Friday, 20 May 2016

The Great British Sewing Bee - Week 1

At last! The Great British Sewing Bee is back and thus my Friday posts are once again dedicated to viewing other peoples creations. It was a little over due me thinks but they say good things come to those who wait and so the first episode was a good one. Before I go on I would like to point out that all of these images do not belong to me but belong to The Great British Sewing Bee itself. I highly recommend you follow their twitter account, particularly when viewing the show.

I was sad to hear that the show would be losing May Martin as a judge. I thought she complimented Patrick Grant very well and often played good cop to his bad cop. Not that she couldn't be a strict judge but I think I would have withered under Patrick's scrutiny more than May's (or maybe that has something to do with the fact that Patrick is the hottie of the sewing world).

May is replaced as a judge by Esme Young who is famous for costume design and has her own label. I think I am going to like her and she seems to be more of a perfectionist than Patrick (if that was at all possible). Maybe presumption based on her costume design background but I think she will appreciate the imaginative and adventurous design.

The show started with a simple top. Well, simple looking. They had to create a chevron top using striped fabric and this of course meant the judges were watching for pattern matching. Angeline's top was by far my favourite due to the fabric choice. However, Jamie's red top won it which I actually quite liked too. I think this would have been my mum's favourite.

For the alteration challenge the contestants were given the most hideous maternity dress I have ever seen. It basically looked like an oversized t-shirt. There was no limit to the things that could be done with it since it had no shape to it to begin with. Yet, the results were rather lacking in imagination. In fact the judges commented straight away on how disappointed they were. I would have made some kind of top I think but there were a whole array of skirts. The winner was Jamie's dress right at the end there. Not my favourite but I can see why it won. It had so many different skills within including the use of a lovely contrasting fabric. I just hope that my favourite challenge is stepped up a little as of next week.

For the final challenge the contestants had to create a shirt. My favourite skirt was a dark 50's inspired skirt by Jade. The winner though was a peplum pencil skirt by Angeline. I can see why she won. It was very well constructed. The fabric was lovely and as you can see above, the judges loved the fit (swearing on sewing bee - who would have thought it). Having said all that I HATE peplum skirts with a passion. I always have. I just do not find them attractive in the slightest. I remember watching old films and admiring the costumes when I was little and I would switch off at the slightest hint of a peplum.

While there is always a winner there is always a loser too. Poor Duncan was the first to leave. The only Scottish accent in the bunch. He did make the rookie error of cutting the hem of his skirt while the model was wearing it. Funnily enough it didn't work.

Normally I would end with some links of some kind like I did with Bake Off last year. At the end of this weeks show the above image was put on the screen. Sadly, Lorna Monje, one of the three finalists from last year has since passed away after losing her battle to Aplastic Anaemia. She was one of my favourite contestants last year and I very much remember those vibrant red poppies. I think my mum loved the skirt she made from it. There is a Just Giving page in her name raising money for Aplastic Anaemia which I have linked for you.

Next week the contestants will be making children's clothes. Never my favourite theme but I still look forward to it. I won't be live tweeting though as I will be away and will catch up on iPlayer later in the week.


  1. I thought it was a great start to the series too Karen - although I thought the nerves of the contestants were showing far more than in previous series. I think we have some great characters about to be revealed -not least Esme! I shall look forward to you comments.

    1. I thought that too. I think that might be why a lot of them were playing it safe. Look forward to seeing what they come up with as they ease into it.