Great British Sewing Bee 2024 - Episode 2 - Fleece Jacket + Sport's Outfit

We're passionate about sewing and dressmaking at Sew Me Sunshine, and we love watching the Great British Sewing Bee every year. Every week we will break down the episode and sign post you to some sewing patterns and fabric.

The Great British Sewing Bee is back for 2024 and this year marks it's 10th season! We wish all the contestants the best of luck and know they will make some incredible garments. 

This week we are looking at episode 2 where the bee's had to make a fleece jacket out of cotton sweatshirting fabric, transform cricket clothing and make an Olympic inspired sport's outfit.

Pattern Challenge: Fleece Jacket 

The first challenge was to make a fleece jacket out of cotton fleece backed sweatshirting fabric. At Sew Me Sunshine we stock lots of cotton sweatshirting fabric in a variety of colours with matching ribbing

Top Tip: Check out our YouTube video about Sweat-shirting and Jersey Fabric

Top Tip: Check out our jersey + knit fabric guide for top sewing tips

 R-L: plum, sage, blue

Remember you do not need an overlocker or coverstitch machine to sew with jersey fabric. Some regular sewing machines will have an overlock stitch which mimics an overlock stitch produced by an overlocker. On a basic sewing machine all you need is a simple zig zag stitch - make sure you change the settings on your machine so that it is narrow and short. Just make sure that you need to use either a ballpoint or stretch sewing machine needleA ballpoint needle pushes the fibres away whilst sewing rather than piercing them. The size of the needle depends on the weight of the fabric you are going to be sewing with. You can also choose to finish your waist and neckbands using a jersey twin needle for a professional finish.

There are lots of different sewing patterns you could use to create your own fleece jacket using sweatshirting fabric. The nearest patterns to the one used by this week's contestants is the Nela Zip-Neck Sweater by Bara Studio or the Didi Pullover by Fibre Mood or the Half Zipper Sweater by Wardrobe By Me.

L-R: Bainbridge Pullover by Itch to Stitch, Pogonip Pullover by Friday Pattern CompanyNela Zip-Neck Sweater by Bara StudioArlo Jacket by Friday Pattern CompanyCozi Jacket by Pattern Scout Studio.

Transformation Challenge: Cricket Clothing 

In the up-cycling challenge the contestants had to transform cricket clothing into an avant garde structured imaginative 2 piece outfit. There were so many creative designs with lots of texture. As everyone's ideas were so unique and they repurposed cricket clothing we aren't able to signpost you to any patterns or fabric.

Made To Measure Challenge: Olympic inspired sport's outfit representing a country 

In the made to measure challenge the contestants had to sew an Olympic inspired athlete outfit representing a country of their choice. There were lots of different sports represented - running, gymnastics, track, speed climbing, rugby, weightlifting, golf, javelin and lots more...

A lot of the contestants used activewear jersey for their makes. At Sew Me Sunshine we stock a large range of recycled nylon ECONYL® fabrics, including Econyl activewear lining fabric. This type of fabric boasts the same features as virgin nylon fabrics in terms of performance, but has the added bonus of being manufactured in a sustainable way. These fabrics can be used for activewear and swimwear dressmaking projects. 

L-R Econyl recycled nylon: floral star, magenta, teal

L-R Econyl recycled nylon: aqua green, boogie waves, blueberry blue

L-R Econyl recycled nylon: isla check, peach, bubblegum pink

Top tip: to learn more about activewear and swimwear fabrics and for top sewing tips check out our fabric guide.

Top tip: use Gutermann maraflex elastic thread as it is ideal for flexible seams when using a straight stitch due to it's high elasticity

The contestants used lots of different patterns for their makes as they all chose a variety of sports. At Sew Me Sunshine we love the Limestone Leggings + Top by Sew Liberated for a sporty leggings and top combo, when sewing a bodysuit we love the Rowan by Megan Nielsen, and for swimwear we are big fans of the Cottesloe by Megan Nielsen.

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