The Great British Sewing Bee is back!

I was so excited to see the GBSB back on BBC last night – even if I had to play catch up after teaching our last evening class for a while!

Don’t worry – there are no spoilers here, did you watch it? If you’ve never watched it and are curious – here’s the lowdown:

It’s a sewing competition hosted by the lovely Sara Pascoe and judged by Patrick Grant and Esme Young – two very well qualified bods for doing this. It’s not a game show – these are real people with a talent for, well, sewing. Each week one person leaves the show, depending on their sewing skills and what they’ve fluffed up.  Even as a professional sewer, I can’t imagine how much pressure these lovely people are under – I certainly wouldn’t want to do it.

Each week the sewers (you need to pronounce this in the right way – or call them sewists, it’s easier!) undertake three challenges.  Last night saw the initial gang create a twist top, alter some workwear and create a garment using a cut-out theme.

So the first challenge tests the sewists with their ‘using a pattern’ set of skills – sounds easy, until you realise that sewing patterns are written in their own language! Sometimes interpreting the pattern is way more tricky than you think.  The results were varied – but I’ve already got my eyes on my top three (I’ll share who later on in the series).

The second challenge is usually my favourite part of the show – where the sewists are given some fairly boring pieces of high street clothing and asked to dramatically change them.  Last night was a collection of workwear that you might see in an office or hospitality – very corporate, very boring and not much imagination.

If you like this kind of thing or have always wanted to learn the skills to be able to completely change one piece of clothing into something else, then look no further than our **NEW** sustainable sewing course, which we will be running in September. This is one area we are asked about so often… how do I put in a zip? How can I change this into that? How can I shape this to make it fit better? So on this front -just watch this space because we will be doing our own course on just these skills!

Finally the third challenge is where the sewists have chosen a pattern to match the week’s criteria – but then they have to make it fit on a model they are presented with. So making things fit perfectly is a GREAT SKILL to have – and with only a few hours to achieve it (usually 5 hours) it is no mean feat. Some of the dresses were stunning – three sewists made the same dress, but they all ended up with different results. And it’s only Week 1! I might need a glass of wine to calm my nerves next week…

At the end of the show there is the ‘Garment of the Week’ as chosen by Patrick and Esme and you also get to see who has to go home (there were tears!) I agreed with who went home, however, I had chosen a different GOTW (but I’m sure you’ll have your own opinion too).

My advice? Keep watching and if you find yourself thinking: “I fancy a go at that” then drop us an email to get on our newsletter to find out first about our classes, courses and one day workshops coming up after our summer break in September at or fill in our enquiry form by clicking here.

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