The Great British Sewing Bee 2020 – Series 6 Episode 3 – Sewing Patterns
Here we go, it’s week three of the Sewing Bee!
We are so excited to have the Sewing Bee to look forward to each week on BBC 1, just what we all need right now. We have searched high and low to bring you the best selection of sewing patterns from independent designers and commercial pattern houses. These are all inspired by the the second episode of the Great British Sewing bee series 6. If you haven’t already seen our ultimate guide to the Sewing Bee page do take a look, we’ve got loads of exciting Sewing Bee goodness including a review of the book that accompanies the series!
In this third episode there are ten contestants remaining, after we sadly said goodbye to Alex in week two. The sewing bee theme for week three is children’s outfits! The challenges included making a girl’s smock dress, transforming sleeping bags into fancy dress and making a made-to-measure dungarees. Take a look at our sewing pattern suggestions below, we’ve tried to find the exact patterns used but where we haven’t been able to figure it out we have plenty of suggestions 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 in our special mid-week sewing bee vlog.
We’ve also included some sewing tips and tricks from bloggers and pattern designers in the sewing community to help you with any of the techniques used by the contestants in the TV show. If you want to chat about the episode and the challenges then do join us each week in our Facebook group event.
If you are looking for children’s patterns not featured in the sewing bee episode this week you can search our shop for sewing patterns for babies, children aged 2-6 and aged 7-12 with different categories for garment types.
Sewing Bee: Pattern Picks
Challenge 1: Girl’s smocked dress
The first challenge of the sewing bee week three is to sew a girl’s smocked dress. The pattern that featured includes creating bias binding, a smocked bodice and a Peter Pan collar. Smocking is a technique that uses embroidery to gather fabric. It then allows the fabric to stretch and produces gathers below. In past times, smocking was used to gather and provide stretch for necklines, cuffs and bodices instead of buttons. Traditionally embroidery cotton was used by hand to create smocking but now we are able to do it on our sewing machines. We have a few pattern suggestions below for you to make your own smocked girl’s dress.
Liberty Patterns – Penny Collar Dress
The Penny Collar Dress has front neckline pleats and a back zip. The pattern includes six design options, with full instructions and fabric requirements for each dress size. Make in cotton, cotton lawn, lightweight denim or linen.
Sizing: 12 months – 4 years. Available in the shop: Yes, paper pattern.
Made by Rae – Geranium Dress pattern (expansion option)
The Geranium Dress is a sweet and incredibly versatile dress pattern. The Geranium Expansion Pack includes additional pattern pieces (including the Peter Pan collar option) for all the sizes 0-12 years, while the original Geranium Dress pattern comes in two sizes ranges (baby & toddler 0-5T and child 6-12y). Please note: the expansion pack cannot be used without the Geranium Dress pattern. Make in cottons.
Sizing: 0 – 12 years. Available in the shop: Yes, expansion pack paper pattern (on order back in stock soon). Original Geranium dress pattern available in paper.
Oliver and S – Puppet Show Tunic dress and shorts
Curtains up on this sweet ensemble! The tunic has short puffed sleeves with buttoned cuff, curved bodice seam, darts, and buttons in the back. The shorts have an elasticised waist, gathered pockets, and bias-trim leg opening. The tunic can also be made as a dress. Make with light- to medium-weight woven fabrics like cotton broadcloth, batiste or calico, and lightweight linen, denim, chambray, or seersucker.
Sizing: 0 – 24 months or 2 – 5 years. Available in the shop: Yes, PDF pattern.
Oliver and S – Fairy Tale dress
This is the ultimate fully-lined, special-occasion dress with crinoline. View A features a Peter Pan collar, tulip cap sleeves, tubular waistband, and front bow detail. View B is sleeveless and has a modified Peter Pan collar and a bow at the back. Make in a light- to medium-weight woven fabrics like quilting cotton, chambray, voile, lawn, shirting, poplin, broadcloth, silk, and linen.
Vogue® Patterns – V9177
The V9177 children’s dress sewing pattern from Vogue® Patterns is perfect for an advanced beginner dressmaker. This smocked raglan-sleeve dress has bias neck and sleeve binding and a back button closing. Version C has a decorative hem finish. Make in broadcloth, linen, gingham, pinwale corduroy.
Sizing: 2 – 5 years or 6 – 8 years. Available in the shop: Yes, paper pattern options.
Simplicity – S1507
The Simplicity 1507 children’s or baby’s dress pattern is perfect for an advanced beginner dressmaker. The toddlers’ and child’s dress can be made with a variety of sleeves. Change it up with contrasting collar, sleeves and sheer overskirt.
Sizing: 6 month – 3 years or 4 – 8 years. Available in the shop: No, available directly from Sew Direct.
Butterick – B3762
The Butterick B3762 girl’s dress sewing pattern is perfect for an advanced beginner dressmaker. This slightly flared dress, below mid calf has fitted bodice, neck variations, raised waist, dirndl skirt and back zipper. Versions A,B,C include tucks; versions A,B,D include short sleeves; versions A,D,E a collar; version C neck/sleeve ruffles; version E,F are sleeveless and version F showcases a purchased trim/contrast hem band.
Sizing: 2 – 5 years or 6 – 8 years. Available in the shop: No, available directly from Sew Direct.
Challenge 2: Transforming sleeping bags into fancy dress outfits
In the upcycling challenge contestants had to use sleeping bags to create food shaped fancy dress outfits. Specific patterns weren’t used for these tasks as contestants had to create a garment from an existing one in a fixed time so it’s a bit tricky for us to make sewing pattern suggestions based on these design ideas.
Challenge 3: Made-to-measure dungarees for a girl or boy
In the final challenge of week three, all the contestants had to make a pair of dungarees for a girl or boy. Dungarees can be dated back to the 17th century where they originated in India (termed ‘Dungri’ and thought to be named after Dongari Kapar, a village in Mumbai where the fabric was made) and were designed as cheap and hard-wearing workers clothes. The name refers to the specific coarse and durable calico cotton fabric, originally designed for making equipment such as tents and sails. The cloth was exported from India to England in the 18th century. Dungarees are now more commonly made from cotton twill or denim and formed of trousers held up by a bib with shoulder straps. For this challenge, the dungarees needed to be fitted but also have enough ease for playing. For each contestant we have tried to find the pattern they used in the BBC1 TV show and also have some other suggestions of similar patterns you could use to make your own version.
Liz’s ‘Shorty Star’ dungarees
Features: Contrast pockets, red top stitching and raw leg hems.
Pattern: Made by Jack’s Mum – I Dig dungarees. These are traditional but stylish bib and braces dungarees (overalls). The pattern has options for long legs, shorts and a skirt. You can choose between traditional clips and stud buttons, or regular buttons and buttonholes. Make with bottom weight fabric such as denim or twill. You will get the best result by using fabric with at least 10% stretch (around 20% is ideal). However, you can use fabric with little to no stretch.
Sizing: 0-3 months – 12 years. Available in the shop: Yes, PDF pattern.
Therese’s ‘Summer’ dungarees – features: Cotton chambray with a turned hem.
Hazel’s ‘Cosmic’ dungarees – features: Spaceman fabric.
Matt’s ‘Mustard’ dungarees – features: Personalised pocket.
Pattern: Burda 9464. Three hip and sporty bib overall version with side fastener, adjustable straps, hip-yoke pockets and rearward patch pockets. You can choose between three different lengths and different pockets.
Sizing: 6 – 11 years. Available in the shop: Out of print, try third party selling sites such as Ebay and Etsy.
Clare’s ‘Safari’ dungarees – features: Embroidered pocket.
Ali’s ‘Decorator’s’ dungarees – features: Paint splash pocket.
Fiona’s ‘Geometric print’ dungarees – features: Pockets with contrast cuffs.
Peter’s ‘Utility’ dungarees – features: Dachshund print lining.
Pattern: Two Stitches – Freddie dungarees. A unisex dungaree pattern for children. With contrast facing for straps, bibs, pockets and turn-ups. Keeping in mind practicality, the pattern features an elasticated back waist, and buttons on the side. A dress version is also included. Make with medium weight woven fabrics, such as cotton, cotton blends, linens, denim, pincord, etc.
Sizing: 3 – 9 years. Available in the shop: No, available directly from the designer.
Mark’s ‘Flash of flamingo’ dungarees – features: Contrast edging.
Pattern: A similar pattern is McCall’s M7459. These pinafores and dungarees have buttoned shoulder straps with back variations, a side lap zipper opening and waistband with button closure. Versions B, D and F have a patch pocket.
Sizing: 3 – 6 years and 7 – 14 years. Available in the shop: Yes, paper pattern options.
Nicole’s ‘Nautical’ dungarees
Features: Navy corduroy with a red and white striped lining.
Pattern: We’re not sure about this one, let us know if you’ve worked it out!
Sewing Bee: Tutorials and top tips
Here are tutorials from indie designers and bloggers to help you get to grips with the techniques used to make the patterns in the show. Each week there are some tricky skills that the sewing bee contestants have to tackle, so it’s a great opportunity to give these a go for yourself and build on your sewing knowledge.
Making bias binding
Tilly and the Buttons share a tutorial on how to make your own bias binding.
The Sewing Directory share their guide to machine smocking.