Claudia Winkleman hosts the semi-final. The sewers must make an asymmetric yoked skirt inspired by modern Japanese pattern cutting.
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Week one seems a long time ago when ten freshfaced sewers arrived
and went back to basics.
Well, now, their minds are about to be
blown as they take on the most perplexing patterns yet.
It's like sewing meets Sudoku.
Welcome to The Great British Sewing Bee.
-'To reach the semifinal...'
..the sewers had to survive the stretchiest of sportswear.
Oh, my God!
Jade excelled with the most fitted made-to-measure yet...
I think it's an exceptional fit.
..and Rumana was the sixth person to leave the sewing room.
-I mean, I always expected to go in week one.
-You're not going anywhere.
-'Now the semifinalists face a pattern challenge...'
-What is that?
-'..that is utterly bewildering...'
-Why does it do weird things there?
-OK, I'm done.
'..that doesn't even start as a garment...'
No good looking at me, cos I haven't got a clue!
..and a made-to-measure they have to design from scratch.
-You can't be pernickety at this point.
-'But who will fall at the last hurdle...'
-No, no, no!
-'..and who will book their place...'
-Taxi for Tracey, I think!
-'..in the grand final?'
-Why did I cut it off?
Four sewers remain, and the grand final only has room for three.
Here we are again.
With 60 years of sewing under her belt,
71-year-old grandmother Joyce...
If they want precision, they'll get precision.
..has consistently produced exquisitely sewn garments.
It's crisply sewn. It was a beautiful fit.
The thing about Joyce is she's a very good, neat, experienced sewer.
-One gusset! Yes!
-But what she lacks is a certain kind of flair.
-There's too much space on these coat racks.
-Don't like it.
-Scientific journal editor and mum of three Charlotte...
..has ranked near the top throughout...
Your hand sewing is absolutely exquisite.
..but she's won fewer challenges than her fellow semifinalists.
Charlotte has a very delicate hand.
She has a beautiful ability with fabrics.
I'm just going to join up the dots so I can see what I need to do.
She's very scientific in her approach.
Everything is methodically planned, and sometimes,
if a spanner gets thrown in the works, it kind of throws her off.
Just put me slippers on.
Former primary school teacher Tracey holds this year's record
for the most challenges won...
Well executed, beautifully colour balanced. It's fantastic.
-..but has struggled with fit...
-Think it should have been slimmer.
..and has yet to win Garment Of The Week.
What Tracey needs to do is something, actually,
she's never quite achieved before.
She needs to step up to the mark and make a fabulously fitted dress.
Does anyone want a heart? Cos we all love each other.
18-year-old art student Jade is the Sewing Bee's youngest-ever
..and the only one to have been awarded Garment Of The Week twice.
Jade has a very open mind to sewing.
She embraces new techniques, she embraces new shapes,
new finishes, but she hasn't had the years and years of sewing
that some of our others have had.
Inexperience sometimes, I think, lets her down.
-Good morning, semifinalists!
-How are we all?
The good news is there are only three challenges until the final.
The horrific news is they're all, I think, unbelievably difficult.
This week, it is all about your understanding of patterns
and pattern cutting.
-Esme, what is the pattern challenge?
-Here you go. Hand that out.
-Ooh, it's heavy!
-This week, we've got a flared skirt...
..inspired by contemporary Japanese pattern cutting.
You're going to need to combine some fiendishly unusual shapes
to create an asymmetric, voluminous yoked skirt.
For this, you do have 3.5 hours.
Enormous luck. Your time starts now.
# Salagadoola mechicka boola bibbidi-bobbidi-boo...#
Goodness me, look at that!
# Put 'em together and what have you got? Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo. #
I've never seen a pattern quite like this. It looks like a map.
Taxi for Tracey, I think.
This complex pattern follows the same principles
as modern Japanese cutting styles...
What is that?
..where abstract pieces are combined to create complex shapes.
-It's all about the shape of that curve.
They're joining two different curves together,
so the yoke has got one curve and the skirt has got another curve
and that's what causes these drapes.
What happens if they don't sew it perfectly?
The skirt won't hang correctly
and they might even end up getting holes
between the yoke and the skirt.
-Can I ask you about fabric choice?
-We don't want a fabric that frays.
In this garment, we have got exposed raw edges,
so they need something they can cut cleanly.
Every bit of it will show.
Let's go and choose some fabric.
Shall I have purple, like I always do?
Yeah, go for purple. It's traditional.
-It's calming me down with this horrendous pattern.
-I like this one.
I like the colour of it. It's not fraying.
Tracey, Jade and Charlotte have all chosen a classic woollen fabric
whereas Joyce has gone for a thicker, bolder option.
-This is a beautiful colour.
-A bit in your face but look at the reverse.
Is this neoprene?
-It feels scuba-like.
-It does a bit, doesn't it?
Hopefully it will hang quite nicely. We will see.
I was wondering if they would let me take this pattern home with me.
Of course you can! Joyce, you can have this table.
-Oh, thank you.
-You can have this, the mannequin.
Patrick goes home with everyone,
he's like a party bag that never really starts giving.
It'll be interesting to see how all these pieces are
actually going to fit together, because at the minute,
it just looks like somebody's insane idea on a drunk night.
To create the top half, or yoke, three pieces are sewn together.
Then three larger pieces are joined to form the flared lower skirt.
The yoke is then placed over the flared section
and topstitched along the curved seam line.
Finally, it's fastened with an invisible zip.
Right, I'm going to iron this pattern because it needs to be cut
really precisely and I want it to lay nice and flat.
Interesting to see how Joyce, Charlotte and Tracey have all
ironed their patterns and laid them out smoothly.
Jade hasn't ironed hers and watching her pin it on,
there are lumps and bumps when it's sitting on the fabric.
If they're even just a little bit out, those curves,
-they will never, ever match.
The edge of the fabric is actually on display,
which is why it needs to be very nice and neat.
There's a lot of wobbly curves which are quite difficult to get round.
I always use a rotary cutter to cut out pretty much.
Scissors lift the fabric when you're cutting.
It moves the pattern around a bit. I don't like that.
"Transfer markings in your preferred way."
Each pattern piece is marked with small triangles called notches.
When the fabric is joined, all the notches must line up perfectly
so the sewers need to keep track of precisely where they all are.
I'm marking the notches by making little triangles.
The join is designed to be visible so any marks need to be hidden.
When I've matched them up, I'll just snip them off.
I had marked with chalk because it says not to cut them and I think
that's because you lay it on the top so they will show if you cut them.
There's hundreds of notches on this so they're obviously important.
Tracey has chosen to cut her fabric to mark the notches.
I just wanted to make sure you noticed in the pattern that it says
not to cut these because it gets laid on top
and then edge-stitched down, then they show.
-How are you getting on?
-Yeah, all right, I think.
-Why are you laughing like that?
Because I've made a fatal error early doors.
I've snipped the notches.
-Right, what's your next thing to do?
-Read the instructions!
Have you not yet?
I had a quick glance and thought, right, OK,
it'll make more sense when I've got the pieces.
It's only five pages.
-Just read it all the way to the end.
-That's what I need to do.
Sewers, you have had one hour.
I am re-cutting.
Right, let's get stitching.
Once all the notches have been marked, construction can begin.
I'm going to do the yoke.
The yoke hugs the hips and forms the top of the skirt.
So, that's what needs to go together. There we go, like that.
These are my darts to give it some shape over the hips.
You don't want a saggy skirt, do you?
-It might as well have been written in Japanese, this pattern.
-It might as well.
"Press towards the centre back."
Oh, that presses all right.
Oh, look at that. The top of a skirt!
"With right sides together,
sew skirt pieces four, five and six together."
OK. Now it's just figuring out left and right.
Looking at this, to me, that goes there, so that's the right back,
which is my left hand which is why I always get confused.
This is the most complicated bloody skirt I've ever done.
I don't think I've put these in the right places. No, don't worry.
Now the top and the bottom have been constructed,
the sewers have the difficult job of figuring out how they fit together.
These wavy bits have got to go into those wavy bits.
That would go... blimey!
Like that. Or would it? Yes. Oh, gosh.
I like a jigsaw puzzle but this is...
Well, how you match it is by following the notches
and you line it up like that.
So, when we get to here, that lines up with that.
-That makes sense to me and now...
-Then we line this up.
Why have you got this furl of fabric?
The furl will be translated into this bit.
Once this is on,
that will go flat-ish and you will get your fullness here.
Ah, so this strange origami world is creating these little kicks?
-But it's just hard.
-This is the semifinal, give them something hard.
You sure did.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine,
10, 11, 12, 13 notches.
That's a whole lot of notches.
It's very fiddly and of course,
you've got to get it spot-on for it to sit nicely.
Where has my notch disappeared to? There it is.
God, this is hard.
-Joyce, how on earth does that sit right?
-Well, it doesn't.
-It's like a weird pocket.
-OK, just think Japanese.
I was going to take this pattern home but I've changed my mind.
Changed your mind, Joyce?
I'm quite enjoying it in a twisted sort of way.
-In A twisted sort of way, yeah!
-"Twisted" is right.
With the top and bottom of the skirt pinned together,
the sewers should secure the seam line in place
with a temporary basting or tacking stitch.
I have a feeling it will take quite some time.
-Charlotte, does yours do that?
-Everywhere fits but that bit is really weird.
-Did you sew that together correctly?
-How weird is that?
-Pretty damn weird.
This is the wrong way.
-So that's the wrong way?
-So I have to undo all that.
-I'll just undo all of that.
-I think that's the wrong way.
Oh, bloody hell, man!
Sewers, one hour left for the pattern challenge of the semifinal.
-Right, here goes.
-Here we go.
With the top and bottom half basted together...
I just need to relax and chill. It's fine. It's all good.
The sewers approach the most important stage of the pattern
where they must perfectly topstitch the difficult curved seam.
It says, "ensure the stitching is an even distance from the cut edge",
so it's clearly the most important thing at this point.
All four have decided to use a edge stitch foot.
It's got a little blade in, which, if I line it up
with this edge of the fabric
as I go around, will stitch a very set distance.
But sewing a curve with an edge stitch foot isn't easy.
Everyone is going so slowly.
You think, oh yeah, I'll get a nice smooth edge on this,
and I'm not getting a nice smooth edge. I'll persevere.
Occasionally I have to lift the foot and pivot it.
Know what? This foot doesn't actually work with this because of the curves.
What are you doing?
I'm just unpicking this bit of topstitching I did
-because I used the edge foot.
When you get to a curve, it was pushing it closer to the edge
so here I was a beautiful distance away
but then I got round to this curve and it was
about down to two millimetres and it just wasn't right.
What foot are you going to use now?
I'm just going to use the regular foot and take it slowly.
Spotted a hole. Just let me correct that.
Right, calm down, stop panicking, it won't get you anywhere.
Oh, come on.
I can't present this unfinished
and I certainly can't do it with a hole in it, either.
Sewers, please don't hurt me because you actually have sharp objects
but you only have half an hour left. Be quick.
Concentrate, concentrate, concentrate.
I don't normally panic but I am now panicking.
The topstitching, I'm not particularly happy with
because it's not even.
I've done the best I can.
I'm fairly happy, I think.
I'd be happier if I could get this basting stitch out.
I'm now starting to worry about the time.
Because I've still got my zip to do and my back seam and my waist.
There's a notch.
Right, I think I've got them all.
That's fixed the hole.
Right, zip, zip, zip, zip.
I'm trying to pick the right colour zip.
No, no, no, no.
Come on, you.
Sewers, 15 minutes left.
At the minute, my technique for sewing in an invisible zip
is whack it in as fast as you can.
Oh, what a perfect zip!
I've got to say that. Give myself a bit of a boost.
Jade, is the zip in?
Zip's in. I'm just sewing up the back seam.
Put the waistband on, turn it to the inside,
sew these little ends over and then topstitch it.
The pressure is on, hands are shaking.
It's going to be some speedy sewing.
Sewers, you have five minutes left.
Charlotte, those two, are they meant to match?
-At the back?
-Oh, it doesn't.
-What are you doing?
-I'm just tidying up a bit.
Why does it do weird things there?
Is it meant to do weird things there?
I'm just going to clip a couple of these seams
to see if that will help it lie a bit flatter.
-What is that?
-I don't know.
-Nothing to see, nothing to see.
-(Pass me the scissors.)
-Avert your eyes.
Just needs clipping.
If I came first in this, it would be a miracle.
Sewers, you have one minute.
-Jade has already got hers on the mannequin.
Tracey, good girl.
Not happy with the zip. I've got a little bit of a show.
I don't like the topstitching.
OK, sewers, that is time. Time is up.
Please bring your mannequins up to the front and the judges will judge.
Four contemporary Japanese flared skirts in just 3.5 hours.
Charlotte, you're up first.
Well, the first thing to say is, well done.
I like the way this drapes.
-It seems like it's got...
-..a nice, natural fall to it.
We can see that there is a lovely,
smooth curve all the way around this seam.
What you have done is just give us a little bit too much in that seam.
-Yes, but it's very neat and even all the way round.
The invisible zip, there's no lumps, there's no tape
showing or teeth showing and it meets very nicely at the top.
-I like it.
Something's happened here because it is not draping as it should,
so I think somewhere or other,
you haven't matched the notches up properly.
It's relatively neat through the front
-but you're perilously close to the edge.
-In a few places, yeah.
Also, we've got an extra row of stitching.
-That's where I tried to correct.
-Let's have a look at the zip.
-Not quite invisible.
-We can see the tape here.
-We've got a bit of a poke there and it's pushing up at the top.
So, this is a much more sculptural fabric and because of that,
it's giving us more of this weight, which I like.
They are folding in a lovely soft way.
How did you find sewing this fabric?
Sewing the fabric was fine,
it was this topstitching here with the edge foot.
It just seemed to drag.
When you've topstitched it, it has pulled it slightly up.
-It's such a shame.
Cos actually, these darts are really nicely shaped.
They're very well pressed out. The zip, completely invisible.
No bump at the bottom.
This is all very nicely sewn.
-It's just that darn thing in the middle.
Right, Jade. Can you see at the front how this is sticking out?
Well, it should be folding in.
I think if you'd sewn this more accurately,
-that wouldn't have happened.
-The bottom edge is quite clean.
You have got quite a nice, smooth bottom edge.
-The zip is very cleanly in.
-Your topstitching's not bad.
But this back isn't fitting together.
Yeah, I didn't realise I had to match them.
-I don't know why I didn't.
-What do you mean you didn't realise?
-It should have matched anyway.
If they were accurately cut.
It was very, very difficult to cut all of those curves,
we know that, which is why we set you this challenge.
Yeah. Can tell.
Patrick and Esme will now rank the skirts in order of their success.
In fourth place is Tracey.
Now, Tracey, your topstitching is uneven
and your zip didn't go on very well.
Third place, Jade.
-You just didn't have the accuracy we needed.
In second place...
Your topstitching on the yoke and the skirt wasn't perfect.
-But other than that, everything else about it was great.
I'm happy with that.
Which means, in first place, Charlotte.
-CHEERS AND APPLAUSE
-Well done, Charlotte!
This challenge was about beautiful, flowing curves
and you delivered that absolutely and some very neat sewing to boot.
-You guys can go off, have a cup of tea.
When you come back, the alteration challenge. Thank you very much.
Off you go.
# Don't be nice to me... #
It was a really hard challenge,
making those curves fit together in a way that they didn't want to do.
But it turned out all right. I'm really happy.
I made my prom dress, I made a ball gown,
but that beats a corset any day for complication.
That was nuts.
-I'm delighted with myself.
I thought I was going to come fourth.
So I am very happy with second place.
Judging felt brutal. It was fair, but it was hard.
They're really looking at every little thing. No room for error now.
Having tested the semifinalists with a complicated pattern,
the judges now want to test their designer instincts with
a completely blank canvas.
-What I have for you today is...
-..a child's duvet cover.
What we'd like you to do is transform this into a wearable
female garment, with a very striking silhouette.
You can make cuts into it, you can put darts into it, you can
gather it, whatever you want, to help create an exciting shape.
You are each being given half-size mannequins.
And a pillow case. So you can try it out in half-size.
Now, this is a zero-waste challenge.
You basically have to use the whole thing.
-Judges, thank you very much.
I'll take that cos one of them might like it.
So you've got 15 minutes with the mini mannequin, then 90 minutes.
Good luck. Off you go. Your time starts now.
-Come on, girls!
You can't take us anywhere!
-Ooh! I quite like that!
-Oh, there's one on the floor, ladies.
-Can I have that, please, Claudia?
-I quite like that one.
-'Planning garments on a half-size mannequin...'
-OK, think. Think.
'..is a method used by many designers to develop ideas
'quickly, without wasting fabric.'
-OK, I'm done.
No good looking at me, cos I haven't got a clue!
Er... Where's the pins?
Let me try pinning it, see if that helps me.
What I want them to do is to play, to be freer,
to do something different,
and then you can translate what you do on this into the full scale.
Yeah, it's only about sort of 50% smaller than you.
It is quite refreshing to work like this because it's nice to
actually, in a way, sculpt something round the body.
You can get more imaginative with things like that.
Esme, I think, wants something slightly bonkers.
If we do something that's just like an ordinary dress or something,
-she'll be like, "Hm."
-I might go for something like that.
It's gathered at the top, pleated down the front and the back.
Right, I've cut my pillowcase in half,
so this is sort of a top and a skirt, more than a dress.
Oh, I know! I've had another idea.
I'm not putting the pleats on the inside.
I think I'll actually put them on the outside,
so they stick out like...fins.
I am making a dress.
I'm putting the stripe over and then I'm going to drape that up
and into a side bit to make a little bit of a thingy there.
It's asymmetric. I've got an arm hole here and a sideways neck thing.
-I love that.
-And a big back sleeve with a giant roll-up.
Yeah, I guess that's a sort of kimono sleeve, really.
-And I'm going to put a side zip.
-I'll leave it with you.
-I'm happy with that.
-But that looks awesome. I think it's fantastic. OK.
Sewers, you've had 15 minutes.
You should now be moving on to your big mannequins.
Come here, my darling.
'Now the sewers have draped their design in mini form,
'they can recreate on the full-size mannequin.'
First thing I'm going to do is cut the head hole, which is
going to be in this corner.
It was sort of... Was it in the corner corner?
Or was it not in the corner corner?
-Right, that's the neck.
-I'm going to do some fin-type pleats.
The structure of them is quite architectural
and I think that's kind of what they're after.
My lad Robert's an architect
and he's just finished designing a building in Reading.
And it was full of fins.
Robert will think I've designed this in homage to his office
block in Reading.
I'm putting a dart in, it's just a bust dart,
otherwise it looks like you're wearing a duvet cover.
I want a bit of shaping.
I'm using these to make a drape across the front
and the same on the back.
I think to get that nice, flowy effect that I wanted to have,
I'm going to have to hand sew these down,
so I'll just catch them down nicely.
Sewers, you are halfway through this alteration semifinal.
I want to fashion pockets in there. Oh, I'll bring that up.
Oh, look at that!
The beach is the inspiration behind my dress,
where you want something with lots of pockets to put your book in,
your sunglasses in, your money for an ice cream.
-This is great fun, watching you sew.
-Thank you. Be privileged.
This is the most I've hand sewn in my four years of sewing.
-Are you into it?
-I hate hand sewing.
-I don't know. It just takes forever.
I want this collar to stick up, so I'm going to put
a bit of boning in that seam, just there, just to hold that up.
I'm going to add boning to make shoulder pads
and hip...shelves, is the best description I can come up with.
Boning, bloody hell!
I can't believe you two are doing boning.
Can never get enough of boning!
I'm just going to pin it in for the moment. I'll sew it in a bit.
It's not quite as rigid as I want it. I wanted that.
How am are going to make them do that?
-Sewers, you have 15 minutes left.
-Blimey, Tracey! Pleats much?
Still get a couple more on.
-A couple more pleats?
-Can never have too many pleats, girls.
Do you not know that?
I'm going to go and get a zip for my side seam now.
Do we not have any ordinary zips?
I'm not putting any fastenings on my dress because it's not required.
You don't have fastenings on a beach dress.
I might put poppers under the arms, there.
-Ooh, it didn't like that.
Sewers, you have five minutes left.
I don't know what I'm going to do with this. Why did I cut it off?
Use this as a binding because I can't throw it away.
-Put it in the bin.
-I can't throw it in the bin.
-Course you can. Put it in my trousers.
Not a bow! If they want a bow, they want it to dwarf it.
Just keep the hem the way it is, with the button holes
-and the buttons on them.
-I've done a hem on the front
and I've used the original hem on the back.
Well, they wanted structure, they've got structure.
Sewers, one minute left.
All right, sewers, that's it. End of the challenge.
Please bring your mannequins to the front.
# Tears on my pillow
# Pain in my heart
# Caused by you. #
From pillowcases to duvets to dresses, but what will Esme
and Patrick make of the semifinalists' transformations?
-I'm massively impressed.
Just to be clear, you asked for this to be a zero-waste challenge.
No part of any of the duvets found its way in the bin.
-I think this is probably the most normal, in terms of its shape.
-But it is a flattering shape.
-It's quite Grecian, isn't it?
It's very Grecian.
-It might be a little bit revealing.
I think these pleats are really well managed.
They create a very pleasing shape.
It looks like these pleats are hand done.
And the zip will help to loosen the waist.
-So that's been very well thought out.
They've kept the original hem. Still got buttons on the bottom!
Yeah, but then you could do it up between your legs and you'd have...
-You could have a jumpsuit.
-A pants suit.
-I think it's really good.
-A top and a skirt.
-Guess what we've got here. Boning.
To make it stick out.
At the side, we've got the poppers.
Which allows us in, cos actually, we've got
quite a small opening at the top.
I think what's lovely about this is that it's a very geometric
pattern and they've created a very structured sort of geometric
form out of it.
They've used the pleats really cleverly to give us
all of this cinching at the waist.
And I like how the pattern has been mixed up.
I think they've done a very good job on this. It's clever.
So, this one, I think, has been folded in half
and then the other side has been turned in to the drapes.
Let's have a look at the back.
A sort of pleat detail that's running diagonally around the body.
-I think it's definitely wearable.
I'm just not sure it's the most flattering shape,
with these bits at the sort of hips.
It just feels a little heavy, but it is bold.
It could be a cover up for on the beach.
-Now, this one looks great.
I think the thought that's gone into the placement of all of this
pattern is really smart.
They've used the checks on the angles
and I also think the shape is very cool and very, very striking.
It has this sort of belt feature that feels very Japanese.
We've even got a little dart here.
There's one thing, and I'm really nitpicking here,
I would have liked this knot to have been bigger.
I love that you're at that level of critique for this garment!
-Which, I think, shows how much you like it.
Esme and Patrick will now decide whose duvet transformation is
the most impressive.
In fourth place, it is the striped kind of poncho number. Joyce.
just lacked some of the lightness that some of the others had.
In third place is this Grecian number here.
We really liked it, but it's not quite as imaginative as those two.
In second place...
The pink pleats.
I mean, really genuinely lovely and a great, striking garment.
In first place is the black and white one.
CHEERS AND APPLAUSE
First place for the second time today.
You have absolutely transformed the duvet into a garment
-in a really imaginative way. Well done.
Well done, all of you. I know it was a difficult day.
Tomorrow's going to be really easy.
It's not, I'm lying.
But go home, relax, have a good night's sleep,
we'll see you tomorrow for the big made to measure challenge.
I've always been creative in a two-dimensional way,
like with quilting and so on.
But I've never really been able to translate
that into three-dimensional things before.
This challenge really unlocked that side of things.
Really loved it.
I'm looking forward to tomorrow more than
I was looking forward to today.
At least I know what I'm sewing.
Tonight, I'll probably go to sleep, dreaming about it, wake up,
dreaming about it.
Coming third in both challenges definitely puts me
in a bit of a vulnerable position.
I will come in with swords, scissors,
whatever it takes for me to get into the final.
Second and fourth, it's not good. It could have been fourth and fourth,
which would have been even worse.
-Here we go, girls.
One more challenge to go, one last chance to convince the judges
they deserve to be a finalist.
Barring an absolute disaster,
Charlotte's pretty much booked herself a place in the final.
Let's talk about Joyce.
You did like her skirt, but you didn't really love her alterations.
This is just a rectangle, isn't it,
with a bit of drape bunged on the top.
Let's discuss Tracey.
I thought it was a great alteration.
-The yoked skirt, I was disappointed with.
-How do you feel about Jade?
You liked the grey dress, but the skirt, you said there were problems.
-She bodged it, basically.
Today's challenge is a new one for us.
It's tackling something that we've not put in front of them before
and hopefully, it gives us a way of separating three very,
very even sewers.
I'm looking forward to this.
Morning. You all right, love?
Welcome, sewers. And welcome back to our lovely models.
For your semifinal made to measure challenge,
the judges would love you to make a beautifully fitted day dress,
but as it's pattern week, you will be creating your own pattern.
-Are you all ready?
Enormous luck. You have seven hours. Your time starts now.
The sewers have had a chance to practise creating their day
dresses at home.
But their first task in this final challenge is unlike anything
they've faced so far.
Basically, they're starting from what is called the block.
The block, essentially, is a template.
-If they took this, stitched it together, they'd have this.
But what we've asked them to do is take this block
and dramatically transform it.
They can do absolutely anything with this.
They can create any shape, any length, any sleeves,
but this just allows them to start with the basic building block.
The idea is that we alter this block,
so they don't all look the same.
I think we'll all produce something
quite dramatically different, really.
This challenge is about designing,
as well as making the actual garment itself.
You start with a block, you can make anything,
by manipulating the position of the darts, by adding bits on,
by adding collars or sleeves or changing the shape of the skirt.
You can do anything.
I'm making a very kind of '50s style dress cos it's
the sort of thing I would like and I would wear.
To adapt her block into a '50s design, Tracey's adding
a cinched waistband, under bust gathers and a circular skirt.
The V-neck will have a statement collar
and the three-quarter length sleeves will have matching cuffs.
Collar and the cuffs will take quite a bit of time cos I want them
to be really, really neat and perfect.
And this fitted band across the middle, we'll take up in fitting.
I've definitely got to prove myself today.
I've definitely got to get this right.
The block pattern has a sleeve on it.
I've decided to take the sleeve out because the style of dress
that I wanted to go for was more of a summer dress.
Jade's sleeveless dress will also have cut out
sections on the back bodice, with a flared skater skirt.
I have never worked from a block before. So this is very new to me.
The dress I'm making,
it's fitted from the bust to just above the hips, then it flares out.
For a Christmas present,
my husband and I were given afternoon tea at a Brighton hotel.
You dress up and you look pretty.
So that's my inspiration.
Joyce's tea dress will be cut from eight princess seamed panels
that follow the curves of the body.
She's adding a V-shape neckline, large contrast collar, and hem band.
This is my front.
So, you made this from the block.
Yes, I did.
What I did was, because it's continuous and the block
came in your bodice and your skirt, I taped them together.
I then, on the skirt, added 12 inches in length and then four
inches in width because I wanted a bit of fullness at the bottom.
I am making a dress with a cowl neck,
so it's nice and drapey at the front.
I've opened up extra, way more than was there before.
And that will make the cowl neck.
I'll cut this out again without the spaces in it, obviously.
Charlotte's also extending the shoulder length of her bodice
to create a dropped shoulder.
She's adding a fitted waistband and flared A-line skirt.
Are you inside going, "I'm going to give about 50% of myself to
"this because I've already won twice and I'm going through"?
I've going for the three-for.
-Well, why not?
# Plant a little seed and watch it grow. #
It's crucial the sewers continue measuring their models,
as they adapt the block,
as any design changes could totally alter the fit.
But Jade's taking an extra precaution.
A toile is basically your dress, but in a cheaper fabric.
I want to make sure it fits her perfectly, so any tweaks that
I'll need to make can be done on the toile, rather than the real thing.
Tracey has also decided to spend time on making a toile.
The fit is obviously something that's been a weakness.
I'm very used to fitting things on myself.
I really need to be careful of that today.
I am not making a toile. I am just going to go for it with the fabric.
I think I'm doing enough measurements as I go along.
I'm worried about Tracey's fit.
It just seems like she's completely miss-measured the busts.
-Because it's nowhere near where it should be.
Thank God, she made a toile.
The only times I make toiles are when I make wedding dresses,
and I've made one, my daughter's.
I've made a seam allowance, as such, where I can adjust.
So that's my thinking.
What do you think?
Well, I think the back's OK, but this is not long enough.
I can see now that it's not long enough to go over her bust.
-Think about your basic measurements.
-I want that there.
So how am are going to make that longer and that still be there?
-No, I'm confused now.
-That's now going to be too low.
No, I want it to be V-shaped.
I want it lower here than it is in the middle.
I'm not happy with the way they are bagging.
It definitely does need taking in in places and sorting out.
I need to alter the front.
It didn't feel tricky when I made one for myself.
I don't know why it's getting so complicated now.
-Two-and-a-half hours gone. Are you worried about time?
-Yeah, we'll speak in a couple of hours.
-I'll do your back.
-I'll do your back.
-While you're relaxed, let me ask you this.
-Yes, go on.
-How much do you want to be a finalist?
-Oh, so much, it's...
Now you've made me all tense again!
Whilst Jade and Tracey are still fitting their toiles,
Charlotte and Joyce start constructing their dresses.
This is the front bodice.
The fabric is absolutely key to this design because you need
something with a lot of drape to make the cowl neck work.
If you had something that was a bit stiff, it would
just sort of sit there and it wouldn't look attractive at all.
The fabric I'm using for my dress is 100% linen. I just love that fabric.
The colours are so me.
So, tell me, where have you got to?
I have sewn my bodice front, gathered it to the waistband.
Oh, right, OK.
I guess you haven't fitted it.
I've checked the size of the waistband.
I haven't fitted it, as such.
-I was going to fit it once I got the bodice together.
Does it feel too tight now?
I'm much happier with that. We're good to go.
Happy with the fit on their toiles, Jade and Tracey
can finally begin cutting their fabric.
I've got a wine coloured cotton spandex that just stretches
a little bit, which means that this fitted area across here will be nice
and snug and then I've got a nice print that I'm going to use
for the collar and cuff sections.
I am glad I did a toile because the back piece needed to be
basically reshaped for the way that her back is.
Please fit, please fit, please fit.
Please fit, or I will cry.
Oh, dear. It's huge.
Why is there all this here? Damn it.
Damn it, damn it, damn it. Bloody hell.
It's almost like it need another dart in it.
I quite like it. It's loose there.
Don't really want to take it in any more but I can do.
I tell you what, we'll do the rest first
and then we'll make a decision.
I intended to make those darts bigger in the back
and then I think we'll be all right.
Can you spin round to the front?
It fits you amazingly in the front.
-I think that's beautiful, Jade. Beautiful.
-Oh, that looks great, Tracey.
-That looks all right?
Much happier with that, compared to this morning.
If they're happy with the fit of their bodice,
the sewers can move on to their skirts.
This is what the skirt block looked like.
So this is now, instead of being a pencil skirt, which is
what it would have been, before I opened up this space,
it's now going to be much fuller.
I've done a skater skirt where it's like nice at the waist
and flares out, so that's my type of skirt that I like to wear.
-Tracey, what are you doing?
-I'm doing pi.
Well, because I'm making a circle skirt.
Why have you got to use pi to make a circle skirt?
-Because I need to draw a pattern for it.
-My head's going to explode!
I need to use pi to work out the circumference.
When they teach you pi at school, you think,
"I am never going to use pi in my life.
"Why are they bothering to teach me this?" And now, I've got to use pi.
Jade has also set herself a challenge with her skirt.
I'm going to pattern match here, so that will join on to there.
So it will only pattern match mainly on these two.
And if I can, maybe on those ones there.
I am now doing the collar
and because I have chosen to do the underside
and the fabric of the dress, I'm going
to have to be careful that the underside doesn't show.
And how I hopefully get over that is make the upper collar
slightly baggier and it rolls over a fraction.
This is one of my four collar sections.
This is definitely a statement collar.
I want it to be really pointed.
While everyone else works on their collar...
I'm just trying to get this one to sit in the right place,
which at the moment, isn't wanting to.
..Jade is still pattern matching.
So I think we'll take that down an inch there, don't you?
Driving me nuts.
These are my sleeves and my cuffs.
I'm just going to attach the cuff to the sleeve.
-Yeah, I don't think that's bad.
-You might have to give me
a second cos I have to get my head round this bit!
I'm really worried you're going to give yourself a headache.
I've already given myself one.
-Yeah, but I think you can't be pernickety at this point.
-All right. OK. Semifinal.
-Sewers, I'm really sorry, you have half an hour left.
Somebody's watch is fast!
My pattern matching isn't perfect perfect,
the way I would like it to be.
The teardrops are obviously a lot smaller.
But I'm not. I'm doing it again.
I've not got time, if I want to get a zip in.
That is half an invisible zip.
I'm making the sashes that go inside of the dress.
The easiest way to turn out a really long tube of something is to
sew a length of ribbon inside.
There it is. See it coming out now?
There we go. And then we just cut the ribbon off.
I'm just trying to work out what the length of the dress should be.
-I think something like that.
-Could you turn just a tiny bit?
Turn round slowly.
Stop. Go back again.
I'm going to bi-spine the hem,
just because I think it will give it a really nice effect.
I'm going to do a narrow hem. You fold it over, stitch it,
then trim it really close to the stitching, fold it over again.
A hem like this would normally take at least half an hour
-and I haven't got half an hour.
-Do you think we'll all finish?
-Skin of my teeth, but yeah.
-I'll just have to get on with it.
We all thought we had loads of time.
A circle skirt and I'm still hemming for ever and ever and ever.
I will get it finished!
Not having any nonsense.
Sewers, you have five minutes left.
Should have enough time. I just need to stop my hands shaking.
Where did that go?!
You're kidding me. How did I not notice that?
I've got a pucker in the back seam.
Tracey, you're the only one sewing.
Everyone else is having a little press.
-Do I need to come there and watch you cry?
-No, I'm ready to press.
There you go.
-Come on, Charlotte!
-You go that way, I go this way.
-How does it feel?
-That's your pattern!
-Come on, Tracey!
-I'm just ironing my model!
-Time is up. A huge well done to all of you.
# Love me in the daytime
# Love me in the night-time
# Any time you love me
# Baby, that'll be the right time.
# Put your arms around me
# When the lights are low
# Never ever gonna get enough of you. #
Charlotte, I think this dress is a delight.
Watching it move, there's a lightness, an elegance,
a bounce to it.
You've completely transformed the block.
It has a kind of romantic feel to it, somehow. It's kind of sexy.
It's a really good choice of fabric.
The drape is very soft, not too high and not too low.
If we can just turn you round...
This drape here maybe could have been got rid of if you'd
shaped the armholes slightly and the dart is really, really long.
But you really understood your model's body shape.
I think the waist is absolutely in the perfect position.
I think the length of the skirt feels perfectly right.
-The hem looks really neat.
-It looks great.
-It looks great.
# With the parting of the ways
# You took all my happy days
# And left me lonely nights. #
Right, Tracey. You've also transformed the block.
You've put all the shape into this waistband here
-and in to the gathers here.
And this fits so much better than your toile did.
It's a good choice of fabric, it's a good combination. I'm a little...
I don't know what it is about the collar.
It feels a little heavy.
Maybe if you'd made the neck slightly wider
and the front slightly lower, it would have given it more lightness.
One other slight fit issue.
There's just a little bit too much fullness here.
But the cuffs on the sleeve are crisp, they're well pressed,
they're well sewn.
There is a lot of very precise sewing in this garment, so
-I think you should be extremely pleased with yourself.
# Doo doo-dee ooh doo-dee ooh
# Doo-dee ooh-dee-ooh
# Doo doo-dee ooh doo-dee ooh
# Doo-dee ooh-dee-ooh. #
You've taken the block and you've turned it into one, two,
-three, four... Eight panels?
-You've done a good job there.
-I would like it a little bit more nipped in at the waist.
It just looks ever so slightly straight.
I'd like very much the idea of the band at the bottom
and then it's echoed in the collar at the top.
Whether it should be smaller... Let's do that.
But one thing I like a lot about this collar is if we look here, we
can see how it's rolling round and that is how you should cut a collar.
So that is successful.
The sleeves, I think, are very, very neatly inserted.
The fit is just a little nibble away from bang on for me,
but I think you should be very pleased with that.
# O meu ganza faz chica chica boom chic
# P'ra eu cantar o chica chica boom chic. #
The overall impression is really striking.
You've made a really good choice of fabric.
I think these fabrics work together very well.
You've thought carefully about how the pattern runs down through
the centre and this runs all the way, absolutely dead centrally.
-You haven't managed to match it up across the waist.
That has got a point on and this is the point chopped off.
-If we can just turn you round,
you had a lot to do to get these back triangles fitting as well,
and you've done that extremely well,
but I think the time you've spent doing that
is time that you've not had
to get the small of the back fitting nicely.
It is just too big there.
But the proportion of this dress is just right.
I think you understand how it all needs to look,
-and you've delivered on that really successfully.
I was determined I was going to show something
different to the judges and I think I have,
'I've shown a more creative side of myself.'
'As hard as it was'
and as gruelling as it seemed, I did enjoy it
and I think I produced one of the best fitted garments I've ever made.
'After all these years of sewing, and believe me,'
I have been sewing for a number of years,
it would be absolutely amazing if I was in the final three.
It would actually be a pinnacle for me.
I think all four of us were all very nervous to go back in,
because we're that close to getting into the final.
I think I'd rather stay out here
and everyone can shout out the window to me and tell me that way.
First up, shall we discuss garment of the week?
Who are the contenders?
Jade, Charlotte, from the made-to-measure.
But also, Charlotte's alteration.
I think this is one of the best alterations we've seen
on Sewing Bee.
So therefore, I presume Charlotte and Jade are both finalists.
Then you have to really think
about whether it's going to be Joyce or Tracey.
Do you want to first start off and talk about their very difficult
-patent challenge? Joyce did this red...
..and Tracey came fourth with her purple.
-Joyce's was more expertly sewn on the whole.
Tracey's was a bit ragged.
Yes, it wasn't precise enough.
But then Tracey gave us, in the alteration challenge,
-something really imaginative...
-..that really fulfilled the brief.
And Joyce's was a little bit, sort of lacklustre.
She hadn't transformed the duvet. It's still a rectangle.
-Then it comes down to their made-to-measure.
-I think it does.
And both were pretty competently handled. Both are well sewn.
Both of them transformed the block.
very difficult and I think we need to have another look
-and take a little more time over this decision.
-Yes. Yes, absolutely.
thank you so much for giving us such a brilliant semifinal.
We know how difficult it was.
The first bit's the lovely bit -
the garment that impressed the judges the most.
So, our garment of the week this week, is...
Well done, Charlotte!
-That is insane.
This was probably the best alteration I think we've seen.
You embraced it wholeheartedly and produced something fantastic.
Thank you, that is bonkers.
SHE LAUGHS You look so shocked.
-Did it not in the back of your head think...
Not in a million years!
Now the less lovely bit. We really don't want any of you...
But somebody has to.
And the person leaving us this week is...
We're so upset about it.
The person leaving is Tracey.
Oh, Tracey, darling. Oh, sweetie.
I thought it was going to be me.
Clearly devastated, but I came here hoping to get through a few weeks,
I've got through seven weeks.
And I think, you know, I should be proud of that.
Can I cuddle you?
I've done a lot of brilliant things,
met some fabulous people and it's, er, you know,
And I'll not regret a minute of it.
You've been so great throughout all of it.
What I love about Tracey is she has embraced
every single challenge with such joy and openness
and that to me is why it's such a shame that she's had to go.
It's...gutting to see Tracey go.
I'm really going to miss her.
The sewing room won't be the same without her.
If I could take the time to congratulate our three finalists.
I'm very excited about the final,
because every week somebody really surprises me.
So I'm having no bets on who's going to win.
Do you know what? I'm just going to enjoy it.
I don't care where I come. I'm a finalist.
I've made it to the last three. I am going to enjoy it.
Even the alteration challenge.
I cannot wait to tell my family about this.
They are going to scream.
I'm in the final.
SOBBING ON PHONE
Oh, Mum, don't cry.
-"I'm so proud of you."
Now it all comes down to this.
Final press. Final garment.
The judges deliberated...
-She's panicking a bit, isn't she?
-It's a shame.
..and they have decided...
Damn, damn, damn...
..that the winner of the great British Sewing Bee...
Just one more. Just one more.
This is not good.
Claudia Winkleman hosts the semi-final of the Great British Sewing Bee, where just four sewers are left to battle it out to for a place in the final.
All that stands in the way are three challenges designed by judges Patrick Grant and Esme Young. This week, they want to test the sewers' knowledge of complex patterns and pattern cutting. For the pattern challenge, the sewers are tasked with making an asymmetric yoked skirt inspired by modern Japanese pattern cutting. This brain-teasing pattern requires the sewers to stitch one of the most technically difficult and curved seams ever seen in the sewing room.
Next, it is the alteration challenge and the sewers are asked to transform a duvet cover into a female garment. To add to the difficulty level, the judges declare it is a no-waste challenge so every scrap of fabric needs to be used by draping and sculpting it around the mannequin. How will the sewers cope with this radical approach to creating clothes?
For their made-to-measure challenge, their ability to draft and create patterns is put to the test as the judges seek to draw out the sewers' inner designer. Creating their own patterns in the sewing room, as well as constructing and fitting their dresses is the sternest test yet of their all-round sewing skill and their ability to imagine clothes, but who will flourish and who will fail to make the grade so tantalisingly close to that place in the grand final?