the great pewsey upcycling bee

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I had a great day at the Pewsey Music Festival. The sun shone, I did some sewing and met some fantastic people. I spent the day working on my  own spin on the Great British Sewing Bee and called it the Great Pewsey Upcycling Bee. I made a couple of banners from a kaftan I bought at the charity shop. One of them had some extracts from the blog pinned to it and the other advertised my mission for the day using the circle print to look like the Sewing Bee logo.

banners pewsey2

I also took along my rail with some upcycled pieces and some pieces I’ve bought for upcycling, with tags explaining what caught my eye in the charity shop and a sketch of what I plan to do with them.

upcycle rail pewsey

My Great Pewsey Upcycling Bee

The Great British Sewing Bee, each week features a pattern challenge, an upcycling challenge and a showstopper. I adapted this to three different upcycling challenges.

My Pewsey pattern challenge

For my pattern challenge I decided to make a pattern of a cardigan that belonged to my sister. The moths had got to it, she had repaired it a few times but it was really beyond further repair. It was a really unusual style made up of lots of pieces and it was made from stretchy fine wool so it seemed like a suitable challenge. I carefully cut along the seams to separate it into its component pieces, laid them out on pattern paper and pinned down each piece, being careful not to stretch pieces out of shape. Thank goodness I kept one half of the cardigan made-up for reference, it was a confusing pattern with 9 pieces in total.


My Upcycling Challenge

On the Sewing Bee upcycling challenge, they ask the sewers to turn a garment into different one, so I followed this theme with a plan to turn my husbands old shirt into a top for myself.  I had some offcuts from the kaftan I used for the banners so I used them to make the sleeve edge. I still can’t make my mind up whether this works for me, so work stopped at one sleeve and I’ll come back to it another day. I shared some of my inspiration for the design on a tag around the neck.

shirt upcycle

My Showstopper 

For the showstopper, I wanted to create a whole new outfit from my Mum’s old 70s housecoat. I was really pleased with the end result for this one, it rounded off my day really well.

showstopper pewsey

Unlike the Great British Sewing Bee, it was a hot day and a very chilled atmosphere, not a day for rushing around and I didn’t put myself under any time pressure.  So, I will return to the challenges and blog about each of them when I’ve finished, with a few more progress pics. I had a wonderful day, met some great people and made a few lovely connections, I am planning a blog post to respond to some of the questions and the people who came and spoke to me. For now, a massive Thank You to Pewsey for having me and to the festival organiser, Liz Boden for inviting me. To top off my day of sunshine and sewing there was some amazing food and fabulous music by the Doors of Perception and Tankus The Henge. (the Doors being one of my teenage and all time favourite bands .. I felt totally blessed!). I will be going back next year with or without stall.

dorrs pewsey



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