Sew In Brighton Blog


Posted on

3th May 2022


Written by Claire Nilles, Marketing Assistant at Sew In Brighton Sewing School and Improver level self-taught sewer

Knock knock, it’s Season 8 of the Great British Sewing Bee! And guess what, I will be providing you with the necessary ins and outs of each week’s challenges so you can level up your sewing skills and maybe just maybe be the next Sewing Bee.

Are you up for the challenge? So let’s dive straight into it!

Great British Sewing Bee 2022 contestants | meet the cast | Radio Times

This year’s 12 contestants.


This week’s theme was CAPSULE WARDROBE. And for anyone like me who has sewn a few bits and bots, but is absolutely not familiar with any technical terms. Here is a quick glossary of the term:

“a small collection of clothes that can be put together in different ways and includes everything you would normally need to wear”  Cambridge Dictionary


The first challenge of this week’s episode was a wool mini skirt with piped pockets at the front and an exposed zip at the back. 

This is contestant Angela’s skirt with self-made piping for the 2 front pockets.

NOW the big question is how can you make one (or a similar) mini skirt? Here is all the information you need to bring this week’s challenge to your home or local sewing school.

What you will need to make your very own summer mini skirt or maybe a little longer skirt:

  • Fabric* (new or old, as upcycling is always an option!)

*See your pattern for amount you need and always wash and iron fabric before cutting out if you plan to wash rather than dry clean the final garment (follow washing instructions on fabric, ask in shop if unsure)

  • Sewing machine & thread

  • Pattern or a skirt that you can replicate with some new fabric

529,015 Light Bulb Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStockTIP!

Here is an important tip from Kat (experienced sewing teacher and owner of Sew In Brighton) when sewing with wool. If you are trying to make your mini skirt with wool fabric it is important to add some lining to the inside of your skirt. Any lining is good here - polyester, rayon, cotton. If you are wearing tights you don't want cotton, as this rides up, so people usually use a slippy lining like polyester which is readily available.

 Here are some pattern examples to get you started making skirts: 

  1. Child’s Party Skirt (GBSB free pattern)

LEVEL of difficulty: BEGINNER (Sounds like the perfect project even for myself! I might have a go next week at the sewing classroom and see where it will take me 😁)

sewing bee childs party skirt pattern

This is not the same pattern as the Sewing Bee Challenge skirt, but it is an easy skirt to get you sewing if you have not made any clothes from scratch before. It involves the minimum of fitting, has no pockets and has elastic for the waist - this is a great waist elastic you could use for this skirt from Prym which which also makes great belts (super simple make, with a buckle like this) - comes in many colours

Here is the link: . It's a FREE pattern provided that you can download and print at home or get printed and posted to you inexpensively at


2. Reed Skirt Grainline Studio Sewing Pattern

LEVEL of difficulty: Improving Beginner

Although labelled as Beginner, this seems more like Improving Beginner Dressmaker level pattern. I would say try making a simple garment like the first skirt above initially if you have no or little experience in sewing. Or just jump in with this one and take your time and get help from one of our teachers if needed.
n.b. If you're completely new to machine sewing, learn the basics first and get confident by sewing a simple bag or cushion. If you need a hand and live near us in Brighton and Hove, check out our Beginner classes and courses here

Here is the link for the pattern: 

Is this is something you are interested in making but you don’t have a sewing machine at home or you need a hand fitting the pattern and deciphering the sewing instructions? If so you book onto one of our weekly Stitch! General Sewing and Dressmaking Classes in Brighton and Hove (East Sussex, UK) if you live nearby or fancy a day trip to Brighton beach.

Head to so you just see availability for Stitch Classes for the next couple of weeks. Our teachers are very keen to get you going with your very own project and help you every step along the way to finalise your skirt in time before the summer hits Brighton. 

Also for anyone new who just happened to stumble across this blog post, if you join our mailing list here you will get discounted codes, including SAVE 15% on your very FIRST Sewing class at Sew In Brighton.


CHALLENGE 2 - Transformation Challenge 

Lockdown Loungewear

The idea was to transform any old loungewear piece into a night-out top. This is a sustainable way of upcycling any of your old clothes and giving them a fresh purpose. I always find it extremely rewarding if you have an old pair of trousers that don’t fit anymore and you can repurpose it by making a pair of dungarees out of them (just throwing some ideas around here). 



CHALLENGE 3 - Made to measure

Wrap Dress

Generally speaking, wrap dresses are a go-to sewing dress as they are easy to fit to anyone’s body shape. What might be the trickiest part however are necklines and hemming the dress. Therefore I would say this is for Intermediate Sewers who have had some experience sewing dresses before. Nevertheless, it could be fun as a personal challenge to see if you can nail those necklines and create a piece that you can add to your Capsule Wardrobe :) 

  1. Misses and Petite Wrap Dress Simplicity Sewing Pattern

Level of difficulty: Intermediate


Here is the pattern:


In case you want to jump onto the weekly Sewing Bee challenges, keep reading this blog each week as we will update it and I’ll see you next week.




View all our sewing and dressmaking classes, courses and workshops, held in Brighton and Hove here (we also offer Zoom 1-2-1 lessons if you're elsewhere in the world). 

Do get in touch with any questions at