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!
Whatever I'm doing