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Sew Reporter – 3rd July

Happy Sunday sewists and a big welcome to the month of July! Who else is swimming in summery sewing projects?!

We have some sewing inspiration from the Sewing Bee finale to share with you, including our pattern picks for episode 10 and if you have been inspired by the transformation challenges, we have a pattern designer you might want to check out! Have a wonderful end to your weekend pals!

The final episode was appropriately themed as party week! The judges set the last set of challenges as asked the finalists to sew Esme’s iconic Swanky Modes design – the Amorphous dress, to turn scraps from the past nine episodes into a party outfit, and create a dazzling red-carpet jumpsuit for a model that’s close to their hearts.

We have put on our detective hats for the last time this series to discover the sewing patterns from independent designers and commercial pattern houses used in the Sewing Bee TV show. The patterns we found are all matches or inspired by the designs they used. We also have a coordinating video to chat through the episode and the patterns for you to enjoy!

Images: (C) BBC/Love Productions

If you haven’t already seen our ultimate guide to the Sewing Bee do take a look.

What a final made-to-measure challenge that was! If you are keeping your eye out for a jumpsuit pattern that is fit for a party, we have a few you might like…

If you’re inspired by the Sewing Bee’s transformation challenge and have some garments of your own you’d like to give a new lease of life, check out Greyfriars and Grace! Sustainability is at the heart of the designs and many of the Greyfriars and Grace patterns have an option for reusing existing clothes and textiles.

Here are some of the designs that can be made by reusing pre-loved shirts…

Greyfriars and Grace also have a brilliant range of children’s patterns, some of which involve upcycling garments – from jackets to jeans to shirts to curtains!

Raph wore something extra special yesterday for the Pride in London parade! He marched with his band in this incredible me-made outfit and he shared a little bit about how it was created with us…

Raph was invited to the British LGBT awards and wanted to make something new for the evening… and this was it! Raph said “I love broderie anglaise and but rarely see it used in menswear so I decided to make a matching shirt with shorts from this amazing fabric I found (I love the spacing of the eyelets and the pretty selvedges it has). The fabric was originally in green but I decided that I could add an extra dimension to the outfit by threading the colours of the Pride flag through the eyelets and thought the colours would pop out more on a darker fabric so I dyed black before sewing the shorts and shirt. I love the versatility of the outfit – I can wear it with or without the threads or weave different things each time I wear it.”

Do check out @raph_sew_and_so for a fab reel of this make-in-progress.

Do you already have a specific design in mind? Or do you need some help finding the perfect pattern for your fabric? You can search all the patterns in our database using our newly updated sewing-specific search tool.

Make space on your sewing list for the latest batch of patterns from Helen’s Closet! This collection combines practical and playful elements that can be mixed and matched with loads of other pieces in your handmade wardrobe.

Sizing: UK 6 – 34 / Format: PDF

The Ruby Overalls feature an elasticated back that creates shaping at the waist while still being comfortable to sit and move around in.

The Moss Jacket is the ultimate easy layering piece for your wardrobe that looks great in a wide range of woven fabrics.

The Dawson Top is designed to be a workhorse in your wardrobe. Three necklines and three sleeve lengths make nine total combinations of this design!

Introducing Merchant & Mills latest pattern – the Etta Dress. Isn’t it just the wrap dress of dreams? Etta is a simple wrap dress with a lined bodice and in-seam pockets. Choose between short or three-quarter length sleeves or make it sleeveless – which looks lovely with a t-shirt layered underneath.

Series 8 of the Great British Sewing Bee has ended, but we couldn’t put the series to bed without one last chance to share sewing inspiration from the show! We know lots of you have also been eyeing up some of the outfits that judge, Esme Young, presenter, Sara Pascoe and the finalists wore on the show, so we’ve found some patterns for recreating some the looks if you fancy! You might want to grab a huge cup of tea for this lot… it’s a bumper blog post!

I (Louise) finally popped into the Willam Morris Gallery in Walthamstow last weekend to see the Althea McNish ‘Colour is Mine’ exhibition. It’s a retrospective of one of the UK’s most innovative textile artists and the first designer of Caribbean descent to achieve international recognition. These are a few of my favourite pieces, it was definitely an inspiring way to spend a few hours and I‘ve been eyeing up the Althea McNish Liberty fabric collection since…
The exhibition is on until 11 September 2022, Tuesday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm. Free admission (suggested donation £5).

Each month we will be making a donation from our profits to a different charity. This month we have chosen to donate to Working Chance who support women with convictions to develop the confidence, self-belief and skills they need to find meaningful employment. They work with policymakers and employers to change attitudes and help women find a role in which they can excel.

Come and join our sewing Facebook group where we are chatting about sewing plans, new patterns and helping each other out with projects.

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