14 ways to sew the looks you’ve seen on Great British Sewing Bee 2019

How to make a circle skirt

We’ve seen wriggle dresses, pussy bow blouses, marvellous maxis and kids fancy dress… if you’re itching to stitch the garments you’ve seen on screen during the Great British Sewing Bee season 5, read on…

We’ve rounded up our favourite ways to sew the looks you’ve seen on screen throughout the Great British Sewing Bee 2019. For a monthly dose of sewing inspo now the Bee is going off air, try our 3 issues for £3 offer.

1. Make a maxi dress

How to sew a maxi dress

When the sewists tackled seventies fashions in week 3, their maxi dresses were next-level and conjured up all the vintage vibes. For a modern twist on this timeless garment, try Portia Lawrie’s patternless walkthrough for how to sew a maxi dress.

2. Sew a wriggle dress

Watch Charlotte Newland, who won the last season of the Sewing Bee, demo how to sew a Wriggle Dress in the Sewing Quarter How To Series on Youtube.

Tilly and the buttons Etta Dress

The wriggle dress from week 1 of this series has been one of its most talked about patterns but the sewists were actually sewing along with a vintage pattern. To sew the look you’ll need a pattern with maximum wriggle factor…  you can’t go wrong with the Etta Dress from Tilly and the Buttons.

It’s got it all,  sculpted shape to accentuate the body’s curves, shaped with darts at the bust and closed with an invisible zip at the back. You can switch it up with 2 options for the back and sleeves or add an optional collar so there’s plenty of room to sew this to suit your style.

3. Easy denim refashion

How to refashion a denim skirt

If you’re new to dressmaking but feeling inspired to give making your own clothes a go by the Sewing Bee, try this jeans to skirt denim refashion from Jessica Entwistle from our archive. It’s a great beginner’s project to build your confidence.

4. Free Great British Sewing Bee jumpsuit pattern

We are STILL daydreaming of Juliet’s stunning jumpsuit that stole the show in week 1. If you want to try making a jumpsuit, we featured this free cami top and jumpsuit pattern back when series 1 of the Bee aired on our TV screens. You can still download it for free in our Jumpsuit  Sewing Pattern post on the blog.

5. Sew a child’s fancy dress costume

DIY Halloween costume dragon cape

In week 2 the sewists tackled miniature makes for children. We loved the Transformation challenge to refashion faux fur into fancy dress outfits.

Give fancy dress sewing a go with our free DIY Dragon cape and mask tutorial from Kirsty Hartley. 

6. Sewing with elastic workshop

In week 4 the sewists grappled with technical fabrics in what might have been the most terrifying theme of the series (with perhaps the most bonkers Transformation Challenge – the tent to dog coat refashion).

Great British Sewing Bee reader offer

If you’d like to start stretching your skills with handling trickier materials, get started with our Sewing With Elastic Workshop. We’ll talk you through the different types and how you can use them to create different effects on your handmade clothes.

7. Sew a lace overlay

In week 5 the sewists embraced the theme of reduce, reuse and recycle – and the theme of sustainability in sewing is one that’s on all of our minds at the moment as we question how to reduce waste in our dressmaking.

Juliet’s stunning Made to Measure dress made net curtains look sexy. Capture the look with this step-by-step guide to sewing a lace overlay midi skirt. We’ve used special embroidered lace for our version, but you could easily raid charity shops to source the fabric for this.

And if this week’s theme got you in the mood for refashioning, browse the rest of our free refashion projects here.

8. Sew a bow blouse

The Bea Blouse sewing pattern

Sew our Bea Blouse with the PDF pattern in our Etsy store or if you prefer to sew from a paper pattern, how about this from Sew Over It…

Sew Over It Pussy Bow Blouse

Also featured in reuse, recycle week… we loved seeing the contestants sew a classic pussy bow blouse. Sew Over It  have the perfect pattern for you to try this look – find their Pussy Bow Blouse here.

9. Make a tweed circle cape

In week 6 the Bees got stuck in with British and Irish fabrics. Practise sewing with wool-weight fabrics with this project inspired by the Sewing Bee – Portia Lawrie’s circle cape tutorial.

10 Whip up a bento bag

How to sew a bento bag

International week saw the sewists go global and sew looks inspired by World styles. We might not quite be ready to try constructing origami tops yet, but we can still have fun with the theme. This How to sew a Bento Bag project has been one of our most popular posts ever since the last season featured International Week.

11. Make a wax print circle skirt

How to make a circle skirt

Also in week 7 the sewists turned to Africa for their Transformation challenge. If you’re inspired by those bold prints, why not try sewing with wax print fabric? There are some stunning patterns and colours out there. Give it a go with Portia Lawrie’s Wax Print Circle Skirt tutorial. 

12. Sew for a special occasion: DIY party dress

DIY bridesmaids dress: 6 ways

Wow those evening wear dresses from the final took our breath away! Go glam and sew your own party dress with this step-by-step guide to sewing a Wrap Dress. Twist it, drape it, tie it… the beauty of this patternless dress is there are countless ways to wear it.

13. Turn a plain tee into a peplum top

Peplum refashion tutorial

Inspired by the Bees’ creativity in the Transformation Challenges this season? Juliet isn’t the only sewist to have create a sculpted peplum detail in the Show’s history. This is a great look for updating a plain top in your wardrobe. Jennie Jones shows you how to pep up a classic striped tee with a simple-sew peplum detail in this step-by-step guide.

This quick and easy refashion is great for beginners as you don’t need to follow a sewing pattern.

Essential Guide to Dressmaking

14. Start dressmaking today

Did we mention we’re sharing our Essential Guide to Dressmaking for free? Download your copy today to learn the ropes of making your own clothes! Inside you’ll find advice on…

  • measuring
  • fitting
  • markings
  • using sewing patterns
  • zips
  • seams
  • hemming
  • pockets
  • sleeves
  • and more!