Great British Sewing Bee 2024 - Episode 6 - Kids Week - Sequin Bomber Jacket Making + Children's Outfits Inspired By A Childhood Photo

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 6 which was Kids week. The contestants were tasked with making a sequin bomber jacket, transforming old towels to make a fancy dress outfit, and sewing an outfit that was inspired by a childhood photo.

Pattern Challenge: Sequinned Bomber Jacket

The first challenge was to make a child's bomber jacket using sequin fabric. We  had a search online and found a child's bomber jacket sewing pattern that works for woven and knit fabrics - the Cato by WISJ Designs. The Cato is for 1-14 year olds and can be sewn in a variety of fabrics, including sequins. You will need ribbing for the neck, wrists and waistband; you can see all of our ribbings here

We have some beautiful floral sequin fabrics available that would look great as a child's bomber jacket. 

Top Tips On Sewing With Sequins:

  • Do not pre-wash your sequin fabric. It is dry clean only
  • Identify the direction of the sequins before cutting out. Some sequins may not have a direction
  • There will be sequins everywhere so it might be useful to place a cloth underneath your cutting/sewing space in order to catch any
  • To protect your eyes it might be a good idea to wear glasses 
  • Cut your pattern pieces out on the wrong side of the fabric and on a single layer. When a pattern requires you to cut a pair don't forget to flip your pattern piece over once you've cut out the first one
  • Use pattern weights and not pins
  • Use a rotary cutter 
  • Use a contract basting stitch to mark out the seam lines and then remove all the sequins in the seam allowance
  • Use a new sharp fine point needle (size 70) and make sure you have plenty spare. If you opt to sew through your sequins instead of removing them you may need to opt for a leather needle 
  • Do not use an overlocker. If you are sewing a stretch sequin fabric use a narrow zig zag stitch on your standard sewing machine 
  • When pressing your sequin fabric make sure the heat on the iron is turned down and you press on the wrong side making sure to use a pressing cloth
  • Do not topstitch your sequin fabric. You will want to add a comfortable lining fabric (cotton lawn, cotton voile, viscose or a satin) so opt to slip stitch the hem to the lining instead

Transformation Challenge: Make an animal themed fancy dress costume from an old beach towel 

In the up-cycling challenge the contestants had to make an animal themed fancy dress costume for a toddler using an old beach towel. They were allowed to use up to two towels each and were provided with lots of haberdashery and felt. Everyone's ideas were unique and creative so we aren't able to signpost to specific patterns or fabrics. There are lots of quick fun child fancy dress outfits you could make out of an old towel, we love the idea of sewing a dinosaur or dragon tail. This is a really quick and easy make that you can even do with a child. 

Harriet made this dinosaur tail with her son Arthur. It was made from two scraps of triangle black fabric with pink felt spikes sandwiched between. It was then stuffed with toy stuffing (you could use fabric scraps instead). We then sewed some gathering stitches to gather the end and then attached some elastic to fit his waist measurement. 

Made To Measure Challenge: Child's outfit inspired by a childhood photo

In the made to measure challenge the contestants had to make a child's outfit that was inspired by a childhood photo. There were 3 denim boilersuits/jumpsuits, a pair of velvet dungarees, 2 skorts and a fun party dress. Here are some sewing pattern ideas if you are now inspired to sew some children's clothes....

Top Tip: Denim is a great fabric for children's overalls as it is hardwearing. Find all of our denim fabrics here.

Top Tip: Jersey fabric is great option for children's wear as it results in comfortable clothing that also enables children to move freely. Find all of our cotton jersey fabrics here. The majority of our cotton jersey fabrics are Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified which means that the textile has passed safety tests for the presence of harmful substances.

Waves & Wild I Dig Dunagrees

 Fibre Mood Indigo Jumpsuit

Ikatee Brooklyn Boilersuit

Style Arc Margot Skort

Papercut Patterns Ashling Child Dress

Tilly and the Buttons latest book called Mini Makes focuses on child sewing. It has lots of great makes, including a versatile t-shirt + leggings.

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