In the first challenge of series 2 of the Great British Sewing Bee, the contestants were required to make a simple, cotton, sleeveless top. Easy! I hear you cry. Everyone has a piece of cotton in their sewing stash. Every dressmaker knows how to make interfacing, sew curved seams and make a button loop…. or do they? Welcome to my very own Sewing Bee-style challenge!
After the first episode of the Sewing Bee had aired, and thanks to the lovely ladies at Simplicity patterns, I found myself with a copy of the New Look 6483 sewing pattern on the sewing (dining) table. This pattern is almost exactly the same as the one used in the show, although there’s no ‘pulling through to the front’ business involved in this one which, perhaps, makes it even easier.
The bits and bobs you’ll need to make this pattern are as follows:
First up, notice how the sewing pattern is marked as ‘1 Hour Easy’? If this isn’t perfect for a Sewing Bee Sleeveless Top Challenge then I don’t know what is! I decided to go for view ‘E’, which is the one on the top left of the pattern cover.
However, 1 hour is perhaps something of an understatement. It probably took me an hour to cut out the pieces and a couple of hours to sew everything together – but that’s not too bad, right? Plus I had to allow an extra hour because I made the pattern way too big (Top Tip! I compared my measurements with the fit-guide on the back and used the appropriate-sized pattern. When I sewed it up it was about 3 sizes too big so I had to take a big chunk out of my side seams. I suggest choosing a smaller size than you think you’ll need!)
Overall this pattern is pretty easy to follow and good for a start-up stitcher like myself. Attaching the interfacing is simple and the curved seams are nice and big so very easy to do on your machine. I didn’t even have any trouble adding the darts.
A tip I have for clipping all the curved seams is to use your pinking shears! I learnt this from Lucie over at Love Lucie and haven’t looked back. It’s so much quicker and neater and works just as well. Give it a go!
As for how to sew the button loop… try this little diagram! Using the tiny image in the pattern, I created a loop of cotton the width of the button and then wound my thread around the loop a few times to strengthen it. I think it looks quite good! It does the job at least.
Has anyone else made this pattern before?
If you’re looking for other Sewing Bee related patterns then try my posts on the silk nightgowns and the men’s pyjamas!