The Great British Sewing Bee 2022
The Great British Sewing Bee is back for its 8th series on BBC 1 and we’re so excited! This year there have been a few changes with a new host and a new location. Sara Pascoe has joined the well-loved team for her first year hosting the show after hosting the 2021 Christmas Special. She joins judges, Patrick Grant and Esme Young who are back for another series! There’s also a change in location from the usual backdrop of London to a beautiful historical wool mill on the outskirts of Leeds – not too far from us!
The show has brought 12 new home-sewers to our screens and we can’t wait to see what they all create! The stitchers of 2022 are: Angela, Annie, Brogan, Chichi, Cristian, Debra, Gill, Man Yee, Marni, Mitch, Richy and Steve!
As of the 27th April The Great British Sewing Bee is back and will be shown every Wednesday at 9pm on BBC1 for 10 episodes – don’t forget to add it into your calendars! Each week the contestants will battle it out to find out who will be the Great British Sewing Bee Winner 2022. The contestants each week will have to make a Pattern Challenge, Transformation Challenge and a Made to Measure Challenge to wow the judges! During the Pattern Challenge, contestants all get the same sewing pattern which they must follow exactly. The Transformation Challenge is all about up-cycling where contestants each get a second hand garment which they must creatively re-use to make a brand new outfit. The final challenge is the Made to Measure Challenge where contestants are really tested to produce a made-to-measure outfit for a real-life model! Each challenge is judged by the fabulous Patrick Grant and Esme Young and one sewer is crowned “Garment of the Week” whereas unfortunately one sewer has to be sent home!
Episode One – Capsule Wardrobe!
In the first episode of the Great British Sewing Bee 2022 the contestants are tasked with creating a capsule wardrobe. The Pattern Challenge involved making a wool mini skirt followed by transforming a lockdown loungewear garment into a ‘going-out’ top in the Transformation Challenge. The final challenge had the sewers creating a fitted wrap dress to a model. All of the wrap dresses were beautiful – we’d love to have tried them on ourselves (maybe we’ll sign up to model next year!). The Garment of the Week this week was Debra’s Wrap Dress which was a fantastic design and pattern! Unfortunately, this week’s unlucky contestant was Mitch (who was a Croft Mill favourite if we are allowed to have them). We were very sad to see him go home and thought he made an excellent effort in his makes!
We think our Velour fabrics are perfect for recreating the loungewear to ‘going-out’ top transformation!
Our Viscose Challis fabrics would make an amazing wrap dress – just like the ones showcased on your screens!
Episode Two – Sportswear!
Episode Two was all about sportswear! This week there was a first for the Pattern Challenge with the sewers having to make a pair of high-top trainers! Thankfully the sewers could use some of their own familiar techniques to produce the shoes but we imagine that must have been a hard challenge! Next was the Transformation Challenge where the contestants had to re-do a netball kit into chic daytime garments. The final challenge saw the home sewers stitch bespoke jackets which were inspired by their sporting heroes and don’t forget this was the Made to Measure Challenge so it had to fit on a model too! We were so impressed with the creativity of the contestants and how amazing all the garments looked. This week, Patrick and Esme chose Marni’s sporting jacket as the garment of the week – we thought this was a great choice! Unfortunately, the horrible time came where one of the contestants had to go home and this week we said goodbye to Chichi! We loved her makes and the amazing attitude she brought to our TV screens!
Episode Three – Summer Clothes!
This was another brilliant episode focusing on summer clothes! Full of fabulous designs and fabrics - it was really hard for us to pick our favourite make! But Brogan’s Liberty Print Dress and Christian’s Shirt and Short Showcase combo were definite highlights. Did you recognise the Toucan Fabric Stevie used? The Pattern Challenge included making a summery pattern midi dress using a shirring technique. Why not take a look at our gingham fabrics or small floral print fabrics to try and recreate your own! Next up was the transformation challenge where the contestants had to remake hammocks into a summer attire garments. If you want to have a go at the challenge why not try with some of our Heavy Cotton Canvas fabrics and see if you can master this! Finally was the Made to Measure challenge were the contestants had to make a two piece co-ord outfit for having fun in the sun! We’ve linked our Nautical Linen as we think this would make a great co-ord outfit for summer! The horrible time once came round again were we had to say goodbye and this week it was unfortunately Richie – we will miss his artistic and eccentric flare on the makes! This week’s Garment of the Week was awarded to Debra’s Lady McElroy Print Skirt and Top Combo – we loved the bright colours and style!
Episode Four - Reduce, Reuse and Recylce Week!
This week's episode was all about reusing and transforming unwanted items into beautiful new garments! The Pattern Challenge for this week was the quilted jacket pattern where the sewers had to make their coats out of 96 scraps of fabric! We absolutely loved Debra's quilted jacket - it was finished to absolute perfection! If you want to have a go at making your own quilted fabric why not take a look at our fabric bundles for a selection of fabrics to make you own patchwork look! Then to finish off why not take a look at our wadding and linings to bring the whole look together! We loved Man Yee's dedication to making sure her pattern matched perfectly! The transformation challenge involved taking two overcoats and combining and transforming them into one stylish coat! If you want to have a go at making your own why not take a look at our wool fabrics and cotton canvas fabrics. The final stage was the Made to Measure challenge where the contestants had to take old duvet covers and remake them into beautiful maxi dresses! We loved how the contestants really made the challenge their own and each dress looked completely different! We especially enjoyed all the bold prints that were being showcased! Why not take a look at our floral fabric or animal print fabrics to have a go at recreating your own! The end of the show came round once again and this week Gill's gorgeous red and white maxi dress was awarded Garment of the Week! Unfortunately, it was time to say goodbye to one contestant and this week it was Steve - we are very sad to see him go and we will miss his raw talent and artistic flare in the sewing room!
The importance of reusing and recycling fabric has always been a very poignant message to us with a large proportion of our fabric being ex-designer and any fabric remnants we have are always kept and used in either our Set Pieces or in our Fabric Bundles!
Episode Five - Children's Week!
We’re halfway through and this week was children’s week! We really enjoyed seeing all the elaborate designs in miniature – they were all so cute!
The Pattern Challenge was for the contestants to create a sailor suit. We spotted some very familiar fabrics during this challenge. If you fancy replicating Debra’s design take a look at our Heavenly – Daisy Garden denim fabric! The Transformation Challenge was to transform school uniforms to after-school wear. There were lots of gingham fabrics in this challenge so if you want to have a go take a look at our Gingham fabrics! The Made to Measure challenge was to make a children’s Halloween costume – we loved these amazing designs! A special shout out to Gill and her amazing Dalek costume – you had Sarah in our office screaming with joy!! So many wonderful designs and lots of different fabric types were incorporated from organza and lace to cotton poplin and canvas – it was imagination overdrive! We loved Christian’s creepy clown – take a look at our Building Blocks fabric to have a go at creating your own!
Garment of the week was Debra’s ghost bride Halloween costume we loved the detail and the way she distressed all the fabrics! Unfortunately, it was time to say goodbye to Marni but it was a hard decision to pick who went this week as everyone did such a fantastic job. We will miss her incredible eye for detail!
Episode Six - Music Week!
The sixth episode of the Great British Sewing Bee was Music Week! The Pattern Challenge comprised of making a Parka Coat adopted by Mod culture in the 1960s. We loved how all of the coats looked so different even though they used the same pattern – we loved Man Yee’s red polka dot version! Take a look at some of our waterproof fabrics to try and recreate your own!
The Transformation Challenge was next up. The contestants had to upcycle old denim and check into a Dolly Parton worthy stage outfit! They were all so fun and funky! We really loved Gill’s denim two-piece, however it was hard to pick just one as they all looked amazing with the frills and glitter! Take a look at our denims, tartans and gingham fabrics – either to recreate your own Dolly Parton inspired outfit or tone it down for more everyday wear.
In the final challenge, the Made to Measure Challenge, the contestants had to create an outfit paying tribute to David Bowie and his many incarnations! These also had to be fitted perfectly to their real-life models too! Everyone used such fun and funky fabrics which really brought to life the memory of Bowie. The contestants’ all went with such different approaches but they all looked fabulous! We loved Christian’s Life On Mars inspired outfit – it was so bright and colourful and that cape was so David Bowie! We have selected some fabrics if you want to try to recreate some of the amazing outfits from glitters to partywear!
This week’s Garment of the Week was Annie’s David Bowie’s inspired blue jacket. Unfortunately, it was time to say goodbye to one more contestant and this week Angela was the one to be sent home. We are sad to see her go and will miss her traditional sewing techniques!
Episode Seven – Lingerie and Sleepwear Week!
This week’s episode was Lingerie and Sleepwear Week and with a place in the quarter finals up for grabs everyone was battling it out! The contestants were all tasked with creating luxurious lingerie and sleepwear that fitted perfectly.
The Pattern Challenge for this week was for the sewers to create a bra and pants set. This is a fiddly pattern for a under-wired, lace bra and matching pants set. Patrick and Esme were looking for any faults in this challenge, there is no margin for error! We loved all the pretty Lace Fabrics in all the colours! We loved the pretty pink of Brogan’s set. Why not try to make a matching underwear set yourself!
Second challenge: the Transformation Challenge! This week required the contestants to transform thermal underwear into daywear. Everyone managed to make something completely different and unique and the different pastel colours that everyone used. The lattice in Man Yee’s dress looked so lovely and creative! We loved Debra’s chic yellow top with the two bows!
Finally the Made to Measure Challenge had the sewers producing luxury pyjamas for men. The contestants had to ensure the pyjamas fit the male models perfectly. The sewers all used fun patterns and colours! All the models looked very luxurious but also incredibly comfy! Here at Croft Mill we do love a Paisley Print which a couple of the sewers decided to embrace! Each sewer used a different design to create unique, beautiful pyjamas each with their own creative flair! Take a look at some of our Silk Fabrics to recreate your own luxury pyjama set!
This week’s Garment of the Week was Man Yee’s luxury pyjama set! We loved how classy the fabric looked and the little bee feature. Unfortunately, as always someone ahs to go home and miss out on that place in the quarter final! This week the person sent home was Gill. We will miss her positive and inspiring personality and attitude towards all of the tasks including some of the more challenging ones!
Episode Eight - Hollywood Week!
The Quarter Final week was 1930s Week! With only 5 contestants left there really is no room for error!
This week’s Pattern Challenge had the sewers making a pair of women’ sailor-inspired trousers. This was a complex pattern with a bib-front button opening and tricky pockets! We loved all the button details that everyone included. We loved how bright and colourful Annie’s green trousers were! If you want to try and recreate your own, why not take a look at our Denim Fabrics!
For the Transformation Challenge, the contestants had to upcycle men’s shirts into women’s blouses inspired by the 1930s. All of the sewers were able to make glamorous blouses in only 90 minutes! We think Debra’s blouse looked very classy with the colours and pleated bib section and Man Yee’s geometric collar!
Lights, Camera Action – for the Made To Measure Challenge the sewers had to make a Katharine Hepburn or Bette Davis inspired evening gown! These are perfect 1930s Hollywood outfits, we could see them all walking down the red carpet! All of the dresses were so elegant and perfect for the silver screen! The detail in the back of Cristian’s evening dress was fabulous! Why not have a go at creating your own evening gown with our range of Satin Backed Crepe Fabrics and Liquid Fabrics!
Episode Eight’s Garment of the Week was Annie’s evening gown! It was very Hollywood and we loved the diamonte features and the striking colour!
It’s Semi Final Week next week and the competition is hotting up! Unfortunately we have to say goodbye to another contestant and the competition is so fierce now. This week the contestant going home was Cristian! We shall miss his cheeky charm and his fun, quirky attitude!
Semi Finals Week - Japanese Week!
It’s the semi-final week! The four semi-finalists, Annie, Brogan, Debra and Man Yee were all geared up to reach a place in the final! We can’t believe it’s nearly over!
This week’s sewing bee was all about Japanese culture and taking inspiration from this. The Pattern Challenge was up first, with the contestants having to create a kimono with a belted big bow. The main features of the kimono were to have large, rectangular sleeves, an upstanding collar and to feature a full lining. We loved the contrasting colours in Annie’s kimono and how beautifully it had been made. Take a look at our Qipao fabric to have a go at making your own Kimono!
Up next, the Transformation Challenge! This had the sewers repairing and beautifying old denim using the technique of Sashiko which is a traditional Japanese embroidery or stitching. The contestants seemed to struggle with adding the technique of Sashiko to their garments, except Man Yee who absolutely nailed the brief! We loved all the little details in her garments that added a lovely Japanese touch! Take a look at our fabulous range of denim fabric or our denim fabric bundles to have a go at recreating some of the Sashiko looks!
Finally, the Made to Measure Challenge! The contestants had to make origami dresses that gave the appearance of folded material. We thought this seemed a very hard challenge to perfect but all of the sewers did amazing at putting their own twist to the challenge. We loved the pleated trims of Man Yee’s crane inspired dress and the vibrant colours of Brogan’s flower inspired dress. The details in Debra’s dress with over 100 hand-made origami flowers were absolutely stunning! Take a look at our Scrubs fabric if you want to have a go at recreating this! However, Annie’s pink taffeta dress was absolutely amazing – there were so many pleats and folds across the whole dress! We loved how she added the interfacing to the dress in order to get the crisp fold lines.
This week the judges chose Garment of the Week to be Annie’s origami dress which was a worthy choice! It was spectacularly made and fit the brief perfectly! And then everyone worse time came...the time when someone has to leave! All of the sewers had worked so hard to reach the final and you could feel the emotion from each of them. But in a shocking twist of events, the judge’s decided that no one was going home! All four sewers were in the final!
Next Week - It's The Final!!
Photo Credit: BBC/Love Productions/James Stack