Croft Mill

The Great British Sewing Bee 2024: Episode 1 Recap

The Great British Sewing Bee 2024 kicked off its tenth series with a bang, marking the show's 10th anniversary. This season introduces a new host, Kiell Smith-Bynoe, who impressed viewers with his talents on Celebrity Sewing Bee. The episode began with the usual charm, with Patrick Grant looking as dashing as ever and Esme Young sporting a fantastic floral costume piece of jewellery.


The contestants this year are a diverse group, including an 84-year-old retired sewist who has an amazing history with sewing, a DJ from the Isle of Wight, a drag queen who was taught to sew by his grandmother when he was 8 years old, and a lady who loves dancing & says if you don’t know what to wear, dress up. Wonderful! Among them are also a historian, a lady passionate about ruffles and puff sleeves, a tour guide who does tours on a bicycle and is also a ventriloquist, a copywriter, a singer, a teacher, and an architect.


The first challenge, the Pattern Challenge, required the contestants to create a denim A-line midi skirt. This task was particularly tough, involving precise topstitching and multiple buttonholes. Many struggled with the difficulty of the task, and while Lawrence’s topstitching looked beautiful, his skirt lacked buttons, highlighting the challenge's complexity. It was a baptism of fire, with few finishing their skirts, but some managed to master the topstitching.


Shop Skirt Patterns

Grainline Studio - Reed Skirt Liesl + Co - Garibaldi A Line Skirt Maison Fauve - Kim Skirt Megan Nielsen - Tania Culottes
Grainline Studio - Reed Skirt  Liesl + Co - Garibaldi A Line Skirt Maison Fauve - Kim Skirt Megan Nielsen - Tania Culottes
Sew House Seven - Alberta Street Pencil Skirt Megan Nielsen - Wattle Skirt Monsterfabriken - Lisa Skirt Merchant & Mills - Clementine Skirt
Sew House Seven - Alberta Pencil Skirt  Megan Nielsen - Wattle Skirt Monsterfabriken - Lisa Skirt Merchant & Mills - Clementine Skirt

Next was the Transformation Challenge, reminiscent of the first series where contestants had to transform a T-shirt. This time, they had to create a different silhouette from a 1980s rave T-shirt. The results were imaginative, with several contestants making skirts, bandeau tops, a cardigan, a hat, and there were lots of ruffles from many of the contestants. Don creates something that could complement the Burnley football strip, an array of claret and blue.


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Jersey Fabrics Viscose Jersey French Terry Ponte Roma
Cotton Jersey Viscose Jersey French Terry Ponte Roma

The final task was the Made-to-Measure Challenge, where contestants had to create a casual day dress in five hours. Don, the 84-year-old contestant, once made seven bridesmaid dresses, showcasing his impressive background. Janet showcased her love for colour, and Luke brought his own flair. Zoe impressed with a zero-waste dress. The winner of the episode was Suzi, while Neil was the first to go home, setting the stage for a competitive and creative season ahead.


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