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The Great British Sewing Bee

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4 hours ago, txvoodoo said:

Joe is a comedian and I just adore him. I think he'll do just fine. 

Honestly, I don't need the hosts of these shows to be funny. Sometimes hosts of the various Bake Off shows have come off as corny or trying too hard (the hosts on the Great Kiwi Bake Off are particularly egregious). I'm not here to watch you crack jokes and distract me from the actual competition. I'm here to watch the contestants, so just be nice to them and we're good!

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Meet the S5 contestants!

Ben - 31, scientist from Edinburgh
Janet - 70, retired shopkeeper from North Yorkshire
Jen - 49, self employed, from Glasgow
Juliet - 33, primary school teacher from London
Mercedes - 57, school reprographics technician from East Sussex
Riccardo - 37, graphic designer/multimedia producer from East London
Tom - 27, motion graphics designer from Chelmsford, Essex
Sheila - 51, integrated care liaison from Ilford, Essex
Leah - 43, practice director from London
Alexei - 26, manufacturing engineer from Leeds

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S5.E1: Cotton Week

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The Sewing Bee is back with brand new host Joe Lycett for eight weeks of brainteasing patterns, spectacular transformations and stunning made-to-measure outfits. Savile Row’s Patrick Grant and Central St Martin’s Esme Young scrutinise every stitch as ten of the country’s best home sewers take up a needle and thread and tackle everything from jumpsuits to swimsuits to evening gowns.

They are eased in gently with cotton fabric, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. For their first pattern challenge the judges have chosen a Dior-inspired ‘wiggle dress’ designed to hug the female form. It requires precision and accurate darts, and any diversion from the instructions could result in an ill-fitting garment.

Next their design skills and sewing instincts are tested in the Transformation Challenge, when the sewers are tasked with transforming three second-hand items of denim clothing into a single, stylish new garment in just 90 minutes.

For their final challenge, the mannequins are gone and replaced with real live models who the sewers must flawlessly fit with a made-to-measure jumpsuit. Who will achieve the perfect body rise, avoiding the dreaded camel toe? Who will create clothes worthy of Garment of the Week? And who will drop a stitch at this early stage, becoming the first to leave the Great British Sewing Bee?

Original air date: 2/12/19

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo

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I can't lie - I was excited all day knowing that this show was starting again!

On a shallow note, I don't like Patrick's new haircut.

One thing that I love about the Great Canadian Baking Show is the bakers wear aprons with their names stitched on the front, which really helps me out for the first three or four episodes. The Great British Sewing Bee needs to put chirons on the screen more often, especially during the first few episodes. I can't remember all of these people's names yet!

It must be really hot because everyone seemed to have their fans going. Meanwhile, Patrick is still in a suit and tie the whole time.

I liked that we got to see an inside out version of the wiggle dress so we could see the details. I also appreciated when Patrick and Esme explained why the contestants should choose a sturdier cotton without stretch.

I liked Ben's red dress. He made a good fabric choice with that alternating rectangular pattern and he matched the pattern really well. The zipper was completely invisible too. For the rest of the season, Ben will be Guy with the Fried Egg Nipple Shirt.

I liked the grey fabric that Mercedes chose. I really appreciated that the camera zoomed in to show us where her dress was puckered in the pack when Patrick pointed it out. I never would have been able to see that from the original camera angle.

I laughed when Alexei got so excited upon learning that Patrick got his degree in engineering too. I can't believe he didn't notice that he had the cars upside down until the host pointed it out to him.

I wasn't a fan of the blue patterned fabric that Tom used. When Esme pointed out that the top half of the dress had the pattern going up and the bottom half had the pattern going down, I had to laugh when he said, "Would you believe me if I said that was a design choice?" Nice try!

I loved the blue and white polka dot fabric that Leah chose for her dress, but even from a distance I could see some of the flaws. It was hanging weirdly on the mannequin, but up close there were even more problems (the hole at the bottom of the zipper, the puckering at the side seam, the unfinished sleeves). Not surprising that she came in last place.

I liked the bright colorful turquoise fabric that Juliet chose. Not only was the pattern nice but she chose the right type of cotton. Her dress looked pretty good without any noticeable mistakes. I loved that it's only the first episode and she was already helping someone. I guess those sleeves were tricky, but hers looked great and she took the time to explain to Leah how to do them. First winner of the first challenge of the first episode!

Riccardo's green fabric was very bold. He was so close to matching the pattern where the zipper was! I'm not sure why he came in eighth since the judges weren't shown making many comments about his garment aside from the zipper.

I didn't like the white and floral fabric that Sheila used but the dress looked fine.

Janet's dress looked like it was pulling or not hanging correctly on one side. I was really impressed with how well she matched the tiny yellow squares on one seam! But she didn't even have time to finish hemming the dress so I fear she may not be long for this competition. I think she would have been in last place if not for Leah's myriad construction issues.

Jen's blue and black fabric was bold. The silhouette was great and the neckline was nice and sharp. It's too bad Esme found that cut/hole. I wasn't sure if it ripped or she sewed it improperly or what.

The transformation challenge can be hit or miss. Sometimes I feel like they end up being a bit too crafty. I like blind judging, but I always wonder why it's the transformation challenge that's judged blind instead of the pattern challenge. The pattern challenge seems like it would be easier to judge blind since everyone is making the same thing (similar to the technical challenge on GBBO).

Ha, I loved that Sheila's inspiration was Rihanna. I didn't like what she made though, because it ended up looking like a regular top (which was a good transformation of the denim) with jean legs pinned on as sleeves. The cuffs at the bottom were the best part of the sleeves.

Alexei's multicolored long skirt was an effective use of several pieces of denim. I wish he'd had one more color so that he could do an ombre effect (rather than putting a dark strip at the top and another at the bottom). The pocket as a flap in the back was a fun cheeky element. Second place!

I wasn't wild about Tom's minidress. I was surprised that the judges only mentioned it was quite short. Even on my screen I could see where things weren't quite lined up.

Riccardo's raglan sleeve top was way too simple. It was just a rectangle of denim with unfinished edges.

Juliet's one shoulder top looked sloppy (although that may be partly due to the one sleeve hanging low on the mannequin). From first place in the previous challenge to last place in this challenge!

Jen's halter dress was cute but I didn't like the pleating on the halter part. I'm sure that was because she didn't have time to fit it better, but it could have looked so much nicer without that issue. Using the jean jacket as the back of the skirt incorporated the jean elements that they wanted. First place!

I wasn't crazy about Janet's dress, mostly because the top was just overalls that were not transformed in any way. The skirt with the ruffle at the bottom showed more effort.

I would have liked Mercedes' dress without the long dark blue panels on the side of the skirt, which just looked tacked on and unnecessary.  Like Patrick, I wasn't crazy about the kangaroo pocket..

I liked the back of Ben's garment, but I didn't like the front at all. I had to laugh when Patrick pointed out the hole for ventilation underneath the armhole.

Leah's romper dress looked messy to me. I think it was the way the waist was gathered.

I loved Riccardo's practical issues with jumpsuits. He's not wrong either - it's such a pain to go to the bathroom while wearing one! His 80s wrap jumpsuit was not my favorite. The wrap combined with the sleeve was a little too reminiscent of a kimono.

Ben's cropped jumpsuit with a Peter Pan collar would have been so cute if the collar had been sewn evenly, but all I could see was how crooked it was and how the green fabric was visible between the collar and the model's skin. WHY, Ben?

Tom's pop art jumpsuit was a fun idea but I agreed with the judges that he had some fit issues and the edges of the pattern weren't matched well.

Sheila's black and white floral jumpsuit looked like it fit her model well in the front, but between the broken zipper and the "hungry in the bum" (TM Patrick) due to the short rise, I knew she was in trouble.

I loved Juliet's asymmetrical jumpsuit. The yellow and black fabric was such a great contrast with the black and white polka dot fabric. I wished the polka dot side of the bodice had a slightly different shape, but other than that it was great. It fit her model so well, which is the point of the final challenge. I'm so glad she won garment of the week!

Jen's denim jumpsuit was not cute. The neckline wasn't lying flat, there was a hole at the bottom of the zipper, and she didn't have time to finish the lining or even attach the straps in the back.

Alexei's military jumpsuit with patch pockets and exposed zipper was great. The pocket flaps were a little uneven. I had to laugh when Esme got right into the model's crotch to point out how dodgy the end of the zipper was.

Janet's nautical jumpsuit with rope straps was a fun idea. I liked her theme, but I didn't like the shape of the jumpsuit.

Mercedes' mustard denim jumpsuit with red piping wasn't very flattering to her model's figure. I was surprised that Patrick complimented the piping because I could see that it was crooked in the waist. It was definitely too long in the waist in the back. I wouldn't have known the back of the neckline was stretched out since the model's hair was covering it.

I really liked the V shaped straps on Leah's peacock jumpsuit.

I'm sad to see Tom go because I love people who love to use color and patterns.

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Yay, finally!

Tall Patrick and tiny Esme! The picture of Esme in the jumpsuit was so cool.

2 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

The transformation challenge can be hit or miss. Sometimes I feel like they end up being a bit too crafty. I like blind judging, but I always wonder why it's the transformation challenge that's judged blind instead of the pattern challenge. The pattern challenge seems like it would be easier to judge blind since everyone is making the same thing (similar to the technical challenge on GBBO).

I completely agree with you there. The transformation challenge is my least favourite bit  because most contestants appear to be totally lost. We've had denim challenges on Project Runway where they got 1 day to do something - on this show a bunch of people who are not designers get a couple of hours? Maybe it would be better if the judges were around and able to give useful tips and pointers a la Tim Gunn - or if there was some connection to the pattern from the first challenge.

It would be nice if shows like this had the option to not sending someone home after the first episode if they haven't delivered blatantly bad garments.

Anyway - yay for Juliet! I knew she was onto a winner when they showed the sketch - she didn't have time to finish the belt properly because in the picutre it looked like the belt was connected to the halter part of the top, and thats what I really liked about the design. (that would have done well on PR too). Also liked Janet and Andrei's jumpsuits and Ben's dress from the first challenge.

Mercedes reminds me so much of Karen from last year's GBBO 🙂

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8 hours ago, Aulty said:

Tall Patrick and tiny Esme! The picture of Esme in the jumpsuit was so cool.

Ha, it always cracks me up when the camera zooms in on Esme and all you can see of Patrick is like his elbow because he’s so tall!

She looked hot in that motorcycle picture!

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I’m so happy this show is back! I always really love watching it and it always manages to inspire me. (Like when Esme said, essentially, if you’re gonna put a bow, make it big. Im struggling with a bow on the dress im making and she’s right! It’s gotta be bigger!!)

Juliets jumpsuit was everything!! I always love the atmosphere on this show and seeing the things they make. I gotta start looking up the patterns used. 

Also, it appears, 2019 is not the year I stop crushing on Patrick Grant. 

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So happy to see this show again & I have no idea why LOL. I  don't sew, I don't even think I know anybody who sews, but I do love this show.

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23 minutes ago, GaT said:

So happy to see this show again & I have no idea why LOL. I  don't sew, I don't even think I know anybody who sews, but I do love this show.

honestly, and gbbo is the same way, its because its so soothing. it's so kind, its so light. we're just sitting down to watch people do what they love for literally nothing. theres no giant prize at stake, but a little trophy, maybe? bragging rights? (it has such a different energy than, say, project runway.) the judges are knowledgeable and the contestants are doing something they love among people who love to do the same thing and it's so relaxing, even when the sewists are stressed. i love watching them do what they do. i bet the energy in that room is like no other.  

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7 hours ago, GaT said:

So happy to see this show again & I have no idea why LOL. I  don't sew, I don't even think I know anybody who sews, but I do love this show.

I don’t sew either but I still love this show. I like that instead of being cutthroat competitors who spend all their talking heads bitching about everyone and making disdainful comments about other people’s work, the contestants just want to do their best. It’s refreshing to see a competitive reality show where the contestants know that they are really competing with themselves, not each other. I guess the lack of a huge cash prize helps, as @allonsyalice pointed out. As much as I would love to see them rewarded for their work, I think the fact that there isn’t a big prize weeds out a lot of the greedy/type A contestants and leaves us with the nice home sewers (I hate using that word on the forum because it reads as sewer rather than sew-er to my brain).

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I sew, so the show is always quite interesting to see and I'm very glad it's back. 

They've definitely upped the ante this year. The very first challenge was a 13 piece wiggle dress! If you compare that to the A-line skirts of season 1, which would have only had about 3 pattern pieces, then it's very obvious that they're challenging the contestants. I'm so glad that there wasn't any complaints of not knowing how to sew in an invisible zipper this year too. If you think you're good enough to compete, then there really is a set of basic skills you need to know how to do and an invisible zipper is one of them.  

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I don’t understand the judging on these shows. It’s like GBBO where the middle challenge doesn’t even matter in the outcome. But I think the woman with bad technical skills should have been eliminated over the man who screwed up in lining up his patterns, because in clothes, ill-fitting is worse than a pattern which doesn’t match up perfectly. 

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12 hours ago, GaT said:

So happy to see this show again & I have no idea why LOL. I  don't sew, I don't even think I know anybody who sews, but I do love this show.

I dont sew either but this show makes me think I could if I wanted to and that I would enjoy it.

Its the same with GBBO, the pottery show or the painting challenge, even that Amy Poehler/Nick Offerman crafting show - these programmes are encouraging, while so many others are just about the drama. I love news items about increases in sales for the ingredients of the weeks Bake Off challenges by xxx% because people are giving the recipes a try or that haberdashery sales have gone up after the first season of sewing bee.

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Another thing I like about this show is that it teaches you a lot about how to spot good workmanship on clothing. Now with fast fashion everywhere, Esme and Patrick's critiques and tips on garments is valuable to consumers of clothing while shopping. My mother was a sewer and she taught me a little of that (what to watch out for in stitching etc.). This does it even better. I've watched Project Runway but I prefer this show; I feel I can learn more.

I loved Juliet's jumpsuit. It looked like it came off a runway. A lot of designers could learn from that great use of cultural pattern mixing and style.

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S5.E2: Children's Week

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The nine remaining home-sewers are tasked with making children's clothes. Challenges include creating hoodies and turning fake fur coats into fancy dress beasts. The final task sees contestants up against the clock as they make made-to-measure dance costumes so the dancing kids can perform The Hornpipe, the Tarantella and Highland dancing down the catwalk. However, one of them will be shown the door at the end of the show.

Original air date: 2/19/19

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Also not a sewer, so I thought a lot of those dresses and jumpsuits looked outstanding! (Some of the denim items, not so much.). I was sad for the lad they sent home, I liked him. 

On 2/15/2019 at 6:37 AM, Aulty said:

GBBO, the pottery show or the painting challenge,

I love all these shows too, and really miss The Great Design Challenge. 

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I am not a kiddie person, so children's week is usually not my favourite episode - but I liked the hoodies, especially all the whimsical fabrics. I was also glad that there was a variety of styles for the dance costume challenge and not just a bunch of leotards and tull skirts. Overall I liked the one with well defined lines like the sailor and the two folk dancing dresses - and I liked the two hip hop outfits.

With the kids in this episode it was even more apparent that Patrick and Esme are also very careful and restrained when touching the models or highlighting certain parts of the outfit - unlike the PR judges who are far more hands on (I get that it is how its done in the fashion business, but its not necessarily how it should be done on TV).

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10 hours ago, TVbitch said:

I love all these shows too, and really miss The Great Design Challenge. 

Yeah, the Interior Design Challenge - I loved that. And I adore Sarah Moore's repurposing show 'Money for Nothing'. I hope they will bring both the Interior Design and Pottery show back at some point.

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I have a lot more respect for my hoodies now! Who knew it took so much work to make one? I loved how technical it was to make - stretch fabric, using the overlock machine, top stitching, the ribbing, etc.

Side note: I bought my mom an overlock machine for Christmas a few years ago and it was such a pain in the ass to thread the whole thing that she decided that she's never going to change the thread color.

I really enjoyed the brief history of the sweatshirt. I have definitely bought sweatshirts from Russell and Champion but I never realized how much they innovated. Of course, the ironic thing is that sweatshirts were originally created because athletes didn't like wearing wool and now wool is making a huge comeback as an athletic technical fabric with companies like Icebreaker and Smartwool for the very reasons that were originally cited as reasons that athletes didn't like wearing wool uniforms. Wool actually helps regulate temperature and is naturally antibacterial so it both insulates and prevents odor much better than cotton. It also wicks moisture and dries quickly.

I loved all the fun and whimsical fabrics that the contestants chose for their hoodies. If ever there was a challenge where fun fabrics were appropriate, this was it! But one thing I didn't like about the pattern they were given was the shape of the kangaroo pocket. When it's just a plain trapezoid, that means anything you put in that pocket is going to fall out. It needs to be shaped more like the top half of a stop sign.

Leah's shark hoodie was so cute. I liked the red pop of color on the wristbands and waist.

Riccardo's colored triangle hoodie was fun. I loved that he tried it on.

Juliet's lightning bolt hoodie was a little plain for my taste but maybe there's a low key kid who likes Harry Potter that it would appeal to.

I had to agree with Patrick about Alexei's dark green/teal hoodie - putting white cuffs on it means someone in that house will constantly be washing the inevitable stains out.

Ben's llama hoodie was fun. I might me crazy, but when he said he started sewing to make his own leggings for trapeze, I found myself wondering how men's leggings would be different from women's leggings. They're just stretchy pants. When he decided to sew instead of using the overlocker, I knew he would get in trouble. ALWAYS FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS. That's how to guarantee yourself last place.

I didn't like the fabric of Mercedes' pinkish hoodie because the mottled grey made it look like it was already dirty from an afternoon of playing.

Jen's burgundy hoodie was not my favorite color combination. Although it wasn't quite as bad as Alexei's white cuffs, using a light pink for the cuffs means those would get dirty so fast.

Sheila's star hoodie was very colorful. I liked the sky blue lining. I agreed with Patrick that the contrasting red thread for the top stitching was a nice idea in theory but it just drew attention to the fact that it was wobbly.

Janet gets bonus points for lining up the bunnies on the kangaroo pocket with the rest of the hoodie. I noticed that no one else bothered lining up the pattern for the pocket which is kind of silly since it's so much easier to do that on something like this. She definitely deserved first!

Faux fur can be a pain in the ass to work with so I was interested to see how the contestants handled it.

Riccardo's dragon was such a fun idea, but leaving pins in the hood (especially during children's week)? I knew there was no way the judges would let him get away with that!

Jen's bird costume was colorful and had lots of fun pieces (the hat, the cape, and the bird feet). Loved when Patrick tried on the beaked hat.

Alexei's slashed cheetah costume was interesting because it wasn't a typical animal, and I liked that he inserted the fur into the slashes.

Juliet's bee-east was a fail for me because she just added furry pants to a bee costume which didn't really fit the challenge. And the bee costume wasn't even sewn! She glued the yellow strips onto the black top. Girl, no.

Leah already had a cute but practical animal costume (hoodie with ears, long sleeves shirt with faux fur cuffs) so I don't think she really needed the cape. Heh, and poor Esme was confused by the S on the cape. "Shawn?"

Mercedes' yellow costume was definitely a costume but it wasn't a mythical creature or an animal, which was the challenge. I'm glad that she learned her lesson and said that she will follow the instructions if she's back next week.

Sheila's costume had the same problem but it was even worse because the judges couldn't tell what it was supposed to be. Loved Patrick's description: "techno rave Game of Thrones." Using pinking shears on the triangles on the back made them look like pasta to me.

Ben's ant costume was a fun idea BUT that boning in the back means it would be really hard for a kid to actually sit down which means you would have to dress them once they arrived at the party. If the judges are going to (rightfully) judge a hoodie with white cuffs as being impractical for a child, I would have docked Ben for creating a costume that a kid couldn't wear to sit in the car on the way to the party. I couldn't believe he won the challenge with that impractical costume!

Janet's cat was not my favorite. It just looked like a big vest with a cat face.

OMG Patrick was flossing!!!

Janet's sailor costume with blue lycra and a red circle skirt was simple but effective and well executed. It was the epitome of smart decisions.

Alexei's moth costume with wings was a bit too simple in design. It was just a leotard with some chiffon.

Ben's black and white contemporary costume was an interesting idea but he spent so much time creating that textile that all he ended up with was a leotard and some tulle.

Leah's Swan Lake costume looked like a dance recital costume. She did a good job keeping the center line nice and straight. I agreed with Patrick that she should have used black and white feathers on the shoulders instead of grey. I don't know if I would have chosen it for garment of the week though.

Mercedes' 80s costume was okay but I didn't love it. I liked the green crop top but the orange track suit didn't

Sheila's tracksuit was okay but not great. She picked a fun shiny fabric but there were definitely some issues. I agreed with Patrick that adding that black seem on one side of the jacket was weird. If she'd done it on both sides, it would have looked fine. I know she was trying to cover up a mistake, but you can still be symmetric about it! I'm glad she realized she didn't have time to make the jacket reversible. Don't waste your time on stuff like that! I think the cropped jacket would have looked even better if she had made sure to line up the black cuffs of the sleeves perfectly with the black ribbing at the bottom of the jacket. It was close but not quite.

Jen's Highland dance costume fit really well, especially considering that she didn't use any stretch material. I loved the piping on the peplum, but Esme caught the pinned elastic on the sleeve.

Riccardo's tarantella costume was recognizable but I thought the blouse looked like it didn't fit well.

Juliet's Igbo costume had so many details. All the netting plus the sequins made the skirt very eye catching.

Poor Sheila didn't have a great week. She seemed very sweet so I was sad to see her go.

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I was bummed to see it was a kids' clothes episode, but it held my interest well enough. I'm with Esme on the flossing.... what is that? I mean, I know what it is, but what IS that?!?!

Aren't some princesses "mythical creatures"? And is an ant really a "beast"? 

Um, that discussion about "excessive boning" -- how do the Brits get away with being so cheeky on such a demure show! ...I may have chuckled though.  

8 hours ago, Aulty said:

 I hope they will bring both the Interior Design and Pottery show back at some point.

Nooo, they canceled the pottery one, too? 

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