Great British Sewing Bee 2019 Series 5



Picture Shows: Patrick Grant, Esme Young, Joe Lycett – (C) Love Productions – Photographer: Mark Boudillion

What is the Great British Sewing Bee TV show?

In The Great British Sewing Bee BBC Two TV programme dressmakers take on the challenge to become the best home sewer in Britain. Each week the contestants complete three sewing projects and try to stay in the competition. We are so excited that this iconic sewing bee series for makers will return to our TV screens. Why not catch up on what you missed in the last series? We’ve got a full run down for all the Great British Sewing Bee episodes, sewing pattern suggestions, sewing bee contestants, GBSB book reviews and much more from previous series!

Watch the trailer for Series 5 of the Great British Sewing Bee here

The trailer for the new series was shared by Joe Lycett and you can watch it below.

Who are the judges on the Great British Sewing Bee?

We first heard that The Great British Sewing Bee was about to go into production when it was announced in April 2018 that comedian Joe Lycett replacing Claudia Winkleman on BBC2. Comedian Joe Lycett now joins Saville Row’s Patrick Grant and Central Saint Martin’s Esme Young as a new host on the TV series.

Patrick Grant is a British Fashion designer and works as a creative director for Norton & Sons and E. Tautz & Sons on Saville Row and Barbour. Patrick has been a judge on the show since the programme started. Since the sewing bee started, Patrick launched the social enterprise called Community Clothing to revive the British manufacturing industry. Find out all about this exciting project here.

Esme Young was a new judge for series four of the Great British Sewing Bee, replacing May Martin. Esme studied at Central Saint Martins in London and also teaches pattern cutting there. She is well known costume designer and co-founder of iconic fashion label Swanky Modes. Her work includes films such as Bridge Jones (the bunny outfit!) and Trainspotting.

Picture Shows: Joe Lycett, Esme Young, Patrick Grant – (C) Love Productions – Photographer: Mark Boudillion

Joe Lycett is a new judge for series 5 of the sewing bee and replaces Claudia Winkleman . He is a comedian and has featured on shows such as 8 Out of 10 Cats, Celebrity Juice, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Taskmaster and as a guest on BBC Radio. I think we can expect a lot of banter in this new series!

Picture Shows: Joe Lycett – (C) Love Productions – Photographer: Mark Boudillion

When does series 5 of the Great British Sewing Bee start?

The Great British Sewing Bee opened for applications in April 2018 for the next round of hopeful contestants. Esme Young announced on her Instagram profile that Episode 1 of Sewing Bee Series 5 will air on Tuesday 12th February.

Image copyright: (C) Love Productions, BBC – Photographer: Mark Boudillion

Who are the sewing bee contestants?

You can find out all about this year’s sewing bee contestants from the BBC BBC website, here are their details and where you can find them online.

From left to right: Sheila, Jen, Mercedes, Alexei, Riccardo, Tom, Janet, Ben, Leah, Juliet.

Shelia is 51 and lives in Illford, Essex. She loves fashion and has been sewing for 40 years, having been taught by her mum. She really enjoys making occasion wear for special events. Instagram: @s.elizabeth.hall

Jen is 49 and self-employed, living in Glasgow. Jen started sewing as a teenager and upcycled clothes from charity shops. She recently returned to sewing and enjoys sewing garments with interesting structural designs. Instagram: @jenerates

Mercedes is 57 and lives in Brighton. She was taught to sew by her grandmother as a child. As a teenager she enjoyed designing her own clothes and continues to sew now with more of an emphasis on comfort. Instagram: @ohsewthatmercedes

Alexei is 36 and a manufacturing engineer, living in Leeds. He only started sewing two years ago and attention to detail is important to his making process.

Riccardo is 37 and a fellow Londoner, having grown up in Italy. Although he grew up surrounded by his mum sewing, he only learnt himself when moving to London. Having sewn for seven years, he loved upcycling secondhand garments. Instagram: @rifallo

Tom is 27 from Chelmsford in Essex. He has been sewing for eight years and dressmaking for three of those. He is self-taught, has a passion for colour and print and recently started sewing menswear. Instagram: @tomholmes_daydreaming

Janet is 70 and lives in North Yorkshire. Janet was also taught by her grandmother to sew and by 16 years old was making her own clothes. She has recently taken up sewing again as a hobby. She enjoys personalising garments with hand stitching. Instagram: @jannisews Blog:

Ben is 31 and lives in Edinburgh. He is a scientist but has always been interested in fashion and design, creating fancy dress outfits whilst at university. He drafts patterns and prints his own fabrics. Instagram @benmmoore 

Leah is 43 and also a fellow Londoner. She started sewing five years ago and loves to make high end inspired outfits, inspired by the latest fashion magazines. Instagram: @sewsewleah

Juliet is 33 and also a fellow Londoner. She has been sewing for give years and is self taught. She loves using bold African wax print fabrics for her designs. Instagram: @sewsonatural Blog:

Where to meet other makers and chat about the Sewing Bee?

We’ll be talking about every episode in our chatty Facebook group after the show has been on air each week. Come join the fun! We’ll also share on the blog sewing community events where you can meet up and talk about the show.

What has happened in each episode of series 5?

Each week on the blog we will be sharing all the details of each sewing bee episode along with pattern suggestions. We will also be doing special sewing bee vlogs and newsletters. Visit our blog to keep up with all the details of each sewing bee episode and subscribe to our YouTube channel for special vlogs and newsletters.

Sewing Bee episode guide


Sewing Bee Episode 1 – in the first week makers will be using cotton fabrics. For their first sewing pattern task, they will need to make a ‘wiggle-style dress’, inspired by designer Christian Dior. A tricky start! The second challenge is to transform a garment, where contestants will need to turn three second hand denim garments into a new outfit. For the third challenge of the episode, the sewists must fit a jumpsuit to a model. What an opening episode this is going to be! Find all the patterns featured here.

Sewing Bee Episode 2

Sewing Bee Episode 3

Sewing Bee Episode 4

Sewing Bee Episode 5

Sewing Bee Episode 6

Sewing Bee Episode 7

Sewing Bee Episode 8

Where can I catch up on the previous series of The Great British Sewing Bee?

We have loads of interesting blog posts, pattern suggestions, interviews and book reviews from the last series of The Great British Sewing Bee. Head over to read all about it here.


Disclaimer: Please note that this page about The Great British Sewing Bee is not linked to or endorsed by the BBC programme/Love Productions. Where images are not our own they remain the copyright of the author.