Sewing Bee 2020, The Finale Recap: The Horowitz Clan of Beverley Hills

sewing bee last supper

Interesting that in The Sewing Bee’s Last Breakfast relief Clare is playing the role of Judas.

As it’s the final I must ask you to please Choose Your Fighter:

nicole reaction

Nicole, highfalutin businesswoman turned jeweller with a passion for the garish and a penchant for making things incredibly difficult for herself but an incredible track record of Garments of the Week – she’s The Breakout Talent of the series.

clare argh

Lung specialist Clare and Monopoly prodigy (her mother still hasn’t gotten over being beaten by a four year old and subsequently replaced her with a cat) She’s got a refined, if slightly boring, taste and predilection for all things vintage – she’s the workhorse of the competition.

matt knighted

Matt, partner and designer for his drag queen Partner, who apparently performs in the most boring club according to this programme:

the club

Honestly, the BBC’s ideas of nightclubs are my favourite things, just a black room and some gold streamers. He’s been a bit hit and miss, occasionally turning out some high quality grand looks but all too often going a bit safe. He’s our Wild Card.


They call this The Pattern Challenge but as it turns out there is no pattern and the designers have instead been given a children’s book sized instruction manual for making a kilt. The lack of a pattern means the sewers (That’s SO-ERRS) must use the lines and squares of their tartan in order to create correctly spaced and shaped pleats – this is much easier if you use a smaller more evenly repeated tartan than a large one with irregular shapes squares.

Nicole and Clare both gravitate towards smaller checks, Nicole going greyscale and Clare opting for the family tartan of the Horowitz clan of Beverley Hills

clare tartan

Matt however is set on going for a traditional looking red tartan, however it comes at the cost of having irregular repeats making his pleating job that much more difficult, luckily Patrick is on hand for some helpful advice of “just go by eye” – this does not go well and Matt spends most of the challenge with his head in his hands issuing long beleaguered sighs like he’s the confused_maths_lady.gif. Luckily Nicole is on hand for some more practical help

nicole helping matt

Although I’m still not sure quite how much it helped because as soon as she leaves and he has to calculate how much to reduce the pleats by at the waist to give a slight flare he gives up and just sewed it all willy-nilly, ending up with a lowrise kilt

lowrise kilt

and completely unaware he had attached 2 male fastenings instead of male and a female

matts gay kilt

honestly iconic.

Clare’s and Nicole’s kilts end up very much on the same level, both have wonderfully done pleating but both failed to pattern match their waistbands

nicole black kiltclare horowitz kilt

but I think Nicole’s black and white fabric made it more obvious.

The ranking of the kilts:

  1. Clare’s Cher McHorowitz
  2. Nicole’s Monochrome of the Glen
  3. Matt’s Queer Kilt


Well, the time has come. We finally know who is responsible for the Marge Simpson Carnival Horror:

matt carnival outfit

The fact it was made in the final makes it even funnier to me – it goes down in the history books with the likes of The Skanklets.

So the challenge is to take 1 bathing suit and 1 prom dress – I get the impression there was a boutique with a closing down sale – and make them into an outfit fit for the carnival, they do also have a table full of craft materials

craft table

Somewhere out there, there’s a Works store that is completely empty.

The sewers all have very different ideas of carnival, Nicole is going for the full Trinidadian fantasy, Clare is going for Miss Norwich 1944 and Matt has never been to carnival, hence the Marge Simpson disaster. To Matt’s credit, he did at least bring the volume of carnival, spending most of his time engineering that feather collar despite the fact it was nearly impossible to sew those feathers on, it was just unfortunate that he then only had a few minutes left to haphazardly stick a pair of skew-wiff pasties on and hang the bodice of a prom dress over the crotch like two cricket cups

crazy dress

We love a maverick.

Nicole has been in many a carnival, as has her husband who apparently did it dressed as Lawrence of Arabia:

nicole husband

So she knows what’s required and what’s currently en vogue in the carnival scene (?) and straight away sets about to making everything as skimpy as possible, snipping away at the bikini cups and embellishing them with any and all the glitz, sequins and anything that jingles – basically she’s making a carnival outfit for a cat. The end result is by far and away the most modern carnival outfit:

nicole carnival

I do think it could have used more volume on the hips, I was sad she didn’t use any feathers but the detail on the bra is really cool:

nicole bra detail

Esme claims she would be very interested in seeing a body in it and I am now pitching a crime thriller to the BBC in which the serial killer’s calling card is homemade carnival bikinis.

Clare meanwhile has constructed her entire garment around 2 metre rulers that she has been dying to use in a look the entire series – delightfully weird and as mystifying as the cashmere trousers we still haven’t gotten to the bottom of. Her final garment shows a lot of good constructions skills but ultimately lacks the bling that Nicole brought in spades

clare carnival

It does also look like a jellyfish costume in a school play.

The final ranking of our carnival queens is:

  1. Nicole’s Risky Nips
  2. Clare’s Miss Jellyfish 1944
  3. Matt’s Marge Simpson Horror

On to the final round and Matt has some heavy lifting to do if he wants to clinch a win and Clare is out in front because if this show has taught us anything it’s that the transformation challenges counts for nearly nothing.

Great Gowns, Beautiful Gowns:

The final challenge as usual is to create a statement gown fit for the red carpet, however this time the sewer’s must incorporate a cut out element. They’ve also brought in their owns models, Nicole’s day drinking buddy Audra, Clare’s colleague Alex and Matt’s boyfriend Greg and drag queen Miss Martini.

As it’s the final the sewers have also been granted 6 hours for the challenge, maybe Bake Off can take note of this…

As is her modus operandi Nicole is using a notoriously difficult fabric that she has no experience of using – a sequinned feather confection to create a lurid orange gown with a daring round cut out in the back

nicole gown sketch

It’s a lot of very demanding elements, and her fabric choices are, to put it bluntly: tacky as all sin

nicole fabric

which worries Patrick and Esme no end. It’s not an easy challenge for Nicole and her first misstep is sewing her fabric lining on the wrong way and the delay the unpicking causes means she has to cut corners and only partially sew her feathered fabric on, but the effect isn’t that bad – it lends the skirt some movement but ultimately means it doesn’t sit against the body as well as it could. Nicole sensing that she has maybe blown it at the final hurdle and has a bit of a moment and has to dry desperately not to smudge her eyeliner:

nicole crying

Audra, I think we’re going to need to move Prosseco Fridays to Thursday this week. All that being said Audra looks more outrageously gorgeous in this colour than anyone has any right to:

nicole dress model

How does it feel to be God’s favourite? The gown isn’t bad, I think it may be a touch costume-y – think community theatre does Hello Dolly.

Clare sticks to her vintage guns and goes for a 1930’s Hollywood starlet

clare gown sketch

– her cut out is by far the smallest, offering us just the tiniest glimpse of cleavage – which would have practically got you blacklisted from society in the 30s I’m sure. The dress is deceptively simple but the bodice totals 16 individual panels and once again we foray into our favourite technique Bagging Out – which I’ve decided is the title of my autobiography. It’s not the most wildly amazing dress and I think if you had told me in the first episode that Clare makes it to the final, I’d have been able to tell you she would make exactly this outfit

clare final gown

Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing – it shows she has a style and aesthetic, but I always lean more towards a contestant that can surprise me and keep me guessing. Her end result is rather beautiful though, there’s a slight pucker on the bust

clare cut out

but there’s a jewelled detail to distract from it and Patrick falls for it like a cat to a laser pen.

Then we have Matt and when I saw this sketch I was delighted:

matt gown sketch

This is everything I have wanted from him since the first week, THIS is the drag we were promised – the slight kinkiness of the bondage top against the luxury of the gold brocade? It’s thoroughly modern, high fashion and campier than most things we saw at The Met Gala. I was just then worried because Matt has a dubious track record of being able to bring his visions to fruition – but with 6 hours and his boyfriend by his side he gets into the zone and rockets ahead with nary a blunder except for a hem that comes undone – it truly is a Pride Month miracle:

matt final gown

It’s an iconic fashion moment and I think really has changed the Sewing Bee and set a new precedent – it’s the Sasha Velour rose petals of the franchise if you will. The fact he managed to not only bind that leatherette and tailor it to absolute perfection but fit 7 metres of brocade fabric to his twink of a boyfriend without it looking bulky is nothing short of magic. AND THE BACK OF IT:


It’s a masterpiece – and Martini’s chest hair only makes it that much better


and then there’s the fact this all happened on BBC1 in a primetime slot – it’s one of the best TV moments in recent memory. My money is on a drag challenge in the next series.

The past sewers and the finalists’ families (Clare’s mom’s cat is absent, the asshole) gather in for the winner to announced and I think it’s a pretty unanimous decision amongst the judges that Clare is the winner

clare wins

she had a solid week and a track record to match. I had my bets on Nicole and I wouldn’t have been too mad at a mad dash win from Matt. My favourite might not have won but The right person won, may she be happy in her reign.

And now for the moment we’ve all been waiting for since the first episode: MONTAGE O’CLOCK:

angillia montagealex montagefiona montagehazel montageali montagetherese montagepeter motnagemark montageliz montagematt montagenicole montageclare montage

One thought on “Sewing Bee 2020, The Finale Recap: The Horowitz Clan of Beverley Hills

  1. Susan

    I love Sewing Bee, but since I found your blog, I have to admit I love your blog more, you have a fabulous turn of phrase.

Leave a Reply