The Great British Sewing Bee is back!

February 18, 2014Sew White

As a crafter and sewing obsessive I loved the first series of the Great British Sewing Bee as it showed me how much easier than I thought it would be to create more complicated garments.

The Great British Sewing Bee

The sewing I do is usually embroidery and cross stitch with the occasional large piece on the sewing machine. I have made garments before including a Jane Austen Regency dress for a party a few years ago and summer dresses. I think the reason I haven’t done more garment making is the time and my self confidence. The Great British Sewing Bee really made me feel confident in my own abilities. I think it’s seeing something made and how others do it makes me understand it better. Reading some little how-to things in books can be more confusing than helpful.

The Sewing Bee made me want to spend some more time with my sewing machine and that is no bad thing!

I started my sewing life at primary school where we did little things like little cross stitch pieces (on massive Aida and wool instead of thread), embroidery, hand sewing running stitch and back stitch. I loved sewing from that young age. I was very lucky that there was a sewing school (The Sewing Rooms in Putney) near when I lived and after school once a week I used to go for a lesson. The first lesson we had, we made hair scrunchies and we went on to learn basic garment making. At Christmas we made huge Christmas stockings made of panels of different techniques we had learned in the weeks before. I still have my stocking. The last thing we did was make a metre square patchwork quilt. I loved my time learning at sewing school. It did mean at school if anyone lost a button they came to me to get it sewn back on. At college I did Art & Design and did more sewing and dress making there for my final A-Level piece. I learnt a lot more about free hand embroidery using a machine and it was so much fun. I even made a huge Elizabethan collar using metallic thread on soluble fabric so it looked like lace. It took a long time but looked amazing!

I am a huge fabric hoarder too! I can’t help but buy fabric I love. I’m lucky that my 2 favourite fabric shops are a cycle ride away so I don’t pass them too often. My local fabric shop is the Wimbledon Sewing Machine Company in South Wimbledon . A fabulous family run shop with some incredible fabric bargains. They do a lot of basic fabrics at great prices but they are increasing their more modern prints. If I ever need plain cottons or simple things they have it and it’s a good deal. For more modern fabrics including Michael Miller and Clark & Clark styles I go to Fabrics Galore in Lavender Hill, London. If you are passing it is worth going in but you will come out with lots of fabric!

Be in the next series of The Great British Sewing Bee!

If you love sewing it is time to apply to be in the next series of the Great British Sewing Bee! The producers have just opened the applications time for the third series have just opened and it would be a fabulous opportunity to flash your sewing skills. The application window closes on March 16th.

Here is the flyer with the details on –

Sewing Bee application

The Great British Sewing Bee

The wonderful May Martin from the Women’s Institute and Patrick Grant from Savile Row.
I love the judges as they know their stuff and can provide feedback but still encourage the contestants.

It is obvious they love the world of Sewing and it’s great to see their admiration for the subject which helps others want to try sewing.

The Great British Sewing Bee

It wouldn’t be the Sewing Bee without Claudia Winkleman as the host.

Claudia is very upbeat and it was obvious how much she made the contestants feel happier and less stressed in the first series.

The second series starts to night on BBC2 at 8pm!

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