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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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