Lovely Lynda is made the April Fool.
Unfortuntley, I was a little behind with the Great British Sewing Bee this week, as I had a rehearsal booked with Snooty Bobs. However, I already knew what was coming. I'd sent a personal message to Lynda that day to reminder her that I thought she was amazing and that I loved her to bits. I honestly had Lynda and potentially one other to contestant to to win ( I won't reveal the other one yet) when I was asked on my exit interview in Episode Five.
When I finally got round to watching it, I was a little dissapointed with the judges comments regarding Lynda. 'A little inconsistant', she has had garment of the week three times! Closely followed by Tamara who only got her second garment of the week at the end of this episode. That said, I was sad to see Lynda go but very please for Chinelo, Heather and Tamara! Well done ladies and good luck for the final next week! This is very stange for me to say as we all know this is prerecorded programme but it really does feel like its only just happening. Reliving it if you like.
Im very excited about the Final, but also gutted as again I'm not going to be able to watch it live. My good friends have treated me to an evening at the Symphony Hall in Birmingham. We are going to be watching Hitchcock's - Psycho. This is no ordinary screening as it will be accompanied by a live orchestra! Awesome and a little eerie as we might be at the famous shower scene as they are announcing the winner of the GBSB, this isn't a spolier by the way, but I do hear that its a tense one!
As for this weeks challenges, WOW what a tough one! I've bodged a few patterns in my time but never to this extreme. Here are some Hotpants that I had copied back in and around April 2013 (according to the picture upload date on facebook #virtualdiary) with slight adjustments as I wanted to make them high waisted. The Hotpant are made out of left over corduroy from a previous project and the buttons are off an old coat.
My proposal for the Made to Measure challenge in the bee (if I had made it that far) would have been my dad's Levis denim shirt. I adore that shirt but as he and now I, pretty much live in it, its falling to bits. Holes in the elbow's, you name it, its falling apart :(
I was hoping to get some time to have a go at the First challenge for the blog today, but I haven't had the time this week. Sorry Ladies and Gents.
The #sewingrevolution will be social-live!
The #sewingrevolution came into full force this week. My first willing victim was Charlotte Hall. A dear friend who had made my wonderful cupcakes for the GBSB premier party as a suprise (check out episode one blog pic's) .
As the 'boys' were at a whiskey festival we decided we would have a 'crafty' day and transfer skills. Its as kind of a sewing bee cook off day if you will.
The task to make and decorate cupcakes and make a 'Beatrice' Dress by www.sewmesomething.co.uk . A fantastic beginners pattern that I came across at the Sewing For Pleasure event at the NEC a few weeks before.
A wonderful pattern that is a great start for beginners and a fantastic pattern for any sewing hands that love something comfortable and has wicked pockets!
I had already made this particular dress the night before and was wearing it at the time but I had slightly adapted the pattern to make it reversible. Therefore, I got two dresses in one garment! A great holiday item as you would only need to pack this and it would cover two days (with a bit of airing) !!
Anyway I digress, First thing first we needed was materials of both kinds! Fabric was the first of the ingredients on the list. Charlotte just couldnt get over how many different types and styles there were being a non sewer. Guiding her through she found what she was looking for. Charlotte had decided to go with this wonderful Blue pin striped cotton with a contrasting Bicycle pattern that repeated in different colours. Very Paul Smith! She wanted to go with my adapted 'Beatrice' pattern as well, this was going to be ace!
After getting all the cake ingredients next we headed back to the appartment and got started on the cupcakes first. We figured we can cut out the fabric while they were cooking. A great tip for Cupcakes is to use stork not butter as this makes a lighter cupcake. Another tip, after creaming your butter and sugar don’t add the flour next, mix in the eggs first, then fold in the flour!
Mary Berry ain't go nothing on our Charlotte, but she would kill me for saying that!
Cake mix done and in the oven, we started on setting out our pattern on the fabric.
I explained how to lay out the pattern and to be aware of the bias of the fabric, and the difference's it makes if you do cut on the bias. All pinned in place she got stuck into cutting out.
Charlotte has just finished cutting out and the cake were ready! But first they needed to cool down before we could decorate them. So Charlotte got straight on with it and tackled the pockets! I was very impressed, a natural! With the side seams now attached we have one side of the dress completed. We decided that we would leave that for a bit and make a start on decorating the cakes . As it was a lovely sunny day and feeling like spring finally, we went for grass, flowers and Ladybirds and of course Bee’s! Charlotte was an excellent teacher! I think we should hook up and do a master class!!! The sew off/cook off we joked! What do you think?
While the icing and fondant set, we set to work on the second part of the dress. This was basically what we had just done, but again to make it reversible.
Feeling like we had achieved something already by completing the cup cakes we had a little glass of Prosecco to celebrate first! Then got straight back on it. We were both determined to get this finished today! Repeating what we had done earlier to make it a reversible dress. We then stitched the two pieces together, right sides together and leaving a small gap to pull back through. Bagging it if you like. For those of you that don't sew, think about a inside out pillow case, where you can see all the stitches but when you fold it the right way its a lovely clean seam. That's bagging.
We then needed to sew the shoulders together and top stitch all the way around. Charlotte a little overwhelmed by all the sewing that a garment requires had another glass of Prosecco but felt very proud of herself, with me even more so. I was so glad that she had done this herself and it was all ready to wear! My #sewingrevolution mission was now complete!
Check out next weeks Blog, talking about the Final Great British Sewing Bee :(
and my Upcycle Sewing clinic at www.guthrie-ghani.co.uk.
Singer Sewing Machines and Vintage Vibes - My dream episode.
After saying my goodbye's to The Great British Sewing and my new found and very talented friends, the dream had finally come to an end. With reality setting in I took the morning train back to Birmingham. Feeling a little sorry for myself I must admit, I began to think of the future. 'What can I do now?' a buzz began to rumble in my stomach. Things had gone beyond sewing in my kitchen for me. The thrill of the challenge was something that I did not want to give up!
First thing first, I knew I wanted to mark my achievement and experience forever. ‘I’m getting a Tattoo!’ As soon as I got off the train, I headed to my local Tattoo Parlour, Eerie Ink in Walsall for some new ink!
A needle and thread was the design I wanted to be added to my existing tattoo which is placed on my left wrist. My song bird and cage was a tattoo that I designed myself and had done about three years before. It holds a lot of meaning for me as it marks a particular time in my life. Therefore to add my recent adventure seemed fitting. My Mom and Mother-in-law joke that it's going to turn into a totem pole. However they, along with all my family and friends know how much this experience meant to me, and they couldn’t be more proud.
My documenting of the Great British Sewing Bee didn’t stop there. Throughout my time in the Bee, I had made a point of saving small scraps of the fabric that I had used for each task. At first this was just to add to a scrap book that I was thinking of making at the end, along with any paper clippings to make a little keep sake. However, when I final got all my pieces of cloth together, with all the different textures, colours and memories, it seemed a shame to keep them enclosed in a scrap book. So I decided to make something visual and having been exposed to Ineke Beryln’s ‘collections’ of which my wedding dress is a part of and her ‘journal quilts’. I wanted to draw on her influence and make my own. I proceeded to sew my narrative fabric together in order of episode and task. Creating a landscape that represented my expedition through the Great British Sewing Bee as well as an archive of the fabric that I may have never considered or desired to work with if it wasn’t for this opportunity. This was almost like a course certificate of which I am immensely proud of.
It now has pride of place in our home along with pictures of family and artwork that kirk and I have made over the years. It’s going to be quite something when I’m old and grey and I get to talk to my grandchildren about when I was on the television, sewing in front of three million people on BBC Two!
Watching Episode six on Tuesday I was truly gutted. Vintage Week - I would have loved it!!! Beautiful Singer sewing machines – aka sewing porn. They were GORGEOUS! Vintage patterns, Man's suit alteration and vintage coats. So close and yet so far to my dream episode and the quarter finals. GUTTED!!
Kirk recently purchased a hand operated Singer sewing machine as a Christmas gift, which I'm really looking forward to spending some time on.
I must admit that would have been a shock if I had walked into a room full of old machines. The Bee really are pulling out all the stops this season! On the pattern challenge I think I would have been ok as I have used vintage patterns before. My night gown in episode one, if the pattern had turned up was the Morse code pattern as Tamara referred to them. However, I say I would have been ok but it's quite a different matter when your under time constraints. I thought they all did fantastic. The suit challenge looked immense! I'm not sure where I would have gone with that one. Chinelo's alteration was just stunning! Lynda's however stole my heart! DUNGA'S! Well pinafore but either way I’m a sucker for 'em!
Knowing what was in store for the last challenge of episode six, I wanted to relive my Sewing Bee days and carry out this challenge at home, I know I’m a sucker for punishment. I was going to make a 1970's military style jacket if I got through to the sixth round. Being heavily influence by music, our record collection and our general vibe as a married couple it had to be the 60/70's period. As soon as I got the brief I had images of The Beatles, Sergeant Pepper's album cover and Jimmy Hendrix running through my head. All the mental preparation for a task that I wouldn't get the chance to make on the Bee, I didn't want to waste. As it was something that without a doubt I would wear, I set out to make it, in the time limit given.
I used a very dark green wool with golden mustard lining. Silver buttons with black braiding to embellish. I had never made a coat before but I had made Kirk a suit jacket out of what can only be described as a Mary Poppin's style Multi-coloured striped cotton.
Pretty Far out but a lot of Fun!
I used a fusible interfacing as the research I had done confirmed that this product was available at the time. Collars and hem's are all hand stitched which took most of the time but focused on my task I finished my coat in time. However I didn't get to add the braiding I wanted on the front, so not quite as finished as I would have liked. The beauty of no longer being in the Bee competition is that I now have all the time in the world to complete this part. Problem is I still haven't done it. LOL. I wear this coat quite often it’s lovely and warm and fits like a dream!
I just love the fact that nobody has this coat, especially a coat that has a moustache in it anyway!
I really missed the buzz of the Bee when making this jacket at home. I even missed the interuptions of the Judges and Claudia as your about to enter a tricky part of the make. Kirk had noticed how quick I had become at making and finishing a garment. He has always been part of my sewing education and was genuinely amazing at the level of improvement in my skills from being on the show! It really has been a crash course in sewing for me. Something that I never will forget!
Death By Velvet, so 'Good Bye Snazzy Girl'.
Its taken a few attempts to start this blog this evening, knowing what's coming. It was very hard watching The Great British Sewing Bee on Tuesday with my mom, dad and husband, as I just didnt want the experience to end. Obviously, the programme is pre recorded and I knew what was coming but it did not make it any easier. But before we get into the details I just want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who has commented, tweeted, liked, watched, emailed, called and any other method possible to contact me over the last five weeks. Your support and love has been so wonderful and completely overwhelming. So overwhelming in fact that you have killed my phone with the amount of traffic running through it! A fantastic response that I could never have imagined.
This week was Tricky fabric and to kick it all off with challenge one we have a Nylon Raincoat.
Not a fabric I have used before and by the sounds coming from the room I was not alone. A three hour challenge with a difficult fabric but the Bee didn't stop there! oh no not this week. We have new sewing machines with a walking foot. I was a 'virgin' to the walking foot but it seemed simple enough. However as any sewer will tell you. You do get quite attached to your sewing machine, and this was a complete curve ball. With my head down and fueled by Top three last week in challenges one and two. I'm aiming for first! I found the fabric quite nice to work with. It wasn't as tricky as I thought however I then came across the waterproof tape! WHAT WAS THAT! Patrick not giving anything away with the temperature, I decided to have a little practice run. Only having three hours to do the challenge this was risky however I just had a gut feeling that the judges would have a right good pick over this part of the challenge so I'm glad I spent the time doing it. With my time mangement going really well, I had attached my ribbed cuffs and waist band without an issue. Giving me plenty of time to focus on my top stitching! I've had enough pratice on this over the last four weeks so I wanted and knew I could do this perfect! AAAHHHHH where is my FOOT! I had completely lost it in changing from the standard foot to the zipper it had vanished! Rushing to finish now, I had completed my jacket but didn't quite deliver the acuracy I wanted and knew I could deliever. Great feedback from Patrick and May as my tape was 'very well bonded' which was a 'credit to' me as I was combining two 'very difficult' and different textured Nylon fabric's. 'No puckers or pleats' on my cuffs and waistband, they awarded a marginal decision. Frustratingly I got second place. SO CLOSE.
Challenge two - Leather!
Loved it, never worked with it but half way there with my leather shorts this week, I sneaked towards the purple leather. It was so lovely to work with, tough but gorgeous. Straight away I was thinking 60's Mod. I wanted backless WOW in the back and something strikingly different in the front.
Sticking with the mantra 'BOLD' Claudia was on the same wavelength, knew that the judges would be looking at my ability to handle my needle work. Leather is a skin but its not something that is going to heal. once pearced there is no going back! I used this to my advantage by scooping out the back and leaving the raw edge. True to form Patrick picked this up in judging. I also used this attribute to create the necklace, well, neckleather if you will. Creating a design to give the front a little detail. I had also added a Rouleau loop out of leather to secure the collar with a button. I wanted to show that I could do quite intricate details with this material. Up against Lynda and Chinelo's fabulous creations I came a respectable third.
Not quite where I wanted to be but nothing to turn your nose up at!
The end of day one, the judges confessed that they were finding it difficult and that everything hinges on the next challenge, the Velvet Trousers.
Challenge three this week was a little different. We had fitting buddies. Mine was the lovely Heather and we had to model the trousers. It really was a made to measure!
I was excited about this challenge, as I frequently pinch Kirk's red velvet jacket. I would kill for a velvet suit! So when i got the brief through this was my oportunity. Never having the pleasure of working with velvet before I was in for a SHOCK! It was a beast. Claudia described it as 'Floopy' and it really was. But I'm a girl that likes a challenge, green velvet trousers are a must have, in my wardrobe anyway.
Nervously, i cracked on with it, trying to manage my time better as I had not finished my practice one's ( I still haven't finished them- can't bring myself to).
I was progressing well. Happy with my snazzy lined pockets and zip. I began to work on my waist band. With the lining and the velvet being so slippery in practice, I was focusing so hard I had put it on the wrong way round. With only thirty minutes left in the challenge, time was not on my side . My 'V' in the front was off centre because of it.
I could either continue to make the trousers, knowing I had made a huge mistake or push my luck, unpick, start again and hope I have a pair of trousers in time. What would you do?
Normally at home, you just unpick and start again, have a cup of tea or leave it for another day but in the sewing bee you dont have that choice.
I broke down. I had been doing so well, becoming more confident in my ablity, but now it was all down to time. Mine was running out.
My Darling Lynda, came to visit me. She shouldn't have done that. She should have focused on her own task and used her time wisely. That however is not Lynda. Im so glad that she did! I needed that big hug and advice. We decided that I needed a pair of green velvet trousers.
There really is nothing worse than putting all your effort into a waist band that is wrong. but I was determined to do it.
With five minutes left I had to hem my trousers. RUSHED WAS AN UNDERSTATEMENT.
Time being called I hid behind the screen, cried and then changed into my trousers. 'at least I'm not walking around in my pants', an attempt to put on a brave face, I was not looking forward to this catwalk at all!
May, noted that I had used the most difficult velvet in the room as well as the very obvious waist band issue, Patrick commented on the Fly.
With the waist band on the wrong way round the whole area was not sitting right. With rushed hems as well and pockets not even getting a look in. My time was up. Heather was convinced that she was in for the chop that day, she was wrong.
Walking back into that room, there was a stange feeling between us all. We needed to be close to each other. All holding hands, I remember standing tall in the line, trying to brace myself for what was coming. The blow came and I felt Lynda and Chinelo squeeze my hands so tight. Not letting go they all came flooding towards me with hugs. I was really going to miss my all sewing buddies.
May came straight towards me 'our most inexperienced sewer but you have done some brilliant sewing' she reasured me. You must keep sewing! Hearing Patrick say 'given the limited time Jenni has been sewing she really has impressed' I was in floods of tears AGAIN on Tuesday watching it back with the 2.8 million others in the country. With hugs from Patrick, May and Claudia it was now all over.
I'm so proud of myself for getting this far in the competition. Looking back now and how it all started with a wedding dress and a husband that had more faith in me than I did and entered me into The Great British Sewing Bee. The long audition process and getting into the final cut out of thousands who had applied and had not been successful. To have stayed in every week for 5 weeks of filming which was more than half way through the competition.
Having the oportunity to handle and work with so many different fabrics and be surrounded by so many talented sewers, both judges and contestants, was just mind blowing.
I really did mean everything I said at the end of the show on Tuesday! 'sewing for me gives you everything you can imagine. You can think of something in your head and you're able to recreate it - in a garment you can wear. Anybody can pick up a needle and thread and make something and thats just phenomenal!'
If I achieve anything after the Bee, I do hope I have helped to inspire people to sew! Whether that is to start sewing or to pick it back up again, so much so I'm currently running workshops and will be continuing to blog D.I.Y projects.
I want to start a #sewingrevolution so if you start a project please take a picture hashtag it #sewingrevolution and let me know by either twitter, facebook or Instagram.
Together we can do this!!!
Half way there and I'm in for a surprise!
This week on the Great British Sewing Bee the theme is kids clothes. Not something I make very often but I did make my first ever nephew, Reyer, a shirt for his christening. I wasn't able to attend the ceremony because it clashed with the filming dates. So I needed to be there in some way. I completely agree with Lynda, hand made items are full of love.
Challenge one - Children's Dungaree's in three hours.
Hoping for a cowboy themed challenge as I was already 'half way there' however I was so excited about the dungaree challenge. I had made my own dungarees before but they didn’t have snap buttons or clips on them and they were not for a small child. There was only one fabric I had in mind for this challenge, it has to be corduroy! Thank goodness they had stocked some and I think you can tell that I was rather giddy about that and the challenge.
Kirk and I often talk about having kids and what they would be like with a crazy mom who makes things and sings and a dad who looks like 70's Cat Stevens, plays guitar and has a very original sense of style and how this would influence them. Dungarees had cropped up a few times in these conversations. Missing Kirk terribly as I had not gone home between episodes I felt like he was strangely close that day.With Chinelo picking the same fabric, I needed mine to stick out! Using a risky and very obvious red thread, I wanted to WOW the judges with my flat fell seams and perfect top stitching. Going off pattern a little, I made sure that ALL seams had a double stitch on them. This was something the other constantans didn’t do, Finally I thought, I could steal this – im going for first!
However, the unlucky popper disaster let me down. They are quite fiddly when you're sweating and shaking under the lights ! With a ‘pretty good Job’ from Patrick and wonderfully ‘matched back’ seams from May, I was awarded second place. I was gutted but with a brave face and accepting that my popper did fall off, I was very happy. David took the lead with a ‘solid’ sew and well-fixed popper. Can’t believe I was beaten by a popper!!! However, with everyone now hounding me for dungarees after seeing them on the show, I’m sure I’ll get the practise in.
Challenge two- Fancy dress alteration.
LET ME AT IT! As soon as I knew what the challenge was I started to scan the haberdashery for stuffing! I knew exactly what I wanted to do! A Dinosaur! I had a feeling that most of the contestants would be going for girls dresses, type thing ( which were amazing by the way) but I wanted to go for something difference.
I couldn't wait! I didn’t even have time to tell Claudia my secret this time! It was a ‘never you mind’ comment as I ran through the haberdashery, sorry Claudia, I think she knew I was only joking when we got to have a chat about it as I stuffing my scales and Dino Tail.
I wanted to make sure that I used all the items provided to us. These items being a pillow case, a sweater and jogging bottoms. I thought I was doing the right thing by not adding lots of other materials. The only extra material I used was the green cotton for the scales, claws and tail end.
With a ‘Brilliant‘ from Patrick, I was hoping for a similar result as first challenge, but with Lynda’s Queen of hearts and Cerina’s Pirate, I came third. TOP THREE on both Challenges. This was an awesome result for me after 3 weeks of mid/lower-table results and near evictions, my sewing skills were beginning to shine through and beat or at least join what seemed to be the group leaders who had won several challenges or at least got top three over the past three weeks. This was the boost of confidence I needed!
Day two and Challenge three - prom dress!
'It was more of a challenge for me than you', Kirk confessed as we watch episode four. He explained that he couldn’t find anyone to fit the secret guest profile set by the bee. All my friends and cousins are 25 years old plus and did not ‘fit’ the top secret prom-dress profile. Then he remembered my second cousin Beky! I’m so glad he did! She was the perfect model for my Silver Vintage number. With six metres of Taffeta and pretty much the same again in lining this was a HUGE task. In my practice run I thought I was making a tent rather than a gathered skirt.
My vintage pattern did not have any of the mod cons like invisible zips or boning like the other contestants. But it did consist of a seven piece fitted and lined bodice, eight Rouleau loops and hand sewn diamante buttons continuing into placket back with snap fasteners, Complete with a five meter hand gathered 'bagged' skirt rather than the instructed lined option. I thought it would provide a nicer finish and more ‘oomph’ to the skirt that way. This was a tall order and with the presence of my cousin next to me, the pressure was really on. A model that I don’t really know is one thing but a family member you really care about is quite another! I dreaded the thought that I may not finish this in time and would let her down. After a few nail biting moments, I had finished my dress. What a relief!
Beky looked awesome as she shyly cat walked in front of Claudia, May and Patrick. This must have been so daunting for her. To have a critique directed at me and my cousin was really difficult this week. Patrick was discussing style again which I found confusing as it should be about the sew, not personal taste. This was me, my style, my taste so I did find the critique difficult to take. Speaking with Tamera on the day, I know she was feeling the same way. The comments regarding the top bodice was something that I had also discussed with a lady from Sew Today at a craft fair recently. The pattern I had used was on display at a stall and the first thing she commented on was the fullness of the top bodice and that this was the style of the garment. Taffeta was also the suggested material to use for this type of pattern. Taffeta is quite a crisp fabric which added to the fullness especially on the skirt, to great affect I thought.
Based on the feed back given, I was nervous. Even though I had done so well on tasks one and two as well as May commenting on the great fit on the lower bodice; I didn't feel safe at all. I don't think any of us did to be completely honest. When standing in the line and hearing Cerina's name being called out I WAS STUNNED! Third on three occasions, second once and first twice - out of 12 challenges. I couldn't believe it! Cerina had completely nailed alteration challenge. Stunned and confused my emotions got the better of me. Cerina had been such a rock in the sewing room. Always cheerful and just a lovely person.
Please keep an eye out for Cerina, she has got some fantastic idea's coming up! http://www.cerinanichamin.co.uk/Artist.html
This week was a real roller coaster for me. I had not gone home in between episode's three and four, and was feeling really home sick after seeing my cousin. I really did need that hug from Kirk and Renton and a good talking to. It was clear from Cerina's eviction that the competition was on and the smallest mistakes really could not be made.
That being said I had achieved top three for challenges one and two this week. I had proved that I have the sewing 'guts' to do this. Having completed as many episodes as last years finalists, I've got nothing to lose now - BRING ON EPISODE FIVE !!!
I'd love to see your fancy dress creations and stories, so please feel free to comment and post pictures here!
AAHHHH- Saggy Bottoms, Cheeky Pockets and Wizard's Sleeves.
I may not have won any challenges yet but i'm definitely winning facial expressions of the week- states BurdaStyleUK on twitter. Who can disagree with that! Hopefully you are getting to know a little about me whether it is through impromptu noises of excitement from the haberdashery or weird facial expressions of fear; rest assured I'm going into episode three with everything I've got. Its been a rough ride over the past two weeks for me. I felt like I wasn't quite cutting it compared to the rest of the 'class'. My inexperience was showing but hopefully my willingness to learn and sheer passion for this would see me through.
Sew for yourself was my mantra for this episode! I stuck to it!
First up we have Challenge One- Leggings. Sporting a trouser very similar to Julie's S&M wet look leggings last week, I knew I couldn't 'wear' the same thing twice. Therefore it had to be a mustard slack! You may recall my Mustard Jeans that I wore for the first episode, so you know I have a penchant for this colour. With my fabric chosen, it was time to get stuck in. The pattern seemed simple enough however having only worked with stretch jersey once (which was the practice for challenge three not the tassel leotard that I bought over the internet) not only was it an unfamiliar fabric but we also had to use an over-locker which I decided to rethread with a matching mustard thread - EEEKKKKK! I had just discovered this magical machine and I loved it. I NEED ONE IN MY LIFE. I got my head down and just wanted to get a pair of leggings on the model. Twin needle was nice and simple for me, but it was something that I had not needed to use before. Once again this was another thing I was learning as I was going along but I had done it correctly, and to a good standard. Phew. I had finished my leggings so instead of perfecting the fit. (God only knows why I didn't) I pushed for a 'cheeky' pocket. My focus had been drawn away from the task in hand by the allure of a pocket! 'What are you doing!' oh well! Smacking my pocket with pride, I stood by my decision! To the judging I go with my saggy bottomed Mustard Slacks and receiving a well deserved 8th Place! Although at least my trousers had seat room compared to some of the hipster leggings in the room. Teacher knows best!
Challenge Two - T-shirt Alteration.
I'm all over this. Being the singer in the band Snooty Bobs, I've been known to cut up a few t-shirts and customise them for gig's in an attempt to promote our merchandise. So sticking to my mantra I went for it. I wasn't quite sure if Patrick and May would go for it but I wanted to show that you can do more than just add to this fabric. As it doesn't fray it is great for doing things like slashes. I wanted to show that I knew what I could do with the fabric along with adding a Claudia inspired zip detail. Again I wanted to combine two very different fabrics and show that I could handle them with care. Thankfully May did note that I had not stretched my t-shirt out of shape by applying a rigid zip to the neck line and arm. Unfortunately, I only made 4th on this challenge. I was disappointed with the result. What did I have to do to get in the top three slot?
Not feeling safe, we returned the next day to complete Challenge Three- The Wrap Dress in five hours. This was extreme sewing! Even Heather struggled with this one although Chinelo excelled, with her gorgeous dress. Using the same pattern as Lynda except that I was going with the Kimono or wizard sleeve as Patrick put it rather than Lynda's fitted sleeve. Once again sticking with my mantra and my style, which granted is not to everyone's taste. Well not Patrick's, I had finished my dress. Following the pattern as instructed I did not add any bias binding to the neck line however, while the others received their critique, I was doing the same to my garment, in an attempt to prepare myself for my turn with the judges. Watching back on Tuesday it confirmed how close to the edge I was and in the firing line! I worked so hard and put everything into it. I don't think I could do any more. To find out that I was staying was wonderful. I shed a tear again as all the memories came flooding back. Julie was leaving and I was staying. My journey would continue, and I just couldn't believe it! A pinch was definitely required!
I was going to miss Trouble, as I called her! Julie was a fire cracker, always laughing and up to something. She was great! All the best for the future and I'm really looking forward to your blog next week Julie.
What is my plan for next week? Stick with your mantra, Be yourself even if that means sticking out of the crowd with your wizard sleeves!
I want to see clothes that are loud and you are proud of wearing! Post your pics or descriptions here and they don't need to be made by yourself!
BOOM - The Secret's Out.
There was only one way for me to watch the premier of The Great British Sewing Bee Series Two. With bunting, beautifully handmade cupcakes (made by Charlotte Hall), popcorn and prosecco at the ready, surrounded by friends and family. We eagerly sat down to watch along with 3.1 million other viewers.
As soon as it began we all squealed! It was amazing! The big secret was finally, in this case, being projected on a big screen for all to see! I was on the telly. It's really weird seeing yourself from angles that only other people can see I must admit! I can see why Claudia Winkleman doesn't watch herself, even though I think she is wonderful. I was cringing!
Putting my self-deprecation aside, it was a joy to watch the other contestants. I finally got to see what they were doing. I knew I was surround by some talented sewers, but WOW seriously, it is only now that what I felt has been confirmed.
So I had to go bold! Challenge one being the pattern challenge, I knew I wanted to put my mark on the Bee, by choosing fabric that I would seriously wear! I loved that fabric, but it could have gone very wrong! So glad the nerves didn't make me forget to make sure my pattern ran down the front. PHEW. However under the eagle eye of May Martin, my under-stitching let me down. I honestly didn't know what that was at that point. I understood what it was achieving but I didn't know that it needed to be so close to the edge/seam. With feedback taken on board and ranking 4 in the first challenge, I was pleased.
Challenge two and its down to alterations. I HAVE NEVER WORKED WITH WOOL EVER. This was scary. I didn't know how it was going to handle under the needle, but once I got my hands on the skirt. I was put at ease, a little. Starting as I mean to go on. I asked myself 'what would you make for yourself?' DUNGAREES!!! Not to May and Patrick Grant's taste it seemed but hey, I would wear it so who cares! Luckly the skirt was my size and I did put it on, but sorry no pictures taken. It was fun as I had the other contestants in stitches as I had the dungarees over my trousers! It took an age to turn those straps out and the shots don't leave much to the imagination if so inclined. But keeping with the pack at 5th position. I left for the day feeling uneasy. Was I doing enough?
Next day, with the made to measure challenge ahead of me. I was nervous. Stepping into uncharted territory, I was going to make my Silk nightgown. Inspired by Rear Window's Grace Kelly. You know the scene where she is standing in the bathroom doorway, with that stunning gown. Well that's the one! My first ever self drafted pattern constructed out of newspaper in my kitchen, I was now going to make it out of silk. A fabric I have never used before and didn't practice with. I was seriously jumping into the deep end. With wonderful coloured silk and lace flying around the sewing room. I tried to not let my plain but classic ivory silk with no lace, get the better of me. Silk is a tough cookie, and with 24 tucks I was begining to regret the bold move. Such a beautiful model who might be cat walking without a gown. I felt I was letting myself down and doubting why I should even be there. I just didn't have the experience behind me as I had only been sewing approximately a year at that point. With the judges not holding back - I was out of there it seemed. Standing in that line for what seemed an age, waiting for a response. My heart stopped a beat when I heard I was staying. That non of us would be going. Oh my life, I have a second chance!
So armed with a big hug from May and Patrick. Being told to have a little more faith in myself by all contestants and the judges. Taking on board their critical feedback, i'll stop being a 'naana', 'keep it snooty' and its onwards and upwards to episode two. go #teamjenni
Now I want to hear from you. What was your favourite garment, task, contestant and best bits?
Press is out and Here's me trying to keep my game plan under wraps!!!
P.s things just got really surreal watching this, and its only 30 seconds worth!!! Aaahhh!only a week to go!!!!
Whatever I'm doing