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  1. So there was a double elimination this week, as we sadly said goodbye to Amanda and Ryan. It was undoubtedly Neil's week, with him coming first in both the Pattern Challenge and the Alteration Challenge and winning Garment of the Week. He's certainly shaping up to be the one to beat in this competition! Things are getting serious now for the remaining contestants, as the semi-final approaches next week. 

    corset collage

    First up for Structure week: corsets! If you liked the look of making a corset from scratch, why not sign up to one of our Corset Making Classes? We use an authentic Victorian corset pattern, and you'll learn all the techniques the sewers tackled, plus how to fit it to yourself too. It's a 2-day class (because, let's be honest, sewing a corset in 4 hours is even a stretch for the contestants) and the next dates we have are the 24th and 25th April (be quick though, it's booking up fast). For more information, you can view the class page here, or call us on 01392 275660.

    We also stock coutil, a sturdy fabric for making perfectly structured corsets, in black, white and nude, as well as boning, busks, eyelets, lacing and a whole host of different bias-bindings.

     coutil collage

    As for kilts, whilst we realise it's not going to be high on many people's sewing priority list, we have a good range of tartan fabrics in our cellar. And if you're not game for all that fiddly pleating, pattern-matching and pressing, then why not make like Amanda and Matt and sew a chic tartan skirt, or even a pinafore dress or jacket. It's a great fabric to work with and comes in so many different shades and styles of check.

    tartan collage 1

    So: semi-finals next week! Who is your money on? Have you changed your mind over the course of the episodes so far? Surely it's looking very likely now that a man will take home the trophy for the first time. And with the challenges seeming to get harder and harder, who knows what might be tackled next: a wetsuit? a 17th-century ruff? a futuristic spacesuit? Watch next Thursday at 8pm to find out!

  2. With big skirts and curtains turning into men's shirts, 50's week was another great one! With the return of the beautiful Singer machines, it had us wondering, how many of you out there are still using one of those? Or how many of you are grateful you're not after seeing the commotion they caused!

    Who gasped when they saw the Bias Binding foot? They aren't a thing of the past, we have them in stock for Janome (£15.00) and Brother (£12.99) machines, hours of binding problems solved (and they come with instructions)


    If you felt inspired by all of the beautiful full skirts and tiny waists we have a whole stash of patterns to update your wardrobe with, or should that be backdate? What's more, McCall's patterns are half price until the 28th of February.


    Butterick have an amazing range of retro patterns!


    We know what you are really after though, that Walkaway dress! Don't panic we have plenty in stock (at the moment) and we can even pop it in the post for you, from telly to door in no time at all! What's more is with every Walkaway pattern sold between February 1st and 30th April Butterick will be making a donation to The Eve Appeal, a charity that raises funds for research and campaigns for better detection and improved treatment for all gynaecological cancers.


    With Lorna finally getting to the top spot this week and the sad departure of Neela we can't wait to see what next week brings! Has the Sewing Bee inspired you to dust off that sewing machine and get making? Send us your pictures! We love to see works in progress, finished garments or anything stitchy! Tag us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram or use the #exetersewing hashtag. 

  3. Were you glued to the TV again last night? There was certainly nail-biting tension as waistcoats had the whole room flustered! Do you agree with Claudia that maybe waistcoats are too hard for week two? 

    We loved the 3D challenge! Who would have thought some felt and wadding could be transformed into such a beautiful room of animals! If you are feeling inspired we have just the thing for you. 


    How about a dragon cape for your little monsters? Or a hat to keep them warm and toasty whilst looking awesome. The shark hat is a winner in our books!


    With a fabric cellar to rival that of the Sewing Bee you can take your pick of anything to make these stand out pieces! From fleece to felt, wadding to stuffing we have everything you need to get going!


    Are you a seasoned sew-er for children? Is fancy dress your thing? Are you a first time felter? Show us what you are up to: Tag us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram or use #exetersewing. What's more, everything we are sent will be put into our monthly newsletter to share your glory with the world (with your permission of course)! 

    With the departure of Alex, Ryan and Neil shining and Paul getting Garment of the Week it was definitely a week for the men! We are already counting down the days until the next episode!