Sewing competition. Patrick and Esme set the seven remaining sewers the challenge of tackling techniques and garment styles from other cultures and continents.
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As we enter our fourth week, our magnificent seven sewers
are about to tackle techniques and fabrics from all over the world.
The Great British Sewing Bee is going international.
At the last sewing bee...
I haven't got a bloody clue.
..things got a little bit 50 Shades..
At my age, I should know better.
..as the sewers got their hands on lingerie.
How can that fit on someone's boob?
Charlotte won garment of the week for the first time...
..and after a disastrous Made-to-measure...
-Jamie, isn't it a bit late for cutting out?
-Yeah, it is.
..Jamie's time in the sewing room
ended earlier than anyone was expecting.
You've been a bright star, Jamie.
Now the seven remaining sewers...
..will travel the world...
Oh, come on.
..with a Pattern Challenge from the Far East...
Origami here. I'm losing my marbles.
..an Alteration that could last forever...
Blimey. It goes on and on and on.
..and a Made-to-measure...
-Look, you're matching.
I thought I'd have a go with a piece, you see?
..all the way from West Africa.
How are you?
I'm all right, yeah. How are you?
# Come fly with me
# Let's fly, let's fly away. #
My tactic for this week is not to overcomplicate things.
I'm sorting myself out.
I am actually going to go more simple
but try and present a perfect garment.
-Look what I've found.
-An unpicker, Joyce.
Well, I've been using my little one all this time.
Not that I've used it a lot, you understand.
I think mine's gone blunt.
I never thought I would be the last man standing.
I need to start climbing up the ladder in the first two challenges.
They are the ones that I have struggled with every week.
We are all on a knife edge.
Everybody is good. All it takes is one bad day
and any of us could be leaving.
Good morning, sewers.
Now, this week each challenge focuses on a different country
or a different culture.
-Feeling OK so far?
Quite a lot of shaking heads. All right.
Patrick, what do you have for them?
I'll hand you out a pattern.
A Chinese top.
This one is called a qipao.
It's tight fitting,
it's got a Mandarin collar
and it's made with an elaborate brocade.
Has anybody made anything like this before?
Welcome to International Week.
You have three hours and 45 minutes.
Your time starts now.
If you're having that, I'm having red.
-Do you want to swap?
I've chosen this really nice teal brocade.
I really love the colour.
I've gone for green just because I think it looks really rich
and, like, emerald green,
although I'm sure my Chinese friend is going to be like, "No, red.
"Red, prosperity." I think.
Silk brocade has been worn in China since the Middle Ages.
Its combination of fine silk
and gold thread demands very skilful sewing.
I have worked brocade before and it just frays like mad.
Why International Week?
Well, we are surrounded in this country
by clothes from all over the world,
and so many of these pieces of clothing we see every day
have inspired and transformed Western clothing.
Let's talk about this top.
It looks incredibly tricky.
It will be tricky.
This edge is not on the grain
so they have to be really careful how they sew that
and don't stretch it.
This collar looks tricky.
They have to sew this Mandarin collar
with complete and utter precision.
Yes, it will be really obvious if it is not the same at the front.
It will be really obvious if it doesn't fit here
and that has to be beautifully top-stitched.
We are looking for these panels to fit flush to the mannequin.
And the darts have to be on the same level
and they mustn't be what I call "poky".
OK, so it's a closely fitted,
really quite complex garment
made with fabric that frays.
Never made a Chinese top before. I have worn one.
It is something that, hopefully, I would like to wear
if I get the opportunity afterwards.
The qipao style top pattern contains seven separate pieces.
Darts are sewn into the main front and back pieces to give shape.
The two front panels are stitched to the back at the shoulders.
An invisible zip is added to the right seam
and a Mandarin collar is attached to the neck.
This is the first time I have worked with brocade.
The fabric is quite slippery
so I've decided to use my pattern weights to put it down
in the right places, and then I'll pin it.
I went for the double pins and weights option
just to be really sure nothing's moving!
There is two darts in the back and four in the front,
which is quite a few darts.
I am tailor-tacking, so that I know where my darts need to go.
Tailor's chalk rubs off shiny fabric
so the sewers need to find other ways
to mark the crucial positioning of the darts.
So, I'm just marking the dots of the dart with the pins.
Mark out all the different points in dot to dot,
join it together, make a dart.
I'm just go to join up the dots with a pen
so I can see what I need to do.
It's very important that the darts are even.
Because this is such a tight-fitting garment,
if they're not, then it will just look skew-whiff.
Once marked, the fabric in the dart is folded in on itself
and secured with a line of stitching.
The darts are tricky
only because you've got to have a nice, soft taper.
You can't have a lump either end.
I'm leaving the pins in.
Sometimes I take them out so I don't sew over them,
but in this case I'd rather break a needle.
Take out my tailor's tack.
With a press, that's the first one done.
-Have you put the darts in?
-I have one dart in.
-Have you ever done anything like this before?
I've never done anything like this before.
I haven't worked with this type of fabric before.
Now, I don't want to bring up last week's Pattern Challenge...
-Yes, you do.
-Yeah, I can't help myself,
but is it important to you that this week you do well?
It's important that I finish and I do well.
But not everyone's making progress.
-Are you all right?
-I'm OK, yeah.
It's just taking me a while to cut out and transfer the markings
and stuff like that.
-So you haven't done any sewing at all?
-I want you to get a move on.
-Yeah, I know.
Is it bad that I am saying that? It's because I love you, Josh.
I know. I know. It's my trouble, you see?
Do you need this situation?
-Shall I bring it?
-Yes, please, yeah.
-This is a beautiful fabric.
# I'd love to get you
# On a slow boat to China... #
Once the darts are finished,
there's even more precision required around the neckline.
Is this bias binding?
This is bias binding.
You are brilliant, Joyce.
I've just been at Josh's station.
He has literally just opened the pattern.
The bound asymmetrical neckline
is the most noticeable part of the garment.
The binding appears to go here.
It just takes a lot of concentration to make sure
that you're pinning the right sides together.
Any flaws here and the classic lines of the qipao will be ruined.
Don't stretch it.
-See that row of stitching there?
-That holds it.
-OK, but it's not pulled?
So I need to trim all this excess away
and then I'll be able to fold it around like that
and that's how it should finish off,
so you won't be able to see any of the bias binding.
It will be a nice clean edge.
While most of the sewers are using the machine to attach their binding,
Joyce has other ideas.
My hand stitching is nothing compared to Charlotte's
but it's on and it's secure.
So now I'm concentrating on this little bit here.
-Good morning, Jade.
-How are you getting on?
-Good. I've got my binding.
Show me the...
So, you sew it on and then it says fold it in half
-and then top-stitch it on.
-And what does it say halfway down?
"Fold the binding to the wrong side of the garment
"and press the pin in place."
Oh, so the binding goes actually on the whole of the inside, does it?
What does it say?
-I did read it!
-Yes, I did read it.
We wrote it in English, too.
Are you sure?
The binding goes along the inside.
I've just learnt that.
-The penny is dropping all around the room.
-What are we doing?
-I did that.
-But it doesn't.
-It goes on at the inside.
-Oh, it doesn't?
Oh, all that hand-sewing for nothing.
Oh, I prefer it showing.
-Yeah, same. I was proper happy with my top stitching.
-Dare I leave it?
Isn't that more interesting?
I'm going to leave it.
Honestly, I like that.
So I'll be marked down, but...
"With the right sides together,
"pin and sew the two front panels
"to the back panel at the shoulder seam."
The pattern demands that the qipao closes from left to right.
I'm just trying to make sure I am crossing the right piece
over the right piece.
The Chinese considered a right to left fastening barbaric.
I'm just trying to work it out in my own mind.
I'm losing my marbles.
Right. Okey dokey.
So many parts to it, with the left front, the right front, the upper...
It's just very confusing to keep track.
I honestly don't... I'm not on track,
but I don't think I'm a mile behind where I want to be.
That goes over there,
that goes over there. OK.
Oh, God, the zip.
We've seen some of them insert invisible zips,
but it's never been in a Pattern Challenge before.
Can we talk about this one? Because this one looks tricky.
Will you open it for me and describe, Esme?
So what's important here is that this invisible zip
goes up to this point here.
So it won't go all the way to the top, so they're going to have
to put the invisible zip in first and then put this on.
It's just more the positioning of the zipper, I think, on this one.
If you look at the back of it,
the zip notch is quite far down in comparison to the top,
so I don't know what way it sits, to be honest.
Where do you line-up the top of the zip? On the left, front?
I think you've got to do it to that side of the zipper tape,
so that when it all gets turned the right way out,
you won't see the edge of the zipper tape.
Oh, I see.
-Happy with it so far?
Got a bit confused with the zip.
Well, it should finish up here.
I know, and I tried to measure it out but it just didn't...
-Because all of a sudden now, this is going somewhere very different.
I measured it out and everything, and it didn't really work like that.
-I think you might have to just...
-Oh, no, right.
Let me see. That goes like so, I hope.
-Jade, the side with the zip...
-Because I'm totally confused there.
I would have left that open on the armhole.
-And it doesn't say to in the pattern.
Doesn't that make sense to leave it open there?
One hour left...
on your first International Challenge.
This is where the garment's going to start,
-hopefully, coming together.
-This is a Mandarin collar.
Never done one of these before.
It's a little collar that just stands up all the way round
close to the neck.
You've got to iron up this edge a centimetre all the way along.
Ow! Without burning your fingers.
Hah! It's hot, it's hot, it's hot.
The thing they're going to be looking for is that it's the same.
Got to try and make sure I keep it really symmetrical.
I've sewn the collar together and pressed under the underside.
And I'm now attaching it to the neck.
That gets pressed it like that. Duh-duh.
So that's where we're at at the moment.
My collar is going in.
Whether it's a good collar or a bad collar, I've no idea -
I've never made one of these before.
I think I'm handling it OK. OK, that's that bit done.
Showing the armhole facings,
just catching them at top and bottom shoulder seams.
Just so they don't all pop out like that, look, see?
Normally you'd sew it all the way round.
Half an hour left, sewers, half an hour left.
We've only got half an hour left,
so we're not sewing it all the way around.
I'm just finding the middle point of the collar.
Then, when I find the middle point of the neckline,
I know how much ease is going to have to go in either side.
Oh, come on.
-Get your boobies out the way!
-Do you need a hand, Charlotte?
I can't get it on... Yes, please.
If you have a minute.
-I can help squeeze your shoulders.
-You squeeze my shoulders.
-There we go. There we go.
Seriously, imagine actually having to...
-Did I undo the zip?
-Have you undone the zip?
-I haven't undone the bloody zip!
-That helps, doesn't it?
What a good idea if I undid the zip.
The zip is undone.
I stretched out my neckline.
Can do nothing about that. Shouldn't have looked.
I just put my top on my mannequin and I realised
I stretched out the front edge, so I'm a bit annoyed about that.
It's stretched out because I didn't do the stay stitching.
Because I didn't read the pattern properly.
The judges are so going to notice.
-15 minutes left.
-Right, let's do it.
Let's get the old frogging on.
Frogging is an ornamental fastening
traditionally used on Chinese garments instead of buttons.
-Look, isn't that pretty?
-That's so pretty!
Yes, I thought so.
You know where the frogs go
because there's actually a marking on the pattern.
It's not made easier
by the mannequin being a lot taller than me.
I love what hand sewing does for a garment,
I just bloody hate doing it.
It just really needs a press, but I don't think I'll have time.
-I've run out of thread.
-Oh, I'm so annoyed.
-What's the hem?
-Just a single fold?
-I'm doing it twice because it's just such a mess.
Look at the bottom of it now.
See, I've got threads everywhere.
Never ideal to sew a hem in a rush. Ever.
Tracey's happy! Are you done?
-Yeah, I think so.
-Tracey, shout for me "two minutes".
Are we all done?
No, that was too nice, you have to do it with slightly more aggression.
Just two minutes!
A shock you had to say my name here, look.
Two minutes, blimey.
I don't how you work this contraption.
Right, just ease it over.
OK, the challenge is over.
-Scissors down, scissors down.
-My hands are here.
Take your mannequins over to the judges.
Mine's had a drink.
Seven qipao tops made from scratch -
but what will Esme and Patrick
make of the first garments of International Week?
Angeline, you're up first. Please bring your top forward.
-It's a little bit tight.
It could have been because on each seam you took too much
-on the four darts and the two seams.
Let's undo here.
That's pretty good.
I think this could have been pressed a bit better.
And can you see how this is slightly baggy here?
That collar is a little square, and that one's a little round,
which is throwing me off a little bit.
It's all there, it just lacks a little finesse.
The front of this is really smooth and flat. The collar looks even.
That's in well.
All the important bits are right,
all the darts are in the right place.
The armholes look really neat and smooth.
It's a really clean, crisp, precise piece of sewing.
-There's not much I can really say to fault it.
-You've done well.
So, the first thing that strikes me
is that you've taking your own path to finishing this edge.
Honestly, I misread the pattern.
I was actually going to come back to that and alter it, if I had time.
OK. So, there's that. Let's have a look at your zip.
Something is completely wro...
You've done it your own way, you've given us a bound edge
and you've given us a completely different opening,
but actually you've done it quite nicely and it sits well.
The darts are good, the collar looks good, but...
It's not what we asked for.
-You're infuriating, Joyce.
-I'm sorry. I did try.
Let's have a look at the zip. OK, well, it goes up and down.
But I think it can't quite be high enough. Did you go to the notch?
I think I mismatched my notches.
-So we've got one where the bosom will be coming through.
You've sewn the darts nicely.
But it's all in the right place, it's just...
-Still waiting for that perfect sew.
You haven't quite got this bit right.
This zip should have finished higher up, which would have lifted that up.
There's all sorts of stuff that's just pulling it out of shape here.
And you've also overstretched this edge.
Give it a little move around and it's starting to open up and gape.
-Don't make me cry.
-This one's not breaking.
Because so much of it is so good, the darts are really neat,
the seams are well together, and then you've just gone and done this.
You've stretched that whole front edge so far out of shape that,
really, it's kind of... barely wearable.
Everything else is sewn really nicely and beautifully.
-I'm really upset.
-This just wasn't a good one for you.
Thank you very much, thank you, Charlotte.
-Don't worry, it's only sewing, it's only sewing. It's OK.
-Right, Josh. Well, I don't think you've done badly at all.
The collar is pretty even. The zip...
..is pretty good as well.
The most obvious bit, for me,
is the way that it's sitting across the chest.
And this is sitting really nicely across the chest.
You've got your binding,
the accuracy with which you've top-stitched it round there
is really good.
You were slow into it, but once you got there,
it's a really good piece of sewing,
so you should be very pleased with it.
-Thank you very much.
-Yes, you've done well.
Esme and Patrick will now reveal who has mastered the qipao.
In seventh place, after much philosophical rumination,
And only because you didn't follow the instructions.
In sixth place is Jade.
The front was wobbly, the zip wasn't in the right place.
'Charlotte is fifth. Rumana is forth
'and Angeline is third.'
In second place...
..is Josh. And well done, Josh.
This is what it feels like to be in the top two!
You did really well,
and you were really panicked at the beginning but you pulled it back.
-So, our winner is Tracy.
Very crisp, beautifully flat around the chest,
a beautiful piece of sewing.
Well, you can go and celebrate,
make an enormous fuss of Josh, who...
-Very well done. ..came second.
And then when you come back,
there will be the International Alteration Challenge.
# I'm mad about the boy... #
Well done, Tracy. Well done, Josh.
I'm sorry I've kind of stole your thunder.
You're all right, darling, you're all right.
This feeling is as good a scoring the winning goal in football.
Not that I get the chance to score very often.
Absolutely chuffed to bits.
Really, really thrilled with that.
That wasn't my favourite judging experience.
I think if Joyce hadn't had done a Joyce,
I definitely would have been in seventh place.
Everybody thinks I went off-piste,
but there were only two things, you know, that I did differently!
My favourite bit, I'm not sure it's yours,
but are you ready for your International Week
As ready as we'll ever be.
We're giving you a garment
with literally yards of beautiful embroidered fabric.
It is, of course, a sari -
and from this we'd like you to make
a piece of Eastern-inspired clothing.
Remember, the cutting from the East
is quite often based on a rectangle, a triangle or a square.
-All right, judges, you have to leave now. Off you go.
-Are you sure?
-The Monopoly board is set up.
OK, you all have a selection of saris, choose your favourite.
You've got an hour and a half. Your time starts now.
Go for some of those.
-I'll take this one.
-That's a nice one.
-Do you want that one?
-I want one with a big border, so I'm having this one.
-I'm picking her up.
-How do you even get these things undone?
Blimey! It goes on and on and on.
It just keeps going!
The fabric is sheerer than I imagined.
Consequently, I think it's got to be very gathered.
You know, or else you'll see your knickers through it.
This fabric is quite sheer. So you don't want something tight.
What I'm looking for
is just a sympathetic use of all of the bits of the sari fabric.
How much plain fabric they have versus the embroidered sections,
and how they use those, I think, will be important.
The colours are vibrant, the embroidery is gorgeous,
so we want them to make something absolutely fabulous.
My plan is to make what we call an anarkali.
I'm going to use the blouse bit of the sari,
and then make these panels, stitch them together,
and it gives a really flowy skirt.
I'm going to stitch here for the armholes
and have something flowing down,
so it's going to be like a floaty, boxy top.
-When my dad used to work in the Middle East...
..he used to bring home lots of things like this.
They're basically rectangles,
so I'm going to use the border
-on the sleeve and on the bottom.
I want to make like a Turkish belly dancer's outfit.
With, like, baggy trousers and then a crop top.
I think I might make some Israeli trousers.
I'm making trousers like out of Aladdin.
If I took that off...
Going to make loose trousers.
One hour remaining to transform a sari.
I need to measure the crotch distance,
because you don't want your pants too tight,
and I think I want them quite loose.
I'm just measuring the length,
just so that I can get the measurement spot on.
I've cut it so that the top
and the bottom of the trousers have this nice trim on it.
I'm thinking about how wide actually I need the body part to be.
I might make to fit me, never mind the dummy!
Then I can wear it.
-What are you making?
I'm sewing these panels that make the skirt,
-so it comes out in a flared skirt.
-GASPS: Oh, look!
That's so beautiful.
I thought it'd be a real shame if we didn't do a sari.
I've got loads at home, so it'll be really interesting
to see what everyone comes up with,
because then I can just refashion them.
Maybe not my mum's wedding ones and things, but, you know...
Sewers, you are halfway through.
This is the little slit at the bottom of the side seam.
Not the easiest thing in the world to sew,
because the diamonds or whatever you call them
keep stopping your needle.
I'm just sewing the inseam of my trouser legs.
Going really slowly over this big embroidered bit,
because it's got little gems in it.
Makes it less likely that you'll break a needle...
I'm sewing in the sleeve and the side sleeve all in one,
so it's like up and across.
The sleeve when it's done will look like a big square.
I'll just stretch the elastic as I sew it
and then it should fit nicely around her waist.
Doesn't quite meet over her hips.
She has got quite an odd butt.
Whilst his trousers ARE fitting,
Josh still has another garment to make.
I'm now trying to decide how I'm going to make my top.
I want to use this,
but I want it to be a little bit more revealing
cos it is going to be a belly dancer top.
Sewers, you have half an hour left,
to change a sari into... something else.
I'm gathering the trousers at the bottom,
and these are the cuffs that they're going to go in.
Have to make sure you can get your feet over it,
and let's just hope it comes off
and the judges forgive me for this morning.
I might need to take the top in a little bit.
I just want to check it fits...
It'll be a disaster if it doesn't fit, which is kind of doesn't.
Her butt is so big...
But I'm just going to add a teeny-tiny panel,
just from there to there.
It doesn't fit!
Oh... What to do?
Will you do it on the other side?
If I have time to do it on the other side.
OK. So I need to undo this bit...
Just going to make a gap in the seam, to open that up.
There's triangles in the sari,
so I'm just attaching the trimming at the base of the kimono.
Can't touch this!
-No, you can't.
-This...is Hammer Time(!)
This will be the sleeves for the belly dancer crop top thing.
Look how beautiful this is!
Are you making a waistband?
No, I'm going to hide the horrible front.
-So do a nice panel!
-A bit like Esme's wearing today.
So I've sewn to the inside of my waistband some casing,
and I'm going to feed some elastic through and then sew it shut.
I'm just sewing the elastic straight into the actual thing itself...
I'm gathering the fabric into the bottom cuff -
I've got to get a lot of fabric in a very small opening.
You have ten minutes left, sewers!
Just keep stitching, just keep stitching...
Speed sewing is required.
Just hand-stitched this on.
This is a secret,
to hide the fact
that I need to be able to get it onto the mannequin...
I've not only used all of the trim,
I was scraping to get the final bits for my cuffs.
Got a bit of a big bum, this model...
Oh, shush, Claudia!
Exactly what I was hoping for, puffy at the ankle...
Ooh, I like that bit, I might have that on it.
The panel obviously isn't an ideal thing to add in...
Spotted on the little top that came with it,
so I'm going to just hand-sew them on the front of there.
Josh is the only person who's made TWO pieces.
Good for Josh.
Can't even thread the needle at the moment.
There won't be a fastening on the back, because we haven't got time.
I just think stitching is probably better than a pin in the back.
-You'd wear that on the beach, wouldn't you?
-Course I would!
Well done, everybody.
All right, come on, guys. To the front, jiggle them around...
Well done, love.
Seven saris totally transformed -
but what will the judges make of the sewers' attempts
at Eastern-inspired alterations?
MUSIC: Sweet Song Of India by The McGuire Sisters
-I'm absolutely delighted, these are genuinely fantastic.
They fill the brief, hey?
MUSIC: I Am The Walrus by Lord Sitar
I think this looks great.
-It's very clearly Eastern in its inspiration.
It's got a lovely shape to it.
Fantastic use of the border here...
and here, and on the bottom.
-And we've got this little detail here.
-This is lovely.
-I love this detail.
-I mean, really well thought out.
-We have some harem pants.
-Yeah. I love these.
I'd love to wear...something very similar!
-Possibly even these ones in a quiet moment.
Trousers are such a beautiful, full shape.
And they've made a channel for the elastic to go in.
The gathers are very even...
I mean, these trousers just look absolutely spot on.
I love 'em.
-That's a kimono shape...
..but they've cut it all in one.
-So we've only got one seam here...
They've thought about
how they've used the borders...
Can you see we've got a V here and we've got a V here, as well?
-So that's been really...
-well thought about.
-Is that the same both sides?
Something's happened here where they've seamed the border
and they've seamed it here, so obviously it wasn't long enough.
They've run out of border, perhaps.
So, again, we've got a drawstring trouser.
This one not QUITE so good.
And this person's used their top, and they've lengthened it...
They've given us a lot in a very short space of time -
I just think it's not quite as neat and tidy as some of the others...
and it is just too small on the trousers.
We've got elastic here...
So they've done the same with the border.
It's a bit snug around the seat.
Oh... Hang on a minute.
What's happened here?
Well, obviously it was MUCH too small
and they've had to insert a panel...?
Maybe there wasn't enough material.
If they'd inserted a panel on the other side
we could have said it was jodhpurs.
It's got a really nice shape to it,
-all of these panels work extremely well...
I just feel that this is a little heavy.
I quite like it.
That's cos you're almost wearing it!
Here's MY version.
They obviously got inspired by me.
Funnily enough, now I think about it...
I like it, I think it gives it an accent.
-It's pretty, isn't it?
-The whole thing is...
I think the whole thing works.
Our second pair of very full harem-style pants.
Which, again, I think are really pretty successful,
I think the shape is fantastic on them.
-They're very, very long, actually.
-They're very long.
-Can we get in?
-No... Or is it just a band?
It's almost like it's been sewn onto the stand. I think it has.
-That is a drawback. Definitely.
It's a stunning effect - but how do we get in?
The judges will now rank the altered saris,
starting with the least successful.
Number seven, pink trousers.
Oh, that's me.
-The reason for this is they don't fit very well.
Sixth place, the turquoise harem pant.
Joyce. They're a beautiful shape, they absolutely fulfil the brief -
you just can't put 'em on.
In fifth place is Josh...
Angeline is fourth,
and Rumana is third.
In second place...
..is the purple pants.
-I want to see you wearing them!
-Absolutely. I love them.
You've grabbed this brief, you've used every bit to perfection...
In first place...
is this, which is fabulous.
Tracey! For the second time today...
-A double first.
-A double first.
I think I'm getting the hang of this now!
You've used the elements of the sari really nicely.
An enormous well done to all of you.
Go home, eat something international,
and we will see you back here tomorrow
for the big Made-to-measure Challenge.
Off you go.
What a day!
-Yeah, what a day.
To actually get two firsts is really more than I expected.
Seriously, can I have yours?! Can I have it?
In terms of the first day
this has definitely been my most successful -
in fact you could probably say this has been
my only successful first day!
But I don't feel safe, in the slightest.
Coming seventh and then sixth today is not my best day,
and I feel rather despondent.
So I'm going to have a very, very large glass of wine,
and something to eat and watch a bit of telly.
There's one challenge left in International Week.
In just a few hours, someone will win Garment of the Week.
And somebody else will have to leave the sewing room.
For me there's only one person
who's really stood out this week, and that's Tracey.
Let's talk about Josh.
He did really well on the Chinese top.
He normally waits until the Made-to-measure
before he pulls his finger out.
Joyce, who had a brilliant week last week, almost came bottom in BOTH.
-Is she in trouble?
-She hadn't followed the pattern.
Jade and Joyce are in the most precarious position.
Unless she has a horrible disaster, Tracey is fine.
But I don't think any of those others are absolutely safe at all.
Everyone's future in the Sewing Bee now rests on their ability
to make an international garment
not to fit a mannequin, but a real person.
Good morning, sewers!
For your Made-to-measure Challenge
the judges would love you to create a dress
that's been inspired by West Africa.
They've asked you to use a wax print fabric.
You have five and a half hours.
Enormous luck - your time starts now.
Whilst the sewers have had a chance to practise
their dresses at home...
(She's getting naked.)
..now they'll have to perfect the fit on their model,
with their chosen West African fabric.
Oh, I do like this fabric, I must confess.
The fabric definitely has a weight to it. It's not too slippery...
and it just feels like it's going to be really nice on the body.
Traditional West African dresses are very, very fitted,
very sculptural, it's all about accentuating the female form,
producing that beautiful hourglass.
But then on top of that you've got structured peplums...
It's exaggerated, these are occasion pieces.
The fabric has a rigidity about it,
which enables you to get a really good shape on the peplum,
and sticking out, and the shoulders -
and it'll keep its shape.
Wax print fabric, often called ankara,
is actually an imitation of batik,
an ancient Indonesian technique
that utilises hot wax and dye to create colourful patterns on cloth.
In 1854 a Dutch textile company found a way to mass-produce
a batik-style fabric, and tried to sell it to customers in Indonesia.
They were less than impressed.
The mechanisation process caused imperfections in the textile.
So you got a kind of crackle effect.
Which made it seem sort of hugely inferior,
so people really did not want to buy this product in Indonesia.
But Dutch traders found a new market.
Ships carrying the fabric to and from Indonesia
were stopping in West Africa
where it was swapped for food and essentials.
BECAUSE of its imperfections the locals fell in love with wax print,
as each piece was seen as totally unique.
In West Africa, where they were being traded by saleswomen,
these women would give the particular patterns stories,
or give them local names.
So it became really ingrained in the local culture.
The Dutch printers were keen to listen to local saleswomen
about what they wanted in the way of colour and design.
It became much more of a kind of two-way process,
and you would start to see local stories, local myths,
images of things with particular symbolic meaning
becoming part of the pattern.
So it really becomes an important communicative fabric.
Wax print is as popular in West African design as it's ever been.
The reason why it's so popular and it's lasted to long
is because it's cotton. Africa's a very hot continent.
So it's very breathable,
and you get so many designs that you don't have to stop on one print.
The stiffness of the fabric
makes it perfect for creating structure,
so you can make things like beautiful bows -
even make crazy head wraps and make them stand.
The fabric sits really well on the body,
especially if it's bespoke and tailor-made
to the person's measurements.
But how will OUR sewers cope,
making bespoke dresses with this unique fabric?
I've got the same fabric as Angeline. Which is always a worry!
-Same fabric world.
-Hashtag - awkward.
-And that's before we even met!
Whilst cutting their complex and bold prints...
the sewers need to constantly think ahead...
(One, two, three, four, five...)
..to ensure the pattern will match along the seams of their dress.
Are you thinking about how you're placing your pattern
-on the fabric?
-Yeah, I've cut out the front
-and I've arranged these three up the centre front.
I'm kind of focusing on the gold as my elements
that I'm going to balance.
Tracey is making a fitted knee-length dress
with capped sleeves
and a peplum at the waist.
Look, you're matching. Yeah.
I thought I'd have a go with the piece.
Did you? Oh, so that is your trial?
Yeah, this is a piece of ankara fabric.
-Well - we've had a first and a first from you.
Are we going to get a full house?
Well, hopefully. You never know, do you?
Josh has chosen to make this final challenge just a little bit harder.
I think I might be the only person who's using the same fabric
in two different colours to actually create a different effect.
He's aiming to match his contrasting patterns
all the way through the bodice and skirt
of his full-length fitted dress,
which has a peplum at the hem.
Straight lines are quite easy to pattern-match,
but when you're trying to match a pattern around a curve
that curve in opposite directions
it's then a little bit more confusing!
If they think they've positioned their pattern correctly...
I'm going to be very careful with the placement of these circles
on the bust.
We want to avoid circle boobs at all costs.
..the sewers' next challenge...
Mm, I'm glad we've got this little trying-on...
..is to ensure their cut pieces will fit their model.
Put your hand down, that one...
This is what you'd call a princess seam dress,
which means the seams go over the bust and down the front.
So that's where all the fitting goes - everything relies on all
the panels intersecting together, because it's in six panels.
So that everything can be adjusted to get it really snug and tight.
-Do you think that feels too loose, there?
What I don't want is for it to become too tight for you.
I'm concentrating on the fitting
around the waist and around the sides.
It's hard to fit
because there is very little movement in the actual fabric.
Angeline's tight-fitting bodice
will have an asymmetrical peplum
at the waist,
and her short dress will have a choker in matching fabric.
It's just ensuring that it moves the right way, as well -
it's all about showing off the curves of the body.
Let's pull this in nice and tight,
let's take it in a bit here...
You can't do this anywhere else but on the model.
Joyce is repinning her bodice,
hoping for a perfectly fitting princess seam dress
with cap sleeves
in a partial waist peplum.
-Can we ask you something?
-Oh, go on, then.
Are you following instructions?
Absolutely. I'm a changed woman today.
Biddable?! I can't imagine you ever being biddable.
-You ask me to do anything, Patrick, and I'll do it.
-I'd like you to make this dress beautifully.
MUSIC: Pata Pata by Miriam Makeba
And give me a spin...
While most of the sewers are fitting using their final fabric...
I think...we'll be fine.
That's so much better.
..after struggling in the first two challenges...
You want the fitting to just look absolutely stunning.
..Jade is now taking extra precautions.
Are you fitting with the lining?
I'm going to fit with the lining in case it needs taking in,
because if I cut it out in the actual fabric and it needs taking in
then the pattern match won't match.
Jade's fully lined knee-length dress
will be boned at the bodice
and have a waterfall pleated peplum.
So this is one continuous piece going all the way round, or...?
-Well, I've actually cut it out in the lining...
-Let's have a look.
So that one, obviously, is at the front,
but it's got the pleats in,
-so it will be more gathered.
And then you attach the fuller one on to it, which then obviously...
-..goes down your bum.
Fitting a peplum to a standard dress is hard enough...
So, basically, that will go like so.
Because that's curved and this is straight, as you fit it,
it will make it stick out.
Can you see? It's, like, filling a bit?
But with a bold pattern...
I'm just attaching the peplum to the bodice.
..it's even harder.
I'm not finding it terribly easy to pattern match.
Because I'm quite fussy, I like to get it right,
but, um, sometimes perfection just takes so much time.
-Josh? How are you feeling?
-Ask me again when I'm on the skirt.
-Have you not started the skirt?
-It won't take me too long.
My dress isn't going to have a peplum. It's going to have a ruffle.
All of this fabric... which is quite long,
is going to be gathered around the waste.
Charlotte's gathered ruffle
will flow from a fitted bodice
into a pencil skirt.
-How is it?
-Good! I'm really pleased with it.
-Lots and lots of gathering.
-Oh, a boatload of gathering.
-You're making a curtain.
Tell me again why you chose to do this as a gathered rectangle,
rather than a gathered...
I wanted a lot of volume, a really, really huge amount.
-You're getting lots of volume here.
But not necessarily any more volume at the end.
It hopefully will sit nicely once it's finished.
It's sort of hard to tell at the moment.
It's going to be great, I'm sure.
-I'm glad we had a chair.
-Somehow you can say that...
-and still make me terrified.
-I don't know why.
-It's something about the way you say it, I think.
Just imagine I've said it differently.
-(He hates the ruffle.)
-I can't do anything else.
I can't change my plan now.
I couldn't go and draft a peplum and stick that on.
I'm halfway through sticking this on.
Rumana has also committed to something a little different.
They're probably going to get a lot of peplums,
so I've actually not gone for that.
Instead, I've gone for a cape to go with the dress.
Rumana's cape will be double layered
and split down the middle.
It'll cover her full-length,
fitted sheath dress.
My cape's big. It's structured.
I think using a double layer has given a bit more body to it.
So far, so happy.
How much time do we have?
One hour left!
I'm just trying to work out the best way to attach a peplum
that's actually in four different sections.
It's not quite as easy as just, you know,
putting a peplum on the bottom of a dress,
because I need each four sections to match up perfectly.
I mean, at this point it looks like most of them are going to finish.
I'll check that it fits you.
Really, this challenges boils down to how well they've fitted them.
-Not just how well they've sewn them.
It's not something I'm used to doing.
I don't tend to make things very fitted for myself.
Some people are quite crooked.
Well, most people have one shoulder higher than the other
and one bosom bigger than the other.
-Is that right?
-That is right, yes.
-I wouldn't know anything about that.
No, of course you wouldn't.
So let me check I've got it level.
I'll take a little bit off the front. That might make a difference.
This peplum can come up a bit more, you know.
I managed to take it in a little bit on one of the seams,
which has given me a little bit more snugness around the waist.
It's better than it was.
With the skirt attached to it,
I need to bring it up a fraction more
to fit as I would like it to fit.
OK, so that's fine...
As they make changes, hoping to achieve a perfect fit...
Stop, stop, stop. Yep. A bit more.
..the sewers still need to ensure their patterns
match across the seams they're adjusting.
Moment of truth.
I'm hoping that the judges will pick up on the fact
that I've tried to match all the way across,
regardless of whether it's on a curve or not.
Look at that, right there. The lines practically match.
Sewers, you have 30 minutes left.
Back's collapsing. I would have a look at it.
My cape is done. I'm just pressing it.
I'm going to attach some straps to my dress.
Patrick noticed there was a bit of fullness in the back.
Put it on me.
-That is beautiful!
-Do you think?
-I need to do the back.
-I feel like a superhero.
Josh, how are you?
-I'm all right, yeah, how are you?
-Yeah, it's working.
See if it removes the fullness.
That feel OK?
You have four minutes left, everybody.
Every time, down to the last seconds.
Hello, gathered bottom.
Oh, my hook's not staying.
Do you want to come over here? Quick, quick, quick.
Fits her, stunningly.
Today was just literally to prove myself to the judges.
Come out, come out. Ha! Ha-ha!
I love it. I am so happy with the fit. Turn around, turn around.
One minute, sewers!
On your arm.
You look amazing!
I think the ruffle is excellent
and I don't care if Patrick doesn't like it.
Let me know if you need me to zip you up.
Oh, you look gorgeous!
OK, sewers, that is the end of the challenge.
You have to walk away from Angeline.
Finished! Finished! I have finished!
-I did it! Oh, my God.
-Are you so happy?
MUSIC: Nylon Dress by Steven Amechi and his Empire Rhythm Skies
The overall impression I'm getting is that it doesn't fit very well.
And also...quite baggy here.
-I agree with Esme. I can take in six inches around the waist...
..without it being really close.
-You've lined your peplum.
-It's very crisp and even around the hem.
There's a lot of good, crisp stuff.
I think it's just the fitting really lets it down.
-Well, I think yours does have a wow factor, don't you?
-I love your nervous face!
What really works well is the scale of the peplum
compared to the skirt.
You're the only person with a peplum
-that's longer than the skirt underneath it.
And because you've lined it, we can see absolutely all of that
movement in the peplum, which is really impactful.
-But the one thing is, you've hoiked it up with the straps...
..so it's not falling down,
but actually it's still too long in the body.
But I think the choker brings the whole thing together.
It has definitely got impact.
-It has terrific impact.
You've thought about the motif very carefully,
but it's just a little bulky round the tummy.
There's just too much of it in the middle. Do you agree or disagree?
Um, I'm actually more concerned about the darts. They're quite high.
-That is gaping, there. And this side's not fitting great.
-Can we have a look at the zip?
-So you've matched that there.
-Fractionally, fractionally off.
It's a shame because that bit's perfect.
-Yeah, it is!
-I think I like it.
-It's quite dramatic, isn't it?
-It is, isn't it?
No peplums, no ruffles, no trains, but there's drama.
I don't actually understand why you didn't just sew this up.
-Because you could have put this over the head.
It does have a really nice hourglass shape to it.
Actually, the dress itself is very flattering.
-There's quite a saucy bit on this.
-Which is here.
-So you see a tiny bit of bosom.
-I like it.
-Why are you so shocked at liking my sewing?!
Well, I don't know - cos I've never seen anything quite like it before.
It's like something from another planet.
Never mind another country.
-But I think it works.
-It does indeed.
MUSIC: Fire Fire Fire by Ebenezer Calender & His Maringer Band
I think the overall impression of the dress is very stunning.
-The peplum's great.
Definitely has a wow factor, but it's a little bit too tight.
-Can you see how it's pulling over here?
I also think it's a bit too low here.
You did match it at the front.
-I did, yeah.
-Give you credit for doing that.
I think, overall, it's crisply finished, the straps are neat.
-I just think it's a little bit snug here and it's a bit low here.
Your pattern is jarring.
We've got a triangle then we've just got a smidge,
then we've got half a smidge, then almost a whole triangle.
You've run it really nicely down the centre,
but by the side of it is actually a white triangle,
whereas this is a black triangle.
-I feel it's a bit long in the back. Can you see this?
It's quite lumpy here. There's one other thing. It's got a real curve.
Turn round. And I think this side might be worse. Yes.
-Something's gone wrong over the hip.
-Can you see?
It's got a curve here, so it's almost like you took it in here,
but you didn't take it far enough down.
Instead of going in, out, in, out, it goes in, out, lump, in, out.
Which is really obvious. It's a real shame, actually.
-It's very crisp, very neat.
-It looks really well fitted.
This is all flat here. It's nice on the waist.
The seams look lovely and flat.
I think the fit, you've got that lovely hourglass shape to it.
-It's not too tight.
I also like the lining you did.
I wish there had been more of it...
-..so we had a bit more va-voom there.
I think, overall, the whole thing works extremely well.
Oh, thank you so much.
Well done to all of you.
International Week, by far my favourite.
Go and have a bun and a group hug.
When you come back, the judges will announce the Garment Of The Week
and the person who will be leaving the Sewing Room.
I've never sewn with an African wax print before.
Love the fabric and really enjoyed making it.
I think the judges will have a really tough decision today,
cos there are a few people had a bad day yesterday
but they've done better today.
I'm not ready to go home.
I want to stay here and keep fighting and learning.
Sometimes you want to just be, like, "You know what? Stuff it."
Chuck the whole thing and just walk out.
But I don't want to go home yet.
Can we just remind ourselves of the beginning of the day?
The people in the bottom were Jade and Joyce.
Joyce's dress is in contention for Garment Of The Week,
so I think Joyce has pulled herself right out
of all discussion on leaving the Sewing Bee.
-In a nutshell...
..it boils down to a decision between Josh and Jade.
Josh did have a good first day,
-but this wasn't a successful Made-to-measure Challenge.
It really wasn't.
It's really badly made, I have to say.
You know, this lump here, on the side, look, that is bad, bad sewing.
Jade, by contrast, had a poor first day,
but I think this was one of our better Made-to-measure Challenges.
The peplum's fabulous, but it wasn't lined,
which would have emphasised that.
I think you might have a genuinely impossible task.
-I don't think it's a straightforward one, at all.
Well, we'll leave you to it and we'll bring them in.
A huge well done to all of you. Look at you, holding hands, a bit wobbly.
Let's not do the bad bit, let's do the good bit.
So, our Garment Of The Week this week...
The infuriating Joyce! I mean, it's beautiful.
It's crisply sewn, it was a beautiful fit.
-Oh, thank you so much.
-I've never seen anyone so shocked!
-And now the less lovely bit.
We would like everyone to stay in forever and ever and ever,
but unfortunately somebody's got to leave the sewing bee
and the judges took a long time, deliberated, chatted,
and the person who is leaving is...
-Oh, Josh, I'm sorry.
I've learnt so much from everyone and they're all so open to teaching
and to helping and I think without the help of some of them,
I probably wouldn't have made it through the first week,
let alone to week four.
It's been fantastic having him here,
and it's great for him to learn all sorts of new things.
I'm sure, when he leaves,
he'll be more adventurous in what he makes.
Well done. Honestly. You've been fantastic. Such a lovely guy.
He's so enthusiastic. But I think this was just his week.
I'm so shocked. I honestly thought it was me.
I think it was a difficult decision to choose between Jade
and Josh, but Jade's Made-to-measure was really very good.
I'm so relieved that they didn't say, "Jade",
that I can prove myself next week
and I'm going to put absolutely everything I've got into it.
Good luck, girls, eh?
I thought I was on the way out today.
I'll celebrate with my husband Hugh tonight
and, do you know, I think we've got a bottle of champagne in the house.
I'm really happy that I've got through, but...
I absolutely hate that when somebody has to go.
Coming into the competition, I thought that, you know,
it's a competition and people are there for one reason,
but you're really not. You're not.
Doesn't matter, you know, what stretch of life,
what your background is, how long you've been sewing for.
You can learn and you can learn very quickly
as long as you apply yourself and I hope that I've proved that
to the judges as well as to people that are watching.
I'm too young for this.
..the sewers take a step back...
..into the swinging '60s.
Sex, drugs and rock and roll.
They tackle dated machines...
Oh, this is weird, man.
..get groovy with PVC...
I wouldn't wear that stuff if you paid me.
..and glamorous with vintage patterns.
But who will get Garment Of The Week?
And who will be the next to leave?
There's a black hole in the corner of the room,
-sucking all the time into it.
-I call it Patrick!
It is 'international week' as Patrick and Esme set the seven remaining sewers the challenge of tackling techniques and garment styles from other cultures and continents.
First up, they face a fiendishly hard-to-follow pattern for a Chinese Qipao-style top. This complex garment has an asymmetrical neckline, fiddly zip insertion and is made in a fabric that frays - not a challenge for the faint-hearted.
After battling with brocade, things don't get any easier on the fabric front as, for their alteration challenge, they are tasked with transforming saris. By repurposing yards and yards of beautifully draped, embroidered georgette, the sewers have just 90 minutes to create totally new, wearable items of clothing with a distinctly eastern flavour.
Finally, for the 'made to measure' challenge, the judges take the sewers to an entirely new continent - Africa. Using vividly patterned wax print fabric, they attempt to create West African inspired dresses. Figure hugging garments that demand impeccable fitting skills and an understanding of how this robust printed cotton can be used to create a dramatic, accentuated silhouette.