Sewing Bee's Esme impresses sewers with Leo DiCaprio movie costume

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Photo credit: Love Production/BBC One
Photo credit: Love Production/BBC One

It may be overcast and drizzly outside, but summer has officially arrived on tonight's Great British Sewing Bee – and this week's pattern challenge couldn't be more on trend this season.

We learned a lot from this evening'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 wonderment. More on that later.

The pattern challenge of shirred midi dress with puff sleeves couldn't have suited promising contestant Brogan better – but the pressure was on for Steve who admitted he'd never made a dress before, let alone shirring.

We can also thank fashion icon Marie Antoinette for starting that trend way back in the 1700s, and Netflix hit Bridgerton for bringing the style back in fashion, which sees parallel stitches used to create a gathered effect.

Sara also had some great material (sorry) as she described the shirred dress vibe as "very milkmaid on the pull", before comparing Esme to a typical British summer; "elusive, magical and short

Photo credit: Love Production / BBC One
Photo credit: Love Production / BBC One

The midi pattern is as follows: the dress starts with the front and back bodice pieces being gathered with 15 lines of parallel shirring. 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, and then attached at the bodice. Sleeves shirred at the cuffs and elastic enclosed on the shoulder, before being attached to the bodice.

As the challenge kicked off, the judges warned that if the elastic across the bodice is too loose, it won't be tight enough to give it the right 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 struggled the most, with Steve being unable to finish his dress, resulting in him placing last, followed by Richy - though we must say, much like the judges, we loved the pink and red material that Richy used.

Debra came 8th as the shirring on her dress was bunched up too much for Esme's liking, while Annie placed 7th due to the missing channels on her sleeves.

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

"I could see that on the rail of an expensive clothing shop," Patrick told her. Very high praise indeed.

Then it was onto the Transformation Challenge, in which the sewers had to fashion a hammock into an adult summer garment, with the addition of fringing rope and macrame to add flair and style to their outfits.

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

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

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

"It's like playing a football team with nine Ronaldos," he commented.

The contestants had to make a co-ord two-piece trouser and top set, an on-trend style that had Sara comparing the sewing room to "a textile Love Island".

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

It looked as though it was a battle between Richy and Steve, and sadly for Richy, his Sex and the City inspired top and trousers weren't completed in time, plus the top was far too tight for the model.

He admitted he hadn't practiced making his design, which he accepted was a big mistake.

Annie's mediterranean-style sundress was deemed "chic" by Esme, and she, Man Yee, Brogan and Gill all impressed with the execution of their creations. But it was Debra who came out on top with her red and blue boat print top and shorts inspired by the beaches near where she lives. Patrick remarked that the co-ord set "could be an Air France uniform from the 70s, in the best possible way". And yes, Esme and Patrick both agreed the two-pice was not just "chic", but "very chic". Congrats, Debra!

After a tense sew-off between Richy and Steve, it was Richy who was sent home.

Do you fancy yourself as a contestant on the Great British Sewing Bee? You can apply here until 8pm on the 18th of May. And if you want to brush up on your sewing skills, check out Prima's sewing section full of tips, techniques and easy projects.

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

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