Great British Sewing Bee

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This iconic series is looking to be back in 2018 but for now why not catch up on what you missed! We’ve got a full run down for all the episodes, pattern suggestions, books reviews and much much more!


Episode guide

Did you get caught up in the excitement and now can’t remember which patterns were featured? Have no fear, catch up at your leisure on our blog where we will bring you lots of sewing inspiration after each weekly episode. In each of the eight episodes, the contestants will have to sew three tasks. The first is a surprise dressmaking pattern, the second a refashioners project and finally fit a pattern to a model.

Episode 1 Guide – Contestants will be sewing a panelled women’s top, women’s skirt and refashioning a maternity dress. Have a read for some pattern inspiration (plus patterns used in the episode) and tutorials for how to make them.

Episode 2 Guide – Contestants will be sewing patterns for children and babies. In the first task contestants will make a baby gro, then refashion a bridesmaid dress into a child’s outfit before finally creating a child’s cape. Have a read for some pattern inspiration (plus patterns used in the episode) and tutorials for how to make them.

Episode 3 Guide – Contestants will be sewing lingerie and nightwear patterns. In the first task they will make a soft cup bra, then refashion a silk scarf before fitting a luxury robe to a model. Have a read for some pattern inspiration (plus patterns used in the episode) and tutorials for how to make them.

Episode 4 Guide – It’s International Week! Contestants will be sewing a Chinese inspired top, refashioning a Sari and making a garment using African wax prints to fit a model. Have a read for some pattern inspiration (plus patterns used in the episode) and tutorials for how to make them.

Episode 5 Guide – This week was all about the 1960’s and according to Joyce, sex, drugs and rock’n’roll. Contestants made a colour block dress for the pattern challenge, refashioned a shower curtain for the second challenge and finally fitted a coat or jacket to a model. Have a read for some pattern inspiration (plus patterns used in the episode) and tutorials for how to make them.

Episode 6 Guide – This week was all about sewing activewear. In the first task, contestants has to sew a men’s cycling top using Lycra® fabric. In the alterations challenge, contestants had to refashion a 1980s style ski suit into a children’s jacket. In the final challenge, contestants had to sew and fit a yoga outfit to a model.

Episode 7 Guide (semi-final) – This week was all about puzzling patterns pattern cutting. The first task was to sew a asymmetric skirt inspired by Japanese pattern cutting. In the refashioning challenge, the contestants has to create a garment from a duvet and use all the fabric. In the final challenge, the contestants had to draft their own pattern and fit it to a model.

Episode 8 Guide (final) – This week was the last episode in the series about focused on evening wear. The first task was to make a men’s shirt with collar and stand. In the refashioning challenge, the contestants had to create a little black dress from a men’s dinner suit. In the final ever challenge of the series, the contestants wowed the judges with fitting a gown to a model.

The contestants

The Great British sewing bee meet the contestants

There is always plenty of interest about who the sewing bee contestants will be each year, find out all about them on the BBC website.

From left to right: Rumana, Angeline, Duncan, Charlotte, Josh, Jade, Tracey, Joyce, Jamie and Ghislaine.

  • Jamie, 44 is from Exeter and is a member of The Fold Line community, follow Jamie here @maledevonsewing. Jamie likes to sew modern menswear and tailoring. Follow Jamie on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.
  • Rumana, 27 is a junior doctor and fellow Londoner. She likes to make garments for herself and babies clothes. Check out her blog, The Little Pomegranate and follow her on Instagram and Twitter.
  • Angeline, 30 works in public relations and is also a designer. She likes to sew vintage dresses and ball gowns. Discover more on her website, Angeline Murphy and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest and Instagram.
  • Duncan, 32 is a fellow Londoner and tutor. He likes to sew modern menswear. Follow Duncan on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram.
  • Charlotte WINNER, 43 is also a fellow Londoner and medical science journal editor. She sews clothes for herself and her children and also quilts and knits. Charlotte also teaches classes at The Village Haberdashery in West Hampstead. You can book onto one of Charlotte’s next classes in Dressmaking 101, Quilting or Fitting for beginners now! Find out more about Charlotte on her blog, Charlotte Newland, and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
  •  Josh, 23 is from Cardiff and is an Entrepreneurship Engagement Manager. He likes to sew casual menswear and has his own label, Treatment Clothing. Follow Josh on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.
  •  Jade, 18 is from Sussex and a student. She likes to sew clothes for all her family, including her pets. Follow Jade on Twitter.
  • Tracey, 53 is from Derbyshire and a retired primary school teacher. She likes to sew clothes for herself, her daughter and through her website Polkadot designs. Follow Tracey on Twitter.
  • Joyce, 71 is from West Sussex and a retired school admissions officer. She likes to sew for herself and her family.
  •  Ghislaine, 43 is a fellow Londoner and likes to sew garments for herself


Great British Sew Bee book review

Read our Great British Sewing Bee book review, From Stitch to Style by Wendy Gardiner, published by Quadrille. Here is the Breton top project I made from the book.

Great british sewing bee breton top from stitch to style


Image: Quadrille

Special Sewing bee Blog Series

We’ve got some exciting special sewing bee blog posts planned for the new series with the help of some of your favourite bloggers and sewing celebrities, watch this space!

Careers in sewing Jenniffer Taylor Great British Sewing Bee
sewing bee sales 1

The story so far …

Check out our review all three books from the previous series of the sewing bee. We’ll also be adding lots of exciting reviews and interviews here too. It’s the one stop shop for your Great British Sewing Bee fix #GBSB

Great British Sewing Bee book reviews

You can also check out our review of Chinelo Bally’s Freehand Fashion book (contestant in Series 2).



Meet the Sewing Bee Judges

great british sewing bee judges

Image: Love Productions

Esme Young


Images: Swanky Modes archive

Esme Young is a new judge for this series of the Great British Sewing Bee, replacing May Martin who was a judge for the last three series. Esme  studied at Central Saint Martins and also teaches pattern cutting there. She is co-founder of fashion label Swanky Modes and a costume designer, working on films such as Bridge Jones (the bunny outfit!) and Trainspotting. We are really excited to see what Esme will be like as a judge and her pattern cutting skills will bring a whole new dimension to the show.

Patrick Grant


Image: Community Clothing

Patrick Grant is a British Fashion designer and Saville Row working as a creative director for Norton & Sons, E. Tautz & Sons and Barbour. Patrick has been a judge on all series of the sewing bee. This year Patrick launched the social enterprise, Community Clothing to rejuvenate the British manufacturing industry. Find out all about this exciting project 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.