Thursday, April 25, 2013

The great british sewing bee

So two days ago, youtube recommended a video to me and it was The Great British Sewing Bee. I watched the first episode and I was hooked! There are 4 episodes in all. Just search "The Great British Sewing Bee" in youtube and you'll be able to find them all.

Have you watched Project Runway? The great british sewing bee is the complete opposite. Project Runway is a reality show for designers who also have to sew. The british sewing bee is a reality show for home sewers. Basically, the best seamstress wins. On Project Runway, a designer's taste is an important criteria to winning. If you get called old fashioned, dated, you're out. The british sewing bee doesn't give a hoot about taste. It's all about following the pattern and getting good finishing. It's like a dream show for seamstresses.

The british sewing bee has a presenter. She is Claudia Winkleman. The first impression you get of her is her hair, very Chrissie Hynde. I quite like Claudia. She brightens up the show but I can imagine how irritating she can be to some people. Well, maybe a lot of people. The thing is, I keep wanting to arrange her hair like move it away from her eyes.

There are two judges, May Martin and Patrick Grant. Of course I've never heard of them. May's a sewing teacher and Patrick owns Savile Row. Isn't Patrick cute? And I so love his outfits. I am so used to reality shows where the judges are mean and horrible to contestants. Not these two. They are so polite! And they speak in hushed tones, almost like they don't want to disturb the sewers. What's wrong with them? Just kidding. It can be quite boring watching them judge. The only exciting moment was when one of the contestants persuaded Patrick to let her look at his trousers band.

A book accompanies the show. There are 25 projects in the book from clothing to homeware. Garments include a tea dress, pencil skirt, unisex pyjama bottoms and a waistcoat. The homewares and accessories include aprons, a stylist tote bag, laundry bag, a selection of cushion designs and three different window dressings. (amazon links at bottom of post)

The british sewing bee starts out with 8 contestants - 6 women and 2 men. Right away I could tell the men didn't stand a chance.


I liked Mark a lot though. He's into steam punk costumes which he sews himself. I think he has great taste and he even used the exact same skull fabric I had used before.

Yes, this skull fabric.

In the first episode, the first challenge was to make a A-line skirt. I've made one before and it's not flattering on my body. I realised from the challenge I've never made an invisible zipper before. Challenge accepted!

Each episode has 3 challenges and one of them is a tricky one. It can be embellishment or alteration. The other two challenges are sewing outfits. And the camera men gets bored showing the sewers sewing so we get a bit of interesting tidbits - sometimes historical, sometimes educational when sewing details are explained. I think the extra bits help the show since none of the contestants bitch talk.

Oh, I've already watched all 4 episodes and I shan't tell you who won because I found out who won before I watched the episodes and it was less fun. I was not surprised by the choice of the winner. She really won based on her body of work. Very consistent and good quality. If it were up to me and if I were to pick based on the last challenge, I would have picked another contestant because I really thought her outfit was way better. However, she was not as consistent throughout. I don't want to nitpick. Okay, yes I do. I thought the winner's outfits don't look fun to wear, however well made they look.

I hear there's a second season coming up. I want more menswear! And I feel so inspired to make clothes which I'm ashamed to admit I'm not at all comfortable sewing. Will work on it some time this year.

I am a Amazon associate who will get vouchers if you buy via my links.


pennydog said...

I watched it to and the right person won. I think Patrick only has one shop on Savile Row rather than the whole thing, but whatever ;)

Linda said...

Those look really interesting!

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