SEWING BEE – HEADING TOWARDS THE FINAL

Reaching the final of Sewing Bee - but who will win?
Reaching the final of Sewing Bee – but who will win?

NOoooooooooo! Can’t believe it’s the final of the Sewing Bee tonight! Six episodes has gone far too quickly, we definitely need a longer series – at least eight episodes so that we only lose one contestant each week 😦

I think that’s my only criticism of Sewing Bee –  the time has gone so quickly that we’re only just getting to know the contestants – those that are left, that is!

The last two episodes have been so challenging – kilts, neoprene, leather – what else can the judges throw at them? Having just struggled with my first attempts at lingerie, that might not be a bad challenge for the next series.

I was really upset to see Ryan leave at the end of Episode 4. He had come on so far that I expected to see him in the final. In his farewell  he said  that sewing is definitely what he wants to do, and warned Patrick that in four years time, he will see him on Savile Row – I really, really hope he achieves his ambition.

Let's hope Ryan continues with his sewing and finds himself on Savile Row before too long
Let’s hope Ryan continues with his sewing and finds himself on Savile Row before too long

Sadly Amanda also went out that week but was looking forward to going back to sewing slowly – I’m sure many of us can sympathise with that!

Week 4 was an amazing week for Neil, becoming the only ever contestant to achieve the hat-trick, winning every challenge and garment of the week. The boned corset which he made in the first challenge was stunning and his kilt was of such a high standard that Patrick even said he would be happy to wear it! You could really tell that Neil loved the kilt challenge – this was real ‘man sewing’  – ‘pure engineering’ as Neil enthusiastically described it!

So, in the semi-final just Neil, Lorna, Matt, Deborah and Paul remained. The first challenge was to construct a lined pencil skirt with darts and a concealed zip – it sounded too simple, until the contestants were told they had to construct the skirt from lace. That still sounds simple if you have never used the fabric, but add pattern matching, a slippery surface which constantly catches and moves, and visible seams, and the challenge becomes more complicated.

Lorna’s lace skirt was lovely, but the waistband wandered up and down. Even Neil struggled with this challenge, coming a cropper with a lining that was slightly too large, seam ripples and poor pattern matching on the back seam. Deborah’s lining was also slightly too large and Paul struggled with zip insertion and an uneven hem. Matt looked completely taken aback to be announced winner of the challenge!

The creative challenge involved re-fashioning a wetsuit. Lorna really went to town on this one, with her Madonna-inspired neoprene dress, featuring satin boobs and a structured neoprene peplum! Deborah combined the wetsuit with a funky digital print neoprene to win the challenge.

The final task was to make a leather jacket. This was really interesting, and did not appear to be as complicated as I expected. It was important to ensure that the fit was perfect early on as it is difficult to make any alterations to the fabric. Lorna had the clever idea of making the lining first and using this as a toile to ensure the fit was perfect before piecing together the leather. It would have been interesting to have some information on the approximate cost of making a leather jacket and where the leather could be purchased from.

Paul used a lovely pink snakeskin print leather, but this was very stiff and sadly caused him fitting issues. Poor Deborah had terrible problems when she tried the jacket on her model  and zipped it up, forgetting that there was no stop at the top of the zip, it was then impossible to get the zip to work and cost her time.  Matt made a biker jacket from a pattern suited to a jersey fabric. Construction was great, but the limited stretch of the leather meant that the jacket fitted too snugly across the back and top of the arms. Lorna made a lovely green cropped jacket for the ‘more mature lady’ but had matching issues around the base of the zip.

Neil redeemed himself, with his leather jacket winning garment of the week again! His black jacket featured a draped collar and a beautiful pink satin lining.

I think the pressure got to all the semi-finalists. Patrick said that the only person who was safe this week, was Lorna, but it was Paul and Deborah who we sadly had to say goodbye to.

So, now the the Final – who will win? – Will we have our first male Sewing Bee winner? Or will ‘always the bridesmaid’  Lorna, finally become the bride?

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