Great British Sewing Bee

The Great British Sewing Bee 2019 Episode 4 – sewing patterns and sewing tips


On to week four where it’s all about technical fabrics!

We have searched the sewing pattern database to bring you the best selection of patterns inspired by the the second episode of the Great British Sewing bee series 5. If you haven’t already seen our dedicated Sewing Bee page do take a look, we’ve got loads of exciting Sewing Bee goodness!

In this fourth episode there are seven contestants remaining after we said goodbye to Ben last week. This episode has been all about using technical fabrics with the first challenge sewing a lined swimsuit. In the upcycling challenge, discarded festival tents were transformed into dog coats before the made-to-measure challenge where the contestants make luxury tracksuits for men. Take a look at our sewing pattern suggestions below so that you can recreate these looks at home for your handmade wardrobe. Kate also talks through her favourite pattern options from the episode on YouTube.

We’ve also included some sewing tips from sewing community bloggers and pattern designers to help you with any of the tricky techniques used in the show. If you want to chat about the episode with other makes then do join us for a weekly conversation in our Facebook group after the show has aired.

Sewing Bee: pattern picks

Task 1: lined swimsuit

The first challenge involved contestants creating a lined swimsuit with power mesh. This was a really difficult challenge for the makers as it was tricky to work out how to stitch together the different pattern pieces. Both Juliet and Janet made excellent swimsuits, that really enhanced the tie front design at the bust. Take a look at our pattern suggestions for swimsuits below and tips for sewing with Lycra and power mesh at the end of the post. You can search for more swimsuit options in the database here.

Lisette for Butterick – B6358

This Butterick sewing pattern was the one used by contestants for the first challenge. The pattern comes with a tie-detail bikini and one-piece swimsuit. This lined swimsuit is close-fitting, cut on the crosswise grain and elasticized. Versions A and C have a top with front ties, shoulder straps that cross at back, removable bra cups and a bra hook at the back. Version B has tie ends. Suitable fabrics include two-way stretch swimwear fabric e.g. Nylon Lycra/Spandex and power mesh for the lining.

Sizing: 4 – 20. Available in the shop: No.


The Friday Pattern Company – Vernazza two-piece bikini

Whether you’re frolicking on the beach or sunbathing in your backyard, the Vernazza Two Piece will have you feeling glamorous and comfortable. It features tank straps, an adjustable tie front, and a soft waistband. The bottoms hit at about your belly button and can easily be adjusted for a higher or lower rise. This is a simple swimsuit with a lot of style. It is fun to sew and is perfect for the an intermediate sewist.

Sizing: approx. UK 8 – 18. Available in the shop: Yes, Paper and PDF.

Task 2: Upcycling festival tents into dog coats

In the upcycling challenge contestants used festival tents to create dog coats. A range of sewing patterns were used for this task so we will make some suggestions based on these below for the pooch in your life.

Poppy and Jazz – Poppy dog coat

Designed by Lisa Comfort, this little coat is reversible so you can put a cosy fleece layer on one side and a smart corduroy on the other. It fastens with velcro and is super simple to sew and easy to put on your dog. A great option for absolute beginners.

Sizing: XS – L. Available in the shop: No.

Simplicity – 8538

Keep your dog warm with this dog coats, available in sizes small, medium or large. The pattern includes five different styles with design options to suit every dog.

Sizing: S – L. Available in the shop: No.


Task 3: Men’s luxury tracksuit

The contestants used a range of patterns to create luxury tracksuits for their real life male models. The technical fabrics used included scuba and styles ranged from model catwalk inspired designs to 80s vintage looks.

Leah’s lightweight shell suit

McCalls – M7486

This pullover top has raglan sleeves, neck variations and side panels. Version A has contrast panels and crew neckline while version C has a hood, contrast side panels, kangaroo pocket and cuff with thumb opening. The pull-on pants have casing for a drawstring and all important pockets. Version D trousers finish below the knee with elasticized legs while version E has contrasting upper side panels and leg bands.

Sizing: S – XXXL. Available in the shop: No.

Alexei’s active outdoor tracksuit

Kwik Sew – 4032

The Kwik Sew 4032 is a unisex stand-up collar jackets. It also has a front zipper with zipper shield, zippered pockets in front side panel seams and decorative topstitching. Version A includes casings with elastic at the bottom edges of the sleeves while version B has a contrast front and back with a curved back hem.

Sizing: XS – XL. Available in the shop: No.

Juliet’s camp scuba tracksuit

McCalls – M7637

The McCalls M7637 unisex bomber jacket sewing pattern is great for an advanced beginner/intermediate dressmaker. This unisex lined jacket has separating zippers and a rib knit trim with strips and pocket variations. We love the neon pop of the zip on the version modelled below.

Sizing: S – XXXL. Available in the shop: No.

Jen’s minimalist scuba tracksuit

Burda Style – 6718

This men’s pullover hoodie has raglan sleeves and a cross over hood with pull string detail. It also has cuffs to finish the sleeves and ribbing at the hem with a kangaroo pocket. This is a great basic hoodie to get started with.

Sizing: EU 46  -56. Available in the shop: No.

Janet’s Baseball tracksuit
Vogue Patterns – V9353
The Vogue Patterns V9352 men’s jacket is perfect for an intermediate dressmaker. This loose-fitting lined jacket features contrast collar and bands, welt pockets with flap, optional quilting detail, and front separating zipper closure.
Sizing: 34 – 46. Available in the shop: No.
You could pair this jacket with the…
True Bias – Hudson pants
The men’s Hudson pants sewing pattern from True Bias are the ultimate jersey trousers from men. The urban fit of these pants leaves a bit of extra room around the hips, has a slightly dropped crotch, and then tapers into a skinnier leg. It has an elastic waist with a drawstring, front pockets and a cuff at the ankle. Don’t forget you can make versions for women and children too!
Sizing: waist 28″ – 42″. Available in the shop: Yes, PDF.
Mercedes’ yoke-stripe tracksuit

Thread Theory – Finlayson Sweater

We have included the Finlayson sweater pattern in our round up of pattern suggestions because it shares the same cross over hood detail. Although this pattern is designed for knit fabrics the sweater is a grown up version of the classic hoodie. It will be a wardrobe staple due to its cozy boxy shape and hard wearing cuffed hems.

Variation 1 features a unique squared neckline and a stylish shawl collar. It also includes an optional neckline facing that can be used to feature contrast fabrics as a finishing touch to the garment interior. Variation 2 includes a roomy lined hood that crosses over at the front to join to the squared neckline as well as the classic kangaroo pocket to protect hands from the elements. This pattern is a hard-wearing design with a classic fit.  Create a hand-made wardrobe of these designs so as to always be comfortably and stylishly ready for the next adventure!

Sizing: XS-XXL. Available in the shop: Yes, paper and PDF.

Colour blocking tracksuit

Jalie – Frederic Hoodie 3884

The Jalie Frederic hoodie is a full-zip hoodie with set-in sleeve, lined hood and ribbed cuffs and hem. The angled zippered front pockets, with the zipper tape visible inside the pocket and the horizontal seam allow for fun colour blocking and is a great fleece stash buster!

Sizing: 44 – 52. Available in the shop: No.

Sewing Bee: tutorials and top tips

Task 1: Swimsuits

Ultimate guide to sewing swimwear

Seamwork shares a really useful guide to everything you need to know about sewing swimwear.

Sewing with Lycra

Read tips for sewing with Lycra and Spandex from Melly Sews.

Sewing with power mesh

Skirt Fixation shares a tutorial on how and why you should use power mesh in your swimsuit pattern.

Task 2: Upcycling festival tents into dog coats

Waterproof fabrics

Heather at Closet Case Patterns shares her tips on sewing with waterproof fabrics as part of the Kelly Anorak sewalong.

Task 3: Men’s luxury tracksuits

Scuba fabrics

Read the Croft Mill’s guide to sewing with scuba fabrics.

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1 thought on “The Great British Sewing Bee 2019 Episode 4 – sewing patterns and sewing tips

  1. Ricardo was ROBBED of garmet of the week! His tracksuit reminded me of the Norwegian cross country ski fashion. It was spot on!

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