It's about exploring and sharing my creative adventures (mostly sewing these days) ~
~those activities that sometimes obsess, usually inspire, occasionally frustrate
~and always provide a delightful maze to wander through.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

In case you've been sewing in a cave... (the Great British Sewing Bee)...

Surely you've heard of The Great British Sewing Bee by now, right?  Well, just in case you haven't, BBC has created the.  most.  delightful.  sewing program ever!  As someone who turned off my TV a year ago, and could easily live without it at all  (although I still watch some shows online and on Netflix), I can hardly believe how taken I am by EVERYthing about this program!

Numerous bloggers have already reviewed it to pieces, so all you need do is google it and you'll find a ton of reviews; all I really want to say is that if you haven't yet heard about it or seen it, and you care just a teeny smidgeon about sewing, find it somewhere online (I've provided some links below) and watch, because it's worth it!  I just finished watching episode #3 (sadly, there are only 4 total), and I realized at one point that I had an ear to ear grin and a smile in my heart as well, the entire way through!  Except for those moments when I paused to shout "Yes!" at someone's success, or "Awwwww" at some sweet comment that a contestant made about someone else, or widened my eyes in concern that someone was goofing up and wouldn't finish a is it that you can actually CARE that much about people you don't even know???

But wait!  Some of us do "know" some of the contestants!  (although, if you do, you already know about the show)  There's Ann, who is a revered member of Stitcher's Guild (I admit that I've been on Team Ann since day one).  Here's the thread that's been going on over there since the show started.   And Tilly, of Tilly and the Buttons, a novice sewer but already well-known in the sewing/blogging world.   And Stuart, who makes everyone smile and root for him because he's just too, too adorable!   And Mark, the pierced and bearded truck mechanic who sews his own Victorian steampunk costumes.  And Lauren, the young perfectionist who keeps smiling through her tears of frustration, and, well, everyone on the show!

Why you should watch it, in case you haven't already:
  • It's positive, uplifting, entertaining, and educational TV.
  • The contestants are genuinely caring and authentic and lovable human beings, not back-stabbing drama queens, like those selected for [koffkoff] so many other reality contestant type programs.   In my experience, this is the reality of the home sewer (and the pros too!)  - the sewing community is loaded with helpful, personable, and delightful people.
  • Everyone has a British accent.   (What?  That's not a good enough reason?  It's a jolly good reason, I daresay!)  
  • Chances are, you might actually pick up a tidbit about sewing!  Yes, they do share actual tidbits!  There are easy to understand bits for the novice sewer, and even lots of goodies for the intermediate sewer - I've picked up some tips, for sure! 
  • Patrick Grant  (yeah well, you've gotta have a little sex appeal, right?)  

Apparently sewing machine sales have increased noticeably in the UK since the program started - and they make no bones about hoping that the show will increase an interest in home sewing.

Here are some links on youtube for the first 3 episodes:
(Edited to add a link to the Finale, Episode 4)

One more link, from the woman who had a lot to do with the behind-the-scenes action in the show - here's her blog with insider tips on each episode:  the thrifty stitcher

In fond memory of Siskel & Ebert, I give this show two thumbs WAY up - just watch it already, OK?   Catch up on the first 3 episodes before the finale next Tuesday, and enjoy another boost in the resurgence of home sewing everywhere!


  1. Darn you, Jilly...sucked in on Episode One. And giggling a bit at "zips" instead of "zippers". And really liking that they're explaining EVERYTHING. What channel is this show on?

    1. It's BBC1 or BBC2 (I have no clue how that works). The problem is if you don't live in the UK and subscribe to the stations, it's hard to find it anywhere (although it can be done)....You Tube is the easiest source, but you need to wait patiently.....

  2. Totally addicted. Thanks for the good review, I shared it on our ASG facebook page. Off to watch episode 3! ~Teri

  3. Finally sat down and actually watched episode opposed to reading blogs about the show:-) I am loving Ann, of course, and in awe of Sandra's skills and speed. Must stop now and do some sewing of my own before I can reward myself with another episode. Wow, home sewing making the big time, who knew!

  4. I am really enjoying it. The jacket challenge was wonderful. Stuart has interesting ideas.

  5. Love that show! Thank you for the links!!

  6. I am loving this show! It's nice to see a reality show competition in which the participants are sincerely friendly to each other. I'm on Team Ann, of course, but I wouldn't be upset if one of the other finalists wins.

  7. Well, Jilly, I guess I have been sewing in a cave because I was unaware of the program. I am a faithful consumer of Stitcher's Guild, but usually only follow a few threads related to garment sewing and pattern designers that I like. Thank you so much for bringing this delightful show to my attention. I have just watched, and thoroughly enjoyed Episode 1. Looking forward to three more. And thanks for your blog--I enjoy reading it very much!


  8. I've been sewing in a cave as well -- I'd heard of it but didn't pay enough attention to even find out what it was actually about! I used to love an extremely popular sewing reality show here in the US (you know, the one with Heidi and Tim), but I think it has become too much about drama and not enough about fashion/sewing, and has turned me off to sewing-related reality TV. Thanks for the links -- I'll have to give this UK show a try!

  9. I have been absolutely loving the show too.. for all the same reasons as you! Lauren's accent is too adorable for words! The whole show has been soo much fun. I'm so glad that some kind people have uploaded the episodes onto youtube for us to watch, since we don't get anything like that here on Australian TV. I've been watching it on my computer, and I'll be really sad when it finishes.
    Hope you have a lovely weekend :)