

If you are considering using a vintage pattern it’s worth bearing in mind that the sizing and proportions are quiet different to our current clothing patterns. Always check the measurements provided on a vintage pattern before cutting. Gertie’s Blog for Better Sewing has some great advice for working with vintage patterns

Vintage Pattern Sizing - Gertie's Blog for Better SewingGertie also has some points to bear in mind when looking at the illustrations on vintage patterns (…check out how small their waists are!) and trying to translate that into reality.

The contestants had to use shirring techniques for both the neckline and the waistline of the top. I pulled together a selection of tutorials about shirring for last year’s Sewing Bee, but here’s another great one from Sew4Home

Shirring Tutorial from Sew4Home

I also found this great tutorial and free dress pattern that incorporates zig-zag shirring from Felicity Sewing Patterns. I’ve not tried this technique but might just give it a go as it looks so simple!

Zig-zag shirring tutorial from Felicity Patterns

Alteration challenge: Turn a Man’s Suit into one item of Women’s Clothing (1hr 30 min)

If you’re thinking about cutting up some old suits then here’s some inspiration for you…




Shopper from a man's suitIdea for repurposing a man's suit jacket

Jumpsuit refashioned from a man's suit. Tutorial by Of Dreams and Seams.Great British Sewign Bee :: Series 2 Week 6.  a man's suit coat (big one) cut and redesigned into a cape

Create a Made to Measure Garment :  Historic Coat (6.5 hours)

Didn’t they make some fabulous coats? I’ve recently made a coat for Charlotte and I can honestly say that I’m not sure I could have made it within 6.5 hours! Its a lot of work!

A few of the coats features bound button holes. They are a really nice feature but need a little care and attention. I’ve pinned a number of tutorials on my great British Sewing Bee pinterest board and have put links for a couple here…

Julia Bobbin bound buttonhole tutorial

Julia Bobbin, Tutorial: Bound Button Holes and Facings

The Little Tailoress bound buttonhole tutorial

bound button hole tutorial from The Little Tailoress

If you are going to go to the effort of making bound button holes, then you really should go for a fabric covered button. You can buy kits to make the buttons, but here is a great tutorial from Imagine Fabric

Fabric Covered Button Tutorial ::

Thanks again for coming to read my weekly roundup of the Great British Sewing Bee. Same time next week for the Semi-Final?

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 3Week 4 and Week 5


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