Amateur sewers test their sewing and dressmaking skills. Ten new home sewers must follow a deceptively difficult pattern for a woman's top made up of four pieces.
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We are back. We have ten brilliant home sewers who are ready
to take their hobby to new heights.
We have a brand-new sewing room
and a beautiful haberdashery
full of every conceivable fabric.
We also have these mannequins,
who are just waiting - they're excited -
about being adorned with the trickiest garments yet.
Britain's army of home sewers grows bigger every year.
Sewing means everything to me.
I can't imagine a life without it.
I'd be naked, apart from anything else!
-Making it to the sewing room...
..has never been harder.
I can't believe I'm here. It's so exciting.
It was one of my life goals.
I'd like to think I can bring
a little bit of something different to the sewing room.
Each week, our passionate amateurs
will be asked to make three beautiful garments.
I am a perfectionist. It could be my downfall. Hope not.
Every stitch will be scrutinised by Savile Row's Patrick Grant.
In my world, it's all about precision...
the finest materials, the most beautiful execution...
That's what I want to see from our sewers.
And from the world of fashion,
film costume maker and senior lecturer
at the world-renowned Central Saint Martins School of Fashion,
I am really looking forward to this.
What I am looking for from the perfect sewer
is a range of techniques...
and their imagination and their individuality
coming out in the garments.
I'll probably find it quite hard not to say what I think.
The competition will begin...
Must remain calm.
..with three demanding tests of basic construction.
'But who has the discipline to follow a pattern...'
Why on earth have I done this?
'..the imagination to transform a garment...'
-It's not something I would wear on a summer's day.
-You don't know that.
'..and the precision to make a stunning made-to-measure skirt?'
-Is she making you blush?
'And who amongst these ten new sewers...'
'..could go on to win...'
'..The Great British Sewing Bee?'
-That is date night. Isn't it?
-Have you been on my dates?
'The Sewing Bee has moved south of the river, to Bermondsey,
'the heart of Victorian London's wool and leather trade.
'Our new sewing room is a former tannery
'that once supplied clothing manufacturers across Britain
'and its empire.
'It's about to become a hive of industry once again.'
A huge welcome to our lovely sewers.
Let me introduce you to your judges -
Patrick and the fantastic Esme.
They are going to help you and of course do a bit of judging.
So, sorry about that! THEY LAUGH
This week is all about basic construction techniques.
The first challenge is the pattern challenge.
-..what have you got for them?
Here are your patterns. Can you dish those out to everybody?
OK, what we are doing is a top.
-No sleeves, no fastenings - simple.
-But there is a catch.
We want you to use a linear pattern on the bias, and by using
the bias, create a chevron pattern down the front and the back.
You have got two and a half hours.
Enormous luck... Your time starts now.
At each Sewing Bee,
the first challenge will test the sewers' ability to follow a pattern.
I want a nice bold stripe, I think. I just don't know.
I'm waiting for the fabric I want to come out at me.
They are free to choose any fabric they like from the haberdashery,
but it must deliver the perfect chevron
Patrick and Esme are looking for.
-So this is what you are after, that chevron.
All the way down the front and, of course, all the way down the back.
Esme, what is cutting on the bias?
Cutting on the bias is laying your pattern at 45 degrees to the grain.
-So the grain is where the stripe is.
You see? It is not stretching.
If I go like that, it stretches.
So here, they have cut it on the bias, so the grain is here,
and the bias is here.
The fabric is volatile, so it takes the shape of the body.
Cutting and sewing on the bias is tricky.
This is a deceptively tough challenge.
Can I confirm that you will both be modelling these?
-That's all I wanted to know. I'm going in.
I don't want to spend too much time looking and picking
and overthinking it.
So I will just try and pick one really quick -
something that catches my eye.
Angeline is an events manager
and grew up on her family's farm in Northern Ireland.
Do you want to go back and lay some nice eggs?
'I have been sewing for about ten years.'
My brother bought me a sewing machine for Christmas one year,
and I remember spending the whole of Christmas Day
trying to thread it.
I have went for a floral print,
but there are black and white striped lines.
Bit of stretch in it, but we should be OK.
Oh, the haberdashery is amazing! I want it in my house.
That seems perfectly reasonable.
We don't need bedrooms or anything(!)
Married mum-of-three Charlotte is an editor of a medical journal,
and her passion has overrun the family garage.
I love seeing my kids wear things that I have made.
I made them a set of matching pyjamas for Christmas,
but I don't think they have all worn them together since then,
because they're in the wash at different times,
but they all wore them together and it was just so cute!
I'm not very good at deciding.
I have got this one, which is nice and floaty,
but that makes it harder to sew.
Millions of pins and I'll be fine.
With their striped fabric chosen...
Need to get this just right, actually.
..the sewers need to work out how best
to cut out their pattern pieces.
The four pattern pieces -
two for the front, and two for the back -
are cut at a 45 degree angle
along the bias of the fabric.
When they are joined together at the centre seam,
the linear pattern should match perfectly,
forming the chevron the judges have asked for.
Have you made a top like this before?
I have never made a top like this before.
I have done on the bias, and that sort of...
71-year-old grandmother of nine Joyce lives in West Sussex
and is a retired school's administration officer.
She has been sewing for almost 60 years.
I get my sewing inspiration from all sorts of places, and what I have
started doing is taking pictures in shops on my mobile phone...
if I like something. Which is a bit cheeky, really.
It worries me that the fabric is very slippy,
-it is going to be difficult to match.
Well, yes. Well done, you.
I'm going to be honest with you, Esme used it earlier
and I have stolen it.
So you've just pinched it. Good thinking.
Whilst cutting on the bias,
every move the sewers make has the potential to distort the fabric.
You can see I'm shaking.
And distorted fabric will never match at the centre seams.
I am not used to cutting fabric on the bias.
If you handle it too much, then it just sort of grows.
But one sewer has chosen the most unstable fabric
on offer in the haberdashery.
Oh, hello. Somebody has been brave.
-Yeah, bit of georgette.
Jamie's georgette is a fine, slippery fabric
usually reserved for evening wear.
Have you cut on the bias before?
Bits and bobs, but not a huge amount.
-And have you used georgette before?
-And how did that go?
It was tricky. I will be honest, it was tricky.
BUT...if you're going to cut on the bias,
might as well use something that stretches anyway.
-Well, good luck...
Jamie is from Exeter and gave up a career in teaching to be
a stay-at-home dad to look after his deaf son Harry.
You could say that sewing's in the blood.
Growing up with my nan,
she was hand-sewing gloves for a local company,
and I grew up with sewing machines and needles and pins all around me.
This is slightly different to what I normally do.
Normally, I am at home... I would have my head in the washing machine.
Well, that's what I will tell the wife anyway.
To cut on the bias was on the list to practise.
I didn't think it would be a first week thing, so... Whoops!
Duncan is a maths tutor.
He began sewing three years ago and is already making
made-to-measure womenswear for his friends.
I'll go for a half down on the bum and then we can see.
'The preparation is the most important thing for me.
'If you take your time, measure, cut and make sure that is all
done beautifully, then when you come to sew, that is fun and easy.
-Do you always cut on the floor?
Sort of what I am used to.
-And have you ever cut on the bias before?
It is really scary.
I am quite quick with the sewing. I just always take my time cutting.
-OK, take your time, but not too much...
..is a big suggestion.
# Be cool, relax... #
Even if the sewers think they have
cut out their first pieces accurately...
that is only the beginning.
I think the most difficult part is cutting the pieces
so the stripes match.
To create a perfect chevron down the centre seam...
-..their second piece must have stripes
running in the opposite direction.
Then all the stripes on both pieces need to meet.
Some of them appear to be matching,
and then some of them are slightly off.
Seems to be the movement in the fabric.
Any slipping or stretching during cutting
and the chevrons that they have matched will be gone.
My kids would just tell me to chill out.
They would also tell me not to go out in the first round.
Position is really important in this task.
I just want to get them cut, and then, hopefully,
the sewing will be a doddle.
Rumana lives in East London and she is a junior doctor.
I have been sewing since I was probably about seven.
The first thing I ever made was actually a dress for my Barbie.
My mum had made me a dress for Eid,
and so I used the scraps of it to make her a matching one.
I think I made one of my tops slightly longer than the other,
with all the shifting.
I'm just going to pretend that it was meant to be that length.
If lining up the chevrons wasn't tricky enough...
..one sewer has made this first challenge twice as hard.
-You are making a chevron out of a chevron.
I have given myself a bit of a job, I have realised.
What we are going to need is a bit of a square.
It will end up with kind of a square, and then come down.
And have you cut on the bias before?
Yes, a long time ago.
Mum-of-two Tracey is a retired primary school teacher
and lives in Derbyshire with her husband Chris.
-Don't you want me to measure your neck?
-My fat neck on...
My husband likes me to sew, but I'm terrible for buying fabric.
I think I am one piece away from appearing
on a programme called Hoarders.
It was very strange coming away and leaving Chris, my husband,
at home last night. He is perfectly capable of cooking
and looking after himself. He'll not starve.
He might have to go to Tesco, though,
and he doesn't like doing that.
Whilst Tracey, Jamie and Joyce are ready to begin sewing...
-Can I ask for your help for a moment?
-Of course you can.
..matching and cutting on the bias is still proving tricky for some.
-What's this? Your front?
I made one slightly longer than the other.
I might just trim that off now before it becomes a headache.
Look, there's your match. Can you see? You have got your match.
-Do you want a hand up?
You all right?
I've done it wrong again.
Every time I cut it out, I cut it out,
and when I go to place them back together, the wrong sides match.
Josh plays football for Cardiff Metropolitan University.
Entirely self-taught, his sewing skills
are now in constant demand by his team-mates.
-Just a touch more.
-A touch more?
'When I told the boys that I had a sewing machine,
'I think at first people laugh.
'But then when we get new tracksuits, I will get all the boys'
giving me some money to alter their tracksuits
so it actually fits them.
What are we doing here?
I somehow... I have cut it out the wrong way, so it doesn't actually...
-Two bits the same.
-Oh, my God.
Yeah? Does that make sense? So now you have got the chevron.
-Where do I match my back...?
-I love you for helping.
-Shall we get some pins and cut this puppy?
-Yes, love you, thank you so much.
Charlotte, you are a magnificent woman.
As they sew their pieces together,
all the careful work to match the chevrons can easily be undone.
If there is any movement in the fabric either away,
the chevron won't match when I'm finished.
They have got to be right, otherwise I will get picked up on it.
Hopefully that has matched. Has that matched?
I have got the effect I wanted with this square
along the centre, but further down, it has gone slightly out here.
So I'm just going to unpick that last little bit and move it across.
This is the front. I didn't think
I would do it, but I did.
Jade is from Eastbourne,
and, at just 18, is the competition's youngest ever sewer.
-What colour would you like?
'I love sewing for my sister,
and then there is the dogs.
Come on, Jessie.
'I have made bandannas and little tutus.'
Is that a dog on a sewing machine? Hold on, just look at that.
Who are these individuals?
That's my dad, that is my little sister Gemma...
-They must be so proud of you.
I think they are. My little sister, Gemma,
when she knew I was coming up,
she goes, "So who is going to have your room?"
I was like, "I'm only going for four days."
I just feel like, because we are on camera,
-should we give Gemma your room now?
-She's not allowed it!
You have an hour and a half left. You have had an hour.
-Oh, my God. Uhh!
-How are you feeling?
Stressed, but, you know, this is my stressed face.
I'm right in thinking that,
if I then put a seam line down there, that would be the chevron?
-You all right?
-Yeah. Well, I'm assuming
I have got it right now. I just...
Statistically, you have to.
I am hand-basting it all, to try and line it all up.
It is slow going at the moment.
But it is even slower going for Ghislaine.
No, it's not it either.
Ghislaine's family are from Martinique,
and she now works as an office manager in London.
I love vibrant prints in my sewing.
When I make things for myself, every time I make a seam,
I like to try it on to see if it fits.
And I find it a lot easier to do that in my underwear.
Gosh, you have given yourself a heck of a challenge here.
This is a linear pattern,
but it doesn't have straight edges,
so this black stripe here is at a different position
to the edge of the black stripe here.
-It may NOT line up on the edge of the sewing line.
-I don't think it will. We'd like to give you a little tip.
Ditch this fabric and start with something straight.
What have I done to myself? What have I done?
I mean, we're not telling you what to do.
OK, one more fabric. I'm changing fabric.
GHISLAINE LAUGHS You're not?!
-You don't have time!
-Just grab anything.
-Of course you can use that.
-I don't like pink and...
It doesn't matter.
-OK, OK, OK, OK!
-Well, this is madness.
The fabric is more stable, so I am not going to waste as much time.
Basically, I have got an hour left.
It doesn't bother me that Ghislaine is using the same fabric as me.
She has obviously got good taste.
Sewers, you have one hour left.
Here we go.
That's all right, I am happy now. I got patterns matching.
You finding it really slippery?
I've got big fat hands, that's what it is.
On the front. Not my colour, but it is matched quite well, so...
it was worth spending the time hand-tacking it all.
There we go, not too bad.
The fabric being so much more stable,
I don't have to pin so much, the cutting is a lot easier.
While Ghislaine is finally making progress...
You've cut and sewn the back, now you're going back to cutting again.
-..Rumana's inaccurate cutting is starting to catch up with her.
-It is just so slippery.
-It just kept moving.
This is the point of this challenge.
These pieces have to all be exactly the size of the pattern.
Now, none of the three you have cut
-are actually the size of the pattern.
I'm just going to restart.
-This is the back.
-Cut the back.
-We want the front.
It is very hard not to panic.
-Sorry, we have made you panic.
-We didn't mean to.
-Right, we will.
Check that one there...
This is... Ohhh.
The next stage in Esme and Patrick's pattern...
takes cutting and sewing on the bias to the next level.
The next instruction says to make the bias strip that's going to
finish the neckline off.
Many of the garments we wear have a neckline that is
neatened and reinforced...
with something called bias binding.
-Have you put bias binding on a bias top before?
-Is that going to be fun?
I think so.
First, they need to cut a strip of fabric on the bias that is
exactly the same length as the opening for the neck.
"Press the strip lengthways", done that.
"Wrong sides together", yeah.
"And mark the quarters with pins."
This would go on the back neck.
Then you put it between the notches.
Now, the really tricky bit here...
-The front of the V?
Between here and here is shorter than between there and there.
So, if I go like this... Can you see how that is going all wobbly?
-Because that edge...
-Can't you just chop it?
-You can't just chop it.
-You need to ease this in.
Because you need that length there.
Sewn, to start with, with all the raw edges together,
so, at the minute, all the raw edges are there,
and what we're going to do next is turn that all the way over,
so that you then end up with a really neat neck edge.
I cut my bias binding on the straight grain
instead of on the bias, so it doesn't stretch.
Just glad I realised before trying to sew it on.
Sewers, you have 30 minutes left.
Ahh! That doesn't help.
I have just stitched the neckline.
Feel like I am on the home straight.
Should check this other armhole is all right.
Second time lucky. I hope it doesn't get to third time lucky.
Then I will be really nervous.
I am really far behind everyone else.
Loads and loads of pressing.
You need an iron more than you need a sewing machine, really.
Oh, no. I think my bias binding is too long.
It might have stretched.
Charlotte, what stitch are you using to neaten the edges
-of the armholes?
-Just a zigzag, yeah?
I'm going to sew the difference at the back
and then cut it off and hope.
Yes! Just check that I have a chevron, and I do.
Look at you. You were done about two hours ago.
-Are you happy with it?
-Yes, I am. Yes, yes.
It's just a shame it won't fit me.
-Jade, how are you doing?
-Putting it on?
I have heard a couple of "I've finished",
which isn't exactly where I am yet.
I'm stitching the binding, but you can see, it just moves so much.
Sewers, you have got ten minutes.
This is the maddest, quickest sewing I have ever done.
I'm trying to do the hems,
because I don't have time to fix the rest of it.
-It's not great. At all.
One minute left!
I haven't finished an arm, it needs to be pressed, can I just press it?
Do I have to get rid of all the threads?
"Do I have to get rid of all the threads?"
I've never been asked that before.
-It's an idea, I've got scissors. Pull it off!
-OK, OK, OK!
-Which way is the right way?
-Armholes are hilarious.
-All right, everybody, that is it!
First challenge of the Sewing Bee is finished.
Give yourselves a round of applause.
It is so bad! I want to go home. I'm done.
Sewers, please bring your mannequins forward for the...judgey bit.
# If I had a needle and thread
# Tell you what I'd do... #
'Ten chevron tops cut on the bias in just two-and-a-half hours.
'But what will Esme and Patrick make of the first garments
'of this year's Sewing Bee?'
Charlotte, please bring your lovely chevron girl up.
Now, the thing that I notice with this, that is matching,
it's slightly out here.
And here. The shoulders are matching and the back is matching.
The front here is flat, which is good.
It is sitting pretty nicely.
I think it is very neatly sewn,
I think the pattern matching is pretty near spot-on.
-Yeah, well done.
I was quite worried about you actually.
Because you used georgette.
-This is one of the hardest fabrics to choose.
-I would have said so.
It matches really beautifully all the way down.
Again, matching on the back...
Given what a delicate fabric this is to work with,
this binding is spot-on. We are seeing that nice shape.
I think this is a very good use of the bias on a fabric.
You have put your chevrons pointing up.
Usually feels more natural
if the pattern follows the general shape of the garments.
-You have run out of time...
-..so the armholes are not finished.
Here, it is really, really stretched.
Your binding all needs to be controlled and perfectly hidden.
-Have you ever done that before?
Well, you will probably try it again, won't you?
-Yeah, you're an optimist.
-I'm an optimist.
In terms of matching the pattern, you have done exceptionally.
You clearly took a lot of time over that!
The hem is too fat, so it's hanging down.
The binding on the bank is narrower here...than here.
Overall, it's neat, it's tidy.
This binding, although it has stretched a little bit,
it is nearly done.
-The matching is pretty good.
How good does it need to be to be "good"?
-You had a problem with cutting it out, didn't you?
-Well, it is going up... and the back is going down.
Fourth time lucky, it would have been.
Fractionally pulled out of shape here,
but the matching, most of the way down, is really good.
But where you have fallen down is on the binding.
-Can you see, you've stretched it?
You are the only person that has chosen not
to use a straight pattern.
It gives us this natty sort of...
I don't know why I said "natty"... Why did I...?
CLAUDIA LAUGHS LOUDLY
What you have given us is this really lovely kind of
Aztec appearance to the front of it.
The back is not so well matched, but overall,
-I do like your choice of fabric. And it works.
-You had a rocky start, didn't you?
-And you had to get a new fabric.
This is matched pretty good. A little bit off here.
I love how tough you are!
Really near perfect, to me.
You have just stretched it out a little bit here,
but given that you started all over again
about an hour into the challenge,
I am amazed that you have completed it.
Well... In a way, the chevron is disguised with the roses.
-It is kind of mind-boggling, that is.
-It is tough to see.
-It is matched here...
-Let's look at the back.
What do you think, Patrick?
-Is it matched or isn't it?
-I think it is.
In a way, it is quite clever, because actually, it doesn't matter.
If it didn't, because it has got these flowers on,
-from a distance, you wouldn't notice.
The Pattern Challenge is ranked.
Patrick and Esme will now reveal who has
matched their expectations and whose sewing needs to improve.
In tenth place...
Rumana. Just wasn't complete.
In ninth place, Josh.
Duncan is eight, Ghislaine seventh,
Joyce sixth, Jade fifth and Tracey is fourth.
Third place is Angeline.
-You did really well. The matching is good. Well done.
So, in second place...
..Charlotte. Beautiful pattern matching, lovely flat neck.
It was extremely close. Very well done indeed.
Jamie is number one.
OTHER CONTESTANTS CHEER AND APPLAUD
And, Jamie, your matching is fantastic.
You chose a really difficult fabric. The finishing is great. Well done.
-Are you happy?
-I am very happy!
A huge well done to all of you. It is now time for a break.
Relax, and we'll see you back here for my favourite -
the Alteration Challenge.
# It's a great feeling
# To suddenly find the clouds are silver-lined... #
I'm a little bit shocked to come first.
I didn't really expect it.
I cannot believe I just came second.
I put that top on the mannequin and thought, "Ugh!"
I think Esme was stricter than Patrick today,
he was being very kind.
I think I sewed that top in about 45 minutes altogether.
I am not really used to being down the bottom,
but I now want to make sure that I do better every time,
and I will get better every time hopefully.
I know they call it Basic Construction Week,
but I'm pretty sure that's quite advanced.
Pattern Challenge done
and we have ten beautiful bias-cut tops to prove it.
But now for something completely different.
The sewers have to think fast and sew fast as they revamp
something old and sort of frumpy into something new and fabulous.
All in just an hour and a half.
It's now time for the Alteration Challenge.
This week, as we know, is about basic garment construction,
so they have chosen something with lots of fabric.
Patrick, will you reveal?
We are giving you...
the maternity dress.
And we would like you to reshape it into something wearable
that fits this mannequin.
Drape, cut, dart, use the haberdashery,
add other colours, braids, whatever you want, be really imaginative.
The brilliant thing is, they aren't here - no offence.
When they walk in, they won't know who has done what.
-In the nicest possible way, ciao.
-You can go.
You have 90 minutes. Blow the judges' minds.
Your time starts...now.
When I had my kids, I did not wear maternity dresses.
And if I had, it wouldn't have been one like this.
I'm trying to work out what I can do, what I can change.
This is the first time I have ever done anything like.
I have no clue, I am winging it.
This is their first opportunity to
show us something, really, about their creative skills.
The whole point of this is to get away from the shackles
of the pattern and express something about themselves.
If my students were doing this, what would absolutely come out
is who they are, where they have come from, their point of view.
We have got yards of fabric here,
we have got a completely lining underneath it.
You could take the whole thing apart,
recut it and create something absolutely different.
I think I would stick a hole here, and, you know, play.
The dress that Patrick and Esme have given them
is made from a basic, lightweight, woven viscose.
-It is easy to shape, and the sewers' options should be endless.
-What are you making?
-I am making a pencil skirt.
-And do you alter a lot?
I'm thinking pencil skirt, exposed zip, elastic waistband.
I'm going to cut the skirt from the top
and create a waistband with this denim.
I want to make a nice, tight-fitted skirt.
I am hoping to make a skirt, I'm going to do some pleats,
so then it fits the mannequin.
This is ribbing, it's very stretchy and quite strong so I'm going
to try and use it as the waistband for a little miniskirt.
But not everyone's making a skirt.
I've chopped the side seams down, going to take those in,
I've split the back cos it had a horrible pleat in there,
I'm going to put a zip in,
and I'm going to pop a couple of darts in the front,
cut the neckline down and around, ruche it up
and pop the lining in for the other side, then stick the skirt back on.
-Have you got time to do all of that?
-Yeah, if I am quick.
It is going to be a dress,
I am actually thinking of putting darts in.
And where the darts go, to add a godet, you know?
The godet is a triangular piece of fabric inserted
into a garment to create volume.
And it is the other fabric that I'm going to add on
that I hope makes the garment.
It looked like a dress that could do some gathering,
so I thought making a waistband with casing,
then I'm going to put something through it to gather it.
I'm probably going to shorten the hem as well,
cos I don't really like how long it is.
Some lace. Lace, lace, lace.
I'm going to make it into a top with a zip down the front,
and then use some lace on the collar and the sleeves.
A nice, white chunky zip.
I don't do much recycling stuff really.
Bit of experience of making things bigger.
Sewers, you have one hour left.
Want to prove to the judges that I can finish a garment.
I'm so scared after what happened this morning,
just finishing the garment will be an achievement for me.
I have put in denim side panels.
Sort of done the side seam.
And I'm currently unpicking the centre back
so that I can put this in.
I'm not happy with the zip, but I will get on with the rest of it
and see if I can fix it a little bit later on.
It's quite a chunky zip cos I want it to be visible.
I don't think I've lifted my head once to see
what anybody else is doing.
I'm currently making the contrasting underlap going
underneath the blue.
I have created a waistband and I am gathering the fabric together.
I'm just trying to finish up the gathers
so that it's quite evenly distributed.
-This looks so pretty, your choice of fabrics.
-I hope so.
Not something I would wear on a summer's day, but...
-You don't know that.
-With a glass of white...
..a bowl of pistachios, you might want to throw that on.
I might do after a bottle or two of red.
Sewers, you've got 30 minutes left
and then the scary couple will be coming upstairs.
If I get this, the zipper, in and the back seam done,
then I've a wee bit more time to play with.
I've just sewn in one side of my zip.
This might have to be done a few times,
considering I've only ever done one of these before.
-That wasn't very good, was it?
I'm actually enjoying this more than I thought I would be,
but let's see what it looks like at the end.
Duncan, I'm just going to be honest with you, are you doing enough?
Yeah, it is quite simple.
-I might make a little neck scarf if I have time.
-Make a neck scarf!
I hope the transformation's big enough.
I mean, I'm going to put an invisible zip in, as well.
So I decided to go for a bit of a funky back.
Don't know if that will be enough to impress the judges.
I'm attaching a deep lace all the way around the bottom.
That is date night, isn't it?
-Have you been on my dates?
Sewers, you've got ten minutes.
OK, OK, OK.
It's a neck scarf.
I think this will add a little extra to it.
Oh, gosh, that's a terrible zip. I've got a lot of puckering here.
I'm just going to iron it as well as I can.
I can't get my needle through.
I'm not panicking.
I'm going to attach this, then, back onto the bodice.
But that'll be OK, I can do that.
All right, that's it, time!
Come on, bring them up.
# It must be something psychological... #
It's judgment time, and Esme and Patrick will have no idea
whose alteration is whose.
First reactions, please.
There are a lot of skirts. There are a couple that stand out,
but there are a few for me that seem to be lacking
a little bit of wow.
I'm really disappointed.
I was so excited about this, but look at those skirts.
I mean, look at that skirt!
Not only is it not very adventurous, it's just not very well done.
Are you trying to make it fit?
-Yes! I'm trying my best.
-Have you succeeded?
We've got another skirt.
They haven't gathered it evenly,
they've put a little pleat in the back.
The depth of it is relatively even.
They've made a little neckerchief,
obviously had a bit of spare time at the end there.
I'd have rather have seen the time put into doing something
a little more adventurous on the skirt.
-Another gathered skirt.
-And a waistband.
In 90 minutes, I would have expected something considerably punchier.
The waistband doesn't fit very well, it should have been shaped.
It's a fairly simple A-line-ish skirt.
Well, this seems to be the rage. It fits the stand quite well.
Well, that is true. It just lacks wow.
-It's a skirt.
Do you think this bow has been made from scratch?
Yeah, it must have been.
-It is a good combination of fabrics and colours.
They all work harmoniously. I quite like it.
This person has put a bit of elastic on the waist.
There is a lot of reshaping in the back here.
-I like the blue and the orange.
-I do, too. It's simple.
I think it's quite striking. It's wearable and it's different.
-It is wearable, yeah.
-I quite like it.
This person tried to be experimental and play with the fabric.
They've used a lot of different techniques. They've draped,
-They've inserted a zip.
The lining has been used to extend the length,
which I think is really very clever.
What we asked for was a bold statement.
And this is bold, all right.
This has had godets put into it.
It's quite hard to sew a godet, but they've done that quite neatly.
Obviously, it has a lot more shape through the waist
and it's been shaped through the back.
-At least it's shown some adventure.
I'm not a great fan of lace.
The overall shape hasn't changed, really, very much at all.
And that zip's too long.
I mean, just make it at the right length and finish it correctly.
-They haven't been clear enough or bold enough about it.
So who's shown the imagination and skill to transform a garment?
In tenth place,
it is the lace-trimmed tabard.
Up you come, Tracey!
I thought it was quite flouncy.
-I mean, it is flouncy, that's for sure.
-That's for sure.
In ninth place,
this one, with the grey inserted side panels.
That doesn't, to me, in skirt form, say you.
Duncan is eighth,
and in fourth place is Angeline.
In third place is this blue and orange dress.
It's quite striking.
In second place...
It's the sequinned insertions.
It was a bold idea, it's got impact.
Overall, I think it's an excellent piece of work, so well done.
In first place is this one.
THEY CLAP Come on, Jamie!
You were bold, you tried to do a bit of draping,
you used the lining, you really took on the challenge.
It's not to show us how technically competent you are,
-it's about your ability to imagine clothes.
-Thank you so much.
That's the end of your first day on Sewing Bee.
Go home, we'll see you tomorrow for the big challenge.
-I thought it was all going to go wrong.
-Aw, give off!
Today has taught me I can loosen up a little bit.
I guess I was a bit brave,
braver than I would be in my own sewing room.
I came second. I would rather have come first.
I wasn't quite happy with my final outcome.
It isn't as outrageous as me, in a way.
That challenge was horrible.
Just one challenge remains before one sewer is awarded
Garment of the Week, and someone is asked to leave the sewing room.
Jamie came first twice.
The way that he handled that very difficult georgette,
was really fantastic.
Angeline did well on the alteration challenge.
I liked her selection of colours.
Charlotte came second in the chevron challenge.
She was kind of panicking with the cutting out,
but actually she matched it really well.
Do you have an inkling about who might be leaving?
Duncan definitely struggled with his finishing.
Rumana, I think, perhaps nerves got the better of her
-in the first challenge.
-Yeah, I agree.
Josh, had he just finished off those armholes, I think he'd have finished
quite a lot further up,
and I think Tracey's in that mix, as well.
For each week's final challenge, there will be no mannequins.
The sewers will be making clothes that must fit a real person.
All right? Nice to meet you.
Welcome back, sewers. For your first made-to-measure challenge,
the judges would like you to make skirts.
You can make mini, maxi, anything you like,
but the fit has to be perfect.
You have five hours. Enormous luck.
Your time starts now.
All right, must remain calm.
This is the second skirt I've made in my entire life.
For the made-to-measure challenge, the sewers have had a chance
to practise at home with their chosen pattern.
-Does that feel too tight?
-No, that feels OK, actually.
But now, for the first time, they'll be working
with their chosen fabric and must fit their skirt to their model.
Isn't a skirt quite simple, cos that's just about the waist?
The waist is very important,
but they might have a tight-fitting skirt.
What I'm really intrigued to see is at what point
they start trying it on the model.
If you were doing this challenge,
how many times, then, would you be holding it up to the model?
How many measurements would you take?
I wouldn't hold it up, I'd put it on the model and pin it.
We're also going to see whether they understand fabric,
as well as whether they understand fit.
-Once the sewers have measured their models...
..they'll need to adjust the size of their standard pattern piece...
Right, let's do some cutting.
..and cut their fabric to the new measurements for a perfect fit.
I've chosen this taffeta. It's got a nice body to it.
It's quite swishy and sticky-outy, and it's going to have a
bit of a petticoat underneath, so it's going to be quite '50s-ish.
Charlotte's 1950s three-quarter-length circle skirt
-will have a high waistband.
-I've got everything down to the minute.
I've got 20 minutes to cut it out and I'm already 15 minutes into that
and I've cut one bit.
So I'm doing a circle skirt, so the main fabric is 100% silk,
but it's actually not too bad to work with.
And I just think all these little petals give it really nice movement.
Duncan's silk petal skirt
will be lined on the inside
and will have a ribbed, stretch cotton waistband.
I think these petals, they're catching on pins,
so I've just really taken the time to make sure I don't snag it.
My thoughts for this fabric was quite summery.
Me and my friends always go to the races in the summer,
a big day out, and I love the thought of girls going to the
races in nice, long skirts.
Josh is using stretch denim
to make a flared skirt,
which is fitted to a yoked waist.
There should be one more piece.
I can't find the back waistband piece.
No, it's not here.
The plan was to cut it all out and sew it together,
and now I'm probably going to have to construct
one of my pattern pieces by guessing.
While Josh's lost pattern piece has just made his skirt
even harder to make...
I'm going to have to draft one.
..one sewer has risked self-drafting all their pattern pieces.
I don't do lots of self-drafted patterns,
but when you want the perfect fit, sometimes it is best.
Jade's making a high-waisted tutu skirt,
with two contrasting net fabrics.
It'll be fastened with an oversized metal zip.
-And that's going to be exposed?
-Yeah, that's going to be exposed.
-You're going to see that down the centre back.
The first thing that I want to do is just cut the waistband out,
because this is the most crucial part.
-And are you boning this?
Jade's waistband is so large,
she needs to support it with thin lengths of plastic called boning.
It kind of gives more shape, so it actually fits into your curves.
How are you going to sew it in?
What I'll do is I'll sew into the seam, so hopefully
if I get it in-between the seams, you won't be able to see...
OK, so you've obviously done boning before.
Yeah, I made my prom dress, so I had to have boning in it.
It's actually a pattern I found online,
and it's actually a combination of an apron pattern and a self-drafted
kind of pattern, where I'm just going to add in my own tweaks to it.
Rumana's full-length gathered skirt
will have a Japanese obi-style
That sits quite high on the waist, it's high-waisted,
and then you've got these ties that come off and go round again,
so I'm just matching the end of the waistband with the tie.
This is the fiddliest bit.
Once I get this done, I can make sure it fits and then carry on.
Right, missus, let's do this.
Angeline has already finished cutting out,
allowing her to begin pinning on her model.
I do make a lot of clothes for my friends,
so I'm used to making for other people. I think this will be fine.
She's making a tight-fitting pencil skirt with a gathered peplum
and contrasting piped trim.
You can go, missus.
I'd like to impress Esme, especially after the alteration comments.
I know what they're looking for now,
so that gives me the opportunity, then, to just go mad.
-Oopsy-daisy. Can you just hold it there?
Wiggle as best you can.
I'm going to try and avoid sticking pins in you.
Before any seams are sewn...
I can see where I need to pull it in a little bit.
..the sewers should take the time to check their cut pattern pieces
against their model.
Oh, gosh, that looks great.
Ghislaine is making a wraparound skirt,
gathered with box pleats
and a bow fastening.
I've done my waistband already with my bow,
and then I'm going to attach the whole thing
and I've got three metres of hand-stitched hem to do.
How're you doing, Tracey?
All right, I'm starting to put the waistband on.
So it should come round like that
and then tuck in into a really nice pleat, like this.
Right, turn round again.
The fitting of the waistband is the most important thing,
purely because that's the only part that is going to be slick
and fitted to the model's body.
I'm just going to look at it from a distance.
If you don't get this bit right, it's pretty pointless
-doing the skirt.
-SEWING MACHINE WHIRS
-I haven't done any fitting yet.
I'm just waiting to do my zip, so then I get this big rectangle
and I can just gather the top to fit her properly.
Small, little bits that had to be taken in,
but otherwise I've actually drawn it OK.
While Jade's self-drafted waistband is ready for boning,
it's the moment of truth for Josh's guesswork.
I lost the pattern piece and I just had to guess.
I just want to get it to fit correctly.
-I think that's a little bit too loose here, isn't it?
So I'm going to bring it in just a little bit up there,
so we want about half an inch again.
-Is that all right there?
-Yeah, that feels good.
The waistband fits brilliant.
I've never fitted to a model before, and I just hope it doesn't show.
Even if they're happy with their first fittings...
OK, I think we're good.
..some of the sewers have chosen to make this first made-to-measure
challenge even harder.
Am I being brave working with chiffon?
Probably, or stupid, one of the two.
Jamie is going to apply
a flounce, made of delicate chiffon, to the front of his skirt.
The kind of style I would like to wear if I was going to wear a skirt,
He's hoping his flounce will add a feature to his classic
I've got to say, I don't love a flounce, but...
I'm looking forward to seeing this garment because the colours
work really well and there's a beautiful lightness to all of this.
-So you'll have hemmed that?
-Yes, rolled hem.
That's going to show us some fine skills,
if you can do a nice, neat rolled hem on that one.
-Why do I open my mouth?
-Done that bit.
-Tracey is also taking a risk.
She's the only sewer attempting pockets.
So it kind of goes there.
Waistband's here, and then the front of the skirt will come there,
so you'll actually see this part of the design.
Tracey's making a woollen circle skirt,
with front hip pockets.
The trickiest bit is the trim on the pocket,
cos it'll be a pleat on the bias, which is a bit fiddly.
It's actually called a pleating board.
It's just made out of lining paper and card, it's nothing fancy.
So that will then curve along the edge of the pocket, like that.
This is the first godet that's gone in and I've got another...
..seven to do.
Joyce is the only sewer attempting a multi-panelled skirt.
Eight godets, cut from stretch jersey fabric,
should give the skirt volume.
How many different bits have you had to cut out?
One, two, three, four, five, six,
seven, eight, nine, ten,
Look, at the moment, we're there.
-So that's your skirt so far?
I don't want anyone to panic, but how long have you got?
Sewers, you have one hour left!
It will go like that.
My rolled hem is on a curve, so that makes it even more tricky.
And this beautiful chiffon slips all over the place.
I am attaching my bias binding, and I have got this much to go.
So that's the finished effect on the pocket.
So, happy with that.
All my threads keep snapping
when I'm trying to do my gathering stitch.
This is the peplum.
I love the effect that it gives at the bottom, that curved appearance.
OK, I'm just going to have a look and see if it's currently even.
I'm just doing a double hem, where you fold the fabric up once
and then you fold it over again,
so all the raw edges are concealed on the inside.
We could really carefully try this on,
just make sure it's not madly off.
This is my fear.
Turn round, please.
I have just added bias bind around the hem.
Because I'm trying to take out the blue in this fabric,
I have the blue piping,
and then the blue bias bind will just finish it off.
Boys and girls, 20 minutes!
Yes, I am drowning in a lot of net.
Keep calm and sew on.
# Soon I will be done with the troubles of the world
# Soon I will be done with the troubles of the skirt. #
Good, good, good.
-With a good press...
-Oh, that's dangerous.
I am very roughly evening up the hammer.
The sort of look-and-chop approach to hemming.
Five minutes, everybody! Five minutes.
Oh, God, this is mad, this is mad.
I've just got a horrible crease in this bit.
God, actually, could you take it off for a second?
-Duncan, you all right?
-I need to turn it and stitch it, I think.
I'm just really hoping this fits. Sorry.
-Yeah, really good.
This is so ropey.
Oh, God, everyone has made such amazing things.
Yeah, get yourself tucked in nice and good.
-I know, I know.
-..you have one minute.
OK, your time is up!
I'll drink my tea now.
I'm sorry they didn't put a drop of whisky in it, frankly,
but there we go.
You're going to show your beautiful creations to the judges
and then they're going to choose Garment of the Week. Yay!
And ask somebody to leave, but let's not make a fuss about that.
# I'm all dressed up with a broken heart...#
Ten skirts, made to measure from scratch in just five hours.
I think it fits really well under her arse.
-That was the intention.
-Is she making you blush?
No, it is, it's a great fit.
It's absolutely fitted, to the point that it flares out with that peplum.
The height of that waistband, just the overall balance of it,
is really nice.
And the blues are really well matched in the print
and the piping and the bias at the bottom.
I think it's a knockout.
That wide waistband, I really like.
I think the depth of that band is spot-on.
-And you've matched it here, haven't you?
I think these seams could've been a little bit better pressed,
and then almost you wouldn't see the join.
I was very intrigued with the idea of turning an apron into a skirt
and doing the wrapping.
I think that works really well.
First thing to say is that it moves really well.
The waist looks like a good fit.
In one way, it works fabulously, the fabric,
it's got that weight to it and it moves,
but we can't see the cut of your skirt.
The overall effect is really good.
My only criticism would be, this is a light, light fabric
and it's going to wrinkle like mad.
All of this pleating, it really needs a solid press.
I'm really intrigued to see your pockets with the pleating.
That's worked, hasn't it?
There's too much fabric here. You haven't moved it round evenly.
There is a rise and fall in that bottom hem.
The big difficulty with a circle skirt
is keeping it level all the way round.
I love your spotty flock fabric.
I also like the fact that you've lined your spots
up right down the centre front, which I think is really important.
But you haven't on the back, have you?
And it really, really jumps out at you.
First things first, shall we talk about the fit?
Shall we talk about the flounce, cos it hits me in the eye?
It's a very, very difficult thing to do,
to roll a hem on such a delicate fabric.
It's a bit lumpy and bumpy.
I think it's a very good fit there, it's a good fit on the seat.
My big thing is just the point at which this flounce finishes.
I think it would have been way better
if it had gone all the way round.
It's almost like you've got a front and then a different back.
Very fair comment.
-The overall impression is fantastic.
What I particularly like is the way the grey and the black
are showing through one another.
The silver highlights the edge. That works well.
The way that you've balanced the silver of the binding
with the chunky, oversized metal zip, I think shows, A - confidence,
and, B - a thought about the coherence of the whole thing.
You've shown your style and your personality
-in this skirt, definitely.
I think this fabric is really pretty.
I think it does work, but where I am a little concerned,
-it is a bit loose on the waist.
Can you see how it's jutting out like that?
If it had been shaped, it would have sat closer to the body.
The major thing, I think, is the uneven hem.
You did it quickly and you did it freehand, you've just got to make
sure it's absolutely perfect, cos these things matter.
I think it's not the most complicated skirt,
but you've executed it extremely well.
I love the choice of fabric.
Actually, it's got a bit of stretch in.
-And you lost your yoke pattern, didn't you?
That's stressful for you, but you have managed to make it work.
I think the fit's really good. It's hugging all the way round.
In terms of level, it's near enough bang on, so very well done on that.
So you all did brilliantly, a huge well done.
Go and have a group cuddle, and then, when you come back,
Patrick and Esme will announce the Garment of the Week, yay,
but then will sadly choose somebody to leave the Sewing Bee.
I'm not ready to leave. I don't think anybody wants to leave.
I really want to stay, just to prove to them that I can finish something.
'I'm just really happy that I managed to make a skirt.'
The longer I'm here, I'll keep learning and I hope that
I'll just keep getting better.
I think Josh has probably rescued himself with what I think is
a really competent piece of sewing.
It fitted well, the hem was great.
I mean, I think we both agree that we do not love this.
But Duncan's lacked ambition.
And then we placed Tracey in the middle for this one.
It was pretty well done.
Duncan did a good job of matching the pattern,
but some of the overall finish let him down.
This is Tracey's. We've got this puckering here
and the hem was uneven.
Duncan's, the fabric's pretty, the hem's very uneven
and he chopped it by eye.
Well, that didn't work.
I think it's tough to call between the two.
-We probably need to have a...
First, the judges are going to reveal their Garment of the Week,
so this is the good bit.
Our Garment of the Week this week is...
And the reason we chose it was fit, finish and fabric.
-Now the horrible bit,
because we've just met you and we don't want any of you to leave.
The judges have deliberated.
It was not easy, and the first person leaving the Sewing Bee is...
It's Duncan. THEY GASP
Sorry! I'm sorry.
It's fine. It's fair.
'Everyone else is just so talented. I did my best.'
The second challenge, that's where maybe
I feel that I could have done something different.
-You've been brilliant.
It was a difficult decision, as always.
'It's sad that anybody has to leave
'and nobody wants to be the one who goes home on the first week,'
but he's done fantastically well to get this far.
-Let me give you a hug.
-Oh, thank you.
'I found sending Duncan home really, really hard.'
If Duncan were one of my students, I would say, "Sew more,"
cos when you sew, you learn how a garment is constructed.
You always get better. The more you do, the better you get at it.
I know that it was the last challenge for me
that actually secured my place in the next week.
I'm just so happy that I did what I did.
I don't want anybody to go home!
Really, really relieved, pleased,
ecstatic, emotional, everything!
Next week, I'm really going to go for it and really prove
that I've deserved to get past week one.
'There's incredible sewers in there,'
so to be awarded Garment of the Week is overwhelming
and just very humbling.
I'm really proud,
and I know my friends and family will be proud of me.
I'm slightly disappointed for them, that's the thing.
But, you know, it's been so much fun.
On the next Sewing Bee, the sewers make children's clothes.
There you go, little man.
Patterns go pint-size...
Oh, my God, these cuffs are teensy.
..alterations get slippery...
-..and they get worked up over wool.
But who will get Garment of the Week?
The pressure is on.
And who will be the next to leave? SHE GASPS
-This has got to come off.
Claudia Winkleman hosts a new eight-part series of The Great British Sewing Bee. Under the scrutiny of Savile Row's Patrick Grant and Central St Martin's Esme Young, ten fresh-faced home sewers face three challenges designed to test their skill and understanding of basic garment construction. First, the sewers follow a pattern for a woman's top made up of four pieces. However, it is deceptively difficult, demanding accurate pattern matching skills, a steady hand for cutting and precision sewing.
Next, the judges want their personal style and imagination to come to the fore by transforming a maternity dress in just 90 minutes. Finally, they take on the Made to Measure challenge, fitting a skirt to a real model. Who can keep their cool to produce a flattering waistline and perfectly level hem, and who will falter and be the first to leave the sewing room?