In this week’s episode of the Great British Sewing Bee, the theme was ‘Sportswear’ and so we were treated to the sight of  host Joe Lycett in a sparkly tracksuit!

The first phase, as ever, was the Pattern Challenge. The contestants were asked to make a man’s traditional style rugby shirt, with a collar, placket and cuffs. This meant they had the tricky task of combining four very different fabrics – cotton jersey for the main body, ribbing for the cuff, woven cotton for the collar and herringbone tape for the placket. This really tested their ability to handle fabrics with different stretch and density of weave.

Great British Sewing Bee 2020 - Rugby Shirt

Nicole’s winning rugby shirt

Nicole won this challenge. The judge’s loved her very neat placket and collar, plus they thought her colour combination was excellent. They were impressed by her great attention to detail, such as a little pink contrast cross-stitch on the buttons.

Plackets can be very tricky, as many of the contestants found to their sorrow. There is a very comprehensive guide to some of the many types of placket on THIS LINK.

Next was the ‘Transformation Challenge. This week the contestants were asked to make a toddler’s waterproof onesie from two waterproof cagoules. The judge’s brief was that the onesie must fit well, be comfortable, safe, stylish and easy to put on and take off. Contestants were allowed to use zips, velcro etc. from the haberdashery but no additional fabric beside the cagoules.

This challenge was won by Therese, who is a Dragonfly Fabrics customer! There were many things the judges loved about her onesie – the colours, the inclusion of a mesh panel for ventilation, and the way she had inserted a contrast fabric panel in the front which was echoed in the inset stripes down the legs.

Great British Sewing Bee 2020 - waterproof onesies

Waterproof onesies in the Transformation Challenge

Finally it was time for the Made to Measure Challenge. The contestants were asked to make a woman’s tennis outfit. We saw how tennis outfits have changed a lot through the years, if you want to learn more then a pictorial history of them can be found on THIS LINK.

The contestants produced garments in a great variety of styles, from vintage through to more modern items such a slinky black number and a punky style with rara skirt and zebra sports bra.

Several of the contestants made traditional pleated skirts and you can find a great video tutorial for making pleats HERE.

Great British Sewing Bee - Tennis Outfit

Ali’s winning tennis outfit

This week the ‘Garment of the Week’ accolade went to Yorkshire paramedic Ali for her striking ‘bold floral’ tennis outfit. The judges remarked that the fit was absolutely phenomenal. They also loved the extra details, such a neat back ball pocket, matching undershorts and even matching hair-bows. Ali is emerging as a strong contender in this series and has her own sewing blog, which you can read on THIS LINK.

The matching under-shorts!

Sadly Hazel went home at the end of the programme – she particularly struggled in the Made to Measure challenge this week.

We are looking forward to the next episode when we are told the theme will be ‘Lingerie and Sleepwear’.  We are already getting worried about what Joe may be wearing next week!