Sewing Bee series 4 episode 6

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Series 4, episode 6

a guide to the fabrics and patterns from episode 6 of The Sewing Bee

 Episode 6

Can you believe we’re already onto the quarter finals?  There were only 5 stitchers left for this episode and they had to joy of sewing sportswear!  They had to get to grips with lycra, zips and collars in the first challenge (rather them than me!) and sew a man’s cycling top.  For the refashioning challenge they upcycled ski suits into children’s jackets.  Then for the made to measure challenge they sewed yoga outfits.  I’m sure Tamara from series 2 would have loved that challenge!

Tracey made an immaculate cycle jacket and won the first challenge.  The winner of the upcycling challenge was a shocked looking Jade with her 80's style bomber jacket.  The garment of the week was won by Jade with her fab lightnight print yoga outfit.  Rumana was sent home.

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.


Lightning print stretch fabric like Jade on The Sewing Bee used

Fabrics & Tools

Charlotte and Rumana used plain cotton jersey fabrics for their yoga trousers.  Rumana also used power mesh to re-inforce the bust area of her top.

Jade used a fab black and pink lightning fabric from Funkifabrics plus plain black lycra.

Joyce used plain scuba fabrics for her outfit choose from 19 colours at Minerva Crafts.

This fabric is very similar to the one used by Charlotte in her top.

This looks like the tie dye fabric Tracey used and there’s a big range of other colour combos here.

Abakhan Fabrics have lots of Lycra and Spandex fabrics, both prints and plains.   How great would this bike print spandex be for the cyclist’s top?    It looks like they also have the same bright green lycra as used for the demonstration top (and the one in the book) and  you can find the bright yellow zip here.

Minerva Crafts also have a fab selection of Lycra fabrics  including this eye-catching metallic lycra.

Funkifabrics have a whole shop dedicated to sportswear fabrics so you’ll find a big selection there:

Don’t forget you’ll want to use an interfacing that also has stretch in your sportswear.

Charlotte is wearing another beautiful handmade dress, featuring Alison Glass's Handcrafted 2 fabric.

The contestants used overlockers for sewing with stretch fabrics, I think it was the Juki MO-114D

If you are thinking of buying an overlocker see our guide to choosing an overlocker.

The sewing machines used were Janome 525s.

If making roleau loops like some of the contestants a loop turner will come in useful.


Cycle top sewing pattern from The Sewing Bee

Sewing Patterns

The men’s cycle top pattern is on page 168 of From Stitch to Style.

Rumana’s pattern is the XYT workout top from Fehr Trade. Don’t forget to read their tips on sewing sportswear. I think her leggings are from this McCalls pattern.

Another stitcher using a McCalls pattern was Joyce who used the 7261.

Charlotte has used the Pneuma Tank from Papercut patterns I think her comfy looking trousers were the Hudson Pant.

Jade’s strappy backed workout top is a Lisette Patterns.

Tracey’s cross back top can be purchased as a pdf download here, there’s a dress version available too. 

You can buy lots of sportswear patterns from British designer Fehr Trade here

Minerva have a couple of sewing patterns for yoga trousers and tops here and here.

You can find out about more sportswear pattern's in The Fold Line's episode guides.



How to sew gymwear


Cycle Top

We have a useful article on sewing sportswear from Melissa Fehr

Stitch’n’Smile have a useful article on checking the stretch of a fabric including a stretch gauge to help you.

If you have one, use your overlocker to sew Lycra and spandex – we have guides on choosing and using overlockers here.

Sewing with stretchy fabrics on a sewing machine – read our guide

Avoid puckers in your Lycra seams with this guide from Made by Rae

There's a useful guide to understitching necklines/collars here.

The cycle top has an exposed zip. Read Tilly and The Buttons guide to inserting an exposed zip

The top has a twin needle topstitched hem - see our technique guide on using twin needles


Ski wear

Tips for sewing outdoor wear from Specialty Outdoors.

Sewing with thick layers – use a walking foot to help feed the layers through.


Yoga Wear

Did you know, Lycra is actually a brand name for spandex manufactured by DuPont?

Craftsy have some general  tips on sewing Lycra or spandex.

Some of the contestants sewed the waistbands with elastic – see Craftsy’s guide on sewing a waistband that won’t twist.

We have a technique guide on sewing with stretch binding here.

Learn all about twin needle hemming here.

Learn how to flat lock a seam on an overlocker with a tutorial from Hey June.



Seamwork share some tips on sewing spaghetti straps as used by a few of the sewers.

Jade’s top has Rouleau loop straps.

Jade’s top incorporates a stretch lining – see this guide from Emma One Sock.

Joyce’s top had princess seams here's a guide to sewing them.

Sew raglan sleeve like Joyce did – see our guide to sleeves

Learn how to attach a neck binding with this article by Colette

Rumana and Jade both incorporated an integrated support bra



Charlotte’s outfit had ribbed cuffs on the ankle bottoms read this guide to sew your own.

Melly Sews share a tutorial on adding a foldover waistband like Charlotte used.

Read more about The Sewing Bee in our Great British Sewing Bee Section.

Guide to The Sewing Bee 2016

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