Great British Sewing Bee: Episode 4 Recap: International Week

May 07 2021 5 Comments Tags: GBSB, Great British Sewing Bee, Great British Sewing Bee 2021

So, it was International Week on The Bee this week and I think it's only fair we start off with some general observations...!

1. This was the week when Raph started to morph into Patrick. What's with the 'tache, Raph?! Get your own chuffing look and leave our Patrick alone!

2. With every week that passes, Damian (or Damo as I now choose to refer to him as I would like him to be my friend) becomes more and more like Paddy McGuinness. One week, he will actually come out with the phrase "Let the needle see the thread", I'm convinced of it.

3. How does Adam manage to talk and smile at the same time? Does he also have a ventriloquist act on the cruise ship? 

4. Esme's necklace. Very commendable, but WTAF?! One unfortunate trip up a kerb and you’d turn your top into a Jackson Pollock!

Now, onto the challenges!

The Pattern Challenge this week was a Breton top which they had to make using a striped cotton jersey. Kudos to Farie who wisely chose a wide-striped jersey, therefore limiting the amount of stripes she had to match up. A lady after my own heart there!

Who felt for Cathryn with her overlocker eating part of the bodice?! We've all been there, haven't we! Well, I certainly have anyway, usually at the very end of making a garment when I get a bit cocky and let my guard down!

Raph tried to throw us off the scent that he secretly works for Ralph Lauren with his effort, which wasn't the best. Yes, Raph, of course you can't do a neck binding perfectly. We believe you, thousands wouldn't! 🙄

Serena quite rightly won this challenge, but one thing that always wonders me is how the hell do they remain so calm when they win?! If I won, there would be all sorts going on; fist bumps, high fives, the lot!!

On to the Transformation Challenge, or as I now call it, "coffee break". Basically this week they had to turn two sarongs (or two rectangles of flimsy fabric) into a garment. The rules were quite simple; two sarongs into one garment. How did some manage to use just one sarong?! Oh well, yada, yada, yada, Adam won. Nice draping. Let's move on.

I have to say, I LOVED this week's Made to Measure Challenge!! It made a nice change to give the sewers more of a creative brief, rather than just telling them to make a particular garment. But, out of them all, I don't think Farie should have won. I loved her idea of using Frida Kahlo's "Broken Column" painting as inspiration (although, was I the only one concerned that there was going to be quite a lot of boobage on display before she explained what she was going to do?!! The Husband's eyes certainly lit up at that point in the programme! 😂) but I just thought the finished garment was a bit "meh". Take off the dramatic huge bow (which was always going to win Esme over) and the centre strip and you just had a basic black tent dress, which didn't take much fitting at all. Do the judges want drama or do they want made-to-measure? Make your minds up, guys!

Damo's, on the other hand, had boning and all sorts going on! Fair enough, they didn't like his colour choices but as a garment, his was a lot more technical than Farie's. Trust him, though, to be inspired by Kahlo's brow! It wasn't her feminism that he was drawn to, nor her beautiful paintings with vivid colours. Nope, it was the full brow, which he chose to represent using black fringing around the neckline!! Brilliant! 😂 Although, I bet it took him ages to find his finished garment in Debenhams this week, so I reckon he deserved a few bonus points for that.

Andrew made it hard for himself this week. As Patrick said, there was absolutely no need for him to start lining everything and his garment would have been a lot nicer if he hadn't. He should follow my lead and only line in very extreme circumstances!

It was sad to see Cathryn go this week, but it was time. Her Made to Measure was lovely, but she completely wasted that Russian Doll fabric with the heavy lace overlay.

What will happen next week? Will Raph turn up in a pair of high-waisted trousers with his tie tucked in? Will Esme fashion a necklace out of a pack of unsuspecting dogs? Only time will tell. Next week is the annual Childrenswear snooze fest, so I can't promise the next recap will be up to much.

Find the recap for Episode 5 here

This week's Bee sewing inspiration...



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  • Love reading your comments Philippa. Really makes me chuckle. And totally with you on Esme’s necklace. I love her statement necklaces but this was one statement to far lol.

    Lynn hunter on
  • I genuinely look forward to your observations regarding the sewing Bee, they certainly give me a good chuckle. I agree with you regarding the garment of the week

    Honor on
  • I look forward to you musings more than the show, thanks for brightening my day.

    Janet on
  • Haha brilliant! I like a wry review and it’s good to have a giggle!

    Sarah Donnison on
  • Thank you! I now watch GBSB with one half of my brain on the sewers and the other half on what will catch your eye. I loved Farie’s dress but I’m short, like Esme, and big bows help you tall people to see us below you.

    Sue on

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