Friday, May 10, 2013

The Great British Sewing Bee Dress

 Have you had the chance yet to watch The Great British Sewing Bee? It is the kind of brilliant telly that I fancy. I completely fell in love with it. I was so inspired after watching all 4 episodes of season 1 on YouTube in 3 days, that I ordered the red, white and blue striped fabric that's on the cover of The Great British Sewing Bee book and whipped up a girl's dress that appears for just a snippet in the introduction of the show.

 I don't know the exact sewing pattern that they used, but it looked very similar to the Oliver+S Fairy Tale Dress, so that is the one I followed.
 The fabric is London Stripe Red/White/Blue, Collection: Andover London (and for the lining I used 100% cotton voile in white).
 I was super excited about sewing this dress. I was thinking about The Great British Sewing Bee and about the joy of sewing while making it. Instead of rushing through everything just for the sake of getting it done, I thoroughly found enjoyment going through every single step of the entire process. I worked hard at following the sewing pattern with accuracy and consistency. I did my very best sewing. And there was only a teeny tiny amount of unpicking (!)
 My hope would be that it has lots of good bits that meet the high standards of Patrick and May and that they might say comments like: The dress is fully lined which makes it nice and soft against the child's skin, the stripes are matched up superbly, the fine French seams make it a robust garment, a well inserted invisible zip, well managed darts with no puckers, and a well executed hand sewn blind hem. It's a perfect fit and a smart looking dress. It turned out to be a smashing success!
 Now that I've finished sewing this dress, I'm completely knackered, thankfully it's time for tea!
 Hoping you have a jolly good day sewing! Stitch your way to victory!


PS Here I have collected the information about all the challenges from all 4 episodes of season 1. These would make fantastic sew at home projects.

{The 3rd challenge is always where each contestant has picked pattern/fabric and had time to practice in advance}

1st episode, 8 contestants
following a pattern: A-line skirt (invisible zip) 3.5 hrs
alteration challenge: transform neckline on a white seersucker top 1 hr
made to measure (for a model): casual dress 7 hrs

2nd episode, 6 contestants
following a pattern: a pair of men's trousers (zip fly) 4 hrs
alteration challenge: add 2 patch pockets to a gray A-line mini wool skirt 1 hr
made to measure (for a model): delicate silk or satin blouse 6 hrs

3rd episode (semi-finals), 4 contestants
following a pattern: toddler summer dress (French seams, rows of shearing elastic, rouloux loop straps) 2.5 hrs
alteration challenge: dramatically alter by adding shape (pleats, darts, etc) to a blue viscose shift dress 1.5 hrs
made to measure (for a model): jacket 7.5 hrs

4th episode (finals), 3 contestants
following a pattern: man's shirt (no cuffs) 4 hrs
alteration challenge: add embellishment with only hand sewing (appliqué, embroidery, beading, etc) on a gray hand bag 1.5 hrs
made to measure (for a model): evening dress 8 hrs