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A baker boy cap, popularised by the drama Peaky Blinders, set the standard for week three of The Great British Sewing Bee.
All the talented contestants, including East Yorkshire’s very own Cathryn Tosler-Waudby and Andrew Aspland, impressed the judges last night.
Hull maths teacher Andrew was the least fazed by the fiddly pattern challenge, being the only sewer to have made hats before.
But when his soft tailored cap – dubbed “the hoodie of the 19th century” by host Joe Lycett – came under scrutiny, judge Esme Young attacked the hand-covered button that topped off the design.
“I wouldn’t want to meet her in a dark alley on a night,” said Andrew. “Not only did she destroy the button, she pulled it off the hat as well.”
At the opening of the BBC One show, Andrew had said Gent’s Classic Week suited his style but he hoped pride would not come before a fall and, as the stitchers all began to struggle with their hats, he admitted: “I’ve left myself short of time.”
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After the three hours given to create the hats from 19 pattern pieces, judge Patrick Grant said: “There are one or two that look half-baked.”
Patrick liked Andrew’s choice of colours and “very good” alignment of the cloth pieces but felt it was and untidy sew that earned Andrew only seventh place.
Former dinner lady Cathryn, from East Yorkshire, was placed fourth for her “good-looking hat”, according to Patrick.
The next test of their sewing skills saw the stitchers transforming second-hand men’s suit jackets and blazers into a woman’s garment, with Cathryn saying: “Repurpose, recycle, I am very up for that. I love the idea that something can be something else.”
In the 90 available minutes, Cathryn fashioned a little tunic dress out of her old jackets, but Patrick thought there was “too much going on” with it and Esme said: “It doesn’t look very thought-out to me.”
The creation gave Catherine ninth place and Andrew fared only a little better in eighth spot with his skirt made from four sleeves, laced together with contrasting cord.
It was looking like only three of the contestants were safe, not including Andrew or Cathryn, as the stitchers went into the final made-to-measure round, fashioning a casual utility jacket with at least three pockets for a real male model.
Andrew’s metal worker-inspired jacket in orange and blue twill jacket had no fewer than eight pockets, while Cathryn’s design, with a fun contrast fabric under the collar, was inspired by her son Shaun, who was an air cadet.
Appraising the emerging creations, the judges said Andrew’s jacket looked “far too small”, while Cathryn was hammering in fasteners, saying: “I am not an aggressive person, honestly.”
Of Cathryn’s design, Esme said: “I really like this fabric and I love that you have made the under-collar vibrant and bright.” Patrick said the garment was “neatly sewn”.
Patrick said of Andrew’s creation: “You had a great big issue with the size of this jacket but you recovered it and pretty well.”
Esme thought Andrew’s jacket was “great”.
Both East Yorkshire stitchers now go forward to week four – International Week – of the ten-week contest to find the UK’s best amateur sewer.
The Great British Sewing Bee airs on BBC One on Wednesdays at 9pm.
Turn-ups, pocket inserts and buttonholes brought The Great British Sewing Bee competitors out in a sweat as they tackled three challenges for “summer week”.
In the opening frames of last night’s BBC One show, Hull’s Andrew Aspland, 54, said he was all ready for the summer theme, sporting a summery shirt and straw hat, but said: “My legs are past shorts, they don’t come out for anybody.”
As it was, the 11 remaining stitchers needed to create a pair of “paper bag” shorts, complete with elasticated waist, a waist-tie, turn-ups and pockets, using ten pattern pieces for the first challenge of week two.
Andrew, a maths teacher, said the mathematician in him liked to be as accurate as possible, and he could be seen ironing his finished shorts on a mannequin, saying: “I wouldn’t do this if it was on a human being.”
After the three-and-a-half hours given for the project, the stitching around the channel for Andrew’s elastic waist wasn’t straight, according to judge Esme Young.
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She did comment that his turn-ups had been sewn correctly – this part of the garment foxed many of the other sewers – and fellow judge Patrick Grant said the waist gathers on Andrew’s shorts were “lovely”. He ended up being placed third.
The transformation challenge called on the sewers to make a woman’s garment for a summer’s evening from up to four pairs of men’s board shorts, and a variety of other men’s swimwear, with Esme saying she was looking for the competitors to “make a statement” with their creations.
Cathryn, a semi-retired former dinner lady, was shown away from the GBSB sewing room enjoying her allotment and when asked by host Joe Lycett what she also enjoyed when she wasn’t sewing, the grime music fan said: “I dance like nobody’s watching.”
Her summer top earned her another fourth place, the judges admiring her colour co-ordination, while Andrew fell away to tenth place for his dress, the judges agreeing the effect of the orange stripes was “a little bit busy”.
The final task was to sew a made-to-measure button-down summer dress to fit a live model, something Patrick said was a classic summer item but a “deceptively difficult” challenge.
Cathryn had chosen a cotton fabric with a pattern of small keys – “the colour reminds me of the sea” – and raised eyebrows when she said she had never done pattern matching before, Patrick saying: “I admire your bravery.”
She struggled to finish her buttonholes and buttons – one was falling off when Esme appraised the dress – and Patrick said she would have had plenty time to finish if she had not been busy trying to match the pattern.
Andrew had chosen to make a 40s-style dress, saying: “It harks back to an era when dressing up was the done thing.
“My mother and grandmother would not go into town without lipstick or a dress on.”
Esme said he had obviously thought about the design with its contrasting collar, belt and buttons but Patrick said the waistline fell a little below where it ought to be.
After Julie’s departure in week one, Jean had to leave the sewing room last night, leaving the ten remaining stitchers to tackle gent’s classic week next Wednesday on BBC One at 9pm.