Esme impresses seamstresses with her Leo DiCaprio movie costume

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It can be overcast and drizzly outside, but summer is officially here tonight Great British Sewing Bee – and this week’s pattern challenge couldn’t be trendier this season.

We learned a lot from tonight’s insightful episode – judge Esme Young is responsible for creating the iconic Hawaiian shirts worn by Leonardo DiCaprio and co-stars John Leguizamo and Harold Perrineau in Baz Lurhmann’s Romeo + Juliet, much to Steve’s amazement. More on that later.

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The challenge of the puff sleeve ruched midi dress pattern couldn’t have suited promising contestant Brogan any better – but the pressure was on for Steve who admitted he had never done a dress before, let alone a gathers.

We can also thank fashion icon Marie Antoinette for starting this trend in the 1700s, and the success of Netflix Bridgerton to bring the style back into fashion, which sees parallel stitches used to create a gathered effect.

Sara also had good material (sorry) as she described the vibe of the ruched dress as “very dairy on the jumper”, before comparing Esme to a typical British summer; “elusive, magical and short

Love Production / BBC One

The midi pattern is as follows: the dress starts with the front and back bodice pieces gathered with 15 lines of parallel gathering. The bodice is then sewn together at the side seams; the front and back skirt pieces are joined and gathered, elastic is inserted at the waist, then tied to the bodice. Gathered sleeves at the wrists and closed elastic on the shoulder, before being attached to the bodice.

At the start of the challenge, the judges warned that if the elastic on the bodice is too loose, it won’t be tight enough to give her the proper stretch. The contestants had three and a half hours to make their dresses and create something to elicit that magic “c” word from Esme and Patrick – “chic”.

Steve and Richy had the hardest time with Steve unable to finish his dress causing him to place last, followed by Richy – although we have to say, as did the judges, we loved the pink fabric and red used by Richy.

Debra came 8th because the gathers in her dress were too gathered for Esme’s liking, while Annie placed 7th due to missing chains on her sleeves.

In third place was Cristian, followed by Marni, and yes, first place was Brogan with her practically perfect Liberty print dress.

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“I could see this on the rail of a high-end clothing store,” Patrick told her. Very high praise indeed.

Next was the transformation challenge, in which the designers had to transform a hammock into an adult’s summer garment, with the addition of fringed rope and macrame to add flair and flair to their outfits.

Although Steve was desperate to impress after his sartorial disaster, his top to his well-made shorts were a bit askew, and he again came in last. Marni was ninth because her dress wasn’t summery enough, followed by Gill and Annie.

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Impressing the judges, Cristian with his dramatic fringed jacket and sleeves secured him 3rd place, followed by Brogan in 2nd with his nautical skirt and top with rope details. Angela won 1st place in her mint green dress with macrame detailing on the front, which Esme and Patrick loved.

With the Made to Measure challenge upon them, Steve knew he had to pull something really special out of the bag to avoid being sent home.

“It’s like playing against a football team with nine Ronaldos,” he commented.

Contestants had to make a coordinating two-piece top and pant set, an on-trend style that led Sara to compare the sewing room to “a textile the island of love“.

It was Steve’s Romeo + Juliet-inspired toucan-print shirt and shorts that reminded Esme of the costumes she created for DiCaprio for the 1996 cult classic, and which the judges praised at the end. But will it be enough to keep him in the competition?

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It looked like a battle between Richy and Steve, and unfortunately for Richy, his sex and the city the inspired top and pants were not completed in time, and the top was way too tight for the model.

He admitted that he hadn’t practiced doing his drawing, which he accepted was a big mistake.

Annie’s Mediterranean-style sundress was deemed “chic” by Esme, and she, Man Yee, Brogan and Gill were all impressed with the execution of their designs. But it was Debra who stood out in her red and blue boat print top and shorts inspired by the beaches near her home. Patrick remarked that the coordinated ensemble “could be a 70s Air France uniform, in the best possible way”. And yes, both Esme and Patrick agreed that the two-piece was not just “chic”, but “very classy.” Congratulations, Debra!

After a tense seam between Richy and Steve, it was Richy who was sent home.

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Do you imagine yourself as a competitor to the Great British Sewing Bee? You can apply here until 8 p.m. on May 18. And if you want to hone your sewing skills, check out Prima’s sewing section full of tips, techniques and easy projects.

The Great British Sewing Bee continues Wednesdays on BBC One and you can catch up on iPlayer.


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