Great British Sewing Bee Episode 1 – patterns and sewing tips

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Great British Sewing Bee background episode 1

Grreat british sewing bee - pattern picks

We have scoured through the database and brought you the best selection of patterns inspired by the the first episode of the Great British Sewing bee #gbsb. If you haven’t already seen our dedicated Sewing Bee page do take a look, we’ve got loads of exciting things planned for the next few weeks. Take a look at what everyone is saying about the first episode in the forum Great British Sewing bee chit-chat.

If you fancy sewing up one of these pattern beauties for yourself, why not take a look at the list of tips and tutorials from your favourite bloggers and designers at the end of this post to get that perfect finish.

the great brisitsh sewing bee episode 1 bias top

Here we have the best picks for women’s bias cut tops with panelling.

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the great brisitsh sewing bee episode 1 skirts

Take a look at this collection of skirts inspired by the contestants choices in the final task. We have everything from full circle, gathered, bow tied and even a peplum hem!

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Patterns used in the show

Here are the patterns used by contestants. Angeline made the BurdaStyle B7089 skirt (yes the one that was perfectly fitted around the ‘arse’), Jamie made the BurdaStyle B6805 skirt with a flounce, Tracey made the pleated pockets New Look 6899 skirt and Duncan made the Simplicity 1200 circle skirt.

Sewing bee contestant skirt patterns  Great British Sewing bee skirt patterns

Sewing bee skirt patterns  What skirt patterns did they use on the sewing bee


Sewing bee - top sewings

Here are tutorials from indie designers and bloggers to help you get to grips with the techniques used to make the patterns used in the show.

Task 1 – Pattern matching, cutting on the bias and bias binding

Pattern matching stripes

The technique that challenged the contestants most in week 1 was pattern matching. Get tips from Tilly and the Buttons on cutting and sewing stripes and matching techniques from Seamwork to get those stripes, plaids and larger patterns sorted.



Working on the bias

Seamwork also have a fab Guide to Working on the Bias with loads of tips and advice for fabric choices, seam construction, pressing and hemming. Here they use their Savannah Camisole as an example to demonstrate the techniques.


Why not make your own bias tape to finish the edges and match your fabric perfectly?

Victory patterns have a tutorial on two ways to Finish edges with bias binding.


Also check out Grainline Studios for Getting flat bias necklines.


Make your own Bias Binding with this tutorial from Jennifer Lauren Vintage.

Bias 14

Stabilising seams

Don’t forget about stabilising your seams – Rachel House of Pinheiro is here to help you with her Sewing 101: Stabilising seams.


Task 2 – Refashioning pattern techniques

Sewing with invisible zips

Let Colette take you through the trials of adding an invisible zipper with this definitive tutorial and video!

How to add an invisible zipper

Making a skirt with an elasticated waist

Read this guest blog tutorial from Lisa Comfort on Tilly’s blog about How to add an elasticated waist to a skirt (plus some bonus tips on shirring!)

Elasticated skirt01

Adding an exposed zipper

Megan Nielsen has written a handy guide on how to insert an exposed zipper.


Inserting godet panels

By Hand London also have some Nerdy sewing tips for you on How to sew a godet panel.



We also couldn’t find a better tutorial than this from By Hand London with 3 ways to gather!


Task 3 – Fitting a skirt to a model

Lining a skirt

At Sew Over It Lisa Comfort has just done a vlog tutorial on how to line a skirt.


Adding piping

Heather at Closet Case files has some tips and a tutorial on how to add piping as a detail to your outfit.


Box pleats

For a tutorial on How to sew box pleats, head over to indie designer Gather Kits.


Fabrics and tools

For fabrics and tools used in the show, have a look at The Sewing Directory round-up.

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  1. janewhite451

    Wow! Thank you so much for all this work, what a wonderful resource you’re building here! I’ve had to record the various episodes and then watch them later, so it’s a struggle to avoid all spoilers when they’re happening live, but I then need to be able to find all the comments once I’ve actually watched the episode, and this feature is brilliant.

    The time you’re spending on this is very much appreciated, I can promise 🙂

  2. karenb

    Thanks for this blog loving all the info and pattern suggestions as a newbie to sewing watching GBSB for the first time it has helped me to maybe try out some of the techniques on the show. Tempted to make a chevron bias cut top


    1. thefoldline Post author

      @karenb Welcome and glad to hear you are inspired by the GBSB. Let us know how you get on with your chevron top 🙂

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