It’s the first episode of series 9!
We can’t believe that the wait is finally over! In the first episode of The Great British Sewing Bee series 9, 12 brand new contestants are challenged with making a twist top, transform office wear and sew a cut-out made-to-measure dress for a model. For episode one we have put our detective hats on to discover the sewing patterns from independent designers and commercial pattern houses used in Sewing Bee TV show. The patterns below are all matches or inspired by the designs used in the first episode of the Great British Sewing bee series 9. If you haven’t already seen our ultimate guide to the Sewing Bee do take a look.
The first theme was ‘classics with a twist’ and all 12 contestants had to make three garments. The challenges included making a top with a twist at the centre, upcycling office uniform into a pencil skirt and blouse, and a made-to-measure dress with cut-out details to fit a model. Take a look at our sewing pattern suggestions below, we’ve tried to find the exact patterns used but where we haven’t been able to we have plenty of suggestions so that you can recreate these looks at home for your handmade wardrobe. Kate also talks through her favourite pattern options from the episode on YouTube in our special mid-week sewing bee vlog.
If you want to chat about the episode and the challenges then do join us each week in our Facebook group event.
Sewing Bee: Pattern Picks
Pattern Challenge 1: Twist top
The first challenge of the first episode was to make a top with a twist at its centre. There were five pattern pieces and they had to be finished with French seams and a binding around the neckline. Here are some twist front top sewing patterns.
This style, designed to be made in stretch jersey fabrics, is deceptively simple to make and exceptionally beautiful to wear. The asymmetric twist at the centre front cleverly drapes and falls in soft folds, while the drop shoulder creates a subtly elegant batwing effect. Options are given for long or short sleeves, or no sleeves for a capped sleeve look.
Zakopane is a beautiful top with a twist, literally! This fitted top features a V-neckline with a twist in the centre front. It has both long and short sleeve options for year-round wear, as well as regular and full bust options for the perfect fit.
A short sleeve top with twist front and invisible back zipper. View B is colorblocked and view C has ruffle sleeves and open slit neck.
A pull-on top with front twist detail. Designed for lightweight wovens or fleece. Trousers are pull-on with elasticated waist. Designed and sized for stretch-knits only.
Transformation Challenge 2: Office uniform
In the upcycling challenge contestants had to upcycle office uniform (a pencil skirt and blouse). Specific patterns weren’t used for these tasks as contestants had to create a garment from existing materials in a fixed time so it’s a bit tricky for us to make sewing pattern suggestions based on these design ideas.
Made-To-Measure Challenge 3: Cut out dress
In the last challenge of episode one, all the contestants had to make a dress with cut out details for their model. Here are our pattern picks for the contestants and where sewing patterns have been self drafted or hacked we have suggested an alternative.
Tony’s Rockability Cut-Out Dress
Features: Tulle petticoat, and cut out back bodice.
Pattern: Simplicity Vintage Dress S8051. These Rockabilly dresses with full skirts feature sweetheart neckline with thick straps that cross in the back and round neckline with partially opening at back.
Sizing: AA (10-12-14-16-18), BB (20W-28W), approx. UK sizes AA (6/8 – 14), BB (16/18– 26). Available in the shop: Yes, paper pattern.
Vicki’s 1980s Cut-Out Dress
Features: Puff sleeve, cut out back and two-tiered skirt.
Pattern: Closet Core Patterns – Pauline Dress. Pauline is a true statement dress: dramatic, romantic and loaded with special details. Create truly distinct looks by mixing and matching sleeves and skirt styles to make the Pauline of your dreams. View A is a chic, sleeveless sheath with a straight skirt that hits just above the knee. View B features a striking puff sleeve in two lengths and a midi-length tiered skirt. Both views feature a unique bodice design that incorporates knife pleats at the waist, a face-framing square neckline and a keyhole opening in the back bodice tied at the nape of the neck. Pauline can be made unlined or fully lined and is closed with an invisible zipper at centre back.
Gillie’s Cut-Out Sundress
Features: Cotton dress with princess seam bodice and cut our shoulders.
Pattern: Simplicity Dress S8594. Dresses with bodice and skirt variations. Bodice options include crew neck with slit or halter. Skirt can be made in straight or flared with pockets.
Matthew’s Harness Cut-Out Dress
Features: Cut out bodice with Harness and waterfall skirt.
Pattern: Jara Crop Top – Effortless Patterns.
Asmaas Ope Back Cut-Out Dress
Features: Floor length with high neck and bow. Cut out oval back.
Pattern: A similar pattern would be Vogue Patterns V1589 designed by Guy Laroche. Close-fitting, partially lined dress has front drape, underskirt, invisible zippers at sleeves and side.
Available in the shop: Out of print.
Maria’s Broderie Anglaise Cut-Out Dress
Features: Broderie Anglaise with cotton lining and cut out back bodice.
Pattern: McCalls Dresses M7740.These lined dresses (fitted through the bust) have invisible zippers and back and sleeve variations.
Tony’s Stretch Fabric Cut-Out Dress
Features: High-low hemline with front bodice cut out.
Pattern: McCalls Dresses M8253. Three views for ruched, cut-out knit dresses include functional drawstring at bust and ruching on skirt. Sleeveless, half sleeve and long sleeve options are also included. Pattern comes in above knee and midi length options. View A bodice is contrasted for color blocking or for print mixing.
Sizing: B5 (8-10-12-14-16), RR (18W-24W), KK (26W-32W), which is approx. UK sizes B5 (6 – 12), RR (14/16– 20/22) KK (24 – 30/32) based on our standardised size chart. Available in the shop: Yes, paper pattern.
Lauren’s Linen Cut-Out Dress
Catherine’s Sateen Cut-Out Dress
Mia’s Cut-Out Mini-Dress
Features: Elastic ties under the bust but cut out back bodice.
Pattern: Vikisews Oona Dress. Oona is a semi-fitted A-line dress. The front bodice is only partially attached to the skirt, creating cutout sides, with the skirt sitting above the natural waistline. The dress has a wide, deep V-neckline that features gathers and elastic threaded through channels. The back bodice is cropped and the lower edge of the front and back bodice has elasticated channels. The back skirt is not attached to the back bodice and has a gently curved waistline. The upper edge of the front and back skirt has ties attached to elastic threaded through channels. The voluminous raglan sleeves have an elasticated hem. Oona is above ankle length.
Fauve’s Floral Cut-Out Dress
Features: Cut out waist and puff sleeve.
Pattern: McCalls Dresses M8175. Dolman sleeved flared dress with cutouts. Lower calf & mid knee lengths.
Lizzie’s Dior-inspired Cut-Out Dress
Features: Halter neck with cut-out front bodice.
Pattern: Vogue Patterns V9259. The romper and jumpsuit are close-fitting through the bodice and have halter necks that tie at the back of the neck and length options.
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