Great British Sewing Bee

The Great British Sewing Bee 2019 Episode 7 – sewing patterns and sewing tips


On to week seven where the Sewing Bee has gone global!

We have searched the sewing pattern database to bring you the best selection of patterns inspired by the the latest 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 seventh episode there are four contestants remaining after we said goodbye to Janet last week. In this episode the Sewing Bee has gone global where in the first challenge contestants made a pair of Indian dhoti pants. In the upcycling challenge, contestants transformed men’s Dashiki tunics from West Africa before the final made-to-measure task where high end Japanese couture techniques of origami were used to make a top for a model. 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: Indian dhoti pants

The first challenge involved contestants creating Indian dhoti pants. The sewers had their pattern knowledge tested needing to fold and drape large rectangular pieces of fabric to create wide-legged and pleated trousers

Unisex Sarouelles 119 – Folkwear

Three comfortable and timeless pants designs from Turkey, Africa, and India, with elastic or drawstring waist and ankle variations. These full and flowing easy-sew styles are perfect for casual wear, yoga, belly dancing, or costuming. Historical lore and traditional embroidery designs are also included.

Sizing: women 6 – 18, men 32 – 44. Available in the shop: No.

Arenite Pants – Sew Liberated

The Arenite Pants are the luxuriously deep-pocketed, slouchy pants of your dreams. Incredibly versatile and amazingly cosy, you can wear these high-waisted pants for date night, in the office, or as pyjamas. The pattern includes three leg finishing options – a knit cuff, an elasticated woven cuff, or a dressier hem. Learn to sew french seams, flat-felled seams and a comfortable, non-twist elastic waistband for a made-to-last, beautifully crafted wardrobe staple. This pattern is suitable for advanced beginners. It is the perfect project for those new to sewing pants, as the fit is very forgiving.

Sizing: 0 – 24. Available in the shop: Yes, paper and PDF.

Esther Pants – Victory Patterns

Esther is a loose fitting, wide-leg pant. The front features two angled overlapping pleats and centre seams along the legs. Front slash pockets follow the angles of the pleats. This style sits at the natural waist with a straight waistband and closes with an invisible zipper and button at the centre back. Esther can be sewn full-length or cropped just below mid-calf. An optional sash can be added to either style.

Sizing: 0 – 16, approx. UK 6 -18. Available in the shop: Yes, PDF.

Task 2: Upcycling men’s Dashiki tunic garments from West Africa

In the upcycling challenge contestants used men’s Dashiki tunic garment from West Africa. A range of sewing patterns were used for this task, so we will make some suggestions based on these below. 


Kwik Sew 4173

This dresses is close-fitting through bust and has front and back diagonal seams and uneven narrow hems. Version a is sleeveless whereas version B has a contrast on the left side of the front and back and cap sleeve, as shown below. Suitable for moderate stretch knit fabrics only.

Sizing: XS – XL. Available in the shop: No, out of print. May still be available at some retailers or third party reselling websites.


Blossom woven top – Style Arc

This cleverly drafted pattern has a front dolman sleeve and a set-in sleeve at the back. The masculine button-through front is off-set by the slight gathers that fall from the front neck and back yoke. This design features a 3/4 length sleeve and a gathered peplum skirt that creates an easy boxy silhouette.

Sizing: 4 – 30. Available in the shop: No.

Cherry culottes and shorts – Cocowawa Crafts

Sew the easiest pants in the world and wear them all year depending on the fabric you choose. With two different lengths: culottes or shorts and two types of pockets, the Cherry seam pattern will become your favorite item. The design is wide and comfortable and the waistband wears an elastic to make it very easy to adjust and sew regardless of your size. Perfect for beginners who want to sew their first pair of pants.

Sizing: 1 – 8. Available in the shop: No.


Butterick dress B6323

This Butterick dress sewing pattern designed by Gertie is perfect for an intermediate dressmaker. It is a one shoulder dress with a fitted, lined and boned bodice. It is gathered into the shoulder and at the skirt with a side zipper. Make using light- to medium weight woven fabrics.

Sizing: 6 – 22. Available in the shop: No.

Task 3: Origami top

The contestants used a range of patterns to create high end Japanese couture origami tops to fit a real life model. Take a look at our sewing pattern suggestions for this final task below.

Leah’s spots and stripes origami top

Suzon shirt – Republique du Chiffon

The Suzon shirt is a very summery little blouse, a touch regressive with its trendy ruffle. Its simple collar and slightly fitted cut make it perfect to wear for any occasion. Its lovely gathered ruffle, following the natural curve of the shoulders, goes from wide to narrow to suit all body shapes.

Sizing: EU 34 – 46. Available in the shop: Yes, paper.

Margot shirt – Republique du Chiffon

Margot is a feminine shirt with collar petals. It has cuffs with tear-proof slits and a hidden button placket.

Available in the shop: out of print, may be available from third party reselling websites.

Juliet’s spiral origami top

Tuck Sleeve Top – Trend Patterns 

It’s still the year of the sleeve, oversized shapes are still a key trend. This design will keep you up with the trend and is inspired by catwalk looks. Works well in both light and heavy weight fabrics, simple but effective.

Sizing: 8 – 18. Available in the shop: No.

Riccardo’s ‘Ode to Bjork’ origami top / Jen’s puzzle pattern origami top

Japanese pattern cutting

If you fancy giving Japanese pattern cutting a try, the Pattern Magic series of books by Tomoko Nakamichi are really interesting.



Sewing Bee: tutorials and top tips

Task 1: Indian dhoti pants


Colette share a tutorial for perfect pleats and tucks, lets hope you never have to do 32!!!

Task 3: Origami Top


Tilly and the Buttons shares her top tips for pressing your fabrics like a pro! You’ll definitely need these if want to try out some pattern origami.

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