Hold onto your sewing kits, people, and halt your hemming – tonight The Great British Sewing Bee, featuring the delightfully strict Patrick Grant, the headmistressy but knowledgeable May Martin, and the eternally bonkers Claudia Winkleman, is back! BBC 2 kicks off the second series of the sewing show at 8pm this evening, bringing sewing to mainstream TV once more after the success of last year’s series, which was won by the grande dame of amateur sewing, 81 year old Ann.
For those that missed out the first time round, Claudia hosts this insightful programme that looks into the wonders of tailoring, fabric choices and all those complicated terms for when you sew something in what seems like a really obvious sort of way to get what you want, but has a frighteningly posh sounding French name. Contestants are set tasks each week to measure the cut of their cloth and see what kind of creative skills they have with a sewing machine. Various talents are put to the test, and different garments are cut, sewn, fitted and completed against the clock, before they are judged by Saville Row tailor Patrick and WI legend May, who spend a lot of the programme walking around in the background and occassionally putting the wind up people who think they know what they’re doing, but as it turns out, don’t. It is truly thrilling stuff, even if you have never so much as put needle to thread. This is Bake Off for crafters and it’s even more addictive!
There are the same amount of contestants taking part this year, but the programme has a longer run in the schedules (eight episodes compared to last year’s four), which should promise more exciting makes and bigger challenges for the sewers and the viewers to get their teeth into. There are a couple of clips on the BBC site which give you a taste for what’s coming up – our personal fave involves Claudia and some dungarees – but whatever floats your sewing boat, there is bound to be plenty of sewing action to get your fingers itching to get stuck into a project or two over the next few weeks. And of course there will be a big old tie-in book to accompany the show, crammed full with more makes, and this year it comes with five full patterns sheets, meaning you don’t have to print out endless A4 pieces and tape them altogether before you get started.
So if you’re feeling like you need a little Sewing Bee buzz in real life, why not join our Sewing Club on Thursday mornings, from 10am to 1pm, for £10.00 per session. And of course there are always plenty of delicious fabric in store at Emporia, alongside a whole host of other sewing related loveliness just waiting to help you get started.