The Great British Sewing Bee Series 3


Yes, ladies and gents – it’s back! The most fantastic sewing inspired series is back on BBC 2 as of next Wednesday night, and we are very, very, extraordinarily excited. Kicking off another round of the amateur competition, sewing enthusiasts up and down the land will be poised ready with the remote at 8pm on Wednesday 4th February 2015, possibly staring over the top of their very own Janome, and waiting with baited breath to see just what needle and thread based challenges will be hitting their screens this year.


With no new contestant based info on the BBC2 site as yet, we are limited to knowing what will feature on the brand new series, but there’s no doubt that we can expect teeth sucking from May, severe frowning from Patrick and sheer craziness from Claudia as she grins and gurns from behind the sewers as they work their way through their challenges. Given that there’s only a week left to go, it seems terribly mean of the BBC not to share a bit more about the nitty gritty of series three, so we are still mostly in the dark as to precisely what new challenges the judges have come up with. Will there be more plasticky sportswear? Will we get to see some radical overhauls in the alteration challenges? Will everyone get to the final and then make some really bad ties again? And most important of all, how many times will Claudia be forced to help a struggling contestant wrestle their garment onto the tailor’s dummy like they’re trying to get a lycra boobtube onto a cow?

All we can see of the new series so far is a mini trailer, only 25 seconds long which shows Claudia giving a countdown to the new lot of sewers as they come to the ends of various different challenges. And what we can see in these tiny short bursts of film is this:

1 – There are men in this series. Good job men! It’s so reassuring to know that sewing isn’t just for women. Let’s hope there’s another Dave this time round, as there’s nothing we enjoyed more last year than seeing a big burly policeman getting to grips with sewing ballgowns and nighties.

2 – There seem to be more trousers in this series. Bottom halves seem to be a bit under represented last year and given that most of us, men, women and children included, like to wear some kind of garment on our nether regions, it can only be a good thing that we get to see more of the divided leg version (commonly known as trousers or shorts) being made on the show. From the brief glimpses in the trailer, it looked to us very much like kids’ shorts and a pair of capri pants, which is a good bit of inspiration to put on the back burner for summer.


3 – More fancy dress. Both an elephant and a bird (or something with a long beak/nose) appear in the trailer, and whether these are alteration challenges or not, we can only assume that they will be great fun to watch. Creating dressing up clothes for children or adults is enormous fun and we can only hope that at least one contestant wants to make a dragon a la the Children in Need Sewing Bee from November last year.

4 – Seriously difficult pattern cutting and construction. Now if you’re like us, and you quail slightly at the thought of excessive darts simply because you worry that they won’t all line up or end at precisely the right point, giving your body very odd looking proportions like you’re the model for a Picasso painting, then this part of the show may reduce to you hyperventilation. Not only do we spy a dress with cut out panels on the trailer, but there is also a prolonged look at a kilt and even a corset. Yes, ladies, fetch the smelling salts – you heard right, an actual corset, with boning and millions of eyelets and everything. Complicated isn’t the word.

So whether this new batch of contestants are up to the challenge or not remains to be seen, but we can assure you now that we will be glued to our seats throughout every blinking single moment and will most certainly be having heated discussions (arguing) with each other and everyone that comes into the shop from now until spring about who we like best, what Patrick said about the top stitching and whether Claudia has completely lost her marbles yet or not. You have been warned!

In the meantime, check out the How To section on the website for some pre-series three inspiration for some quick makes and alterations here.


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