Sewing Bee 2023, Episode 6: Venial Sin Knievel

If my grandmother had wheels she’d have been a bike!

Are all your limbs present and accounted for?

Esme Young’s Dragon Race

It’s Children’s Week which means the sewing room is once again populated by child-sized mannequins that are prone to autotomizing their limbs when threatened

a few of the sewers were quite comfortable with sewing for children – Vicki and Lauren both have quite young children and then Tony and Asmaa are familiar with the concept of children but would have been better suited to Unreasonable Teen Week in which the Pattern Challenge is a school uniform they hate, the Transformation Challenge is to do something as heinous as possible to a pair of jeans and a band t-shirt and during the Made to Measure your teenage model might grow 4 inches since you last measured them and halfway through they might decide they only wear black and answer to the name Ruddiger – we’ve all done it, some of us just commit harder to it.
Then there was Fauve who wanted to keep the very concept of children at arm’s length (potentially the child’s own dislocated arm’s length)

never has anything been so relatable.

But for now, we’re catering to the under 10s with a dragon dressing gown that only they would wear…

*hides the novelty Bagpuss dressing gown I practically live in*

This is the first time we’ve had towelling fabric in a pattern challenge, but towels have been used in the Transformation Challenge before, famously just draped over a mannequins shoulders and somehow not coming last


The towelling fabric did come with some advantages – it’s relatively easy to sew with, maintains it’s shape well and means they had an excuse to dig out this archive picture of Sean Connery

I hope every Bond auditionee has to send in polaroids of them wearing a baby blue terry cloth romper as proof of their sex appeal.
The disadvantages of the towelling was mostly the fiddlier details with the belt and the belt loops needing to be bagged out, with the coarse fabric making it so difficult that Tony nearly called in a midwife

not pictured: just about everyone’s deadly side-eyes.
Tony’s newly born belt loop wasn’t the issue and at face value his dressing gown looked great

however, sometime during the afterbirth he’d just completely given up on the very concept of bias binding and compiled a sort of taxonomic fieldguild of how absolutely not to do bias binding – I’ve watched 9 series of this show and written almost 50 recaps about it and I’m not entirely sure I could actually tell you what bias binding is.
Tony wasn’t the only one to fall foul of the binding though, with Vicki completely giving up on Esme’s sewing instructions and going rogue

although she might #want to not complain too much because somewhere right now there’s a poor soul in a tent that was just handed a piece of paper with “bake me an Aranygaluska.” written in Paul Hollywood’s own blood.
Things didn’t actually go *too badly* for Vicki and the judges rather liked her Cadbury’s Caramel Dragon

they were particularly fond of the contrasting belt which nobody else had done, although she wasn’t the only one to go for a contrasting element as Lauren had glammed her dragon up with a bit of Ichiban Lipstick for Men

it wasn’t quite as successful a decision, Esme admired the creativity whereas Patrick could only see a naked molerat

there’s a cartoon dinosaur it really reminds me of that sort of just inhaled food by sucking it up like a vacuum cleaner but I can’t for the life of me remember it’s name and if the internet has taught me one thing it’s that I can’t google “dinosaur that sucks”, so alas… RIP The Ungoogleable Dinosaur, lost to me forever.

Fauve may not know much about children, but she does know about dragons

and thus the terrifying monstrous visage that struck fear into the hearts of the Saxons was born

God bless his derpy little face, but he’s a very useful dressing gown because you can wear it on both St. David’s Day and to a novelty screening of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes should you ever be so lucky

she did have a few technical errors here and there – her facing was twisted and her belt wasn’t fully bagged out because she’d had to cut the process short because umm…

Bad Dragon! Very bad dragon!

The Welsh Dragon’s drifting eyes weren’t the only eyes to come under fire, as Mia had put her eyes too far forward thus turning hers into the apex predator of the sewing room because The Hunger Games is essentially the Children’s Week of the future

personally I think making everyone else’s dragons look like prey animals was quite the flex and given that Patrick and Esme had no complaints about her sewing or colour combination, I was surprised she finished 5th, but once again the top spot was a contest between Asmaa and Lizzie – with Asmaa well and truly entering her corruption arc by swearing like a sailor (and doing a Kenneth Williams impression to keep the memory of Tony W alive and well)

and also intimidating the other sewers by sitting there disembowelling Grimace like a lioness after a successful hunt

apparently this wasn’t enough to turn Lizzie into a puddle, as she and her golden dragon rose to the top spot again

I am still working on what exactly the ratio between yellow and pink is to determine the activation of Blobby’s Law – but this is too much yellow and as Patrick noted lands in Gregg’s Sausage Roll territory.

As for Asmaa’s Second Place Dragon, she was still on her bootleg merchandise journey with her dressing gown looking like a version of Spyro you bought at an Indonesian flea market in 1999

what do you meant you’ve never played Spiko The Reptile?

An Official Dragon Dressing Gown Ranking:
1. Gregg’s Sausage Dragon
2. Spiko the Reptile
3. Ichiban, Lipstick for Dragons!
4. Cadbury’s Caramel Dragon
5. The Apex Dragon
6. An Unbiased Dragon
7. Attack of the Killer Tomato Dragon

Double Use Denim

For their children’s week transformation challenge the sewers had to take an unassuming child’s denim jacket and turn it into something special by decorating it with bits and pieces of kids’ castoffs – and for some of them it was more of a shopping challenge

when Mia perfects her Embiggening Ray, it’s over for everyone else, although if she wants to score those premium denim jackets she’s going to have to be faster than Fauve who moves with the speed of a shark when she needs to

and thus the two of them were locked in a Denim Jacket Off – both of them simultaneously desleeving their jackets – Fauve for the sake of going the full Baby’s First Avril Lavigne

somewhere along the way we lost the pop punk and kind of embraced Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia

which is probably the one Meryl Streep character you can get away with dressing your child up as.

Meanwhile, Mia’s sleevelessness was purely to maximise the amount of places she could stitch a ruffle onto as she created a very cute denim and tulle superhero

Tulle was a popular choice of fabric, mostly because A LOT of the castoffs seemed like novelty dance costumes that had seen better days – which sounds like I’m saying Mia dresses like she’s in year 4 dance recital but that’s not what I meant

Asmaa had somehow amassed all of neon tulle in the room and didn’t entirely know where to go from there and created an outfit I can only describe as something Henry VII would wear to an underground rave in 1998 during a particularly anachronistic adaptation of his life

I actually quite like it – the contrast is good, but everyone did pretty well this round so people were being dinged for mostly not pushing the design far enough – like Lauren whose jacket didn’t look like she’d done much at the front

but then turn around and it looked the child had won best in show at the school disco

and between the mermaid sequins and the giant T tramp stamp rosette, this would be my perfect Pride outfit, but I would also insist on repurposing the SANTA SANTA SANTA sequins as SATAN SATAN SATAN sequins

because you can’t spell Pride Month without Demon

God bless the American conservatives for accidentally creating the most iconic part of Pride Month 2023.

It was Tony, Vicki and Lizzie who led the pack though and gun to my head, I reckon I could have easily picked Tony’s out of this line up

there is no way that the dinosaur camouflage outfit is not his, it is a logical constant in the world of chaos that is Children’s Week on Sewing Bee

and the sort of panelled effect looked really smart and almost made it look a little bit formal. His Jurassic Park dinner jacket just pipped Vicki’s Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice jacket to second place

I did almost lose my mind when Esme and Patrick both said it looked a little bit Regency inspired – it seems the Bridgerton brain worms are still going around and Vicki was furiously trying to work out if making her mannequin look like the comic-relief child that Netflix inexplicably adds to their inevitable Pride and Prejudice adaptation is a compliment or not

third place suggests it was.

Which did mean that Lizzie steamed ahead with another win with her denim jacket transformation

Patrick said it looked like a Soviet Cosmonaut costume, my first thought was country star whose whole gimmick is that they perform wearing roller-skates

and my second thought was Slightly Less Daring Evil Knievel, Venial Sin Knievel if you will.

An Official Denim Jacket Ranking
1. Venial Sin Knievel at the Skate Park
2. The Closest We’ll Get To A Jurassic Park Tuxedo
3. Vicki’s Alleged Regency Powerpuff Girl
4. Mia’s Embiggening Beta Test 2.0
5. Mamma Mia! What Hava You’a Done’a To My Denim Jacket?
6. First Place At The Grand National Disco
7. Henry VII’s First Rave


For this week’s Made to Measure the sewers had to create a party outfit for a child to attend an event of their choice – said event could be anything from Christmas, a wedding, church or The Victorian Pickpocketing Urchin Society’s Annual Office Party and Picnic

Lizzie was in a particularly good position coming in to this challenge so she kind of could get away with creating a Mad Hatter costume because she felt like it – Patrick had basically declared her utterly invincible unless she somehow engineered a Saw trap out of velvet and taffeta…

there has to be a Sewing Bee curse that’s preventing anyone from getting an episode hattrick – I blame May Martin (not that one)

an awful lot of judging and presenter line-up changes over the 9 series, it’s beginning to look a touch suspicious Patrick… DIG UP THE PATIO!

Lizzie didn’t manage to finish the outfit with the waistcoat being held together by a brooch, which is at least more aesthetically pleasing than a safety pin

and while Patrick and Esme were picking at its unclosed hems like the vultures of the haberdashery, Lizzie’s model, who you could convince me was in fact Lizzie time travelling from 1982 during her stint in a child band called The Bluebirds, really liked it because the velvet felt like her friend’s cat

so at least there was one velvet enjoyer in the room because Lauren was very loudly leading the Anti-velvet march

her velvet-free dress intended on being worn to church, and after manically sewing for 3 hours Lauren did very much look like a mother who had had to bribe her daughter into church using a trail of Easter Eggs those tiny pipe cleaner chickens

the dress was beautiful though and everything I would have given my right arm to wear when I was little

it’s just so cute, and moved like it was straight out of an anime adaptation of a Shōjo manga when the little girl did a spin

Esme and Patrick did of course manage to find the most minor of sewing errors, I still love it in all of its froufrou magical girl glory.

Vicki was also going very traditionally girly and making a princess dress as a penance for that time she caved and just bought a princess dress – I suppose Villanelle is kind of a princess?

much like Lauren, there were a few minor technical errors, which I do feel like were being played up a lot more because they wanted to really justify Lizzie not going home despite not finishing, which I don’t really think they needed to do, I’m not sure anyone was of the opinion Lizzie should have gone home.

Another of my favourites was Mia’s pitch perfect Christmas party dress

I do kind of agree that it needs a little more red at the front to tie it all together a bit better, but the star of the show was the very Esme-sized bow at the back

she wasn’t the only one making a statement bow, with Tony also playing to Esme’s fancies – although his did look a bit like a dog’s chew toy when it wasn’t attached to the dress

Sewers, please do not play fetch with the children.

I was a bit worried for Tony because he was making it out of neoprene which immediately conjured images of the Wetsuit Kimono from the Junior Apprentice that we do not talk enough about and is seemingly my solemn duty to keep the legacy of it alive

Tony’s final product did at least not look like the unfortunate coupling of a scuba suit and a Hawaiian shirt in 18th century France

the entirely stark white of it does concern me but the fact children are magnetically drawn to food colouring aside, it is a beautiful little dress that reminds me a lot of the jumpsuit Lady Gaga wore to the Oscars

it’s the same sort of concept with the way the fabric is draped creating different tones of white – I could genuinely see Tony’s dress being worn by an adult. In an adult size of course. Or maybe not, because this is what Jacquemus considers Ready-to-wear

the designer claimed the collection was “an ode to Princess Diana”, Kendall Jenner imaginably was dressed as one of the sleeves from her wedding dress – they also hosted their Princess Diana Fashion Show in the Versailles gardens while the guests sat in row boats – the entire designer fashion world is just mad libs being picked by ferrets in a ballpit.

Fauve was the only sewer not making a dress or skirt, opting for a jumpsuit instead because when she was little she never wanted to wear the dresses her mother put her in – but she wasn’t forsaking her mother completely, as she had also added a bow to the design

I love the 80s of it all, it just looks like a lot of fun but it wasn’t the most well tailored or fitted garment but in saying that, we’ve seen many a troublesome jumpsuit on the show and Fauve’s was one of the least unfortunate!

Lastly we have Asmaa who was not making life easy for herself with her 3 layers of organza and an inability to exercise her newfound ability to swear because there were 5 year olds in the room – but she got there in the end and I think out of everyone’s, hers might have looked the most princess-y

which was quite funny because she said she wanted to do something completely different from anyone else – having not betted on Lizzie dressing a little girl up as Timothee Chalamet in Wonka: The Origin Story Nobody Asked For, Vicki dressing an assassin, Tony going accidentally high fashion or Fauve invoking the spirit of Drew Barrymore in Never Been Kissed. In many ways nobody was much like anyone else – so a great job for that and for, what feels like the first time in YEARS, managing to get through Children’s Week without someone sobbing in front of and traumatising a child because a sleeve is too short!

An Unofficial Occasion Wear Ranking:
1. Little Gaga’s Oscar Moment
2. Take Me To Church!
3. Merry June Christmas
4. Baby’s First Assassination Dress
5. The Not Like Other Princesses Princess
6. Fauve’s retroactive Retro Reclamation
7. Please sir, May I have a button?

They could have given the Garment of the Week to any of the top three occasion wear outfits and I would have been happy but I was particularly thrilled for Tony to get it

I think it certainly felt the most original of the bunch and given that he came in not feeling so confident this week, it’s nice to see him rising to the top.

Then came the tough decision about who was going to go home, and I thought it sounded like they weren’t going to send anyone home but I think the decision to send Fauve home this week was fair

I have loved her on the show, I think she’s an all time great reality TV personality – especially in these last three episodes, but around episode 6/7 is when it gets a lot more competitive as we near the end, so I think this was the right time for Fauve to dip – and I hope Lizzie, who looked like she’d suffered a near death experience, bought her a drink afterwards

that’s an “And I lived to tell the tale…” face.

And so, 6 sewers remain

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One thought on “Sewing Bee 2023, Episode 6: Venial Sin Knievel

  1. Meerium

    One of my tiny favourite moments this episode was when Tony called his model ‘mate’. Tiny child models up to Gillie, Tony’s ‘mate’ is a fully inclusive, democratic, prejudice blind term of endearment and I ADORE it.

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