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Dawn's Diary: GBSB x FoTM Special

Dawn's Diary: GBSB x FoTM Special

No spoilers for anyone that hasn't watched yet episode 2. Please continue reading 😉 (There's a link to watch it on BBC iPlayer at the bottom of this page).

As you can imagine, it's a fabric shop’s dream for there to be a television programme on the BBC at prime time on a weekday evening. (Reminder that we are solely a fabric shop, we don't make clothes, we sell fabric to people who make clothes. Our garments are purely for display and encouragement). The GBSB is like Mecca to anyone involved either in as a consumer, retailer or industry. It just lifts everything. We first realised the impact of sewing bee after GBSB Live in London November 2016 (our first serious venture outside of the comfort of anything vaguely not Fabworks or Yorkshire) after seeing an upturn in sales and social media presence growing. Not so much with the previous televised series as Fabworks Online's was only just being born.

There we all were, settling down to watch Tuesday’s installment of the Great British Sewing Bee, no more than 5 minutes had passed until we were in a fabric-rich heaven. Children’s clothing. Baby clothes. Soft jersey fabrics. It just had to be!

There was a similar challenge in the last series of the GBSB with the Babygrow (you can read all about this particular pattern, how to, fabric choices & more in the blog post that we wrote in anticipation of the first episode, last week).

This week’s challenge was to make a children’s hoodie, which by all accounts is a sweatshirt with a hood! This got us thinking, or more like…inspired! 

Contestant Leah's children's hoodie
Dawn getting to work on her Peak T-shirt

Fabworks is a family-run business, we’re all Yorkshire folk and we tell it how it is. As well as appealing to the huge sewing community that already exists, the GBSB is giving a nod to the homemade / DIY / crafty scene as well as classic tailoring and a bespoke look. And this is exactly what Fabworks is. We revel in it! We kind of have to, don't we? A television programme for little old Fabworks 😊

Side note ~ How interesting was it to learn how sweatshirt fabric came about? We certainly didn’t know it’s origins before Tuesday's show! The GBSB is great for little notions & titbits (as we say in Yorkshire) such as these.

Anyway, onto the juicy stuff… The children’s clothing / hoodies was a great idea for an early episode because this is not immediately what you think of when someone starts talking about sewing. But it is fun, practical, and almost isn’t quite as serious as trying to get the tucks right for your soon-to-be new pleated silk skirt. It’s also really easy to create a similar look for yourself whether you use it as a transitional piece between seasons (March/April), want comfy clothing on an evening, can’t be bothered to prepare a full outfit at the weekend, or just want something different! All you need to do is scale up the pattern or find a similar style with adult sizes. Simple. (Pattern suggestions later).

Since the episode aired on Tuesday we spent Wednesday frantically scurrying around to create this, our very own GBSB inspired sweatshirt style / hoodie / loungewear top.

 Dawn having a giggle whilst modelling her fresh-off-the-overlocker Peak T-Shirt


We used fabrics from our Organic Cotton Jersey collection (Birds On A Wire - Lavender Mix, Mini Stripe - Lilac, Magenta - Ribbed Cuffing). The pattern takes 2metres + necessary ribbing. We had plenty left over having used 1m of both the Mini Stripe and Bird On A Wire, almost enough for another garment. We liked the idea of a slight contrast because it draws your eyes to the detail and it is definitely your look, your bespoke clothing. If you go with plain colours there's no telling if it's shop bought or not. You can play with colours and patterns to suit you. We're trying to embrace our inner creative and inspire you too and we think that these colours work really well.

Side note - If you choose to try this yourself using the fabric from our Organic Cotton Jersey collection, scroll through the product photos on the individual product pages to see the fabrics neatly stacked in colour coordinating bundles, this will give you an idea if the colours or individual fabrics work well together. (Note that some of these fabrics may have sold out since the photos were originally taken). Here are examples of what you will find when browsing!

We’ve also written a short piece on interlock jerseys, just to make it even easier to work out what you will get from your fabric.

What more could you want than a range of organic cotton jerseys brimming with colour and inspiration for your new GBSB inspired make? The Fabworks' Organic Cotton Jersey collection consists of sweatshirtings, interlocks and single jerseys. All of which are perfect for this type of sewing.

Side note ~ Did you know that all our organic cotton fabrics were originally manufactured for a top baby clothing company, so you can be assured that the quality of the fabrics is spot on, as well as having a super soft feel too.



After our February Fabric of The Month promotion went down so well and we’ve almost sold out, we've decided to release our March Fabric of The Month early! Early, meaning today! This one is different from normal and a bit special. We’ve been discussing it for the last few weeks and still couldn't make our mind up, so we’re throwing the whole thing into your court. Fingers crossed you love it!
From now until the final day of March get 35% OFF ALL ORGANIC COTTON JERSEY FABRICS AT FABWORKS. As always, this promotion is running at Fabworks Mill Shop and Fabworks Online.
Stock is very limited and it is first come first served. Simply enter the code: FABWORKSORGANIC into the discounts/gift cards box at the checkout and our system will automatically reduce all your organic cotton jersey fabrics by 35%, whether they’re patterned, plain, thick, thin, low stock or plentiful!

We may hark on about this a lot, particularly in our fabric descriptions on the website, however when it comes to patterns we think that Wendy Ward has it nailed! Her A Beginners Guide To Sewing With Knitted Fabrics book is great! There are 20 patterns that are easy to sew, full of essential garments, inspiration, basic staple garments that everyone needs. This is the book that we used for our GBSB inspired make (free pattern that comes with the book). Dawn - maker of our GBSB inspired top, refers to this book as her ‘instant gratification book’ because it does exactly what it says on the tin. You can pick up a copy online for under £15 - bargain.


Using the GBSB challenge as well as our own make (completed in the same 90 minute time frame that the GBSB contestants have) we’ve put together a dangerous fabric concoction that we hope is irresistible enough that you’ll have a go yourself!

You've got the inspiration from the show, access to all the relevant fabric and info, the recommended patterns, and the offer. GBSB mania is truly alive! Now it's down to you to crack on with the sewing.

Extra Info:

The reduced prices of the Organic Cotton Jersey fabrics will not appear on screen until you have reached the checkout and entered the FABWORKSORGANIC discount code. After choosing your fabrics, go to the Cart page (little trolley icon at the top of the page), you will be taken to the checkout page once you click 'Checkout' on the Cart page.

Here's how the prices will change once the discount code is applied:

  • £10.00 > £6.50 per metre
  • £8.00 > £5.20 per metre
  • £7.00 > £4.65 per metre
  • £6.00 > £3.90 per metre

As we cannot restock these fabrics once they have sold out there is no more, we suggest that you don't leave it too late to place your order.

This offer is our March Fabric of The Month. There will be no further reductions, sales or offers during this time.

If you haven't watched episode 2 yet, here's the link to BBC iPlayer where you can watch for free.

We always love to hear feedback. Don't be shy, write us a comment, give it a share. If you think we've missed something, let us know. We're here to help you with your fabric needs as well as join in with the latest craze, GBSB mania, now it's back on our televisions!

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