Sewing competition. In the quarter-final, the five remaining sewers sweat it out over activewear, creating complex garments from the most technical of fabrics.
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We've reached the quarterfinal of our sewing marathon
and our sewers are about to work up a sweat as they take on active wear.
So, who is playing the long game and who is going to run out of puff?
I'm quite tired just thinking about it.
Welcome to the Great British Sewing Bee.
-Sex, drugs and rock and roll.
-..'60s girl Joyce...
-I used a machine like that when I was younger.
-These bands are absolutely spot-on.
It's like a Liquorice Allsort, it's almost edible.
Jade's attention to detail...
-Even the sleeves were pattern-matched.
-..won her garment of the week.
-I'm so happy.
-And after mistakes in the made-to-measure...
Oh, God, look at that, the lining is too small.
..we said goodbye to Angeline.
This time - the sewers get active.
-Oh, my God.
-The alterations go downhill.
-This is nuts.
-Do you find this quite fun?
-No. Why would I find it fun?
They grapple with stretch fabrics.
-It's like it's designed to upset you.
-Like weird boyfriends.
And figure-hugging sportswear.
This fits like a glove!
It's supposed to be a top, not a glove.
But which of these quarterfinalists...
Will people stop running? It's really nerve-racking.
..will become a semifinalist?
Just a total nightmare.
Get ready for the most unpredictable Sewing Bee yet.
It's from one thing to the next. Like this...whoo!
-Is anyone happy with theirs?
So what the hell is going to happen?
If they complain that there are puckers in my sleeve insertions...
You may tell them to pucker off!
Can't believe we're down to the last five.
Absolutely delighted to be here.
Did you say quarterfinals?
I'm just going to go in there and do absolutely everything
that I can to stay.
All the way up?
That means we have to go all the way down.
It absolutely feels like it's anybody's game at the moment.
There is no clear winner.
I'm going to stay calm, read the pattern,
that's probably a good idea, we didn't do that last week.
And just try and get that perfect sew.
Everyone else has managed it and I really want to do that for myself more than anything.
Huge congratulations for making it through to the quarterfinal!
This week, the judges would like to test you on how you make activewear
using very technical fabrics.
-Patrick, why don't you share with the group the pattern?
OK, here you are.
Hand those round.
ALL GROAN AND CHATTER
We'd like you to make a men's cycling top in Lycra.
It's designed to be aerodynamic,
so we don't want to see any puckered seams.
It's got to be beautifully sewn.
-How do you feel about that?
You have two hours, 45 minutes. Your time starts now.
A cycling top requires a highly mobile fabric as it needs to
move with the body,
so the haberdashery has been stocked with rolls of Lycra.
I'll go for block colour but contrast it.
I think I'm going to go for that.
It's a men's cycle top, let's remember that.
Yeah, I'm not going pink, then.
I've never sewn with Lycra.
-I have felt it before.
-I like the purple.
Purple is men's as well, isn't it?
I don't wear activewear generally,
unless you count activity as lying around on the sofa and knitting.
Specific active apparel is expensive
and to be able to do it requires a great deal of skill.
This is an incredibly difficult fabric to sew.
It's got a four-way stretch,
so it stretches down and across the fabric.
One side can stretch more than the other, so you will get puckering.
It's really important it is well pinned,
particularly around this area.
The zip is difficult.
It's very important that the collar is lined up properly.
It's going to be very hard to achieve this level of finish
with this fabric.
It's, I think, one of the toughest challenges we've ever set.
Yes, I would agree with you there.
I am really nervous about this.
I really hate stretch fabric.
I mean, there's more and more need for activewear these days.
More and more people wearing it.
Whether or not they're actually being active
is a whole other ball game.
There's an arrow marked on this pattern piece...here...
that you have to line up with the grain line
so that your stretch is going straight down...
If it is slightly skew then you'll get twist,
which would obviously not be ideal.
You want everything to lie properly and nice and flat.
The front of the cycling top is made up of three pieces -
one on the lower half and two on the top,
which are attached to the back piece at the shoulder seams.
Next, a collar and zip are attached at the neckline.
And the lower half stitched at the centre seam.
Finally, the sleeves are inserted.
Look at these colours, you clever human being.
I like a bit of red and blue.
When you heard, "It is activewear week", inside...
-I died a small death inside.
-I mean, by the way, so did I.
But apparently it is very important. Have you worked with Lycra before?
I've made some kids' things with Lycra, beach-short type things.
Are you worried about time?
Normally, I'm not bothered about times because normally I sew very quickly.
But I can't sew this quickly because it won't be accurate,
so I'm more worried about accuracy today.
-I've got to get that right today.
-All right. Darling, good luck.
I'm being very careful when I'm cutting that I'm cutting accurately.
-Using a rotary cutter really helps with that.
-I always use scissors.
I've tried a rotary cutter and I'm not so good at it.
It may be an age thing, I don't know.
With all eight pieces cut...
So it says right sides together,
sew the upper front to the back at the shoulders.
-..sewing can begin.
-Let's do it.
Overlockers are very important when working with stretch.
The stitch it does itself is inherently stretchy,
it has all of these extra threads in it.
Normally a sewing machine has two threads
and if you pull on the stitch on a sewing machine, it'll pop.
This, you can stretch.
-How are you getting on?
Trying not to have a panic
-because this is the only the second time I have used an overlocker.
-Yeah, the first time being the babygro.
So I'm not used to these at all.
They scare me more than anything.
A little bit panicked.
You do have to be careful that you don't stretch it.
You just have to take your time,
you can't really rush with anything like this
because it does cut the seam off.
I love using an overlocker. Foot down and go.
I drive a car a bit like that!
"With right sides together, sew the outer collar piece to the neckline."
It's a fine line between stretching and overstretching the fabric.
Because we need to make the collar fit, I'm using loads of pins.
You're used to this kind of fabric?
-Nobody has ever used this kind of fabric.
-It's really hard, isn't it?
The judges keep on saying it's really hard.
It just wants to go all baggy and horrible
and wibbly on all your seams. That's what it wants to do.
-It's like it's designed to upset you.
-Like weird boyfriends.
"Attach the under collar to the outer collar."
So if I can find my under collar, I would be delighted to do that.
A second layer of fabric,
the under collar, gives the garment structure around the neck.
It does just want to shift...everywhere.
But joining two layers of Lycra isn't easy.
I'm trying not to fiddle with it too much because that's
when it starts to stretch.
It's slipping all over the place.
Going to have to unpick that and do it again. Come out.
The judges definitely don't want any bumpiness around the neckline.
I've attached the collar
so the next stage is to do something called understitching,
which means attach this bit to this bit
so it won't roll over to the front.
Understitching is sewn to the inner part of the garment.
I think the thing to do with this is just get it done.
Once the under collar is folded back to the inside,
the stitches shouldn't be seen.
I think I've messed up my collar.
I don't really understand what is going on at all with the collar.
-I'm just sewing it.
-And hoping for the best?
I don't know why we don't just buy it.
I think I will be buying these things rather than making.
What if your lovely husband goes, "Guess what, sweetpea, I'm going to take up cycling."
You're going to say,
"Don't you worry, don't go and spend £100 on a cycle top, I'll whip you one up."
My husband has asked me to fix a button on his coat
for about three years and it's still not done.
And you haven't done it? Do want to make an official apology to him?
By the way, I have never knowingly done anything for my husband.
Sewers, you are halfway through.
Esme and Patrick's pattern demands
an exposed zip in the centre front seam.
Last week we had a lot of wonky zips where one side was higher
than the other. What have I done there?
The problem with it is, this woven zipper tape is solid,
this stretches, so as you are trying to combine the two,
they don't want to play nicely together.
The zip-up collar is the most visible part of the garment.
Holy bloody cheese balls.
-I'm trying to be really careful with this zip
because it will show on the outside if I'm not really careful.
Nobody likes sewing Lycra.
I think this challenge is proving as difficult as we thought it
was going to be.
That thing of stretching one side more than the other, putting
stretch with non-stretch, sewing the zip on is really difficult.
Oh, mother almighty.
You guys are getting meaner and meaner each week.
I had to go to the dentist yesterday and have a tooth filled,
I think I'd rather go back there than do this again!
Joyce, are you unpicking?
I'm unpicking and can I show you why?
I wanted that seam to be together there and there and it wasn't.
Yellow and blue, almost denim-y.
-It's actually Tour de France.
-Tour de France!
Exactly. Instead of the yellow jersey, he's just halfway there.
Fantastic. You know what he needs - drugs.
That'll get him there faster.
That's what they do, Joyce, I don't want to ruin it for you.
Sewers, one hour left.
Time is going too fast in Lycra world - I sense.
I am now turning the under collar to the inside
and then I'm going to cover stitch,
which means stitching it down with that weird machine there.
-What is this?
-This is a cover-stitch machine.
How are you finding it?
-I thought I hated overlockers and then I met this.
-The cover-stitch machine is new to everyone.
-This is petrifying.
As far as I can tell, it's two needles on the top
so I'm getting a twin line of stitching on the top
and then underneath it's doing this loop which allows it to stretch,
which is what we need with this Lycra fabric.
The pattern requires two lines of visible
stitching along the neckline.
When these are finished, they look really professional.
They don't look home-made.
Going slow and steady cos I've never used this machine before.
They have to be really careful that they don't do what
I call wracking, which is make one layer get pushed round
further than the other so you get a wobbly edge.
It's not meant to be wonky. But I think I've done OK.
That looks really bad.
I think I've overstretched it couple of times already in the collar
because I wasn't sure what I was doing. I'm hating this challenge.
I'm hating everything about this challenge.
You've given me so many machines I don't really know how to use
and I'm back to the overlocker.
I just want to get to the end now.
Sewers, you only have half an hour left.
Well, it looks like half a top now. So that's a start.
-This is one of the key seams,
this is where it actually attaches the tops to the bottoms.
It is an eye-catching seam.
It's got a slight curve on the seam where it goes across the chest,
so it's going to be really obvious if you've got one side slightly wonky.
This is driving me up the wall.
This is the kind of thing that would make you cry.
-Just give me a second, I don't what I've done here.
I've no idea which pedal I'm supposed to be pressing
most of the time, with all these machines on my desk.
I've just... (It's just a total nightmare.)
-Is anyone happy with theirs?
My thread's snapped halfway round my hem.
-I have not made friends with this machine at all.
That is not helpful.
Scissors, scissors. Where are my scissors?
It's definitely not simple sowing.
I've got three sewing machines on my table. That's not relaxing.
-I just want it to end so the torture is over.
-Oh, come on.
-That makes me want to get on a bike.
"What are you doing this weekend?" "I'm just going cycling."
These stitches are not as good as they could be.
I'm going to bung it on the model and hope I never, ever
have to do anything like this again.
The only thing I'm not happy with is this little wonky bit there.
It looks like it's got three rows.
This fits like a glove!
-It's supposed to be a top, not a glove.
-Gorgeous, isn't he, my man?
Have I understitched it on the wrong side? Have I got the wrong side?
Yeah, you've understitched it on the outside,
it should have been understitched on that side.
-Oh, God, why is it baggy?
-I don't know. I don't think...
Nothing to see, go away.
Just put it on the flipping mannequin, you've got about ten seconds.
Jade, stop speaking, put it on the mannequin.
Time is up, Rumana, are you OK? Zip him up.
Guys let's take these puppies up.
MUSIC: Let Us Take You For A Ride by Cliff Richard
# Ride with us, come ride with us Better be allied with us... #
Five cycling tops made from scratch in just two hours and 45 minutes.
# We are pleading
# Please let us take you for a ride. #
You've chewed this neckline, unfortunately, just a little bit.
-There's signs of multiple goes at this.
It looks like you've stretched it.
Where the collar is, it's matching up pretty well, actually.
This has been pulled up slightly, here...
-..rather than a smooth line.
-The bottom hem is even.
Not bad at all, just I think this detachment of the collar,
the stretching at the neck that's let it down fractionally.
Well, I really like these colours. They really pop.
It's also extremely well sewn.
-I would have to say you've got this near-on perfect.
-The collar's sitting very nicely.
-And here, this is not pulling here.
Your hem is very, very even around the bottom.
-This isn't bagging here.
The only thing is the zip doesn't go right to the top.
The main thing is the collar, actually. Where it shows...
Where the collar lines up is slightly off.
What you've done is you've understitched
to the front of the collar and not the back of the collar.
Also, you've stretch it out while you've done it a little bit.
You've lost tension in just a couple of places...
around the bottom hem.
It's really not bad at all.
-It's pretty neat, isn't it, Patrick?
-Yeah. I mean, the collar does actually sit really nicely.
-The collars don't...
And the zip is pulling this up.
But one thing I would say that is really good
is how this meets at the top.
I think the colour combination actually works extremely well.
-Yeah, it does.
-I think it really does look very smart indeed.
-The first thing is you've managed to stretch the...
It's sitting pretty well at the back, but it is just...
It's gaping a bit at the front.
-The collar isn't matching.
-And you've done your cover stitch...
..over the seam. You were asked to do it above the seam.
-Your hemming... I mean, we've got...
-Yeah, I had a problem.
-How have we managed to get three rows of stitches?
-I don't know!
The front seam is going up a little bit,
and it's to do with the zip being not stretch,
and this all being stretch.
Patrick and Esme will now rank the garments in order of success.
In fifth place, it's Rumana.
You've just not got that collar right.
Fourth place is Jade.
It didn't quite match here, and the collar was a bit wobbly.
Third place, Charlotte.
Again, collar stretched out.
In second place...
-I'm really pleased with that.
-It just didn't meet here.
-Which means, of course, in first place, it's Tracey.
THEY ALL APPLAUD
In a near-perfect execution - beautiful choices of colours,
-neatly sewn, beautiful fit. Well done.
All of you, go and have a relax, and then we come back in,
and the judges have chosen
a particularly exciting alteration challenge.
I can't wait for you to see it.
# We've got to stay... #
-Another one done.
Absolutely chuffed with that. Really, really thrilled.
I think I've taken their advice on board,
slowed down, made sure it was neat, and it was brilliant.
So, yeah, really, really excited!
Compared to last week's...nightmare.
I enjoyed making it, to be honest, until I got to the collar,
and I could have thrown that sewing machine out the window.
I hate being in the middle. I want to be at the top.
Ideally, I would feel better if I was higher up.
I don't think I'll ever make a men's cycle top out of Lycra again.
Welcome back to your alteration challenge.
Your judges are giving you a classic piece of sportswear
that they would like you to totally transform.
-This week, we're giving you each...
It's a 1980s ski-suit.
This could be your chance to go really off-piste...
-Um, like what I did there?
So you've got three layers of fabric here -
you've got a synthetic outer, a layer of wadding and a lining.
We want you to take all of this
and to make us a piece of outerwear for a child.
We don't want you to use any other fabric.
You can use trimmings, but remember you've got zips,
you've got belts, you've got bits of elastic, you've got cuffs.
So we want you to try and incorporate those.
Look at their faces. They're very quiet.
They haven't been this quiet since week one.
-OK, we'll ask the judges to leave. Goodbye, judges.
You have 90 minutes.
Your time starts now.
-Let's have a look.
MUSIC: Ski Sunday Theme
-Oh, my God.
I'll have that one.
Come on! What kid wouldn't want that?
I would not subject any child to having to wear that.
This comes from my own personal collection.
That is special.
This is a humorous challenge.
I've made children's coats before,
so I kind of know what kind of quantities of fabric I need.
We've got some zips.
This is nuts!
Haven't got a clue what to do.
If they're shrinking it down, firstly it has to fit the mannequin.
-But also it still needs to look the right shape and size.
I mean, I'm hoping they might use, you know,
little details like this, the pocket flaps, this bit at the front.
If they use the colours and the patterns that might be in the suits wisely,
again, they could make something that has real impact.
Oh, look at that. How can I use that?
My initial thoughts...
..are maybe, like, a winter jacket.
I'll probably take the collar off.
I'm thinking quite a squarish jacket, not tight or anything,
but with fur around the bottom and wrists,
and I'm going to make a hood.
But I've flipped it, cos I prefer the blue to the purple.
-You, rather bravely, went for orange world.
I mean, I didn't even know what to say about this. What are you making?
-I am making a child's bomber jacket.
I'm trying to utilise the fabric there,
-with these bits on, which I like.
I'm going to make a little stand-up collar,
then I'm just going to put sleeves in, and I reckon that's my time.
You don't normally like alteration challenge,
-but do you find this quite fun?
-No. Why would I find it fun?
-I'm performing open-heart surgery on this thing!
I'm hoping I've got enough fabric
for a front, a back, two sleeves,
and I'm hoping I can get
enough out of it for a hood.
It doesn't look like much yet.
It does! Oh, my God, I want...!
That's like a little Freddie Mercury baby,
which is all I've ever wanted! RUMANA LAUGHS
-I'm going to put these sleeves on...
..but I'm going to make it into, like, a flamingo -
I'm going to make a hood and then have a beak on it.
-That's my plan.
-Why haven't they made that already?
-I don't know, I don't know.
-There must be a reason, I feel.
-But that's my plan.
-I'm so excited!
Are you having difficulty cutting this stuff? 15 million layers!
There's that many layers - that's the problem, isn't it?
The thick layers the sewers are having to hack through
are all thanks to a trip to the bedroom
with a post-war ski instructor.
Skiing only became popular as a recreational sport in the 1930s,
with the invention of the chairlift.
But it left people with the dilemma of what to wear.
The first recreational skiers obviously had no clothing
that was specifically developed for skiing,
so people would just adapt the kind of sportswear
that they'd been wearing for sort of country pursuits.
The fabrics that these clothes were made of
were things like tweed and things like wool,
so they can be very, very warm.
But once wool gets wet, it really holds that water into it.
So if you're skiing and you fall over in the snow,
then you're likely to stay wet for a long time.
In 1947, Klaus Obermeyer, a German ski instructor,
arrived in America and began working at the Aspen Ski School in Colorado.
He quickly set about finding a solution
to keeping his students cosy, to extend their time on the slopes.
Klaus solved this problem by taking a duvet,
which was filled with down, and he turned this duvet into a jacket.
Down is very good for insulating,
because feathers trap air and keep things very warm.
It was also shorter as well, so it allowed a lot more movement,
so it was a much more practical item.
When Klaus's prototype jacket
was snapped up by one of his students for 250,
he realised he needed to make more.
The main issue with the first one
was the fact that the down would all fall to the bottom of the jacket,
so he used quilting, basically.
So you're creating little pockets on the jacket
that the feathers can all fit in, so it's evenly distributed.
And this kept it much, much warmer.
Klaus's ingenuity didn't stop there.
He helped develop plastic ski boots, and introduced suntan lotion,
the turtleneck, and even mirrored sunglasses.
But he'll always be best remembered
for creating THE jacket that propelled skiing into the future.
Well, the '80s, at least.
Sewers! You have one hour left!
It's going to be pathetic.
So I've cut off my sleeve, and I'm going to narrow it down a bit.
This fabric, to sew with, is absolutely awful.
There are a lot of layers.
There's wadding, there is an inner, there's an outer. Thick and bulky.
-MACHINE CRUNCHES AND STOPS
Didn't like that. Stop.
It's like rubberised...
..stuff. Nylon, basically.
They wouldn't have had proper hi-tech waterproof things,
like we do these days.
The '80s were a terrible decade.
Tracey, did yours have a hood, or did you add a hood?
-I've done a hood, yeah. I've drawn it.
-Can I have a look at your drawing?
-That one there.
-And you just measure?
-I've made two.
I'm using the hood that came with the jacket
-as a pattern to make a hood...
..out of the actual trouser fabric.
Right, let's do the collar. Mm.
I'm putting bias binding around this collar.
Gives it a nice little finish.
That looks adorable.
It will be quite cute.
-I need something to bind the front edge with.
-So you want some trim?
-Do you want me to lend you some yellow?
-I mean, I am wearing this out for a date.
-I'm not that desperate!
It's not that I'm not taking this seriously, I am.
You have half an hour left to go for your ski-suit challenge.
-Can people stop running? It's really nerve-racking.
You'll be pleased to know that my legs are sweating.
Oh, come on! Get up, you stupid thing.
These patches are decorative, they're not functional one iota.
I'm going to put elastic around the cuffs,
so I have a pulled-in bottom and a pulled-in top.
I'm wondering whether to do, like, wings.
I'm now putting the binding all down the front, all round the hem,
up the other side.
And then I'm going to attach the popper thing to close it.
-MACHINE CRUNCHES AND STOPS
The zip is not going on, no.
It just doesn't like sewing through that many layers.
I'm not wasting any fabric here.
I'm using wadding from my ski-suit just to plump out the beak.
I hope the judges like the fact that I've utilised...
um, a lot of the fabric pieces, if you like.
If they complain that there are puckers in my sleeve insertion,
I might have something to say!
You may tell them to PUCKER OFF!
Sewers, you have ten minutes left.
-Will everyone be ready?
Come on, come on. Haven't got time to mess about.
Somebody's making something for Jackie Collins.
Oh, hello! Who wants to go to the swings?
-It's all a bit sort of rough and ready at the moment.
And I still need to put some fur around the sleeves.
I'm using buttons for eyes.
Sewers, you now have two minutes left.
I've never done anything this fast in my life.
And I've just noticed a bit where it's not caught,
so I'm just going to go over that.
I have just noticed that my zip doesn't do up straight,
but nothing I can do about that.
-How are you?
-I'm just adding a couple more poppers.
Have you got time?
Oh, it's so CUTE!
It's very tight, very snug.
She has wings!
I've got wings on!
I'm very happy.
I mean, that garment alone makes me want to have a baby.
OK, guys, that's it. Time's up.
Let's take your adorable coats
and put them at the front of the room, jumble them up, please.
Good girl. Come on!
Come on, leopard. Come on, flamingo.
MUSIC: Cold As Ice by Foreigner
# You're as cold as ice
# You're willing to sacrifice our love... #
There's some fantastic work.
They look quite exciting.
# You're as cold as ice
# You're willing to sacrifice our love. #
Got a little bomber jacket...
with embroideries on.
-Look at the back!
-Isn't that cute?
-This has been taken off and reapplied.
Taken off, reapplied.
I love the embroidery. It looks great.
-Obviously, this is a part of the original fastening.
And yes, it's not as neat and tidy as it could be,
-but I think it's terrific.
-Yeah, it looks great.
-So we have a little duffle coat.
-With a little hood.
-That hood is a good shape.
-Yeah, it looks pretty good.
Oh, and I like how they've put the stripes on the back...
..echoing the sleeves.
And look, they've put binding down the front, round the bottom
and round the hood.
-It's a bit snug.
We've got a very sort of '80s looking...
-..kind of flight jacket, yeah. I love the shape of this.
I mean, look at that.
The scale of it works absolutely perfectly.
The sleeves have been re-sewn.
The fact that we've got the sleeves
coming almost right out of the waistline...
I think works really well. I think it's...
Very, very '80s.
We've got binding round the neck, black binding.
Binding round the bottom.
We've got the V at the front, and the V at the back.
I think it looks really fun.
It's a little bird!
I think some child would really like to wear this.
Yeah, it's really fun.
-It's actually very nicely executed.
The original neck and the top of the front are the original...
-And they put the hood on.
So they've chopped up other parts of the ski-suit
to make these feathery shapes.
They got a bit of felt, they've used buttons for eyes.
-I like it, it's completely different to the others.
-I think it's great.
This has been turned inside out. Has it?
This is for a little girl, I'd say.
A little hood with leopardskin on.
-They've had to put this zip in.
-It's a new zip, is it? Yeah.
Doesn't quite meet at the top, but...
The fit is right, so it's a functioning piece of clothing.
I really like the leopardskin trim.
I-I don't love the leopardskin.
But who's made the most successful child's jacket from a ski-suit?
In fifth place, it's the green one.
-It doesn't really fit.
-A bit snug!
It's a little bit snug.
In fourth place, it is our fur-trimmed duffle.
Esme particularly loved it - I'm not a huge fur fan.
Third place is the orange one.
We loved how the embroidery had been placed on this,
and it's really cute.
In second place...
..it's our pink bird.
-I love it!
It's a very, very fun alteration, and really nicely done.
There's lots of great elements to it, so well done.
And in first place is our '80s bomber jacket.
-Oh, my God.
-I love the shape of it.
-We both loved the shape of it, actually.
It just has a kind of great feel to it. It works.
Well, it's cool. It's a really good alteration.
-Are you happy?
-I'm over the moon!
-This is really not my speciality.
-Very well done.
Well done to all of you.
Go home, sleep, relax.
When you come in tomorrow,
it is the activewear made-to-measure challenge.
That was my first number one, and it's an alteration challenge.
That's absolutely nuts.
I'm just finally happy that I've finally got one.
I'm really disappointed that I didn't get that first place.
I think this was the one challenge
where I could expect to get first place.
Activewear not normally my thing,
so this is the week I needed to survive, really.
I'm going to dream I am in that ski-suit!
There's one final activewear garment to make
before we discover who's going to make it through to the semifinal.
Let's be honest, in the quarterfinal,
it feels like there's often a frontrunner.
But it sort of feels that it could be anybody's.
It must be quite confusing for you two.
Er, more confusing than it usually is, I think.
It really does feel like absolutely anybody could go this week.
They're all great, and each week and each day,
it's from one thing to the next, like this. Whoo!
So what the hell is going to happen?
'The last item of activewear will have to be fitted to a real person.'
It's been a week since I've seen you!
Welcome back to our models. Thank you so much for being with us today.
For your made-to-measure, the judges would love you to make a yoga outfit
and there has to be freedom of movement.
I don't know if that's yoga, but I did it anyway. Enormous luck!
You have five and a half hours to make beautiful yoga outfits.
Your time starts now.
Right, I want to check the measurements.
'This is the one challenge the sewers have had a chance
'to plan and practise.'
I'm not looking forward to this challenge.
Again, it's fabrics I'm not very used to.
'And, as yoga outfits need to move,
'they're all using fabrics with a four-way stretch.'
My favourite yoga position is where you lie down at the end and relax.
Why a yoga outfit?
Yesterday, we asked them to make a cycle top.
Some tough techniques, but, actually,
it was just fitting round a male torso.
Today, we're asking them to fit a female form which has,
obviously, far more curves
so there's a lot more engineering in this challenge today.
I'm hoping to see panels, ruching and really good fit.
Yoga clothes have to withstand an enormous amount of stretching
and all of those seams have to move.
They have to be incredibly robust.
'As well as measuring their model...'
Cos I don't want it to be too tight...
'..the sewers will need to carefully gauge
'the amount of stretch in the fabric
'so that the outfit is neither baggy nor constricting.'
I've got a 25" waist, so I'm going to cut it as a small
and then adjust as I go once I've got the pieces out.
So I want them to come to about there, I reckon.
I can always shorten it once it's on you.
So, my leggings are actually only made out of two pieces.
Very, very simple. I think I'll have to play it a little bit safe.
Rumana's simple two-piece leggings
will accompany a vest top
with an added power mesh bra for support.
It'll have a Y-shaped back
and contrast trim.
-Is it binding?
-Yes, so that's going to be red Lycra.
And how are you going to attach that?
I think I might do it hand-basted first,
cos that's the thing that I think will look the worst if it goes wrong
so I'm going to be really careful with that
-and give myself the most time for that.
-But I thought it gave a pop of colour.
-No, I like it.
A good yoga outfit is meant to feel nice and snug.
You want to make sure you don't fall out of it,
which is why my top is two layers of this and then a layer of the black
so it's going to be really nice and thick.
Jade's making leggings with a contrasting waist band
and side panels and a crop top
with six crossover rouleau loop straps.
Yesterday, my top was slightly stretched out, so that means
I'm just going to work even harder today to make sure that it isn't.
What are you making today?
OK, I'm making a yoga outfit with tight leggings
and I'm going to do the top there with just a round neck.
How are you seaming all of these?
I'm going to do it on the overlocker.
-Very wise, I would say.
The contrasting panels in Joyce's full-length leggings
will be echoed in her raglan sleeve T-shirt,
shaped with princess seams.
I'm overlocking the panels in the leggings.
The overlocker is great for these seams because you don't need
to finish them with a zigzag stitch and they're stretchy.
Let's have a go.
I've used the overlocker and I've made it slightly bigger first
cos it trims away the seam allowance so if you make it too small,
there's nothing you can do about it.
But for her leggings,
Tracey is planning to overlock using a different kind of stitch.
I'm just doing a practice piece using the overlocker...
..to make a flatlock seam, sewn together like that
and when you pull it, the whole seam flattens out
so you get a ridge on the outside of your sportswear
and on the inside, it's visible and it's a decorative element.
Tracey's decorative flatlock seam
will be used to join the contrast panel
down the front and back of her leggings,
to which she's adding a crisscross detail at the cuff.
Her matching bra will also be crisscrossed at the back.
There's about six pieces in these leggings.
I just thought the ones with the panels were more interesting
and I need to do something to prove myself today
after an up and down day yesterday.
With their leggings loosely constructed...
Are you ready to try these on?
Let's sort you out.
..the sewers can begin gradually
taking the stretch fabric in.
I think it's probably a bit baggy.
This challenge all boils down to how well these garments
-fit on the body and how well they move on the body.
I'd rather do it too loose and take it in.
It fits nicely around here so far.
They need to come in at the ankles about an inch.
I've got quite a few pins in, but the more pins, the better the fit.
That's not bad, actually, is it?
I've turned it up and I'm not doing that too tight.
I'm going to do that one a bit longer.
It's not sticking out anywhere on the waist, is it? Brilliant.
I'm being controversial with my yoga outfit.
I think I'm the only person who's not making a pair of tight leggings
for the bottom half, which is slightly worrying.
Charlotte's loose-fitting leggings
accompany a drape top with cross straps
and an integrated sports bra.
Personally, I wouldn't want to wear tight leggings to do yoga in.
I would want something that would sort of stop people
from examining my bottom in any great detail
so there's just a bit more space in them than other people have got.
OK, it's going to be a bitch cos of all the pins,
but we'll take it off really carefully.
If the sewers think they have a perfect fit...
I'm just going to shave it off from the inside seam.
..there's no turning back.
As it finishes their seams,
the overlocker will cut away any excess fabric.
Look! All of that! That's how much has been taken in.
-Oh, my God!
They look all right, don't they?
Yeah, OK. Happy, happy.
(Oh, I'm so happy.)
But for Tracey, there's more to worry about than just fit.
This exciting thing is the cuff on the bottom of my yoga pants
so it starts life like this and ends up like that
so I've got to sew these down and then you cross them over
and sew them to the other side
and then you kind of bag it out, really, so you end up with a cuff.
But then when the leg's in it, it will stretch.
-Sewers, we're halfway through in yoga world.
-Er, bra next?
This is the bra that goes under the drapey top, so it needs to be
nice and tight against the body to hold everything...in position.
When you're doing downward-facing dog,
you don't want your bosoms falling out of your top.
Sports bra needs to be tight.
It needs to fit round the side seams and round her boobies.
To get a tight fit under the bust, the top needs additional support.
The bust section has to gather to fit the band section,
which has to stretch.
So you're kind of fighting
to get all that fabric into just that space.
I'm looking for it to fit a lot better
than anything I normally make does!
-Where have you got to?
So I'm just doing the folded elastic of my power mesh bra.
And you've pinned that elastic evenly, I presume?
-You're zigzagging it.
You don't feel comfortable doing that on the overlocker?
I know it's probably better,
but I'm doing a lot of things I've never done before
-and I'd like to do something I can do.
Joyce has chosen to make this final challenge even harder.
I'm doing a raglan sleeve where it comes from the neck.
She's the only sewer attempting a top with sleeves.
I need it a bit closer there. We don't want a gappy neck, do we?
It's quite a straightforward outfit,
which is why I want to get the fit just right.
I need a coverstitch machine for the hem parts. Oh!
All the sewers have decided to use the coverstitch machine
to neaten the edges and hems of their garments.
I am coverstitching basically round the arm holes of the top
and round the neck edge just to keep it all where it's meant to be.
I've only used the coverstitch yesterday so I feel a bit brave.
-Right, what's happening with you?
You're just in time
-to catch me swearing at a coverstitch machine.
-So, what are you coverstitching?
-This is the arm opening, it's not really...
-OK, well, that looks good.
Yes, it's sort of a second attempt.
And then I've got the neckline and the other arm hole
-and the hem and then on the back as well.
-It will look nice.
I know, I know. Well, the alternative
was to turn it over and zigzag it
and that would have looked a bit amateur hour.
Sewers, one hour left. I'm going to throw this word in - Ashtanga.
I don't know what it means.
I don't think I'll ever be a fan of stretching, I'm afraid.
-There's a band that comes underneath.
You'll not be hanging out the bottom, don't worry.
-How are you finding this?
-Well, I've finished this.
-Let me see.
-That's the top.
-Oh, now, that looks lovely. That looks...
-Like, suddenly, I want to lunge.
-Is that what you do in yoga?
And that's the trousers.
That's nice. So, what are you doing now?
-Well, I'm just trying to fashion...
-Are you making a headscarf?
Well, yes. No, I'm trying to fashion some sort of cardigan.
-You've already done two pieces.
-I know, but...
-I'll give you a head massage.
I'm going to finish off the edges of my top with a binding strip
that I've made myself.
My binding is a little bit tricky to sew around the curve,
but I have to be really careful of not overdoing it
and stretching out the neckline.
I'm just pinning the straps on at the moment to get the fit right
and then I'll zigzag them when I've got them in the right place.
Jade's straps require more work than anyone else's.
This is a very technical process.
She needs to make six rouleau loops.
Cut a long bit of fabric, fold it in half,
then you overlock it and then just pull it through.
-What are you doing now, Joyce?
-I am making a cardigan.
Do not be impressed because when you'll see it, you just won't be.
I wish I'd had time to make a cardigan!
Sewers, you have 15 minutes left.
15 minutes to make your beautiful yoga outfits
and then there will be a catwalk show.
Right! Calm down, calm down.
I'm trying to get them in the right place.
Yep, that'll do.
It's really not going very well.
See, it's not even catching it on the other side.
Having to unpick my stitching.
Nearly there, don't rush and cock it up now.
It's not very good, but who cares at this stage?
Lift it slightly...
That is exactly what I do under pressure - I just talk to myself.
It's just not working out well. What can you do?
I am thinking about where I'm placing the straps
because they want to be in the exact same place.
It's not the best of bindings... Oh, that's come off there. Fantastic(!)
That's exactly what I needed.
Two minutes, sewers, two minutes. You're going to be all right?
-Jade, what are you doing?
-Sewing up a little hole.
That needs to be flipped down.
-Spin. Look at the back.
-Oh, look at the back!
It's a waterfall front, so...
Yeah, it's completely overstretched.
Sewers, well done! That is it - time is up.
-Please stop fiddling.
-There we go - perfect.
I'm really proud of the fact
that I've managed to use all the weird machines.
Oh, I'm so happy it's over!
I hope this wins me a place in the semifinal.
Everybody wants to go through. I really want to go through.
We'll see, won't we?
# Bend me, shape me
# Anyway you want me
# Long as you love me, it's all right... #
Five fitted yoga outfits made in just five and a half hours.
# You've got the power to turn on the light... #
Well, Charlotte, you're the only one who hasn't done
a completely tight-fitting outfit
and, actually, I think it's pretty successful.
I agree. I think it works really nicely, actually.
Let's have a little look. So that feels like a good fit.
-Now, I think these straps are very effective.
-They're very effective.
If you look here, can you see how it's bagging here?
If you'd done that, it would have got rid of that.
OK, let's look at the fit of the bra.
So I'm afraid I'm going to lift this up. Oh, it fits really well.
Yeah, that seems like a good fit there.
It's a great-looking outfit, it moves very nicely,
the fit's good.
There's a lot of positives in this.
# Hey, Mama's doing the twist
# Everything's different in our house
# Now that Mama's doing the twist... #
It's very well sewn, very neatly sewn, but, to me,
it's neither very form-fitting nor loose-fitting.
It just sort of feels somewhere lost in the middle.
It's loose on the ankles.
I mean, that's a lot of extra there and also I think it's too long.
It sort of looks a bit like a trouser.
Yes, I'm not convinced about the proportion of this top.
-I don't know if it'll be nicer shorter or longer.
-I agree with you.
Also, you haven't quite made the binding tight enough
and also you've got your wrap.
Again, I think the proportion of it...
-You've told me you were doing this sort of waterfall front.
It's a pretty good piece.
I mean, it's a very bouncy fabric
and you've managed it extremely well.
It's just the fit for me.
# Bend it, bend it just a little bit
# Take it easy, show you're liking it... #
The overall impression is that it's a very good fit, wouldn't you say?
-I think it's an exceptional fit.
-I mean, those leggings are...
They are tight, but there is still movement
and they are absolutely bang on at the ankles.
-Can we turn you round?
-They look great over the bottom.
Yep. The fit across the chest is really pretty good.
It's sitting very neatly over the bust.
-The straps, they're not 100% evenly spaced.
-No, they're not.
They're not evenly spaced, actually.
But the effect of them is really vivid and very strong.
-You know, I think you've done a brilliant job.
I think it absolutely nails the brief.
The fit on the trousers looks pretty good.
There's a little bit here on the front.
You've done this technique with the overlocker.
I would have preferred it if you'd reversed it and done it
so that the underneath of this stitch was on the top.
I think it makes a stronger statement about it.
-This is not quite tight enough.
-Slightly too big at the front.
And it's shooting up as well.
I think it's a little small, actually, across the bust.
They're quite tight, these loops.
-I would have preferred if the loops had been in this colour.
-And the cuff had been in that colour.
It sits really nicely across the shoulder blades.
It's going around the shoulder blades,
which is exactly what we want from a cross strap.
I really like it. I think it's very effective.
# Hey-hey, little girl
# Do you wanna twist?
# Hey, little girl... #
I really like your choice of fabrics -
the black and white print
and the black top with the highlights of red.
If we start with the leggings,
they look like a pretty good fit.
And slightly loose at the ankle.
My big issue is with the binding, just the armholes.
Either you've pulled it out of shape
or you just haven't made it short enough and drawn it in enough.
Yes, you need to make the binding smaller than the arm hole
and that will pull it in so if I go like this,
if the binding had been that much shorter,
-it would have laid flat.
And because it's in a contrast colour,
it really, really shouts at you.
Well done to all of you - five brilliant outfits. Go, have a snack.
When you come back in,
the judges will announce the garment of the week
and they'll also announce, which I think actually is impossible,
who will be leaving the Sewing Bee. Thanks very much.
Well done, off you go.
It's always very tense at this time
when you're about to find out who's going home,
but now there's only five of us left, it's even more noticeable.
They always love the colours or the style that I put together.
I think maybe I should stick to designing rather than sewing.
I did think I had a good fit,
but my good fit obviously is not what they were looking for.
They were looking for skin-tight. I don't do skin-tight.
This week was really, really difficult.
Lots of people had never sewn this fabric.
Lots of people hadn't used these machines
so it was really, really difficult.
Let's talk about who is going to leave.
If we start at the beginning,
I think Joyce did a good job on this,
but we put Rumana's at the bottom,
-but we both really like Rumana's pink flamingo outfit.
-I loved it.
Actually, Rumana's yoga outfit was a pretty good fit
and a really nice choice and very well executed.
It's just this binding that let it down.
Joyce's yoga outfit, it was well sewn, but it really didn't fit.
It looked sort of... It looked like nothing, really.
It didn't look like sportswear. I think it could be Joyce.
-I think it could be Rumana.
-I just think we need a bit of time.
It's really close, really, really close. We need to conflab.
A huge well done to all of you.
First bits first, the lovely news - garment of the week is...
This week, our favourite garment or garments...
-..is this one.
Well done, Jade!
-Twice in a row, Jade.
The fit was brilliant,
the overall impression was just absolutely spot-on.
It was just a very, very professional piece of sewing
so well done.
-Are you happy?
-I'm over the moon, I can't believe it.
Now, the really much less pleasant situation,
which is somebody has to leave the Sewing Bee and that person is...
-It's Rumana. I'm sorry!
-It's all right.
-I thought that was me, Rumana.
-Oh, I'm really sorry, darling.
-I mean, I was expecting to go in week one.
-At least you got this far!
Rumana has great personal style.
She creates beautiful-looking clothes,
but this week was about the ability
to handle probably the most difficult fabric
we've ever given them on the Sewing Bee.
-Can I give you a hug?
Thank you so much, I've enjoyed it so much.
I definitely think the stretch fabrics got the better of Rumana.
She's got a style about her which I really liked.
I started sewing because I kind of got fed up of people
telling me how I should dress.
There was a time when I started wearing a scarf
that I was ashamed of the way I looked.
I'm going to start crying now!
I've actually Superglued you to me!
I think people see me as someone quite confident
and quite comfortable in their skin and I wasn't always
and I think sewing let me be that person.
It let me have my own style
and I think, with that, my confidence has grown
and so, for people who don't know if they want to sew,
I would encourage you to sew, because it lets you feel beautiful,
it lets you look beautiful cos everyone is beautiful
and I think I've got that confidence from sewing.
Being in the semifinal is amazing,
but it's horrible that it comes at the price of other people leaving.
I really, genuinely just deal with one thing at a time
and this is why, when you're saying you're a semifinalist,
I'm thinking, "What?"
I'm looking around, you know, "Who's a semifinalist?"
When I started this, I didn't think I'd get this far, so, you know,
to achieve this has been an absolutely brilliant experience.
That's bonkers, isn't it?
..the four remaining sewers...
Pressure's on, hands are shaking.
..face three of the most technically demanding challenges...
-..Esme and Patrick have ever set.
-It looks like a map.
What is that?
But who will book their place in the grand final?
Taxi for Tracey, I think!
'And who will fall...'
We're so upset about it.
'..at the final hurdle?'
This is the most ridiculous thing...EVER.
Claudia Winkleman hosts the quarter-final of the Great British Sewing Bee, where the five remaining sewers sweat it out over activewear, creating complex, hard-wearing garments from the most technical of fabrics.
For the pattern challenge, judges Patrick Grant and Esme Young ask the sewers to make a man's lycra cycling top, which requires expert handling of a fabric that stretches in all directions and a complex zip insertion that tests their patience. Next, for the alteration challenge, the sewers use all their ingenuity to transform garish 1980s ski suits into children's jackets. Finally, the made-to-measure challenge sees the sewers create the most fitted garments ever attempted on the Sewing Bee - yoga outfits - to secure one of four places in the semi-final.