Tuesday 9 April 2013

The GREAT British Sewing Bee x

So are you glued to the TV on a Tuesday night at 8pm to watch the best new programme in the crafting universe? No, well why not? I have been watching the adverts for the start of this programme for ages and at last last week it arrived. Yes, The Great British Sewing Bee is in town at last.

It is a programme about 8 amateur stitchers from all walks of life who have been chosen to compete to be crowned The Best stitcher. Each week the competitors are given 3 tasks which they must complete within an allotted time and their work is then judged by the absolutely gorgeous Patrick Grant and the sewing queen May Martin. Under their watchful eyes, the contestants choose their fabrics from an amazing array of shelves, pin their patterns, cut their pieces and carefully stitch them together to make some pretty beautiful pieces of work.

For me, it is like sitting on the lounge floor with my mum the trained seamstress teaching me how to carefully cut the correct paper pattern pieces, plan where they best fit onto your fabric, pin them carefully into into place and make those first scarey cuts. Oooh that really was the worst part for me cos I'm not the best cutter being lefthanded. Then cutting the notches for matching and making tailor tacks to match up darts and seams.

Then the magical part where you take your pieces to the machine and if you've done everything correctly and can stitch a straight line, you should end up with a beautiful product all made by you. I was lucky to have such an amazing teacher in my mum really. I made dresses, helped her make my summer and school dresses, at school I made a waistcoat and after leaving school I made my own dresses too. It is a wonderful skill to have.

and this is similar to the machine I learnt to sew with, amazing isn't it?

Anyway back to real stars of the show, the contestants. I have to say my favourites at the moment are Lauren, Mark and Ann. Lauren has been sewing since she was a child and made the most beautiful A-line skirt with bias binding edging. She has a brilliant blog and webpage as she and her husband are opening a shop this month. Lauren has some great sewing tutorials on her blog and has a lovely style of writing and her photos are clear and show exactly what she is doing.


Ann is the most mature lady on the programme and her skills are so lovely to watch. Her simple yet elegant alteration to the blouse the contestants were given was beautiful and she is so calm. I certainly wouldn't be under those circumstances.

Finally Mark has made the most incredible Steampunk costumes but never really put in a zip but came up with the best day dress last week which had to be accurately fitted to a real model. It was perfect and he won that round.

Tonight they are making trousers and a silk blouse. Now those are two scarey challenges. So tune in at 8pm BBC2 for the next exciting episode. Me, well I'll have to watch on iplayer as I'm learning how to make linoprints at WI. Yes you read that right I go to WI. 


  1. I'm really enjoying it as well,Jo.

  2. I'm loving it and have blogged about it too! Like you, I'm very drawn to Lauren's style and Ann reminds me of my gran with her calm and careful way of sewing.

  3. They were certainly the best of last week's bunch. When I was at school I got an A level in Needlework and from then until I was about 24 I used to make nearly all my own clothes. Can't believe that now - I've become very lazy! But watching last week made me think about starting a project of my own. Trouble is, around here there is not one shop that sells sewing patterns or fabric on the roll. Maybe I need to head to Cambridge John Lewis ;-) (Any excuse!)

  4. I adore the show, I love the fact it's good every day sewing - like how to adapt that blouse :) I'm truly hooked.

  5. I'm hooked! Brings back lovely memories for me with my mum too, although there were arguments too when I thought I knew better how to sew! Thanks for pointing out Lauren's blog, her shops about 45 mins away, so may have to plan a trip out one day x

  6. I haven't seen it but given your brilliant review I am going to be looking out for it - lovely to see traditional skills being celebrated and valued again ...

  7. Yes I'm glued to it too! I think Ann might be my favourite..she is so elegant and chic, but I'll have to check out Lauren's blog too. I haven't made any clothes in ages, but this has got me feeling all inspired

  8. I love all reality shows! They don't have that one here.
    Rinda (who hasn't yet switched over to blog lovin' but plans to do so soon).

  9. I'm a Holby City addict, but I must try to make the time to watch on iPlayer. I thought of you today as I was watching Food Glorious Food - 150 WI ladies for judges.


Hello and thank you so much for stopping by. It is always a pleasure to read the comments I receive and to meet new friends. I try and reply to comments on friend's blogs as much as possible. I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog and look forward to seeing you here again soon. Love Jo xxx