My Great British Sewing Bee Experience!

Friday, 19 April 2013

Hi Everyone,

I decided I'd write up a little post about my stint as a (pretend) contestant on the Great British Sewing Bee!

Once upon a time, and by that I mean last October, I was taking a sewing course with Claire-Louise Hardie (The Thrifty Stitcher). During the classes, she mentioned that she was working on a television show for the BBC, a sort of spin'off of the 'Great British Bake Off' as the 'behind the scene's' sewing adviser. I was clearly very interested, and asked loads of questions - but of course she had to keep most of it schtum until it was broadcast!

On my last day, the alterations class, she was needed on set so her wonderful friend Rosie Martin from DIYcouture came and taught the class instead. You should check out her wonderful sewing book! I'll post links at the bottom! Rosie was going to help her on set after class, and more people were needed so I tagged along :)

It was very cool to see the set, and all the producers and camera men trying to lay out and run through the first episode. First I was a stand in for a contestant ( I had Stuart's sewing station in episode one!) and I just adored the sewing desks that they had made - yes made, and the cutting stations (at the right cutting height!)

And I especially loved the haberdashery! As do you all I'm sure! I would've given anything to have had the freedom to have whatever I wanted from there...

I played a contestant in a few run through's of the opening scenes, and it's really cool to see how thing's got tweaked from the day before to the real thing. And thing's I thought were going to look a bit odd actually came across quite well on television!

I also adored their mannequins, they were a decent womanly size and had a little belly and a lower sitting bust and bum than you usually see!

While they moved onto more camera angles, etc, I then started cutting out the patterns for the A-Line skirt challenge. Due to the shape of the mannequins, they were slightly between sizes, so we had to grade them out slightly at the waist. I was so scared that I would cut one wrong and there would be a massive panic!

After about 4 patterns worth of cutting I was a bit googly eyed, and at this point it was a bit late (and the bf was waiting!) so I thanked Claire-Louise and said my goodbyes! It was quite late in the evening at this point, and they were supposed to have finished an hour or two before I left, but they clearly weren't going to be finished for a long while yet! I was gutted that I wouldn't see it all in action - Claire-Louise told me I could come back, but I think they started shooting at some ridiculous time in the morning so I never would've made it in on the train! Plus I'm quite glad it was all a surprise on screen. It was so hard to keep quiet about what I knew about the show in the run up to it, and keep my lovely pictures under wraps

Here's the few piccies of me in action, thanks CL :)

I can't wait to see the final episode on Tuesday!! I adore all of the contestants, and had been a fan of Tilly from before the show! Had been working my way up to sewing her Mathilde blouse. My favourite bit about the show is how happy all of the contestants are and how lovely they are to one another. It looks like a wonderful place to be, and emulates the feeling of the sewing community as a whole! Maybe next year, eh?

Lots of Love,



Rosie's DIYcouture Book

UK :



  1. Looks like you have been a very lucky girl!

  2. Sounds like so much fun and very interesting! I just read about this program on Gerties blog yesterday...I hope I can watch them on You Tube!

    1. I think I read somewhere that they are on Youtube! The final is on tonight, just about to watch it!

  3. Thanks to Gertie for mentioning your blog & post! Quite interesting to read of your experience behind the scene. I also loved the programme, and list all 4 episodes on my blog. Dear Ann did such a grand job, and I loved Stuart's bubbly attitude. Will skip on over to Tilly's blog, now, and add her to my list of must reads. Cannot wait for the second series, and hope they keep the tone just as it is!

    All best wishes from across the pond.

    1. Did Gertie mention my blog?? Where, I didn't see! I thought it was just one of many comments on her blog!


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