The Great British Sewing Bee - From Stitch to Style

and my completed bias cut top

Who else is super excited that the Sewing Bee is back on our screens again!? I feel like we have waited for ages this time, usually the series is aired much earlier in the year, so I’m really looking forward to seeing what challenges are set this time around.

Normally I’m thinking phew I’m so glad I don’t have to do that challenge but I thought the tasks set for episode 1 weren’t too bad.

Like all the other series gone by, there is an accompanying book; this year tiled The Great British Sewing Bee – From Stitch to Style and I was delighted to be asked to review it as part of the official blog tour this week.

The book is really comprehensive and has a whopping 27 patterns in total. Most of them are for ladies but they do also have a few men’s and children’s patterns too. So considering how much regular sewing patterns cost it is really good value for money – full price is £25 or you can get it on Amazon for just £9.99!

How is the book set out?

There is the obligatory introduction section covering sewing kit essentials, sewing machine basics, choosing a size, using the patterns, some common fit alterations, and common sewing terms and hand stitches.

Then to cover the ‘style’ reference in the title there is a summary of common body shapes and tips on what styles would suit you best.

After that the book is split into three sections titled ‘Foundation’, ‘Inspiration’ and ‘Exploration’ and all the patterns fall into one of these sections.

Then as part of the instructions of each project there is a ‘Core Skills’ section, which goes into more detail. I think it’s good that they are separated out as it makes the instructions less in-depth if you are more advanced, but if you do need more help its there – and it’s a great reference to go back to when working on other projects.

Full size patterns are also included with the book in a separate pattern pack. You will need to trace off the size that you need as all the pattern pieces are overlapped and printed on both sides of the paper. It is a bit tricky to fin the sheets you need as they aren't labelled when you slide them out the pack.

I managed to plan ahead and before baby G arrived I made a bit of time to sew one of the projects from the book. I was torn between the really cute kids dungarees, the bias cut top and the Brenton Top – I love the drop shoulders in this pattern.

The Japanese style top also looks really fun and if you fancy making it we have th lovely cherry print jersey its made from – in fact it was our shop that they bought the fabric from!

What I made

In the end, I went for the bias cut top as I thought it would be a quicker make. It’s the same one that they made on this weeks episode!

The design is really simple with just four pattern pieces - 5 if you include the neckband. As its cut on the bias it means the fabric is able to just hang and float to create shape and fit around your bust so there aren’t even any bust darts to contend with.

If you are still fairly new to dressmaking and haven’t tackled that many projects yet it’s a nice one to do. It’s simple but dealing with the bias will be a new challenge. You have to make sure the seams and neckline especially don’t get stretched out.

I’d recommend using plenty of pins and carefully guide and feed it though the machine as you sew and be careful not to pull or put strain on the fabric.

I choose this really pretty Atelier Brunette viscose fabric to make mine. It comes is two other colour ways too!

Fabric that is lightweight and has a nice drape and moves freely is best for this top otherwise it won’t really relax and hang properly.

I made a size 10 and didn’t make any adjustments or anything. The design is meant to be quite loose fitting which is great for me at the moment, as my body seems to keep changing shape, especially the bust. It is also loose enough for me to lift it up when I need to feed the baby.

I hope you enjoy the rest of the series! I cant wait to see what they make! There is a pretty impressive sequin cocktail dress in the book and i'm hoping that its inspire by one of the challenges!

You can see what the other bloggers on the tour have made by clicking the highlighted text...

English Girl at Home - Culottes, , Sew Over It - Palazzo Pants, By Hand London - Silk camisole and hacked PJ palazzo pants.

I was given a copy of the book for free from Quadrille, but all views expressed are my own.

Image credit to Victoria Beddoes Photography

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