Monday, 24 February 2014

The Great British Sewing Bee- series 2 episode 1 review


Yay! My excitement upon discovering the new series of the sewing bee was to be aired this spring was quite considerable, and, as we do not have a TV in our flat, I logged on to iplayer as soon as the show become available on the replay. Last year I blogged about series one and wrote a short review of each episode which generated a fair amount of interest so I decided to continue with my mini reviews this year.

I should probably say that I felt a small amount of jealously watching the show as I applied to take part myself but sadly one of the researchers informed me that they film midweek and, as a teacher, this would have really not have worked for me! But yay for the people who made it onto the show as they seem like a lovely group of people, although the episode was not without some rather twee, British drama...

First challenge was, drumroll please... A sleeveless shell top! Easy peasy lemon squeezy although some of the poor contestants had never tried this before so didn't get their tops finished. It's really mean that they rank the finished garments, I think announcing the winner and runner up would suffice as the poor bugger who comes last probably could work that out for themselves from the feedback they receive and from having the sense of sight, but hey! There were some lovely tops made but my favourite was Jenni's as I loved its funky 70s print.
Jenni's top

To be honest with a top this simple and without variation choosing a favourite was really down to which had a nice finish and which was the nicest fabric to suit the project. The winner of the first challenge was Heather and this was well deserved I'd argue as even through my fuzzy laptop screen I could tell it was finished expertly and would feel wonderful to wear.

Heather's top
The second project of the episode challenged the contestants to customise a boring woollen skirt into something, erm, less boring? I was not overwhelmed with the results but one customisation job really stood out to me as the most aesthetically striking and wearable and that was Chinelo's pencil skirt with a peplum- I will be doing this myself asap! That is a woman with serious talent, her ability to drape and draft without a pattern is just incredible and really made her stand out in the second challenge...

Chinelo's peplum skirt- nom nom nom!
The winner of this skirt customisation challenge, Tamara, did really not float my boat but did show enormous skill with fabric and trimmings.
Tamara's frilly skirt

The final challenge was to make a silk nightie, and there were some interesting results. I think most of the contestants chose a half decent pattern (although drafting your own un-tested pattern is perhaps not the best idea when under time pressure if you ask me!) but many fell down on their fabric choices. Although a stiffer silk might be easier to work with than a more fluid silk, who wears a stiff nightie? Just not quite fit for purpose.
My favourite was this stunning creation by Chinloa, which the amazing woman created without a pattern?!? It is without a doubt the sexiest creation of all the nightgowns, and if I am honest, the only one I would wear myself. Amazing skill.
Chinlelo's gown


Julie's winning gown was also lovely although my aversion to diamontes would prohibit me from wearing anything quite like it myself, it did show incredible skill, just wow!

Julie's gown

A final note which rings true with my own sewing philosophy from Julie (sewer of the week!)- 'Your better off doing three things fantastically than 10 things rubbish'

A little something to make Monday rather more bearable...*sigh*

Thanks for reading and happy sewing, and let me know in the comments what you made of this episode!
 x x x