Croft Mill

GBSB - Time to Bee Creative!

Fans of the hit TV show The Great British Sewing Bee enjoyed a fabulous festive treat on Boxing Day, with a special celebrity episode. The special episode was just one of two, with the second one hitting our screens on New Year's Eve.

The Great British Sewing Bee's first series aired in April of 2013 and inspired thousands of viewers to start sewing themselves, in a similar way that The Great British Bake Off started a new craze for baking. There have been six series to date, each climaxing in one of the amateur sewers receiving the coveted title of 'Britain's Best Home Sewer'.

The show's format is simple yet highly-effective. There are three challenges in each episode:

  • Pattern Challenge. Each competitor is given a copy of the same pattern and has to work with the given materials to produce the most accurate garment.
  • Alteration Challenge. This is where the creativity really gets going. Each contestant receives an identical garment and has to reinvent it as they choose.
  • Made-to-Measure Challenge. The most demanding of the three, this challenge asks the competitors to design and create their own garments from scratch, adjusting their patterns to fit real human models.

After the challenges, the judges decide which competitor has been the weakest across all three challenges and this person is eliminated, narrowing down the field until the exciting end of the series when the best competitor is crowned.

The first celebrity special aired on boxing day was presented by long-time host Joe Lycett and jointly judged by industry experts Patrick Grant (Savile Row) and Esme Young (Central Saint Martin's). Competing for the title were TV personality Denise van Outen, celebrity doctor Raj Singh, comedian Sara Pascoe and Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas. They were challenged to create festive pyjama pants, a Christmas fancy dress outfit for a dog and, in the final challenge, a made-to-measure Christmas dress. If you want to know who won then you can view the episode on BBC iPlayer: no spoilers here!

The next celebrity special episode of the Great British Sewing Bee, scheduled to be shown on BBC 1 at 8pm on New Year's Eve. Competing will be national treasure Lesley Joseph, TV presenter Sabrina Grant, comedian Sally Phillips and RuPaul's Drag Race winner The Vivienne. Be sure to tune in!

If The Great British Sewing Bee inspires YOU to take up sewing, then you're in the right place here at Croft Mill. We've got hundreds of different fabric options to choose from, as well as a fully-stocked haberdashery with all the basic essentials. Check out our collection today and get ready to BEE creative!

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