Sewing Bee 2022, The Final: Sparkling Degeneracy

Debra will be charging £10 per grocery item you ask her to sign.

12 sewers. 10 weeks. 30 challenges. 8751 cups of tea.

It’s the final! And the theme is Party Week, which is why Sara was dressed as Mrs. Pennywise, Esme her spangled leopard sidekick that can juggle bowling pins

and Patrick is…. the circus accountant?

and because it’s the final, I must award the annual Best Piece of Family VT B-roll Footage, which this year goes to Man Yee for the weirdly long clip of her comparing her handmade leaf pillow to its real life counterparts

Previous winners include: Juliet’s Daughter breaking the 4th wall

Serena resuscitating a medical dummy

and Nicole’s Skype Profile Picture

they’re the real winners.

It’s A Tie!

For their final pattern challenge the sewers were being challenged to make an iconic Esme design: The amorphous dress! The reason mostly being so that Esme could whip her phone out at a moment’s notice and brag about it

can’t wait for them to be challenged to make Patrick’s own blazer design and for him to whip out a 50 page tome of a family photo album full of sepia toned glamour shots.

The Amorphous Dress is very aptly named because the single piece of fabric that makes up the dress doesn’t look like a dress so much as it does the leaf of lettuce that slipped out of your burger halfway through eating it

it is quite a marked piece of fashion history and is pretty much the mother of Versace’s Safety Pin Dress, and apparently Cher bought one, although Esme was much more excited by the fact the dress was worn by Linda Kozlowski in Crocodile Dundee

at least she has proof she designed this dress UNLIKE LEONARDO DICRAPRIO’S SHIRTS IN ROMEO+JULIET. WHERE. ARE. THE. RECEIPTS?

Perhaps as an attempt to appeal to Esme’s nostalgia for peak 80s cinema, Annie opted to make her dress in a shade of red, and boy did the iron know all about it

someone had to eventually fight back against the irons on Angela’s behalf.
Aside from marking the iron like she was trying to dodge The Angel of Death, Annie seemed to get on pretty well with the challenge – there was a little bit of bagginess as she had stretched out the lyrca a little bit, but the dress was well constructed

Debra also got on pretty swimmingly with the challenge and definitely churned out the most 80s dress of the bunch with her choice of silver lycra – I only say hers was the most 80s because I think even a gymnast in the 80s would’ve shied away from Brogan’s choice

and the general tackiness of the dress combined with the silver is bringing memories of SNOWDANCE to the forefront of my brain

ANY excuse to use those gifs.

Debra’s dress was pretty much faultless and very impressively she managed to both perfectly point the corners of the ties and get the curves of the dress to remain flat against the body.
Man Yee was very nearly on Debra’s level, the only issue with her dress being a slight twist in the neck

but I do think Man Yee’s choice of black, sparkly velvet certainly made her dress look the most wearable of the bunch, it’s practically begging for Julia Fox to don it while going to buy some emergency milk from a Tesco Express at 7pm

the slightly thicker material also helped keep everything in check, which was Brogan’s first mistake as the challenge forced her so far out of her comfort zone of puff sleeves and ruffles that she completely lost her mind and lept upon a violently violet foiled lycra – only realising the horror of what she had done halfway through the challenge when the mists of her brain fog began to clear

she and this challenge were very much not friends, which became abundantly clear the moment Debra loudly declared how happy she was with how her dress was coming along and then they immediately cut to Brogan looking on like Tiny Tim watching a family eating Christmas dinner

it’s very the “I wish I were at home” meme

but props to Brogan because despite working with a fabric that seemed to be trying its very best to both not exist and yet exist far too loudly, she managed to pull together a completed dress in all of its 90s music video glory

there are some pretty glaring fit issues and it was quite clearly the weakest dress which is rare for Brogan in a pattern challenge

*the Ironside Siren starts*

An Official Amorphous Dress Ranking

  1. The Ghosts of SNOWDANCES Past
  2. Julia Fox’s tesco Run
  3. Annie’s Crocodile Dundee Nostalgia
  4. Brogan’s Villain Origin Story

“Party.” – Katya Zamolodchikova

The Party Week Transformation Challenge was rather predictably to make a garment worthy of being worn to an abstract, nonspecific party, but having realised they used Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Week far too early in the series, they were having to make them out of scraps from the previous weeks, with Brogan wasting absolutely no time in grabbing what little remained of the antique duvet from hell

and after The Amorphous Dress Incident, she was doing everything to cling to the rocks of twee safety by going ham on the ruffles to create a picnic ham two piece

and if you think “Oh, that looks a bit like something they might put a celebrity they’re uninvested in on Strictly!”, well, you know what they say: dress for the comedy samba you want

and Brogan was pulling comedy samba scores from Esme who had issues with the fact it wouldn’t be particularly flattering and would make anyone look a little top heavy – HEY! SOME OF US NEED ALL THE HELP WE CAN GET! But the concept of the dress is at least suited to a party, whereas Debra’s was kind of just a nice dress

it’s very The Quilting Challenge 2: Patchwork Boogaloo – and the judges did like her use of fabrics and how well she coordinated all of them, it just lacked a little bit of glitz and glam to make particularly notable, but that still wasn’t enough to put her in 4th place

*The Ironside Siren intensifies*

Man Yee was the only person to really go all in on the idea of a party, grabbing Annie’s Bowie fabric, having managed to resist the siren song of Brogan’s foiled lycra

and churning out a top I can only describe as DiscOktober Fest, which is pretty much exactly what you should be wearing to cheesy music themed nights at university

I have no greater compliment for this top than that it looks like something a character in Shrek would wear to perform the big musical number in the 3rd act, voiced by Olivia Rodrigo, obviously. Friends fear she may have picked up her Shrek 5 screenplay again.

Annie went in a much more elegant direction and basically just reprised Japan Week and made a kimono inspired top complete with a belt made out of the fabric Debra had used for her own kimono inspired robe

Patrick had somewhat of an issue with the wideness of the belt – I don’t, I like that it looks like a traditional obi! Sorry, that’s obi inspired obi, and I think with the rest of the top being so fine and thin, the contrast works really well!

An Official Party Dress Ranking

  1. Shrek 5: DiscOktober Fest!
  2. Japanese Week 2: Kimono-inspired Boogaloo
  3. Debra’s Very Nice Dress
  4. The Jagged Rocks of Frilly Doom

Jumpsuiting For Joy

The final Made to Measure was the standard Sewing Bee Fare of making a glamorous garment worthy of the red carpet (and/or a hen do in Blackpool) – with this year’s specification being that they had to make a jumpsuit, and as ever it would be their friends and family serving as models – Annie had her colleague Marina, Man Yee had school friend Beth, Debra had her friend Lisa and Brogan had brought in her sister, Rogue from X-men

she is doing nothing to talk me out of getting this exact same dye job I have wanted since Anna Paquin trans’d me in 2000

if your big queer awakening wasn’t a superhero film from the late 90s or early 2000s, then I’m afraid you’re just sparkling degeneracy.

I do feel like the sewers were a little hedged in with the theme being jumpsuits – nobody went wildly high concept and tried to make a whale killing jellyfish gown, render a Kate Bush music video as a dress or create their drag queen husband’s dream ball gown – truly nobody does a Sewing Bee finale like a gay man with dreams of making clothes for Eurovision. Also, using the Billy Porter reference photo ahead of the challenge was a bit cruel and did get our hopes up for ABSOLUTE NONSENSE

sadly nobody was theming their jumpsuit around going to The Camp Met Gala and Man Yee was the only sewer going for anything really glitzy as she was risking it big on some sequin fabric, which she was using alongside georgette to create a quartered harlequin design inspired by Harley Quinn

sadly she wasn’t doing the red and black – they paid enough for the weirdly cropped promotional image use, they couldn’t risk a Warner Bros. lawsuit so she was doing it in a distinctly Bowie shade of blue – and I do think her glamorous jumpsuit was the more Bowie than most of the Bowie challenge looks

of course helped because Beth very much took the advice of one Jasmine Kennedie

and it was a very impressively sewn outfit – especially given the materials she was using and Esme was particularly impressed by how well the panels met in the centre

my only qualm is that it looks a little bit bare – especially up top, but I honestly think a big statement necklace would solve that issue – but I might have opted for a detail on the neckline just to add some interest.

Under Lisa’s orders Debra was completely forgoing any kind of sparkle or glitz and was instead opting for a very vibrantly patterned fabric that did look a bit like the credits of a kid’s show from the 80s

and while Debra contended with engineering a boned corset for her strapless design, Lisa was trying to get to grips with a pair of heels

luckily for her there were flatter options so she didn’t have to stalk down the runway like a velociraptor at Fashion Week

SHE LOOKS INCREDIBLE! Anyone else would have been tempted to punish their fitness instructor and put them in Tayla Parx’s Bowser Jumpsuit

luckily for Lisa though, Debra has the heart of an angel and only went as far as putting her in Eleven from Stranger Things cosplay (I low key covet this romper)

It’s your move, Man Yee.

The drape across the front and fit of the bodice is really, REALLY good

and the frill along the neckline adds a sense of interest and prevents the bodice looking like it ends too abruptly – it’s a very well designed garment.

Annie was also going for a strapless design, specifically drawing inspiration from a Ralph Lauren design worn by Yara Shahidi at the SAG Awards in 2018

and yes, she was going for the full magnificence of the Giant Bum Bow and you knew she was on to a winner just from the look of pure glee on Esme’s face when she saw the sketch

and Annie more than delivered on her promise for major drama

AND. IT. HAS. POCKETS. DID YARA SHAHIDI’S? I very much doubt it, because as we know high fashion is basically just a series of high concept Saw traps, so even if they did, they would be full of feral possums that haven’t been fed for 4 weeks and the only way to escape them is by dislocating every bone in your hand.

The judges were pretty delighted by everything about it – from the drama to the engineering of the bodice as it managed to support both the bow and the two meter long train – and I love that there’s a slight sportswear feel to it with the racing stripe and loose fit of the trousers

it was really the only jumpsuit that would look perfectly at home on a major red carpet – the others could easily go the Brits, Marina was going to the Oscars and was a favourite to win.

And lastly we have Brogan who was going in a slightly different direction from everyone else and making a romper with a detachable skirt, which had a really cute sort of vintage look to it

and I do love that because of the sort of witchy fabric she used for the skirt, it does look a bit like an outfit that a witch would wear to the beach

it’s very Dolls Kill resort wear, which isn’t what I would have expected from Brogan, but the show did seem to have broken her by this point and we’re now in her Reputation Brogan era

Don’t worry, she’ll back in 3 years time with her Cardigan era and all shall be right with the world.

A Glamorous Jumpsuit Ranking

  1. Annie Goes To The Oscars
  2. Blackpool, Watch Out!
  3. Man Yee’s Unpunctual Bowie
  4. Obligatory SAND WITCH Joke

And that was it! The sewers had done everything in their power to get their hands on the trophy and there would have been a perfectly good argument for any of them winning – I think Brogan was probably firmly out of the running based on this episode alone, while the other three were pretty evenly matched if you averaged everything out, but there could only be one… unless? #TeamDebrAnnYee #AlwaysTheBroganNeverTheBride

I’m VERY happy with Annie winning! She’s made some incredibly garments, but even beyond her sewing merits, she’s been great television and a lovely presence on the show (as were all the sewers) but I really do hope we get to see more of her around the place. Does The One Show need a fashion correspondent?

And thank you to everyone who has been reading the recaps – and the sewers for going along with them – I’m always relieved when the people I’m writing about enjoy them. And before I get to my favourite thing about these recaps, The Alternative Montage, if you would like to support the blog, you can drop a small donation over at my Ko-fi account HERE – it really does help keep the blog up and running, and me well caffeinated.


Once again, a big congratulations to Annie, as well as Brogan, Man Yee and Debra for their efforts in the final – a trio of very deserving runners up!

And so, that really is it for 2022!

TOP: Angela, ANNIE, Cristian, Mitch
MID: Brogan, Chichi, Debra, Richy
BOT: Gill, Man Yee, Marni, Steve

If you’ve enjoyed this recap of Sewing Bee 2022’s Final and would like to support the blog you can donate to my Ko-fi account HERE!

One thought on “Sewing Bee 2022, The Final: Sparkling Degeneracy

  1. meerium

    As always, it’s been a joy watching along with you and enjoying the blog. Still up for an Esme underwear masterclass, despite the carnage that would undoubtedly ensue!

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