Great British Sewing Bee 2021 Episode Seven

Whilst the competition is hotting up on the Sewing Bee, the theme this week was definitely cooling down being “Winter Week”!

First up was the Pattern Challenge and this week the contestants were asked to sew a lumberjack-style shirt in checked flannel fabric. The judges indicated they wanted to see perfect pattern matching of the checks on both horizontal and vertical planes. This is harder to do with smaller checks as some contestants found to their cost. Flannel is made from loosely woven cotton or wool but the looser the weave the more difficult it is to sew. You can learn more about the history of flannel HERE.

Esme liked Andrew’s choice of fabric but he had a problem with his pattern-matching at the front and his collar was untidy with one side higher than the other. Rebecca used pink gingham but the small check made it hard to pattern-match precisely, so the match was not perfect at the back and the collar was messy.  Damien chose wooden buttons for his shirt to tie in with the lumberjack theme, which the judges approved of.

Raph had made a lumberjack shirt before, but this didn’t seem to help him as he was not able to get his shirt finished in the time. Farie also didn’t get finished. She took a long time getting the pattern-matching right, but this lost her loads of time. Her shirt had no collar, no buttonholes and no buttons! Not surprisingly, she came last in this phase.

Serena’s shirt was very much admired by the judges. It was immaculately sewn, beautifully pattern-matched everywhere and the collar was nice and flat with perfect points. She was the well-deserved winner of this challenge.

The contestants used a technique called the ‘burrito method’ to make the shirt yoke – you can find a good video tutorial about this HERE.

The contestants with their completed lumberjack shirts.

Next it was time for the Transformation Challenge. This week the contestants were asked to make a garment for an adult of any gender out of a selection of scarves and wraps. They were allowed to choose up to five in total.

Serena opted for an asymmetric dress in shades of blue with a bright yellow waist-tie. Raph made a top using striped scarves which created a bold graphic effect. Patrick liked the colours, however the judges felt the garment was a bit too simple and still looked like a draped selection of scarves!

Rebeca made a skirt and top with big purple bow. However, Esme was not convinced it really all worked together. Andrew’s dress had a ‘Middle Ages’ feel and Patrick liked the way he had incorporated some unpicked wool into the design. This won him second place.  Farie choose two animal print scarves to make a dress, which the judges felt was very dramatic and wearable and awarded her first place.

Damien had used just one large scarf to make a simple dress. He incorporated a lot of trim, such as sequins and flowers in the design. However the judges felt the trim didn’t really go with the rest of the garment. They also felt it was too simple, being just a folded scarf with armholes! So he came last in this challenge.

Scarf Transformation Challenge

Finally it was time for the Made to Measure Challenge. The contestants were asked to make a winter party dress for any occasion. The judges explained they were looking for something festive and fun.

Serena’s dress was inspired by ‘Killing Eve’ and was an asymmetric blazer dress. She used satin fabric which she block-fused with interfacing – however this process did create some bubbles in the fabric. Patrick loved the modern silhouette and Esme liked the vivid fabric.

Farie went for a purple stretch velvet dress with balloon sleeves. Esme thought it was sexy and a good fit, although she did find a tiny hole in the waist area. Andrew also chose purple velvet for his fitted dress which featured big bows on the cuffs. Unfortunately, one of the bows fell off as his model strutted her stuff! Esme didn’t like the cuff bows which she felt had been rather ‘plonked on’. The back of his dress was also lumpy and uneven.

Rebecca made a skater style dress with a fitted bodice with flared skirt. She used lace net with gold embroidery overlaying thick green duchess satin. The judges thought this combination of fabrics was very festive. They also remarked that it was nicely sewn and admired the handsewn neckline. Damien opted to make his dress in a grey check tweedy wool with a purple satin facing and a bold open ended zip. Esme thought it was fantastic and loved the contrast lining. Patrick said it was elegant, sexy, and the best thing that Damien had sewn so far.

Raph choose a gold brocade for his dress. This had a square neckline and a big bow sewn into side seams to make a dramatic belt. Patrick felt it was incredibly modern whilst incorporating historical reference points. The judges liked the fact that the bow very much part of the garment and also felt the dress was a fabulous fit.

Festive winter dresses from Raph and Damien

Festive winter dresses from Raph and Damien

The judges said it was a tough decision to choose ‘Garment of the Week’. They were torn between Damien’s and Raph’s but it was Raph who clinched the accolade!

Sadly it was Andrew who went home, having not had the best of weeks. This means we now only have five contestants going through to the Quarter Final next week when the theme is ‘Movie Week’!

If you would like to be super organised and sew some garments for next winter, why not check out our selection of Boiled Wool – below are some of our favourites: 

Boiled Wool Fabric, clockwise from top left
Dark Green
French Navy

If you would prefer to sew more seasonal garments, then why not peruse our Newest Arrivals – just a few of which are pictured below: