As with previous series of The Great British Sewing Bee, we're here each week with an inspiration board of patterns and fabrics, plus tips and tricks, inspired by the week's episode. This week we met the new sewists and got off to a roaring start, taking things back to basics...

Sewing Bee Style Guide - Series 7, Episode 1

Pattern Challenge: Shell top

The bees went back to basics this week with a simple yet stylish shell top. Classic shell tops feature sleeveless arms, and an uncollared neckline for a clean and smart finish. Most are made from woven fabrics and fitted around the bust area with darts, some have extra fun flourishes for a bit more personality!

Cashmerette Springfield Top

Simplicity S9045

New Look N6622

Simplicity S9133

New Look 6513

New Look 6543

New Look 6511

New Look 6344

Fabrics inspired by the challenge picks...

Dashwood Circle Line Paint Blue Rayon Fabric

Dashwood Circle Line Temple Rayon Fabric

Riley Blake Grl Pwr - Main Multi - 100% Cotton Fabric

Multi Stripe Printed Stretch Crepe Fabric

3 Wishes Good Kitty - Painters Palette - Digital 100% Cotton Fabric

Makower Michiko - Foliage Pink (metallic) - 100% Cotton Fabric

Sew Simple Stamped Batiks - 351-11-21B Red - 100% Cotton Fabric

Michael Miller Playdate with Friends - Favourite Flower Red - 100% Cotton Fabric

Made-to-Measure Challenge: Buffet dress

The first made to measure challenge was an eventful one! This week they were asked to make a buffet dress - (no, we didn't know what this meant either) a long, flowing dress that often features multiple tiers and/or ruffling. Designed for eating plenty of food and still being comfortable!

Here's a few of our favourite patterns - in different lengths, with both tiered and non-tiered, if that's not really your thing!


Friday Pattern Co Westcliff Dress

True Bias Roscoe Dress

New Look 6525

Simplicity S8872

New Look 6574

Simplicity S9013

Simplicity S8912


New Look 6229

True Bias Southport Dress

Simplicity S8888

Fabrics inspired by the challenge picks...

Dashwood Silk Roads - Paisley - 100% Cotton Fabric

Ditsy Floral Pink Cotton Poplin Fabric

Blossoms Grey Cotton Poplin Fabric

Multi Streaks Printed Viscose Fabric

Ditsy Floral Red/Pink Cotton Poplin Fabric

Makower Pamper - Handbags White (metallic) - 100% Cotton Fabric

Riley Blake Glam Girls - Dresses White (metallic) - 100% Cotton Fabric

Mustard Linen-Look Ramie Fabric

Beginner-friendly, buffet-friendly!

Tilly and the Buttons Stevie Dress

Tilly and the Buttons Bettine Dress

Want to learn more about the fabrics you see on the show?

If you're new here, you may not have seen that we have made our very own fabric sample guides. They're a way to help you learn to identify different fabrics and how they feel and behave. The books include 52 samples of common fabrics, alongside useful info like composition, what to use them on and needle type required.


April 15, 2021
Tags: sewing bee