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GBSB #4 - Technical Fabrics

How are we already at week 4! After saying goodbye to Poncho-loving Ben, it is now time for technical week. 'Technical Week' means the contestants tasks will include the use of 'technical' or 'performance' Fabrics, designed for a particular property. Fabrics in this category can have waterproof qualities, high amounts of stretch, windproof and many more capabilities. This was a clear step-up in techniques and designs across all 3 challenges, the competition is definitely heating up!

Swimsuit Pattern Challenge

This was definitely my favourite challenge to date. The pattern this week was a lovely panelled design, finished off with a peek-a-boo front bow. All the contestants had a little difficulty understanding the many pattern pieces involved, but Guru Janet was on hand to help. Most of them produced a stylish garment, with Mercedes and Alexei struggling to finish in the time. My favourites were Janet's leopard print number and Juliet's holographic piece.

If you are sewing along at home, this is a brilliant project to turn your hand to. Having a swimsuit or bikini that fits you perfectly is a wonderful thing. Here at Calico Laine, we have been offering a huge range of colourful lycra for many years. Line your design with nude powermesh to give the inside of your garment a professional finish. Use an overlocker or a sewing machine set to a zig-zag stitch to sew this 4-way stretch fabric.

Pro Tip: You will need to use a rubber elastic or 'swimsuit elastic' for around the leg holes on your bikini. Regular elastic won't stand up to being in and out of chlorine pools. Make sure you get a nice even stretch around the majority of your leg holes by pinning nicely. You will need to pull your elastic a little tighter where the swimsuit hits your bottom, just to make sure it doesn't ride up! The contestants used a Coverstitch Machine to finish their edges, but a neat zig-zag stitch will do just as well.

Dog Coats

Winston the Dog was the star of this episode, complete with red bow tie! The contestants were asked to transform old tents into practical dog-outfits. I think they all had a little bit of fun with this challenge, but it was Jen's coat and pouch garment that stole the show. If you wanted to create something for your pampered pooch, the fabrics used in tents is called Ripstop Fabric. This is a showerproof performance fabric that will keep the wind off your friend on walks. If you needed something a little heavier, our range of Waterproof Polyamide would also work great for this project.

Comfy Tracksuits

The made-to-measure challenge this week was to create a full tracksuit for men, including a jacket and trousers. This is quite a big challenge, however, each sewer rose to the occasion and created their very own 2-piece garment. Some contestants chose to use scuba fabric; a thick foam-like stretchy jersey which can create beautiful structure in a garment. The stand-out pieces from this challenge included Ricardo's 80's striped garment and Juliet's super cool camo tracksuit.

If you fancy making one of these at home, our range of Cotton Jerseys or Double Knit Jerseys would work beautifully for a comfortable tracksuit.

Unfortunately we had to say goodbye to Alexei this week, after 4 weeks of brilliant sewing and great TV, we are definitely sad to see him go. I, for one, can't wait to see what happens next week as the competition goes on!