Trouser challenge toile

Great British Sewing Bee- episode 2

Wow! I think Episode 2 is even better than the first! All the talented stitchers seem to have settled into the pressure of sewing on TV 

Challenge 1

This week we saw the contestants making trousers! Phew that was a tough one

Those pesky zip flies! They proved really tricky. I know for many amateur  stitchers, trousers are the the holy grail or nemesis of their sewing! Poor Lauren, she really did a great job on her trousers, it was just bad luck that she did the fly the wrong way round. She mistakenly looked to the trousers she was wearing, and did the opposite. Her trousers were jeans and as jeans are a unisex garment they always have a left fly facing:(

zip fly

If you’d like to know how the zip fly instructions for most dressmaking patterns go together, watch my free video here

Challenge 2

Who knew that patch pockets could be so creative? Yet again, I was blown away by how well the contestants rose to the challenge and got sooo creative. I loved mark’s Skull fabric pockets!

Challenge 3

Blouses… Weren’t they great? Sewing a garment like a blouse in a luxury fabric like silk is a real challenge in JUST 6 HOURS….. I can’t believe how they all really pushed themselves. If it had been me i’d have picked a simple shell!

Clever Sandra picked a pattern that’s perfect to fit lots of shapes with loads of princess line seams, making it one of the easier styles to fit. And then she went and chose silk chiffon!!! She’s crazy, and very talented

Lauren went for an on trend Peplum blouse in delicious silk

I loved that Mark went for a traditional Blouson, using historical research as his pattern.

Ann chose a pattern that she had in her stash, that had to be traced. Ann has the patience of a saint, this technique drives me crazy.

Stuart picked a clever pattern, the angular lines and interesting details of his blouse belie the fact that fit wise , it’s safe! He did a great job, and it looked so lovely on his gorgeous model.

Happy Stitching


  • inkstain

    13.04.2013 at 19:52

    It occurs to me that there might have been just as much excitement and competition if there had been two teams of four each, with a variety of set projects/tasks, who could spend a season of 4-6 shows making the most of their various strong suits and helping each other over the bumpy bits.
    We could cheer on Team A or B and enjoy the bonding dynamics as well as the competitive dynamics.
    Such a program would have shown the stronger technicians passing on tips within the team and the more stylish contestants jazzing up the finished styles.
    Just an idea…

  • tanya

    13.04.2013 at 07:41

    Tilly used ‘Swedish pattern paper’ didn’t she? Freezer paper is waxed and is great for patchwork as it melts into the top lint and holds the fabric stiff. Swedish paper is a bit like tyvek or fine sew in interlining. You can see through it to trace off patterns, sew it up, make fitting amendments and then make the best fit pattern from it. Freezer paper is available from lots of shops that sell patchwork stuff. Maybe lakeland or cooking shops too

  • BeccaA

    11.04.2013 at 16:40

    I was so sorry that the judges didn’t give Tilly any credit for creating her own patterns. I like her aesthetic and am disappointed that May, in particular, didn’t seem to like her efforts. I was also sorry to see Mark go. It is odd to me that the premise of the show is that these are the best home sewers, yet the tasks they are asked to accomplish would really be better done by professionals. Home sewers sew for themselves, taking the time they need to accomplish their sewing, and they choose to sew items that interest them. By asking the contestants to fit a stranger, sew items that are not interesting to them, and work on a deadline, I feel that the show is trying to find the best home sewer who is ready to open a sewing business. I would like to see what these sewers could accomplish without a deadline. I also dislike the format of voting two off the show each week–this format is popular for TV, but sewing shouldn’t be a blood sport. Why not let the audience vote as well? Why not keep everyone on the show until the end and then select the winner? I thought Stuart’s pants were as badly executed as Marks, so I wish they had tied for last place.

    • angela regan

      18.04.2013 at 10:34

      I have loved the show and it is great that it sewing is gaining a lot more interest.
      My only gripe with the show is that those taking part are not on a level playing field. I feel they should have had categories according to experience. Tilly, for example has only been sewing for a couple of years, whereas Anne for 70 years. It would have been better to group people according to experience.

  • Dottie Doodle

    11.04.2013 at 15:26

    Interesting about the jean zip fly – I didn’t know that. Poor Lauren! I’m enjoying reading your behind the scenes posts. Thank you!

  • inkstain

    11.04.2013 at 13:00

    Here’s my take on the TGBSB.
    Thanks for a great blog to which I’ve linked my few fans. I’m hooked on the show, but you’ll see how I would have programmed differently, having sewed for over forty years.
    I think it “views” a little differently for us overseas, since we’re not familiar with Claudia W. or Tilly or the “bake-off” format, so that’s where I focus my comments.
    As you can tell, I love sewing too, and BTW, for those four decades, I’ve always freaked over fly zips. Your video is the best I’ve ever seen, including Sandra Betzina’s.