Great British Sewing Bee Patterns: Inspired by Season 6 and 7

Whether you’re British or not, The Great British Sewing Bee took the sewing world by storm and inspired thousands of people to pick up a sewing machine for the first time.

If you’re like me, you were thrilled during series 6, when they upped the episodes from 8 to 10 – more inspiration!

So, if you’re wondering where you can find the sewing bee patterns for those must-have wardrobe staples in the show, look no further.

I’ve rounded up my favorite sewing bee patterns from the BBC Great British Sewing Bee for you. Let’s go!

Best Patterns of the Great British Sewing Bee (Series 6 and 7)

Series 6

Series 6 of the Great British Sewing Bee saw contestants going head-to-head in the made-to-measure challenges like never before.

The makers worked hard, and for the purpose of helping you start stitching, I’ve re-visited some of my favorite designs from the season.

Tea Dress

Tea Dress

This type of dress is easy and comfortable to wear, usually finished with a belt to draw the eye to an accentuated waistline.

Tea Dress

Episode 1 of the Great British Sewing Bee was a recreation of the classic tea dress, characterized as a loose lined and unstructured silhouette dress.

This type of dress is easy and comfortable to wear, usually finished with a belt to draw the eye to an accentuated waistline.

The tea dress originated from the Japanese kimono, as women of Europe were inspired by its elegance.

History

The tea dress became popular in the 1940’s when women started to wear it as a light dress around the home. Traditionally, the tea dress design was knee length and included a hem. But today, we see many different styles from mini to strapless.

You can find the pattern for a 1940’s inspired tea dress here, which can be bought as an original pattern or downloaded.

Design

This dress features a gathered bust detail, a panelled midriff, flattering elbow sleeves and contrasting cuffs. Generally, it comes in sizes from 8 – 20.

The best materials to use for this are lightweight fabrics with lots of drapes, such as rayon challis georgette and silk. I chose bright prints which come in lively patterns to really stand out.

You could even put the “tea” into the “tea dress” by using tea stained fabric.

Palazzo Pants

Palazzo Pants

These 70’s pants look great with a crop top and you can wear it as daytime chic, comfy at home or even a party all night outfit!

Palazzo Pants

Episode 2 of the Sewing Bee was holiday week, and we saw the contestants making palazzo pants that had Patrick Grant gushing. Everybody has got to own a pair of palazzo pants at some point in their lives!

I think I owned about 6 pairs at the same time! They always remind me of Christina Aguilera – don’t ask me why.

Design

Palazzo pants are loose, flattering pants with hanging legs and a nice fit around the hips. They almost make the wearer feel like they have a skirt on due to the wide leg’s flowy design.

These 70’s pants look great with a crop top and you can wear it as daytime chic, comfy at home or even a party all night outfit!

Fabric

The design of these pants work well with patterned fabric, which as a bonus can disguise the seams.

I like to alter my patterns and add pockets if I’m using lighter fabrics such as silk or crepe jersey. And, when I’m taking them on holiday, I run slits up the side of the legs!

Here is my favorite pattern for palazzo pants, and I insist you stop everything you are doing right now, to make these! You can thank me later.

80s Cocktail Dress

80’s Cocktail Dress

It was then more popular to see women in social contexts, and thus the cocktail dress was born. The cocktail dress essentially bridged the gap between afternoon tea and evening balls.

80’s Cocktail Dress

The 1980’s week saw one of my favorite challenges: the classic cocktail dress. I was blown away by the design of Nicole’s Split and Shimmer 80’s cocktail dress and decided I immediately wanted one in every color for myself.

History

After World War 1, the idea of a working woman became increasingly popular and the cocktail culture responded with social changes that led to the ‘modern woman’.

It was then more popular to see women in social contexts, and thus the cocktail dress was born. The cocktail dress essentially bridged the gap between afternoon tea and evening balls.

This beautiful bodycon sheath dress can serve as an alternative to the 80’s cocktail dress.

Design

The pattern has short puff sleeves, which are best lined for sturdiness, you can also choose to have a longer sleeve depending on your preference.

Evening Gown

Evening Gown

This evening gown pattern can be worn timelessly and can be made with different style of sleeves.

Evening Gown

Esme Young got everyone sewing evening gown patterns in season 7.

The evening gown still stuns in Hollywood red carpet events, and has for centuries now. It is supposed to be sexy and classy without being too revealing, and will often be backless.

Design

This evening gown pattern can be worn timelessly and can be made with different style of sleeves.

Series 7

Series 7 was one of the best modes of entertainment in 2021, am I right?

This series collection saw the 1940’s return, recycling transformation challenges and the final goodbye episode was celebration inspired!

We’re starting series 7, with the classic shell top sew pattern.

Shell Top

Shell Top

A classic and simple to sew top for spring and summer seasons.

Shell Top

Episode 1 kicked off with the shell top – a classic and simple to sew top for spring and summer seasons.

A shell top or blouse is usually sleeveless and slip-on, with a button and loop attachment at the back of the neck.

Skill Level

You don’t need to be a sewing master or have the best sewing machine to create a shell top, and to prove it, here are two sewing bee patterns simple enough for beginners.

Important note: the best fabrics to create a shell top are something soft like silk, cashmere or a blend of these two materials. 

Pattern

This ashton shell top has a simple A line shaped neck, and has the option to finish the neck and arms with an all in one basting or bias binding.

It would pair well with the A line skirt from series 6, episode 1 – what an outfit!

Buffet Dress

Buffet Dress

The loose fit is comfortable when worn around the home, yet can double as a glamorous outfit to wear out.

Buffet Dress

Episode 1 also saw a made-to-measure task of creating the buffet dress. This dress hides every bulge and bump due to the magnitude of material!

The term “buffet dress” can generally describe anything that has a relaxed shape and covers your body.

Design

They’ve become an increasingly popular sewing trend over the last year. The loose fit is comfortable when worn around the home, yet can double as a glamorous outfit to wear out.

Esme Young can be seen flaunting garments in this style, probably because they are so darn comfortable.

Pattern

This kaftan pattern is beginner friendly and easy to sew.

This is my favorite easy to sew easy tee buffet pattern, similar to the outfit presented by Lawratu, one of the contestants.

70's Dreamgirl Dress

1970’s Dream Girls Dress

The 1970’s Dream Girl outfit saw sleek cuts, square necklines, long sleeves and funky new patterns and colors evolve on to the fashion scene.

1970’s Dream Girls Dress

Episode 8 of the Great British Sewing Bee took us for a sing song with music from movies week. Think get-ups that look great on dress forms/mannequins.

Think Grease lighting, Dirty Dancing and Esme Young as a young child singing to herself in the mirror with that hairbrush microphone.

It was the era of wild colors and floral patterns, and flower-power was in full swing.

Design

The 1970’s Dream Girl outfit saw sleek cuts, square necklines, long sleeves and funky new patterns and colors evolve on to the fashion scene.

Knit was a popular fabric choice, and for extra glamor, many were backless and very short.

This dress pattern, has a square neckline and variations for puff sleeves. The pattern includes two sleeves, and two skirt lengths variations.

Paperbag Shorts

Paperbag Shorts

These paper bag shorts can be worn in any outfit for the day time, a beach trip or dressing up for the evening.

Paperbag Shorts

Episode 2 was time for summer love, and for that we saw skimpy shorts and dresses!

These paper bag shorts can be worn in any outfit for the day time, a beach trip or dressing up for the evening.

This type of shorts are cinched in at the waist and typically have an A-line flare to the leg – hence the name “paper bag.”

You’ll get loads of ideas from this pattern for paper bag shorts. The pattern also covers you for skirts.

Button-down Summer Dress

Button-down Summer Dress

This stylish summer dress is great to wear all year round.

Button-down Summer Dress

Still into episode 2, season 7 of the Great British Sewing Bee and we’re already in holiday mode. The contestants got to sewing with a button down summer dress.

Design

This stylish summer dress is great to wear all year round. Grant would be so thrilled with the featured pleats, you would create the garment of the week for sure!

This style of dress works best with light fabrics such as linen or cotton, however if you like rayon that looks beautiful too.

Different types of patterns

There are two main types of sewing patterns: the commercial style sewing patterns, which you can buy online or in stores, or a print out version, downloadable as a PDF.

Some people find it easier to manage a traditional pattern when sewing, while others don’t mind the puzzle piecing as they print.

A popular brand pattern we saw in the Great British Sewing Bee is Hardie Grant.

Tips when buying patterns

  • If your measurements fall between sizes, use the larger size. It’s much easier to bring a garment in, then try to add extra panels when you realize it does not fit. Also, you could try for a plus size pattern, like the ones I’ve listed here.
  • Most PDF sewing patterns have embedded layers, which means the design will only print in your selected size.
  • Make sure to wash and dry your fabric first so it doesn’t shrink after its first wash. Before you cut the fabric, always make sure you press it.
  • If you are using silk or a similar fabric, cut it between two layers of fine paper while pinning – this will help keep the fabric on the grain.

It’s a wrap

So, let me know what you think of my selections from the Great British Sewing Bee, Seasons 6 and 7.

Is there a made-to-measure garment I missed?

What was your favorite episode from the Great British Sewing Bee? Show me any of the items you’ve made from this list in a comment below!

And for those of you who think these patterns are a bit challenging, you don’t need to worry! I have a collection of sewing patterns for beginners to help you develop skills when crafting garments using sewing patterns.

In addition, you can also check out my list of sewing subscription boxes if you’re looking for more sewing projects.

Until next year!

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Kris Daub
Kris Daub
[email protected] byCurated I'm a maker at heart! I love to create and tech others to create. I particularly sewing and hand crafts like ebroidery. I also love larger home decorating projects. ✂️ 🧵