Great British Sewing Bee

Great British Sewing Bee 2023 – Sewing Patterns S9 Ep5


© The Great British Sewing Bee S9, Esme Young, Patrick Grant, Love Production, James Stack.


It’s the fifth episode of series 9!

In the fifth episode of The Great British Sewing Bee series 9, eight contestants are challenged with making a skirt inspired by the modernist movement, transform canvas into a dress and sew a made-to-measure outfit for a model inspired by the 20th century surrealist movement. For episode five we have put our detective hats on to discover the sewing patterns from independent designers and commercial pattern houses used in Sewing Bee TV show. The patterns below are all matches or inspired by the designs used in the fifth episode of the Great British Sewing bee series 9. If you haven’t already seen our ultimate guide to the Sewing Bee  do take a look.

The theme was ‘Art Week’ and all eight contestants had to make three garments. The challenges included making a skirt inspired by the modernist movement including appliquéing abstract shapes, upcycling art canvas into a wearable garment, and a made-to-measure dress to fit a model inspired by the 20th-century surrealist movement. 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  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.

If you want to chat about the episode and the challenges then do join us each week in our Facebook group event.

Sewing Bee: Pattern Picks

Pattern Challenge 1: Skirt inspired by the modernist movement

The first challenge of the fifth episode was to make a skirt inspired by the modernist movement, which involved appliquéing abstract shapes and making a sash tied in a huge Esme-pleasing bow. First the two skirt panels were joined together and hemmed before the appliqué was applied. Next the contestants sewed the remaining seams, gathered the skirt into the waistband and finally a massive bow was bagged out and tied around the waist. Here is a skirt pattern you could try at home that’s very similar to the one featured on the Sewing Bee.

Atelier Scammit Arpege Skirt

Arpege is a midi, long or short skirt with haute couture details: a buttoned closure in back, button and loop fastenings, a long tie belt or fitted buttoned waistband. It features slit pockets sitting forward of the side seams, giving a laid-back flair to this chic design.

Sizing: EU 34 – 48 / US 4 – 18 / UK 6 – 20. Waist measurement: 62 – 97 cm (24″ – 38″). Available in the shop: Yes, paper.


Tilly and the Buttons Dominique Skirt

This is the ideal project for a novice stitcher, or a satisfying one hour make for more experienced dressmakers. Designed to be super simple for beginners, the straight skirt features straight seams to practise your stitching and an elasticated waistband for an easy fit – no fiddly zips or buttonholes! Choose from knee length or above-the-knee, and add the optional turnover top patch pockets. The flared version of the skirt is slightly more challenging, as it’s cut on the bias and we suggest a drapier fabric for a flowing silhouette. Choose from knee length or an on-trend midi hemline, with optional turnover top pockets, belt loops and an elegant sash.

Sizing: UK 6 – 24. Please check the designer’s size chart and finished garment measurements. Available in the shop: Yes, PDF or PDF + printed copy shop.


Transformation Challenge 2: turning canvases into a dress

In the upcycling challenge contestants had to upcycle canvases painted by local art students and turn them into a dress. Specific patterns weren’t used for these tasks as contestants had to create a garment from existing materials in a fixed time so it’s a bit tricky for us to make sewing pattern suggestions based on these design ideas.


Made-To-Measure Challenge 3: an outfit inspired by the 20th century surrealist movement

In the last challenge of episode five, all the contestants had to create a garment inspired by the 20th century surrealist movement into a made-to-measure outfit. Here are our pattern picks for the contestants and where sewing patterns have been self drafted or hacked we have suggested an alternative.


Lizzie’s Ode to Picasso

Features: Organza and chiffon, Mirrored eyes and boned underskirt.

Pattern: A similar pattern to the top would be the Folkwear 113 Unisex Japanese Kimono. This pattern is for a yukata, an informal, unlined kimono for men and women, usually made from cotton. All traditional kimono are cut and constructed in the same way, with variations only in length and in the style and width of the sleeves. The front and back are cut together, with no seams at the shoulder. Narrow panels create an overlap at the front opening, and a triple-folded and reinforced neckband extends below the waist. This pattern offers a choice of three sleeve styles – a casual yukata sleeve for women and more formal widths for both men and women. Instructions are included for shibori dyeing, sashiko embroidery, and for making an informal obi or sash. The pattern also provides extensive notes on history and fabrics, along with traditional and modern ways to wear this garment.

Sizing: Sized for men and women up to 6′ tall. Available in the shop: Yes PDF or PDF + printed copy shop.


Vicki’s Dali inspired outfit

Features: Appliqué eye, quilted top and gathered tulle skirt.


Top: Matchy Match Peplum Split Tank. The Peplum Split Tank is a relaxed fitting tank with an A-line silhouette and a high gathered peplum at the back. This pattern has two views. Both views are designed to be cropped and dart free for a playful modern shape. View A has a solid front bodice, while View B has a split down the centre allowing for maximum colour blocking creativity.

Sizing: XXS – 6XL (approx. UK 6 – 38, based on our standardised size chart). Available in the shop: Yes PDF or PDF + printed copy shop.

Skirt: Megan Nielsen Brumby Skirt. Brumby is a gathered skirt with deep scoop pockets. The pattern features an exposed zipper and a contoured waistband that sits at the natural waistline. Version 1 is above the knee and includes pockets. Version 2 is midi length and includes pockets and additional fullness. Version 3 is a basic knee length gathered skirt.

Sizing: 0 – 20 (approx. UK 6 – 20). Please check the size chart and finished garment measurements. Available in the shop: Yes, paper.


Asmara’s dream dress

Features: Grey, black, yellow and red colours with snake heads.

Pattern: Self-drafted.


Fauve’s Architectural dress

Features: Leatherette, lace, drapes and handkerchief hems.

Pattern: McCalls M7315These dresses have a fitted, lined bodice with neckline variations, skirt cut on the crosswise grain, handkerchief hem (wrong side shows) and back zipper. D: Hem band.

Sizing: A5 (6-8-10-12-14), E5 (14-16-18-20-22), approx. UK sizes A5 (4/6 – 10), E5 (10 – 18/20). Available in the shop: Yes, paper.


Tony W’s Gothic bridal gown

Features: Bolero, godet sleeve and feathers.

Pattern: Style 4322 (1974). 

Sizing: Individual. Available in the shop: Out of print, try reselling sites like Etsy or Ebay.


Lauren’s illusion shirt dress

Features: Hanger and miniature shirt

Pattern: Self-drafted.


Woman wearing the Saltwater Slip Dress sewing pattern from Friday Pattern Company on The Fold Line. A pull-over slip dress pattern made in rayon challis, silk, lawn, voile or lightweight linen fabrics, featuring adjustable shoulder straps, tea length with side slits and scoop neckline.

Mia’s Cloud dress

Features: Tulle pompoms and crystal beads.

Pattern: Friday Pattern Company Saltwater Slip DressThe Saltwater is a simple slip dress with adjustable straps that can be layered or worn on its own. The pattern comes with two length options: above the knee, and tea length (with side slits). It also comes with optional side ties to add a bit of waist shaping. Wear this slip over a tee shirt, under a sheer dress, or on its own! The pattern comes in sizes XS – 7X and includes cup size options (B/C and C/D). This is a pullover dress with no closures. You’ll want to make this easy-to-sew slip again and again!

Sizing: XS – 7X (approx. UK 6 – 34, based on our standardised size chart). Available in the shop: Yes, paper, PDF or PDF + printed copy shop.


Woman wearing the Box pleat Dress sewing pattern by The Assembly Line. A slip on, loose fitting dress pattern made in denim, twill or canvas fabric featuring a deep box pleat at the back, side slits and in-seam pockets.

Tony R’s ‘This is a dress’

Features: Monochrome vinyl lettering and relaxed fit with box pleat at back.

Pattern: The Assembly Line Box Pleat DressThe Box Pleat Dress is a stylish everyday hero, with an A-line shape and gently exaggerated sleeves. It slips over the head and has a deep box pleat at the back, slits at the sides, and in-seam pockets.

Sizing: XS – 2XL (approx. UK 8 – 24/26, based on our standardised size chart). Available in the shop: Yes, paper.


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2 thoughts on “Great British Sewing Bee 2023 – Sewing Patterns S9 Ep5

  1. I am loving your Sewing Bee pattern pics and watching the show.

  2. Did anyone spot Esmes dress? I reckon it was a Kielo wrap dress

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