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The Great British Sewing Bee

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4 hours ago, txvoodoo said:

Joe is a comedian and I just adore him. I think he'll do just fine. 

Honestly, I don't need the hosts of these shows to be funny. Sometimes hosts of the various Bake Off shows have come off as corny or trying too hard (the hosts on the Great Kiwi Bake Off are particularly egregious). I'm not here to watch you crack jokes and distract me from the actual competition. I'm here to watch the contestants, so just be nice to them and we're good!

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  • 1 month later...

Meet the S5 contestants!

Ben - 31, scientist from Edinburgh
Janet - 70, retired shopkeeper from North Yorkshire
Jen - 49, self employed, from Glasgow
Juliet - 33, primary school teacher from London
Mercedes - 57, school reprographics technician from East Sussex
Riccardo - 37, graphic designer/multimedia producer from East London
Tom - 27, motion graphics designer from Chelmsford, Essex
Sheila - 51, integrated care liaison from Ilford, Essex
Leah - 43, practice director from London
Alexei - 26, manufacturing engineer from Leeds

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S5.E1: Cotton Week


The Sewing Bee is back with brand new host Joe Lycett for eight weeks of brainteasing patterns, spectacular transformations and stunning made-to-measure outfits. Savile Row’s Patrick Grant and Central St Martin’s Esme Young scrutinise every stitch as ten of the country’s best home sewers take up a needle and thread and tackle everything from jumpsuits to swimsuits to evening gowns.

They are eased in gently with cotton fabric, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. For their first pattern challenge the judges have chosen a Dior-inspired ‘wiggle dress’ designed to hug the female form. It requires precision and accurate darts, and any diversion from the instructions could result in an ill-fitting garment.

Next their design skills and sewing instincts are tested in the Transformation Challenge, when the sewers are tasked with transforming three second-hand items of denim clothing into a single, stylish new garment in just 90 minutes.

For their final challenge, the mannequins are gone and replaced with real live models who the sewers must flawlessly fit with a made-to-measure jumpsuit. Who will achieve the perfect body rise, avoiding the dreaded camel toe? Who will create clothes worthy of Garment of the Week? And who will drop a stitch at this early stage, becoming the first to leave the Great British Sewing Bee?

Original air date: 2/12/19

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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I can't lie - I was excited all day knowing that this show was starting again!

On a shallow note, I don't like Patrick's new haircut.

One thing that I love about the Great Canadian Baking Show is the bakers wear aprons with their names stitched on the front, which really helps me out for the first three or four episodes. The Great British Sewing Bee needs to put chirons on the screen more often, especially during the first few episodes. I can't remember all of these people's names yet!

It must be really hot because everyone seemed to have their fans going. Meanwhile, Patrick is still in a suit and tie the whole time.

I liked that we got to see an inside out version of the wiggle dress so we could see the details. I also appreciated when Patrick and Esme explained why the contestants should choose a sturdier cotton without stretch.

I liked Ben's red dress. He made a good fabric choice with that alternating rectangular pattern and he matched the pattern really well. The zipper was completely invisible too. For the rest of the season, Ben will be Guy with the Fried Egg Nipple Shirt.

I liked the grey fabric that Mercedes chose. I really appreciated that the camera zoomed in to show us where her dress was puckered in the pack when Patrick pointed it out. I never would have been able to see that from the original camera angle.

I laughed when Alexei got so excited upon learning that Patrick got his degree in engineering too. I can't believe he didn't notice that he had the cars upside down until the host pointed it out to him.

I wasn't a fan of the blue patterned fabric that Tom used. When Esme pointed out that the top half of the dress had the pattern going up and the bottom half had the pattern going down, I had to laugh when he said, "Would you believe me if I said that was a design choice?" Nice try!

I loved the blue and white polka dot fabric that Leah chose for her dress, but even from a distance I could see some of the flaws. It was hanging weirdly on the mannequin, but up close there were even more problems (the hole at the bottom of the zipper, the puckering at the side seam, the unfinished sleeves). Not surprising that she came in last place.

I liked the bright colorful turquoise fabric that Juliet chose. Not only was the pattern nice but she chose the right type of cotton. Her dress looked pretty good without any noticeable mistakes. I loved that it's only the first episode and she was already helping someone. I guess those sleeves were tricky, but hers looked great and she took the time to explain to Leah how to do them. First winner of the first challenge of the first episode!

Riccardo's green fabric was very bold. He was so close to matching the pattern where the zipper was! I'm not sure why he came in eighth since the judges weren't shown making many comments about his garment aside from the zipper.

I didn't like the white and floral fabric that Sheila used but the dress looked fine.

Janet's dress looked like it was pulling or not hanging correctly on one side. I was really impressed with how well she matched the tiny yellow squares on one seam! But she didn't even have time to finish hemming the dress so I fear she may not be long for this competition. I think she would have been in last place if not for Leah's myriad construction issues.

Jen's blue and black fabric was bold. The silhouette was great and the neckline was nice and sharp. It's too bad Esme found that cut/hole. I wasn't sure if it ripped or she sewed it improperly or what.

The transformation challenge can be hit or miss. Sometimes I feel like they end up being a bit too crafty. I like blind judging, but I always wonder why it's the transformation challenge that's judged blind instead of the pattern challenge. The pattern challenge seems like it would be easier to judge blind since everyone is making the same thing (similar to the technical challenge on GBBO).

Ha, I loved that Sheila's inspiration was Rihanna. I didn't like what she made though, because it ended up looking like a regular top (which was a good transformation of the denim) with jean legs pinned on as sleeves. The cuffs at the bottom were the best part of the sleeves.

Alexei's multicolored long skirt was an effective use of several pieces of denim. I wish he'd had one more color so that he could do an ombre effect (rather than putting a dark strip at the top and another at the bottom). The pocket as a flap in the back was a fun cheeky element. Second place!

I wasn't wild about Tom's minidress. I was surprised that the judges only mentioned it was quite short. Even on my screen I could see where things weren't quite lined up.

Riccardo's raglan sleeve top was way too simple. It was just a rectangle of denim with unfinished edges.

Juliet's one shoulder top looked sloppy (although that may be partly due to the one sleeve hanging low on the mannequin). From first place in the previous challenge to last place in this challenge!

Jen's halter dress was cute but I didn't like the pleating on the halter part. I'm sure that was because she didn't have time to fit it better, but it could have looked so much nicer without that issue. Using the jean jacket as the back of the skirt incorporated the jean elements that they wanted. First place!

I wasn't crazy about Janet's dress, mostly because the top was just overalls that were not transformed in any way. The skirt with the ruffle at the bottom showed more effort.

I would have liked Mercedes' dress without the long dark blue panels on the side of the skirt, which just looked tacked on and unnecessary.  Like Patrick, I wasn't crazy about the kangaroo pocket..

I liked the back of Ben's garment, but I didn't like the front at all. I had to laugh when Patrick pointed out the hole for ventilation underneath the armhole.

Leah's romper dress looked messy to me. I think it was the way the waist was gathered.

I loved Riccardo's practical issues with jumpsuits. He's not wrong either - it's such a pain to go to the bathroom while wearing one! His 80s wrap jumpsuit was not my favorite. The wrap combined with the sleeve was a little too reminiscent of a kimono.

Ben's cropped jumpsuit with a Peter Pan collar would have been so cute if the collar had been sewn evenly, but all I could see was how crooked it was and how the green fabric was visible between the collar and the model's skin. WHY, Ben?

Tom's pop art jumpsuit was a fun idea but I agreed with the judges that he had some fit issues and the edges of the pattern weren't matched well.

Sheila's black and white floral jumpsuit looked like it fit her model well in the front, but between the broken zipper and the "hungry in the bum" (TM Patrick) due to the short rise, I knew she was in trouble.

I loved Juliet's asymmetrical jumpsuit. The yellow and black fabric was such a great contrast with the black and white polka dot fabric. I wished the polka dot side of the bodice had a slightly different shape, but other than that it was great. It fit her model so well, which is the point of the final challenge. I'm so glad she won garment of the week!

Jen's denim jumpsuit was not cute. The neckline wasn't lying flat, there was a hole at the bottom of the zipper, and she didn't have time to finish the lining or even attach the straps in the back.

Alexei's military jumpsuit with patch pockets and exposed zipper was great. The pocket flaps were a little uneven. I had to laugh when Esme got right into the model's crotch to point out how dodgy the end of the zipper was.

Janet's nautical jumpsuit with rope straps was a fun idea. I liked her theme, but I didn't like the shape of the jumpsuit.

Mercedes' mustard denim jumpsuit with red piping wasn't very flattering to her model's figure. I was surprised that Patrick complimented the piping because I could see that it was crooked in the waist. It was definitely too long in the waist in the back. I wouldn't have known the back of the neckline was stretched out since the model's hair was covering it.

I really liked the V shaped straps on Leah's peacock jumpsuit.

I'm sad to see Tom go because I love people who love to use color and patterns.

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Yay, finally!

Tall Patrick and tiny Esme! The picture of Esme in the jumpsuit was so cool.

2 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

The transformation challenge can be hit or miss. Sometimes I feel like they end up being a bit too crafty. I like blind judging, but I always wonder why it's the transformation challenge that's judged blind instead of the pattern challenge. The pattern challenge seems like it would be easier to judge blind since everyone is making the same thing (similar to the technical challenge on GBBO).

I completely agree with you there. The transformation challenge is my least favourite bit  because most contestants appear to be totally lost. We've had denim challenges on Project Runway where they got 1 day to do something - on this show a bunch of people who are not designers get a couple of hours? Maybe it would be better if the judges were around and able to give useful tips and pointers a la Tim Gunn - or if there was some connection to the pattern from the first challenge.

It would be nice if shows like this had the option to not sending someone home after the first episode if they haven't delivered blatantly bad garments.

Anyway - yay for Juliet! I knew she was onto a winner when they showed the sketch - she didn't have time to finish the belt properly because in the picutre it looked like the belt was connected to the halter part of the top, and thats what I really liked about the design. (that would have done well on PR too). Also liked Janet and Andrei's jumpsuits and Ben's dress from the first challenge.

Mercedes reminds me so much of Karen from last year's GBBO 🙂

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8 hours ago, Aulty said:

Tall Patrick and tiny Esme! The picture of Esme in the jumpsuit was so cool.

Ha, it always cracks me up when the camera zooms in on Esme and all you can see of Patrick is like his elbow because he’s so tall!

She looked hot in that motorcycle picture!

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I’m so happy this show is back! I always really love watching it and it always manages to inspire me. (Like when Esme said, essentially, if you’re gonna put a bow, make it big. Im struggling with a bow on the dress im making and she’s right! It’s gotta be bigger!!)

Juliets jumpsuit was everything!! I always love the atmosphere on this show and seeing the things they make. I gotta start looking up the patterns used. 

Also, it appears, 2019 is not the year I stop crushing on Patrick Grant. 

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23 minutes ago, GaT said:

So happy to see this show again & I have no idea why LOL. I  don't sew, I don't even think I know anybody who sews, but I do love this show.

honestly, and gbbo is the same way, its because its so soothing. it's so kind, its so light. we're just sitting down to watch people do what they love for literally nothing. theres no giant prize at stake, but a little trophy, maybe? bragging rights? (it has such a different energy than, say, project runway.) the judges are knowledgeable and the contestants are doing something they love among people who love to do the same thing and it's so relaxing, even when the sewists are stressed. i love watching them do what they do. i bet the energy in that room is like no other.  

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7 hours ago, GaT said:

So happy to see this show again & I have no idea why LOL. I  don't sew, I don't even think I know anybody who sews, but I do love this show.

I don’t sew either but I still love this show. I like that instead of being cutthroat competitors who spend all their talking heads bitching about everyone and making disdainful comments about other people’s work, the contestants just want to do their best. It’s refreshing to see a competitive reality show where the contestants know that they are really competing with themselves, not each other. I guess the lack of a huge cash prize helps, as @allonsyalice pointed out. As much as I would love to see them rewarded for their work, I think the fact that there isn’t a big prize weeds out a lot of the greedy/type A contestants and leaves us with the nice home sewers (I hate using that word on the forum because it reads as sewer rather than sew-er to my brain).

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I sew, so the show is always quite interesting to see and I'm very glad it's back. 

They've definitely upped the ante this year. The very first challenge was a 13 piece wiggle dress! If you compare that to the A-line skirts of season 1, which would have only had about 3 pattern pieces, then it's very obvious that they're challenging the contestants. I'm so glad that there wasn't any complaints of not knowing how to sew in an invisible zipper this year too. If you think you're good enough to compete, then there really is a set of basic skills you need to know how to do and an invisible zipper is one of them.  

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I don’t understand the judging on these shows. It’s like GBBO where the middle challenge doesn’t even matter in the outcome. But I think the woman with bad technical skills should have been eliminated over the man who screwed up in lining up his patterns, because in clothes, ill-fitting is worse than a pattern which doesn’t match up perfectly. 

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12 hours ago, GaT said:

So happy to see this show again & I have no idea why LOL. I  don't sew, I don't even think I know anybody who sews, but I do love this show.

I dont sew either but this show makes me think I could if I wanted to and that I would enjoy it.

Its the same with GBBO, the pottery show or the painting challenge, even that Amy Poehler/Nick Offerman crafting show - these programmes are encouraging, while so many others are just about the drama. I love news items about increases in sales for the ingredients of the weeks Bake Off challenges by xxx% because people are giving the recipes a try or that haberdashery sales have gone up after the first season of sewing bee.

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Another thing I like about this show is that it teaches you a lot about how to spot good workmanship on clothing. Now with fast fashion everywhere, Esme and Patrick's critiques and tips on garments is valuable to consumers of clothing while shopping. My mother was a sewer and she taught me a little of that (what to watch out for in stitching etc.). This does it even better. I've watched Project Runway but I prefer this show; I feel I can learn more.

I loved Juliet's jumpsuit. It looked like it came off a runway. A lot of designers could learn from that great use of cultural pattern mixing and style.

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S5.E2: Children's Week


The nine remaining home-sewers are tasked with making children's clothes. Challenges include creating hoodies and turning fake fur coats into fancy dress beasts. The final task sees contestants up against the clock as they make made-to-measure dance costumes so the dancing kids can perform The Hornpipe, the Tarantella and Highland dancing down the catwalk. However, one of them will be shown the door at the end of the show.

Original air date: 2/19/19

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Also not a sewer, so I thought a lot of those dresses and jumpsuits looked outstanding! (Some of the denim items, not so much.). I was sad for the lad they sent home, I liked him. 

On 2/15/2019 at 6:37 AM, Aulty said:

GBBO, the pottery show or the painting challenge,

I love all these shows too, and really miss The Great Design Challenge. 

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I am not a kiddie person, so children's week is usually not my favourite episode - but I liked the hoodies, especially all the whimsical fabrics. I was also glad that there was a variety of styles for the dance costume challenge and not just a bunch of leotards and tull skirts. Overall I liked the one with well defined lines like the sailor and the two folk dancing dresses - and I liked the two hip hop outfits.

With the kids in this episode it was even more apparent that Patrick and Esme are also very careful and restrained when touching the models or highlighting certain parts of the outfit - unlike the PR judges who are far more hands on (I get that it is how its done in the fashion business, but its not necessarily how it should be done on TV).

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10 hours ago, TVbitch said:

I love all these shows too, and really miss The Great Design Challenge. 

Yeah, the Interior Design Challenge - I loved that. And I adore Sarah Moore's repurposing show 'Money for Nothing'. I hope they will bring both the Interior Design and Pottery show back at some point.

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I have a lot more respect for my hoodies now! Who knew it took so much work to make one? I loved how technical it was to make - stretch fabric, using the overlock machine, top stitching, the ribbing, etc.

Side note: I bought my mom an overlock machine for Christmas a few years ago and it was such a pain in the ass to thread the whole thing that she decided that she's never going to change the thread color.

I really enjoyed the brief history of the sweatshirt. I have definitely bought sweatshirts from Russell and Champion but I never realized how much they innovated. Of course, the ironic thing is that sweatshirts were originally created because athletes didn't like wearing wool and now wool is making a huge comeback as an athletic technical fabric with companies like Icebreaker and Smartwool for the very reasons that were originally cited as reasons that athletes didn't like wearing wool uniforms. Wool actually helps regulate temperature and is naturally antibacterial so it both insulates and prevents odor much better than cotton. It also wicks moisture and dries quickly.

I loved all the fun and whimsical fabrics that the contestants chose for their hoodies. If ever there was a challenge where fun fabrics were appropriate, this was it! But one thing I didn't like about the pattern they were given was the shape of the kangaroo pocket. When it's just a plain trapezoid, that means anything you put in that pocket is going to fall out. It needs to be shaped more like the top half of a stop sign.

Leah's shark hoodie was so cute. I liked the red pop of color on the wristbands and waist.

Riccardo's colored triangle hoodie was fun. I loved that he tried it on.

Juliet's lightning bolt hoodie was a little plain for my taste but maybe there's a low key kid who likes Harry Potter that it would appeal to.

I had to agree with Patrick about Alexei's dark green/teal hoodie - putting white cuffs on it means someone in that house will constantly be washing the inevitable stains out.

Ben's llama hoodie was fun. I might me crazy, but when he said he started sewing to make his own leggings for trapeze, I found myself wondering how men's leggings would be different from women's leggings. They're just stretchy pants. When he decided to sew instead of using the overlocker, I knew he would get in trouble. ALWAYS FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS. That's how to guarantee yourself last place.

I didn't like the fabric of Mercedes' pinkish hoodie because the mottled grey made it look like it was already dirty from an afternoon of playing.

Jen's burgundy hoodie was not my favorite color combination. Although it wasn't quite as bad as Alexei's white cuffs, using a light pink for the cuffs means those would get dirty so fast.

Sheila's star hoodie was very colorful. I liked the sky blue lining. I agreed with Patrick that the contrasting red thread for the top stitching was a nice idea in theory but it just drew attention to the fact that it was wobbly.

Janet gets bonus points for lining up the bunnies on the kangaroo pocket with the rest of the hoodie. I noticed that no one else bothered lining up the pattern for the pocket which is kind of silly since it's so much easier to do that on something like this. She definitely deserved first!

Faux fur can be a pain in the ass to work with so I was interested to see how the contestants handled it.

Riccardo's dragon was such a fun idea, but leaving pins in the hood (especially during children's week)? I knew there was no way the judges would let him get away with that!

Jen's bird costume was colorful and had lots of fun pieces (the hat, the cape, and the bird feet). Loved when Patrick tried on the beaked hat.

Alexei's slashed cheetah costume was interesting because it wasn't a typical animal, and I liked that he inserted the fur into the slashes.

Juliet's bee-east was a fail for me because she just added furry pants to a bee costume which didn't really fit the challenge. And the bee costume wasn't even sewn! She glued the yellow strips onto the black top. Girl, no.

Leah already had a cute but practical animal costume (hoodie with ears, long sleeves shirt with faux fur cuffs) so I don't think she really needed the cape. Heh, and poor Esme was confused by the S on the cape. "Shawn?"

Mercedes' yellow costume was definitely a costume but it wasn't a mythical creature or an animal, which was the challenge. I'm glad that she learned her lesson and said that she will follow the instructions if she's back next week.

Sheila's costume had the same problem but it was even worse because the judges couldn't tell what it was supposed to be. Loved Patrick's description: "techno rave Game of Thrones." Using pinking shears on the triangles on the back made them look like pasta to me.

Ben's ant costume was a fun idea BUT that boning in the back means it would be really hard for a kid to actually sit down which means you would have to dress them once they arrived at the party. If the judges are going to (rightfully) judge a hoodie with white cuffs as being impractical for a child, I would have docked Ben for creating a costume that a kid couldn't wear to sit in the car on the way to the party. I couldn't believe he won the challenge with that impractical costume!

Janet's cat was not my favorite. It just looked like a big vest with a cat face.

OMG Patrick was flossing!!!

Janet's sailor costume with blue lycra and a red circle skirt was simple but effective and well executed. It was the epitome of smart decisions.

Alexei's moth costume with wings was a bit too simple in design. It was just a leotard with some chiffon.

Ben's black and white contemporary costume was an interesting idea but he spent so much time creating that textile that all he ended up with was a leotard and some tulle.

Leah's Swan Lake costume looked like a dance recital costume. She did a good job keeping the center line nice and straight. I agreed with Patrick that she should have used black and white feathers on the shoulders instead of grey. I don't know if I would have chosen it for garment of the week though.

Mercedes' 80s costume was okay but I didn't love it. I liked the green crop top but the orange track suit didn't

Sheila's tracksuit was okay but not great. She picked a fun shiny fabric but there were definitely some issues. I agreed with Patrick that adding that black seem on one side of the jacket was weird. If she'd done it on both sides, it would have looked fine. I know she was trying to cover up a mistake, but you can still be symmetric about it! I'm glad she realized she didn't have time to make the jacket reversible. Don't waste your time on stuff like that! I think the cropped jacket would have looked even better if she had made sure to line up the black cuffs of the sleeves perfectly with the black ribbing at the bottom of the jacket. It was close but not quite.

Jen's Highland dance costume fit really well, especially considering that she didn't use any stretch material. I loved the piping on the peplum, but Esme caught the pinned elastic on the sleeve.

Riccardo's tarantella costume was recognizable but I thought the blouse looked like it didn't fit well.

Juliet's Igbo costume had so many details. All the netting plus the sequins made the skirt very eye catching.

Poor Sheila didn't have a great week. She seemed very sweet so I was sad to see her go.

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I was bummed to see it was a kids' clothes episode, but it held my interest well enough. I'm with Esme on the flossing.... what is that? I mean, I know what it is, but what IS that?!?!

Aren't some princesses "mythical creatures"? And is an ant really a "beast"? 

Um, that discussion about "excessive boning" -- how do the Brits get away with being so cheeky on such a demure show! ...I may have chuckled though.  

8 hours ago, Aulty said:

 I hope they will bring both the Interior Design and Pottery show back at some point.

Nooo, they canceled the pottery one, too? 

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S5.E3: 70s Week


The eight remaining home sewers head back in time to the 1970s, attempting to revive the glamorous, rebellious and sometimes ridiculous style of the decade. This is more than a stroll down memory lane as they tackle the decade’s most fiddly, floaty and anarchic garments.

First up, judges Patrick Grant and Esme Young challenge the sewers to get their groove on with the trickiest pattern so far, flared jeans. Creating the perfect bell-bottomed trousers involves grappling with vintage machines, heavyweight fabrics and taking on such daunting technical hurdles as the zip fly and flat-felled seam, hopefully without getting in a flap.

For the transformation challenge, fabric flies and anarchy rules as the sewers let rip with their imagination, turning t-shirts and tartan into provocative punk-inspired outfits in just 90 minutes.

In the made to measure challenge the sewers take on their final icon of 70s fashion, the maxi dress. Working with sheer, slippery fabrics, they must create a form-fitting bodice and floaty skirt that embodies the glamour that makes the maxi dress popular to this day. Who will boogie their way to garment of the week, and for whom will 70s week signal the end of an era, as they become the third sewer to wave goodbye to the Great British Sewing Bee?

Original air date: 2/26/19

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I loved this episode and would wear everything but Mercedes' psychedelic pattern flares. The punk challenge was ok, especially as it came with another set of unexpected Esme facts - a full on punk, who would have guessed. They got away with everything looking very thrown together this time.

Sad to see Ben go - that mushroom pattern was so wacky, I loved it. Pitty his sewing wasn't neater.

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I'm not a huge fan of 70s fashion, mostly because I always associate it with such an ugly color palate (Burger King brown and orange with some mustard yellow and diarrhea green thrown in), but I do love bell bottoms so I was excited to see how the pattern challenge turned out. I really liked seeing Patrick and Esme explain how to construct flared pants. I had no idea that their popularity stemmed from old navy pants being resold

Jen's mustard yellow pants looked really neat. I liked the turquoise paisley print she used for the inside of the pocket. She definitely deserved first place. Her pants looked so good.

Oh, Leah! She didn't even notice that she had the pile of the corduroy going one way on the front and the opposite way on the back. The red accent near the front pockets was very 70s.

I loved Janet's bright red pants. I had to laugh when Joe offered to help attach the button and then it promptly fell off during judging. The waistband wasn't lying flat but I wasn't sure if that was a construction issue or because she didn't have time to press it. At any rate, it made the fabric look like it was pulling. I liked that Esme explained what went wrong with the fly, but it seemed a little mean to conclude with "it's really ugly."

Juliet's reddish pants had several visible issues. The waistband was wavy across the top and the patch of material on the hip above the front pocket looked distorted. It looked like there was some sort of issue with the crotch too.

Ben's pants were REALLY yellow! The first thing I noticed was that the red of his pocket fabric was visible at the edges and the zipper was really visible. Not surprising he came in last place.

Mercedes chose am amazing colorful paisley material. That was SO 70s!

Alexei's brown corduroy pants were definitely unfinished - no button, no button hole, no hem. He's lucky that he finished eighth instead of dead last.

Riccardo's denim flares looked great. He made a good fabric choice. The stiffness of the fabric helped make the pants look really finished.

Esme and Patrick pogo-ing was EVERYTHING.

I went to Catholic school so I love the punk look because it takes the plaid that I always associate with the uniform I hated and deconstructs it into something rebellious.

Ben had the right train of thought with the plaid scrap of fabric as a tie, a plaid ruffle for the top of the shirt (the shoulder kilt, TM Esme), and an anarchy symbol scrawled on the front with marker, but overall it didn't look quite right. I don't know if it was the gold chains or what. I did like the idea of the skirt made out of the plaid shirt with the sleeves tied around the waist. He, I loved when Patrick saw that Ben had written "fuck the patriarchy" on the shirt, his reaction was to ask, "Is that me? Am I the patriarchy?"

I liked the two pieces that Mercedes made. The skirt with the chains on the side was great and the top looked punk in a realistic way, like something that a person with minimal sewing skills would have created (which is not meant as an insult to Mercedes or her sewing skills!). Third place - not bad!

I liked the plaid fringe that Juliet added to her black shorts. I did have to quibble with her describing them as hot pants.  grew up in California so to me, hot pants are a lot shorter than the ones she made. The top was cute but it felt more like the Hot Topic version of punk than actual punk.

Janet's didn't look punk enough to me. The multiple plaid shirts on the top reminded me of those 90s shirts you could buy at the mall rather than the 70s. I thought she was crazy when she added that nappy bottom, but the judges loved it.

I liked Jen's plaid corset the the PVC back. I wish the judges had talked about the skirt too though because I barely got a glimpse of it. Second place!

Leah outfit definitely had a punk feel for me. The zipper and the slashes on the top were right. I loved when Esme pointed out that one of the slashes was "rude" aka right over the boob and Patrick said that there was a D ring over it to keep things decent. I liked the idea of her cutting the pants to turn them into shorts and sort of faux garters, but I agreed with Esme that it would have looked better with a raw edge rather than a hem.

I agreed with Patrick that Alexei's look veered into preppy. I think between the sexier looking top and the matching plaid, it looked a little more Britney Spears than Vivienne Westwood. I wasn't surprised that he was in last place.

I really liked Riccardo's skirt/pants. First place!

I'm used to the more modern version of maxi dresses so I was interested to see how 70s the contestants made their dresses.

Jen's red floral Lee Bender maxi dress looked really nice, aside from the shoulder pads.

I loved when Mercedes described why she liked maxi dresses - they hide a multitude of sins and you don't have to shave your legs. Hee! Her yoked shoulder maxi dress looked great. She did such a good job modifying that old 70s pattern which was two sizes too small for her model.

Janet's ditsy print dress with bishop sleeves was a little too Little House on the Prairie for me (although to be fair, that was a look in the 70s).

Juliet's flounced off the shoulder georgette dress was so 70s. That fabric was perfect. Between the yellow and pink colors, the print, and the lightness of the fabric itself, it was a great choice.

Riccardo's tiered crepe maxi dress was exactly as he described it - one of Charlie's Angels on vacation. I wish he had hemmed it maybe a centimeter shorter because his model had to keep picking up the skirt to prevent herself from stepping on it.

Ben's pleated mushroom maxi dress definitely had too much boob showing. I applaud him for creating his own print and for being so ambitious with that pleated portion, but the judges already took out their rulers and told him that they weren't even at the beginning of the day. There was no good reason for him not to correct that very obvious mistake but the pleats were STILL uneven on his final dress.

Leah's sheer silk maxi dress was very pretty and very 70s. The white fabric with violet flowers was a great choice because it gave the dress a very floaty feeling. I don't know how she managed to do all those time consuming French seams!

Alexei needed a really successful garment to save his ass and he pulled one off. His chiffon maxi looked gorgeous on her. It was so flattering and it fit her perfectly. TWELVE darts, holy crap!

Congratulations to Mercedes for winning garment of the week. I love that this show considers all of the garments the contestants made in the episode for garment of the week (as opposed to the Great British Bake Off where star baker is always determined by the best showstopper).

Ben was very creative which I appreciate. I think sometimes he just got too ambitious for the time constraints of the show.

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I like Ben's fabrications, but he's been struggling to sew well the last two weeks.

I really liked Juliet's dress. Alexei really did well in the time!

I have watched a lot of these Love Production shows and spinoffs, but Esme and Patrick seem to have one of the best co-judging relationships. There's a lot of respect and playfulness there, but it's still very professional. I can actually see those two hanging out together outside of the show. I really hope this show continues for many years like GBBO has.

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On 2/27/2019 at 7:21 PM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Esme and Patrick pogo-ing was EVERYTHING.

Between this...

...and this

I don't know why the producers of Strictly Come Dancing haven't already locked them down.

Edited by Corgi-ears
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S5.E4: Technical Fabric Week


The fabrics in the haberdashery go technical, as the seven remaining home sewers take on man-made fabrics designed for sport and the great outdoors.

The sewers jump in at the deep end with a pattern for a lined swimsuit. Containing so many seemingly identical pieces, it is a challenge that throws the sewing room into confusion, with a great deal of conferring, before judges Patrick Grant and Esme Young offer their brutally honest feedback.

Next, the transformation challenge arrives with a surprise, as instead of garments, the sewers are presented with discarded festival tents. What’s more, a dashing dachshund becomes the sewers’ muse, as they attempt to transform old tents into stylish, practical winter coats for pooches, to be displayed on dog mannequins.

For the final challenge, male models arrive in the Sewing Room to be fitted with made-to-measure luxury tracksuits. It is double the work for the sewers, who attempt to create both trousers and jackets, using scuba, mesh and micro-fibre.

Original air date: 3/5/19

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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14 hours ago, allonsyalice said:

I’m soooo excited for the fact they have to do doggy clothes!!! It’s a nice change from the usual alteration challenge, I hope it goes well. 

The only thing that would make this challenge even better is having real dogs! Imagine seeing the contestants put their little doggie coats on adorable dogs and then watching Patrick and Esme inspect cutely dressed pooches!

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I am not a dog person, so the transfromation challenge was not for me and I didn't watch much of it. But the other two tasks were great, I thought, and no complaints about the eye candies that were this week's models (to be fair, the female models are usually gorgeous too).

Of course Esme made a bathing suit for Tilda Swinton - she really is the coolest! For something a bit unconventional I think swim suits are a great challenge. Loved Janet's fabrics and Janet helping the other contestants was highlighting again that some of the popularity of these shows are down to it being a friendly competion instead of cut throat.

I love whacky patterns and colour. The colour choices for the track suits were a but muddy overall - unsurprisingly I liked Riccardo's best. Jen's track suit would not have been my first choice for garment of the week. Although I like the style she described, the leg bottoms didn't look like a design feature.

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I don't mind the contestants helping each other out, but I felt bad that Janet ended up helping just about everyone on the pattern challenge.

Janet's leopard print swimsuit looked really well made. And from a practical point of view, using black for the side panels would have a nice slimming effect. I thought she was going to win first until I saw Juliet's. But second is still pretty good!

Mercedes' black and white polka dot swimsuit looked like it didn't fit the mannequin perfectly. There were definitely spots where the fabric was visibly pulling or wrinkled. The bow on the front wasn't lying flat which would drive me crazy if I were wearing it.

On a shallow note, I didn't like the fabrics that Leah chose for her swimsuit. The combination of the white flowers on light green and that pink fabric for the top made it look like it belonged on a child. It didn't help that she sewed the pikn top incorrectly.

Loved the holographic grey material that Juliet chose looked so sleek. The only thing I noticed was that the bow was tied kind of wonky. I think her fabric choice really helped her win first place.

Riccardo's red and floral swimsuit looked good from a distance, but the straps weren't attached.

Jen's red and floral swimsuit also looked pretty good (and similar to Riccardo's). Aside from the cover stitch not catching all the fabric on the leg hole, it looked very well done.

Alexei's black and floral swimsuit was not even close to being finished. I'm just glad he had enough pieces sewn together to put something on the mannequin. Not at all surprising that he came in last. He barely squeaked by last week so he will have to really pull it together to make it through again.

Patrick's dog Winston was so cute! I liked  the contrast of the first two challenges. The pattern challenge had four way stretch which is difficult to work with and the transformation challenge used ripstock which has absolutely no stretch at all.

Jen's dog Archie is so cute! Her camouflage dog coat was smartly made. The way she designed it and her placement of the velcro (as in how to remove the coat) showed that she obviously has a dog. I also loved the little paniers for the poo bags. She definitely deserved first place!

I liked that Leah put the safety stripes on the back, but that was not a dog coat in any way. it was a cape with a hood. One good shake and the whole thing would be askew.

Mercedes' red coat is not something any dog would want to wear. I mean, on the one hand, it's good that she cut out holes for the ears (which Leah didn't do on her hood) but what dog is going to let you shove its ears through those narrow holes? It looked like a giant bag with a zipper. It also looked like there was no opening on the bottom so I don't think a dog would be able to pee while wearing it.

Riccardo's dog outfit was very confusing to me. It looked way too complicated and fussy for a dog to actually wear, especially the little things on the back legs. The straps for picking the dog up made me laugh, but they weren't very practical. Not surprising he was in last place.

Janet's purple dog coat looked practical but simple. I thought she should have done better than sixth.

Juliet's pink and purple Sherlock Holmes dog cape allowed the dog to go to the bathroom. I didn't think it was the second best of the group though.

Alexei's dog hood seemed like something a dog wouldn't want to wear. They usually don't like having their heads and ears covered.

On Project Runway, we often hear the designers about how they don't do menswear because there's a lot of tailoring involved, but at least the tracksuits the contestants had to made this week aren't super tight which gives them a lot more leeway than, say, a traditional suit.

Janet's Teen Wolf/baseball jacket track suit looked really well made, but I gasped when Esme pulled the zipper all the way up and the zipper pull came right off.

Leah's track suit was totally 80s. I didn't like the length of the pants though. They looked too short.

Riccardo really challenged himself with that red diagonal strip across the jacket and the sleeve and then the pant leg. It was such a good idea but it really needed to be a little more accurate. Even from a distance, I could see it was a tiny bit off. Even before Patrick said it looked like a Bulgarian Olympic suit, I thought it looked like gymnastics warmups.

Juliet's black and camo track suit looked really good. She made some smart choices with the fabric, the design, and the placement. She had diagonal stripes like Riccardo, but hers were more subtle. I was disappointed that the judges didn't point out all the work she did because they made such a big deal out of it with Riccardo.

Jen's grey neoprene track suit looked okay from a distance but I thought there were some issues. The bottom edge of the jacket was a little wavy and seams going up the middle of each side of the chest made it look like darts on a woman's garment. I wasn't a fan of the big red racing stripe on the back.

Alexei's navy blue and white track suit had a lot of issues. Not only did he sew one panel of fabric on the pants inside out, but he had issues with the zippers (although I give him credit for putting zippers on the pockets of the jacket because I'm always afraid my keys will fall out if there aren't zippers!).

Mercedes' grey track suit looked off to me. The jacket was pulling to one side, the pants looked like they didn't fit well, and I didn't like the red stripe around the ankle.

I love watching the contestants having tea together every week.

Alexei barely scraped by last week so I wasn't surprised that he was sent home this week.

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I think Juliet deserved garment of the day over Jen. Hers was far more complicated to construct and was more flattering on the model. The front of Jen’s jacket rode up and was so bulky it made her model look like he had a beer belly.

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On 3/6/2019 at 3:32 PM, Aulty said:

Of course Esme made a bathing suit for Tilda Swinton - she really is the coolest!

And she wasn't even lying!


I wonder which swimsuit / piece of beachwear? 


No, I don't have a big project at work on which I'm procrastinating. Why do you ask?

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Juliet's work has been some of my favourites so far. I definitely think she could have a professional fashion design career after this. 

I think Jen did really well and her dog jacket was the best. I did like Juliet's track suit more design wise. I also really liked Ricardo's. 

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5 hours ago, GaT said:

This was a fun episode, & Joe making things & sayings on the front of his shirt made me laugh.

Legit this gag shouldn't have worked for me for as long as it did but it kept cracking me up.   

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On 3/6/2019 at 4:02 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Jen's grey neoprene track suit looked okay from a distance but I thought there were some issues. The bottom edge of the jacket was a little wavy and seams going up the middle of each side of the chest made it look like darts on a woman's garment. I wasn't a fan of the big red racing stripe on the back.

Genuinely, I hear that they are telling me that neoprene is a thing now but this suit did not make me want to wear neoprene.  It looked so bulky.  I could see a neoprene accent but... and I don't know about all the time but isn't neoprene kind of hot to wear?  My scuba suits always were when I wasn't, you know, using them for warmth in the water.   But maybe if it is a lighter neoprene?  

Is neoprene a brand name and so they were saying scuba material to avoid having to pay out (like "famous sandwich cookie") or do the brits really call it scuba material?   

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3 minutes ago, bybrandy said:

Is neoprene a brand name and so they were saying scuba material to avoid having to pay out (like "famous sandwich cookie") or do the brits really call it scuba material?   

Neoprene and scuba are different fabrics. Neoprene, which is used in scuba suits has a layer of spongy foam in the middle of two fabrics. Scuba is a double knit and has no layer of foam. Because scuba tends to be synthetic, it is quite warm, but no where near as warm as neoprene would be.

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8 hours ago, GaT said:

This was a fun episode, & Joe making things & sayings on the front of his shirt made me laugh.

My favorite one was when he drew a dog face for the transformation challenge. 

1 hour ago, bybrandy said:

Genuinely, I hear that they are telling me that neoprene is a thing now but this suit did not make me want to wear neoprene.  It looked so bulky.  I could see a neoprene accent but... and I don't know about all the time but isn't neoprene kind of hot to wear?  My scuba suits always were when I wasn't, you know, using them for warmth in the water.   But maybe if it is a lighter neoprene?  

Is neoprene a brand name and so they were saying scuba material to avoid having to pay out (like "famous sandwich cookie") or do the brits really call it scuba material?   

Some of the designers on Project Runway LOVE neoprene to the point where a few seasons ago, I was hoping the judges would ban it. 

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54 minutes ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Some of the designers on Project Runway LOVE neoprene to the point where a few seasons ago, I was hoping the judges would ban it. 

Me too, along with the glue guns. iirc they use it a lot because you don't need to hem the edges.

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I was hoping Alexi would pull out another last minute save. He bungled some things, but when he was good, he was very good. I would prefer to see that over someone who is consistently mediocre. They mentioned his recovery from a health condition, I missed when they said what it was though, does anyone know? 

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6 minutes ago, TVbitch said:

They mentioned his recovery from a health condition, I missed when they said what it was though, does anyone know? 

Alexei has Multiple Sclerosis which has hindered the right side of his body. You can see him using his cane in one of the exterior shots they have. He mainly uses his left side. It was sort of implied in the intro that he took up sewing to develop the use of his left side.  MS is an incurable and chronic condition that can really debilitate the sufferer. I was really impressed when Alexei did that 70s dress last week in five hours.

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S5.E5: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle Week


The fashion industry is the biggest polluter of our planet next to oil, so for the first time on The Great British Sewing Bee, it is Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Week, with all the fabric in the haberdashery replaced with charity shop clothes and soft-furnishings. To breathe new life into this old fabric, host Joe Lycett kicks the six remaining home sewers off with a pattern for a pussy-bow blouse, which must be pieced together from four second-hand garments. This time, judges Patrick Grant and Esme Young are not only looking for precision sewing, but also the ability to design and create garments using attractive colour combinations.

In a twist to the usual transformation challenge, the sewers are faced with all the scraps and off-cuts collected throughout their journey on the Sewing Bee so far. Together, they collectively pool their leftover fabric to create stunning and inventive new patchwork garments.

Finally the sewers come armed with discarded curtains and soft furnishings from home, challenged to create a made to a measure day dress, perfectly fitted to their model. Julie Andrews hasn’t got a patch on this bunch as they set to work on their brocade, net curtains and blinds, before one person is awarded Garment of the Week and the fifth sewer is asked to leave the Sewing Bee.

Original air date: 3/12/19

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The 13 year old in me giggled every time someone said "pussy bow." My OCD loved that the recycled items on the rack were arranged by color. What I found interesting about the pattern challenge was that they had to use multiple garments in order to have enough fabric (especially for the big gathered sleeves). Everyone seemed okay when they started but things started to fall apart for just about everyone as the challenge wore on. I was beginning to worry that no one would finish.

Riccardo's blue blouse looked a bit limp. I don't know if that was due to his fabric choice or if he didn't have time to press his garment or what. I liked that he was a problem solver when he realized that he didn't have large enough pieces of fabric for the big sleeves. I also loved who enthusiastic Patrick was about his solution to split the sleeves into two different fabrics. I liked that he used one of the sleeve materials for the button placket too. If only he hadn't sewn the back incorrectly!

Leah's purple blouse looked nice. She chose fabrics that went together well. I had to agree with the judges' critique that it looked great from the waist up. Aside from the hem not matching up and the missing buttons on the sleeves, it looked great. I was surprised she was only fifth.

Jen's blue blouse looked really good. As a result of her smart fabric choices, it didn't look like an upcycled blouse at all.

I specifically heard the judges say that at least one of the recycled garments had to be a man's shirt because they had to reuse the front placket and button stand, so I don't know why Mercedes thought she could just use one huge duvet cover to make her blouse. I was surprised that Patrick and Esme didn't tell her that she had to start over. As they said, it should look perfect since she didn't have to fiddle around to make the fabric fit the pattern but she still didn't manage to finish. The stripe across the middle wasn't perfectly lined up, she didn't finish the hem, and the front was upside down. If she only used a duvet cover, where did she get the button placket? No surprise that she came in last.

Juliet's pink blouse looked great. The most glaring thing I noticed was that the bow was really limp and anemic looking. I think she needed to press the bow better. She was one of the few who finished her entire garment and she did it so well. Not at all surprising that she came in first.

Janet's blue and white polka dot blouse was another great use of fabric. And she did such a good job of fixing a huge mistake when she sewed the button placket to the side seam and then chopped two inches off. Adding that little bit of fabric at the bottom made it look like an intentional design choice. If she'd had time to sew on the buttons, she might have come in first instead of second.

I laughed that the teatime pep talk was "Sort your life out, girl!"

The transformation challenge was pretty loose on guidelines so I was interested to see what they would create.

Riccardo's red, yellow, and plaid dress was really well balanced. He used the colors and patterns very nicely. The dress itself was pretty simple, but considering how much time they had and that they were constructing garments out of scraps, it was fine. Second place!

Mercedes' black and white top was pretty bad. It was just panels of black, white, and polka dot fabric with an inexplicable bright green ruffle. I expected her to come in last and she did.

Jen's striped skirt reminded me of the skirts made of ties so that seemed apropos for this challenge. Bonus for having a pocket! I was disappointed that it only placed fifth.

Leah's denim and floral dress was cute but it seemed like cheating to make a kid's item because of course it's easier to create something small when you're using scraps of fabric.

I didn't like Juliet's outfit (as an American, I loved hearing Patrick describe it as a rah rah skirt and a boob tube). The top was so tiny in the front that I think only someone really flat chested could wear it without having a wardrobe malfunction.

Wow. Janet was not kidding when she said that she was going to make a wacky granny outfit (which I interpreted as "I got second and Juliet got first after the judges praised her for showing her personality so I have to turn up the wackiness). That vest was a lot. While I appreciate that she used a lot of bold patterns, the garment itself was very simple. It was just a vest that tied at the top so there was very little construction. I can't believe she got first place for this.

Ha, I loved that the show used "My Favorite Things" for the "make a dress out of curtains" challenge!

Leah's striped dress was great. She had SO many stripes to match and the dress pattern she used was really cute. I agreed with Esme that it looked like something you could picture Audrey Hepburn wearing. But oh, those uneven pleats. Patrick and Esme will not let you get away with stuff like that!

Riccardo's dress made of charity shop curtains was so cute. His fabric choice was great and he used a good pattern with it. I liked that he was so committed to the recycling theme, using a dress pattern from the charity shop and even used the rings from the curtain for the belt.

Mercedes' bubble skirt dress didn't seem sci fi or Sputnik to me. The fabric looked like flowers. I thought the bubble skirt looked uneven and it didn't fit the model well.

Jen's floral curtain dress was very simple but I liked that she added piping to the pockets. I agreed with Patrick that the band on the bottom didn't add anything and didn't stand out enough to justify it.

Janet's 50s dress made of her dining room curtains was pretty but I didn't like how the shoulders/straps were off the shoulder but still touching the model's shoulders because I know that would drive me crazy if I were wearing it.

Juliet's net curtains and bedsheet high-low dress was fun. The turquoise underneath the white pattern was pretty and the dress itself was very youthful. Heh, and hearing Esme talking about side boob cracked me up. I knew the judges would give her garment of the week.

Oh, poor Mercedes. I thought she might stand a chance to stay since Patrick liked her bubble dress so much. I enjoyed her in the sewing room and it's obvious that the others really liked her.

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