Sew Reporter – 15th May

Happy Sunday gang! How’s your summer sewing going? I’m always late to the party, starting only when the sun shines (which it has been a little bit – yay!)

We’ve got so much to share with you this week after a fabulous episode of the Sewing Bee! ‘Summer Week’ left us with lots of sewing inspiration which is here for you to browse right now. Out your feet up and enjoy five minutes peace with our latest Sew Reporter!

The third episode of the Great British Sewing Bee was summer week and the contestants really deserve a cocktail after those tricky challenges! For episode three we have put our detective hats on to discover the sewing patterns from independent designers and commercial pattern houses used in the Sewing Bee TV show.

The patterns we found are all matches or inspired by the designs they used. We also have a coordinating video to chat through the third episode and the patterns for you to enjoy!

Images: (C) BBC/Love Productions

If you haven’t already seen our ultimate guide to the Sewing Bee do take a look.

Did you enjoy watching the Sewing Bee gang whipping up a selection of dreamy shirred midi dresses for the pattern challenge? While we would not like to try this technique under pressure, it is much easier than it looks and is a wonderful technique to add to your sewing skills.

If you want to add a shirred garment to your summer wardrobe, we highly recommend the Victory Patterns Sofia Top and Dress. As you can see from the pictures, this pattern is packed with variations to sew. From puff shoulders to peplums… there are lots of lovely details to choose from.

Sofia features an elasticised, shirred bodice that allows for an easy fit and will be comfortable to wear. You will find full instructions on how to sew shirring with the pattern.

Sizing: UK 6 – 18 or UK 16 – 32
Pattern format: PDF

Love Productions


Summer Week on the Sewing Bee saw the contestants whipping up summer-ready two-piece coordinated trousered outfits for having fun in the sun! If we accepted this challenge (with more sewing time included, of course), we have a selection of indie sewing patterns that we might have chosen…

The Friday Pattern Company Saguaro Set would be my first choice as it’s easy to sew, fun to wear and has endless options for customisation. The pants feature roomy pockets and a waistband with a drawstring.

The top has a plunging V neckline that includes an optional tie closure. You can wear the top forwards or backwards which would hopefully impress the judges!

Sizing: UK 6 – 34 / Format: PDF

The nice thing about two-piece sets is that they look fab worn together, but can be paired with plenty of other things in your wardrobe so they are sure to get lots of wear.

Maven Patterns Simone Set would have been a clever pick to present to the judges because it’s a relatively simple pattern but has lovely details that make you look closer. It also shows off large scale prints beautifully which is sure to take their breath away!

Sizing: UK 8 – 20 / Format: Paper

The Marilla Walker Mercury Collection is just what I’d want to be wearing for having fun in the sun. The fit is easy (big tick for fitting to a model during the challenge) with a focus on ease of movement and a shape that skims over the body.

Each piece of this mini summer collection is inspired by the relaxed and unapologetically roomy shapes of Scandinavian and Japanese fashion.

Sizing: UK 6 – 22/24 / Format: PDF

If I was wanting to catch Esme’s eye, I would send something with a little edge down the catwalk. The Liberty Florence Palazzo Suit gives me Villanelle vibes (one for the Killing Eve fans!).

The top ties at the front – which seems to be a detail a few Sewing Bee contestants went for – and the trousers are just so dramatic. I would, of course, have to splash out on a Liberty fabric to go with my look – that must get me top marks from the judges!

Sizing: UK 4/6 – 18/20 / Format: Paper

Image: Love Productions

We were smitten with Sara Pascoe’s outfit this week, were you? A strappy dress layered over a t-shirt is a great summer outfit and one that is easy to recreate. We have picked a few of our favourite cami dress indie sewing patterns…

You could recreate this look using the cult classic Odgen Cami sewing pattern and extending the length to create a strappy dress!

Sizing: UK 8 – 20 or UK 16 – 32
Pattern format: Paper and PDF

Do you already have a specific design in mind? Or do you need some help finding the perfect pattern for your fabric? You can search all the patterns in our database using our newly updated sewing-specific search tool.


Have you got your ticket to The Sewing Weekender 2022 (May 21-22) yet? We’ve been sharing some snippets of the talks and tutorials included with your ticket on Instagram so you must take a peek if you’re curious about what’s on!

Don’t worry if you can’t take part on the day, you will have access to the content to enjoy at your leisure when it suits you. Here’s a little idea of the types of content you are going to get:


  • Jenny from Cashmerette shares her top 5 fitting tips. Everything from measuring yourself correctly to why bust cup options are a must.
  • Zips 101: Lisa from the Avid Seamstress is sharing how to insert different zips into your garments.
  • Sustainable Fabrics: Harriet from Sew Me Sunshine is talking about what to look for when shopping sustainably for fabric.
  • Make Trousers that Fit with Alison Smith. Alison will talk us through some of the most common pattern alterations so you can achieve the perfect fit for your next trouser project.
  • Bust Adjustments: Mandi from Make With Mandi is here to show you how to do small and full bust adjustments on patterns.


  • Statement pockets: Juliet Uzor is here to show you how to customize your next make with a statement pocket or two!
  • DIY Skirt Tutorial: DIY Daisy is going to show you how to cut the incredible Sophie skirt from her new book ‘Sew it Yourself’. If you love a curved seam, then this is going to be right up your street.
  • Charlotte from Charlotte Emma Patterns will be teaching you how to cut a sew a baseball cap with a downloadable PDF pattern.


  • Geri from Geri in Stitches will show you how to get started with marble dying
  • Quilted Jacket Tutorial: Sam from Purple Sewing Cloud is here to show you how to add quilting techniques into your handmade wardrobe, by hacking a jacket pattern to add a quilted element. It will make you look at all your sewing patterns in a new way.
  • Adding Hand Embroidery into your Next Make. Alexis from Fibr and Cloth Studio is demonstrating some classic embroidery stitches and how you can apply these to your clothing.


  • Maria from Sew Organised Style is creating an exclusive podcast episode for the Weekender.
  • Sandy & Judith from #sewover50 are talking about sewing for changing body shapes.
  •  Alice and Co are back this year! ‘Sew you think you can’t draw?’ They are showing you that putting your design ideas down on paper makes them easier to realise.
  • Using your Sewing Wins to Plan your Future Makes with Jess from Muna and Broad
  • Styling your handmade Wardrobe: So you’ve made a load of stuff but how do you wear it together? Marie from Marie Stitched Up is here to talk about how she does it.


  • Behind the Scenes: Meg from fabric shop Pigeon Wishes is sharing how she’s pivoted her business to serve indie fashion brands.
  • The Making of a Magazine: Have you ever wondered what goes into making a sewing pattern magazine? The lovely team at Fibre Mood are here to show us what’s involved.
  • Behind the Scenes: Grace who runs Beyond Measure gives us a sneak peek of her beautiful studio, how she works with artisans to create new products and gives us a tour of her new growing space where she is creating a garden for dying fabric.

We also have some wonderful chatty videos from some inspiring sewists, zoom rooms for social hangs over the weekend, a private Facebook group for sewing help over the weekend and a digital goodie bag!

The Sewing Weekender dates: Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd May 2022

Tickets for the online Sewing Weekender 2022 are £18.50 and 10% of profits from the event will be evenly divided between the following charities: Missing People and The British Red Cross Crisis Appeal.

Kate used her super skills to craft this GENIUS entry to a local dog show last weekend which was inspired by a film… any guesses for what film it was? You will be thrilled to hear that our little superstar, Eadie the dachshund won the first prize at the show. It truly brightened up our week!

Gosh, it’s been an absolute bumper month of indie releases! You’ll definitely need a cup of tea to get through all of these new sewing patterns. As the nights get longer and the evenings get warmer it’s time to get on with your summer sewing. Sit back and enjoy, and get planning and our latest video taking you through all the April sewing pattern releases

I really enjoyed this article celebrating legendary Hollywood movie costume designer, Edith Head. The article delves into 11 of Edith Head’s best movie works, including All About Eve, To Catch a Thief and Roman Holiday. It’s inspired me to put one of these classics on this weekend to accompany my sewing!

If you want to treat yourself to something special to read, ‘Threads of Time: 25 Years of Fine Cell Work’ look like a lovely book to pick up. It celebrates this milestone in the charity’s history and features 25 unique stories from 25 years of providing creative needlework and training in British prisons. You can grab a copy from Fine Cell’s website.

Come and join our sewing Facebook group where we are chatting about sewing plans, new patterns and helping each other out with projects.

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