Great British Sewing Bee 2022 Fabric and Pattern Inspiration

Great British Sewing Bee 2022 Fabric and Pattern Inspiration

Great British Sewing Bee 2022 Round-Up

Can you believe the Sewing Bee is over, and what a year it has been, both for us watching and for the Sewers themselves.

There has been everything from lots of laughter to near tears, and the Sewers have faced many challenges over the past ten weeks, some of which were expected (turn an old hammock into a dress, fine) and some all new ones (trainers!!!).

But it is safe to say we have enjoyed it throughly at Team FG headquarters and it has inspired us to try some new things out ourselves. But in case you missed it here is our roundup of what happened and a little fabric inspiration in case you want to have a go too….


GBSB Week One - Elodie Wrap Around Dress by Closet Core 

All those weeks ago we started the Sewing Bee and the first week saw the contestants making wrap dresses as their final made to measure. This is something we have been suggesting as a great summer dress for quite some time and the Elodie Dress by Closest Core was even featured in our sustainability blogs last year.


This dress seemed like a pretty good match to our cotton lawns or if you were feeling more drapey, maybe a viscose. But as this was so many weeks ago, we now have even more cotton fabrics, and they would make the prettiest summer dresses, so if you are quick you could still have time to whip up a dress and wear it this summer…

 Cotton Lawn Fabric

Interesting that the theme of the first week's Sewing Bee was of course sustainability and creating a capsule wardrobe is something we have mentioned over on the blog…

GBSB Week Two - Orageuse Sports Jacket 

The second week of the Sewing Bee turned towards all things Sports, which is a tricky one for us in Team FG as we don’t stock a huge number of sporting fabrics. But we should mention as he barely mentions it himself that Boss Paul is quite the swimmer, so do ask him about it next time you see him.

But back to the Sewing Bee: although we don’t specialise in sportswear fabric, we do have the perfect fabrics for a jacket post work out. The Oraguese jacket has a slightly sporty vibe to it and can be made from any cotton twill fabric so we thought by making it from a stripe fabric it would add another sporting edge. 


Dressmaking cotton twill stripe fabric

Dressmaking cotton twill navy and white butcher's stripe

Jackets like this come into their own during the summer months because in the UK you cannot guarantee the weather and you will need a cover up during the evenings. A cotton twill fabric is a great for this as it has structure but can be washed over and over again.  

GBSB Week Three - Sofia Dress by Victory Patterns 

For the third week of the show, Shirring took centre stage in the Pattern Challenge, and while some coped with this well, for many it was the first time they had done this particular type of sewing. Now it is hardly simple but it has also become a summer staple this year, and we have a great selection of fabrics for it. Again our cotton lawns or linens would make an incredibly pretty shirring dress and we thought that the Sofia Dress by Victory Patterns would work perfectly. 


But not only have we had more cotton lawns delivered to FG Headquarters since then, but we have also had more seersuckers which would work beautifully for this dress and would add some pretty extra texture to the sleeves and un-shirred sections of the dress. And again, we have barely mentioned it but seersucker is the perfect summer dress fabric and we have searched high and low for this new selection. 


seersucker fabric


GBSB Week Four - Megan Nielsen Quilted Jacket Hovea 

The Sewing Bee now turned its attention to better sustainability in our makes, so the first challenge was not only to make something but to make it out of fabric scraps. The Pattern Challenge this week was a Patchwork and Quilted Jacket which allows for us to share with you how many of patchwork and quilting cottons make really lovely cotton clothing. And one collection of these are our Indian Cotton Woven fabrics; not only do these come in a variety of colours but also pretty classic ginghams and stripes.

These fabrics are wonderfully soft and are almost like brushed cottons making them perfect for jackets like the Megan Nielsen Hovea jacket. As we face a fairly cold autumn and winter, jackets like this could be perfect for wrapping up in as we work from home. Not only do we have a great selection of patchwork and quilting cottons but also to keep the bulk to a minimum, our Indian cotton voiles make great linings for jackets like these as they are soft and wash well. 

But if you were thinking you wanted to use your scraps for other patchwork projects, we have written a blog about the many things you can use them for…


GBSB Week Five - Harmony Top by Fibre Mood 

Although week five’s episode turned the contestants attention to makes for children's clothing, we fancied making a sailor top for ourselves (naughty we know). But in our defence our cotton chambrays  are just perfect for this and we wanted a chance to show them off in all their glory.

They are 100% cotton so wash well, are simple to use (unless you use a stripe and then pattern matching might make your eyes hurt). Not only that, but we have also had the Harmony Top by Fibre Mood on our make list for ages and this episode of the Sewing Bee just reminded us. 


But if you were looking for children’s wear fabrics we must say we have plenty, if you are looking for fun jersey prints or simple cotton poplins with fun characters we are the place to look. Especially as just last week we took a delivery of some fun Fireman Sam and 101 Dalmatian prints…


GBSB Week Six- Simplicity Denim Dress 

Music week paid homage to many of the musical icons of the past century starting with making a parka jacket, via a Dolly Parton denim make and ending with a David Bowie Made to Measure. Now we may not be able to help with a parka, but if looking to make a shirt dress from denim, then we are the place to be.

The Simplicity Shirt Dress S1804 could be made in a variety of things including denim but if you wanted to still give a country and western vibe you could use a gingham maybe even a black gingham. This would be perfect for sustainability as gingham very rarely isn’t in fashion over the summer. 


Gingham dressmaking fabric

But if you were thinking more of having a David Bowie inspired moment, have we mentioned that we recently started to stock quite the range of satins and even more recently added to out crepe selection? These fabrics would be perfect for creating a dramatic outfit, especially if you were looking to create drama with a cap. 


GBSB Week Seven - Acacia Knickers by Megan Nielsen 

Week Seven was an especially tricky week for the last few contestants on the Sewing Bee as underwear can be particularly difficult. Luckily, we have found this great Free Pattern by Megan Nielsen to make knickers, not only is this a great pattern but you only need 40cm of jersey to make them. So it could be a great way to use up your jersey scraps and is there anything cooler than matching your knickers to your t-shirt? (We don’t think so, no.) 

Not only do we have some great jersey fabrics, many are Oeko-Tex 100 so have been tested for 100 different nasties making them great for knickers. However if you wanted to start using more sustainable fabrics, might we suggest you take a look at our latest plain bamboo jerseys which are so soft you will never want to wear any other knickers. 

However this week's episode also included a pyjama challenge; now don’t get us wrong we would love some satin sleepwear but we also think you simply can’t go wrong with a pair of cotton pyjamas. We have been thinking for ages that a pair made from our Ditsy Floral Swiss Knot would be quite frankly - dreamy.


Swiss Knot floral fabric


GBSB Week Eight - Patina Blouse by Friday Pattern Company 

We were super pleased when this episode highlighted that men’s shirting can make pretty good ladies clothing as well, especially as we just received delivery of these super smart shirtings. We are dying to see what people make from these as they are just do damn lovely and could be our current favourites.



The Patina Blouse by the Friday Pattern Company has a super trendy large collar but could be worn in nearly all seasons. But if you loved this pattern (and who doesn’t) but aren’t sure about the shirtings you could use any of our cotton poplins which we have in nearly every print you can imagine - floral, quirky, skulls or just simple plains. 

But if the wide legged sailor trousers were more your thing, how about a lovely linen pair perfect for the summer? Linen would have enough weight but also a nice amount of drape, and we must say our colour selection is pretty damn good right now.


Linen fabric


GBSB Week Nine - Folklore 113 Unisex Kimono 

Now you know how we love to tell you all about how you can use fabrics not intended for dressmaking for dressmaking? Well, this is one of those. This pattern is based on a Yukata kimono which tend to be in blue and white, and we have built up quite the collection of indigo and Japanese style prints which are intended more for quilting projects but they have SO much to offer for dressmaking. They are 100% cotton so really are pretty similar to the cotton poplins in the dressmaking section. They would give a slight level of structure to this kimono, especially on that collar that was so key. 


Japanese Indigo print kimono fabric

Although the traditional kimonos were in shades of blue and white, it doesn’t actually mean you have to use them as there are are many gorgeous prints in our poplin collection that would make a great kimono. And isn’t that the joy of dressmaking, you can choose whatever you like.   


GBSB Week Ten THE FINAL - Fibre Mood Danika Jumpsuit

How have we got to the final? GBSB 2022 seems like it only started a few weeks ago. But everything good must come to end at some point and it has actually been quite the series and that is before we get the twist last week. But what a lovely final it was, with the four ladies showing a great amount of support for one another and creating some really quite spectacular outfits.



We have turned our attention to the jumpsuit mainly because we have been looking for an excuse to make the Fibre Mood Danika Jumpsuit, which even has a lovely bow on the back as a nod to Esme. This could be made in a variety of fabrics, anything from linen, cotton poplins or even a jersey but to make it more evening wear we thought that whipping it up in a crepe  or even a viscose would make a spectacular outfit. 

Luckily we have just had the crepes delivered and they are perfect for this as they are in a great selection of colours and have a lovely drape. 

But if you were thinking of giving the Amorphous Dress a go, although we are low on the lycra front we thought something similar could be whipped up from a Ponte de Roma as it has the stretch but also a fraction more structure, making it ideal for many dressmaking projects. 


Feeling Inspired by our GBSB Pattern and Fabric Ideas?

All the patterns that we have mentioned are available from our good friends at the Foldline, apart from the Knicker Pattern which is a free pattern available from the Megan Nielsen website. For all the best fabrics for The Great British Sewing Bee Series 8 makes, visit our dedicated Sewing Bee Collection online.

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