Sewing Bee Series 2 Episode 1 supplies and techniques

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Abakhan Fabrics - fabrics, trims and sewing accessories

Great British Sewing Bee Series 2 episode one

Isn’t it great to see The Sewing Bee back on the telly again?  I have definitely missed it, and very glad it’s back for a double length series.  So what did you think about the contestants?  Have you got a favourite yet?

Do pop over to my Facebook or Twitter and let me know what you thought.  I have to say I love Chinelo's method of sewing, I also like to experiment and not follow patterns.

As with the first series of The Great British Sewing Bee I plan to write a guide to the skills and supplies featured in the show for those of you who have been inspired to try making at home the things you saw on screen.

Series 2 episode one Great British Sewing Bee Supplies

Please note all links have been removed from this post because most of them are dead due to the time elapsed since this post was written.


This episode saw the contestants having to sew with 3 very different fabrics – Cotton, Wool and Silk.

Firstly you might want to check out the useful links in this post for sewing with difficult fabrics. 

For some good guides on sewing with the fabrics featured see:

Working with silk

Tips for sewing with silk

Cutting Silk 

Did You Make That has a great guide to sewing with wool fabrics

Colette guide to sewing with cotton

Sewing with lace

How to understand sewing patterns by Tilly (from series 1)

How to use commercial sewing patterns


How to sew a rouleau loop fastening or a thread chain loop (bottom fastening on the sleeveless top)

How to understitch a facing

How to clip a neckline

How to add a peplum to your garments

How to sew ruffles

How to insert a godet

How to roll a silk hem

How to turn out straps (like on Jenni's dungaree straps)

How to add a peplum to an exisiting top - BBC video


The Great British Sewing Bee contestants for series 2


As for where to buy those supplies:

Cotton fabrics - will be available in any fabric shop you look at for dressmaking I’d recommend having a look at Minerva Crafts, Abakhan Fabrics, Sewbox or Raystitch if shopping online.  Or use the search bar at the top of this page to find your local fabric shop.

Polka dot fabrics as used by a few different contestants.

The blue and white fabric used by Tamara in her skirt

Linen look cotton with polka dots as used by Heather

Scooter fabric used by Cerina

Brown chevron fabric

Wool fabrics – Dragonfly fabrics supplied Stuart with wool fabrics in series one, find their selection here, you can also find a selection of wool fabrics on the Croft Mill site or at Truro Fabrics.

Silk – The silk fabrics came from Hasson Silks, Pongee's and Biddle Sawyer Silks. 

Lace - For a big selection of lace, lace fabrics and lace trims do visit Gypsy Lace.

Sewing threads -both Coats  and Gutermann threads were used.  

Magnetic pin dish and silk pins

Woven fusible interfacing used on the sleeveless top

Ribbons were provided by Jane Means

The sewing machines -  were provided by Janome, their 525s model (ideal for beginners)

Janome 525S as used on The Great British Sewing Bee

Janome Sewist 525S


Sleeveless top - Download the free Sorbetto top from Colette Patterns to make your own sleeveless top.

Skirt refashion – For ideas and tutorials to help you refashion skirts or any other items of clothing check out my refashioning Pinterest board.  Also see the techniques above for a few of the techniques used by the contestants.

Silk nightgown

There’s a free downloadable tutorial for a silk slip here.

There’s also a free pattern on the Burda website here.

If you prefer a proper paper patterns then Minerva Crafts have a lingerie set pattern here, including a silk nightgown. 

Commercial patterns used by the contestants:  Simon's night dress - Julie's winning nightgown - Tamara's baby doll style night gown - Cerina's nightgown pattern

Sew Your Own Wardrobe Sewing Bee Book

Win the new Sewing Bee Book

Quadrille Craft have kindly given us 3 copies of the new Sewing Bee book - Sew Your Own Wardrobe to giveaway.  Details of how to enter can be found here.

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