Great British Sewing Bee: Episode 5 Recap - The Great Annual Childrenswear Snoozefest

May 14 2021 6 Comments Tags: Great British Sewing Bee, Great British Sewing Bee 2021

Well, here we are. It had to come sooner or later, so let's try and make a silk purse from a sow's ear and cobble together a half-entertaining review for my worst annual Sewing Bee week, shall we? Bloomin' childrenswear. 😴

I've been trying to think why I have zero interest in this subject. I don't even think not having any kids has anything to do with it. There are loads of kids I could have made clothes for over the years, but I just haven't had much inclination to. However, looking through some old family snaps this week, I reckon I've discovered what it is; when I was little, this was the time when The Mother started to take more of an interest in sewing and luckily (for her not me) I was there for her to use as a guinea pig (my older brother and sister were far too cool for school at this point to entertain any dressmaking ideas she had!) For reasons unbeknownst to me, she chose to dress me like I'd been in a Victorian workhouse all day:

Never mind, I seem happy enough that I coordinated with the carpet and wood panelling. It's what all 4 year olds want, after all. I reckon the psychological trauma of being dressed like an urchin has led me to this point, so blame The Mother for my lack of childrenswear enthusiasm.

Moving on to the episode, it wasn't as bad as I was expecting, even though I think I tapped my foot for the whole hour, which is what I do when I watch anyone doing anything overly faffy, which making children's clothes is as the pieces are so small.

The highlight of the show occurred quite early on; God bless you Joe, and your "mincing romp"!!! 

How many instructions were there for that romper?! I would think twice about making something so detailed for myself, never mind for a kid who's going to get chocolate down it then grow out of it in 30 seconds!

I know the sewers all have to read out loud the odd instruction for the cameras, but I do actually believe Damo reads out loud ALL the instructions to himself, meaning if I was sewing next to him, I would unfortunately have to punch him in the face. However, for someone who does actually read the instructions, it's amazing that he chooses not to follow them. At one point he asked the burning question "do you follow the instructions or do you follow your instincts, d'ya know what I mean?" Erm, Damo, JUST FOLLOW THE CHUFFING INSTRUCTIONS!!!

Not many seemed able to get to grips with the plastic snaps, which was a little bit baffling. Give it some welly, people! If you're having the same trouble, check out our blog post for some useful tips: How to Install Snap Fasteners.

Serena & Rebecca deserved to be the top two with their rompers; they both had a lovely finish to them.

If you're a bit of a sadist and fancy making a romper for yourself (well, not technically for yourself as the pattern doesn't go up to a big enough size) then Great British Sewing Bee have actually published their pattern for you to download for free! Find it here.

The Transformation challenge reached new depths of ridiculousness this week. An underwater themed fancy dress costume using swimming paraphernalia?! Are you kidding, Bee?!! Surely a better idea for this week would have been to have them knock up a costume using only what you would find in your house the night before the kid needs it for school?! I reckon quite a lot of viewers would have been able to relate to that one.

Damo reflected the same amount of enthusiasm as I would have had, when he remarked he was going to make "some sort of mermaid thing or summat". A very vague mermaid, it was too. More "maid" than "mermaid".

Kudos to Andrew though with that crab and Serena with the jellyfish! Very imaginative. It's amazing what you can do with a swimming noodle when you're under pressure.

Onto the Made to Measure challenge, which this week was to make a kid's raincoat. I'm not one for cutesy fabrics on kids, so my faves this week were Raph's and Serena's.

Damo digressed from going to his usual clothes shop for his final garment and chose to go to B&M for a shower curtain instead. 

Yet again, Farie was awarded Garment of the Week. So she should have been as well, given she'd already made the raincoat twice for her kids! I'm not really sure on the judges' methodology for awarding this; basically it seems you can mess up your first two challenges but then make something half alright in the Made to Measure and you win the week. Yes, I know I take these things far too seriously!

I felt so sorry for Adam; Patrick and Esme really went to town dissing his raincoat! I agree it was a bit of a "rum do" but they picked up every little thing that was wrong with it. How he didn't crawl away and cry, I have no idea. Strange, as I'd have bet good money on him being a beefer. It's a shame he had to leave this week as there are certainly worse sewers than him left. It just goes to show you only need one bad week and you're offski!

Raph's Patrick Transformation Update: 

Persevering with the moustache. Beard coming along nicely. No sign yet of tie tucked into high-waisted trousers.

We're half-way through the series already 😥 and next week it's Reduce Reuse Recycle week. Let's hope to God it isn't just one massive Transformation Challenge!!

Here are some of the kids' sewing patterns we have. If I were ever to make something for a kid, this is the type of thing I would make; something that won't take too long to make, that is on trend, and will last them more than 2 minutes!



These are some lovely corduroys that would look amazing as that romper pattern the Sewing Bee have released:



Whatever you use, promise me you'll steer away from brown and beige!!! 😂

Missed last week's recap for International Week? Find it here!


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  • So glad I’m not the only one with zero interest in kids clothes. And the reminder of Joe’s mincing romp is comedy gold 😂🤣 I thought I wouldn’t like him as host but he’s made me laugh out loud so many times. He was by far the best thing on the show this week. Great review!

    Cheryl on
  • Love your weekly blogs. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I missed last week’s episode. Doesn’t sound as though I missed much!! Not big on children’s sewing anyway.

    Joanna on
  • Well, I cried reading this, so maybe that makes up for Adam keeping it together! Is it wrong that I’m now team Damo? I just kind of want to see everyone’s face when Patrick and Esme have to reluctantly give him the trophy, that would be comedy gold!

    Claire Oman on
  • These are getting funnier and funnier each week. They are definitely better than watching the show at the moment.

    Kelly Glen on
  • Another brilliant review. I think I look forward to this almost as much as the Bee.
    I thought he went off for a little cry – Adam – I mean buy gracefully not shown poor love.
    Let someone else have garment of the week for pity’s sake.

    Linda Ferriter on

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