The Savvy Sage of Sewing Stimulation

GBSB aka. Great British Sewing Bee

This show is really taking off – and thanks to someone posting on YouTube we colonists get to watch too.

There are so many thing I like about this – so don’t read on if you don’t like spoilers….. but here goes.

First the competition projects are totally reasonable and they are done in a reasonable amount of time – none of this making a ball gown in one day.  You actually can sew a pair of trousers in an afternoon, and add patch pockets to a skirt in one hour.

There were some surprises:  I don’t know what got into Ann, but for some reason I thought she would know better and she didn’t do well on the pockets nor the blouse – the blouse was actually frumpy, and even though some might consider me more the frumpy age, I do everything I can to fight it – maybe that’s because I’m just not frumpy and I don’t think anyone else should be.  My clients aren’t and if they tend that way, then I’m here to get them out of it fast!

Ann really sorta lost her mojo this week.  I adore the idea of the little buttons looped like this, but it doesn’t look right.  I wish the judges would have gone into more detail on this.  The details killed this blouse, and it was executed beautifully.

Stuart – OMG – Stuart got an infusion of something – maybe he thought if he started out horrible and then went to pretty darn good in one episode that would make it look like he had “progressed” or something – I dunno, but I was knocked out by his two competition pieces:

But whatever it is or whatever he’s taking, the world could use a dose, cause he did a great job here – not only are these well done, but they are creative.  He used Vogue 1274.  And to be honest, that is where I go on judging…I look for technique first and then creativity, but I will be honest, I do give points for creativity, even if the technique isn’t good.  They loose a lot, but I don’t throw out the garment just cause the technique is bad.  For me it has to be both for the garment to go out the window –  –

And speaking of bad….the best line all night belonged to Patrick when Mark asked if someone came rushing toward him with that shirt and a sword, and Patrick remarked: “If someone came rushing toward me in that shirt with a sword, I would head straight for a bus!!!!”  What a hoot!

This is totally blah – nothing – what creativity is here is totally lost, and I know she had some fitting problems, and she did pretty good on solving those, unfortunately when she made the circumference too big, she also made the shoulder waist too big and it just doesn’t work.  This doesn’t work on a lot of levels (more later) and this is where I really disagreed with the judges cause this got some more favorable notices than I would have given it.OK – here’s a good time to talk about something serious.  Yes, part of what makes this not work is that the shoulder to waist measurement on the garment is to large;  this is causing the bodice to buckle around the waist; which therefore makes there look like more fullness around the waist;  which therefore makes the waist of the garment sit on the hip and not rest on the waist making her look like she has a muffin-top problem more than what she really has.  So the solution of taking out length from shoulder to waist would take out the wrinkles, but making it just a smidgen shorter would allow for a more gentler line from the side through the waist to the hip.  Sort of like this

You can tell where I’ve morphed, but you can see the point – or the bump!  On the left is the bump as on the original garment and on the right is that line “softened”, which is what I like to do.   All you have to do is bring your waistline up about 1″ and it just softens that line beautifully.   The reason I bring this up is a lot of times you can be sewing along and do a fitting and you will think something terrible is wrong when it just needs a little less fabric from the shoulder to the waist.  And right now we’re used to seeing a little thicker waist and no bump at the hip line rather than a tight to the waist fit and a bump at the hip line (like you see in so many of the Mad Men outfits).  For us a more modern look is this higher waist and smoother line through and to the hip.

And so why carry on, because yes technique and creativity are wonderful and valid and undeniable parts of a garment, but so is fit and making it fit so that you look good is a lot of the whole effort here.  I’m not sure they’ve put enough emphasis on this, but the series isn’t over yet.

Stop the presses – this is gorgeous!  (BTW, see the higher waist and gentler line to the hip and fanny – Sandra did this perfectly here.  It’s a McCalls 6467).  But the ruffle in front and back was beautiful and the whole blouse done out of this pattern was great.  Execution (and I’m not on the premises so I can’t see for certain) but from what I can tell on the lay of this, is great as well.  But the creativity and artistic design is special.It was time for Mark to go — he should have gone last week, but lucked out on the fit of his dress and they kept him.  And I was sorry to see Tilly go, because she had drafted a pattern and had to refit, unfortunately I’m not sure what sort of “advanced” knowledge the contestants had, but she didn’t finish and that has to count as a death knell for her longevity on the show.  I did love her blue & white polka-dots with the red accent.  Too bad she didn’t finish, cause it would have been a stunner blouse, and the judges had trouble as it is, they would have had further trouble.

Don’t you just love the way the Brits talk….and their quaint little expressions for stuff – like creatives aren’t artsy – they are makers.  It just sounds so much more legitimate.

Recap:  Ann goes down (for lack of creativity), Stuart goes way up and Sandra kicked a**!!!!  Stuart was most improved, Patrick wins the award for best line, and Mary Hart has competition for “perky” from Claudia Winkleman!!!!  Can’t wait to see what happens next week!!!

1 Comment
  1. Thanks for doing an episode review! I can’t get enough of this show.

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