Almost flawless sewing & my TV debut (GBSB episode 2)

The second episode of the Great British Sewing Bee premiered on BBC2 and BBC iPlayer last night and my phone has not stopped beeping since. Yes, that was me and yes, I was a tad emotional when I was talking about my mum, but let's agree not to talk about that bit any more, ok? The volume of texts, emails and tweets drained my phone's battery within an hour of the show ending.

Great British Sewing Bee - series 2 episode 2

L to R: Mum, my wedding dress and me. All images: credit - BBC/Love Productions 

The messages were kind, funny or a mixture of the two - Mum's "sleeves in your porridge" comment and ripping the trousers off the male model with a flourish, all featured heavily! *SEMI-SPOILER ALERT* If you haven't watched the second episode and intend to, you may wish to catch up before you read the rest of this post, although I've avoided saying who left.

Great British Sewing Bee - series 2 episode 2

As always, the first challenge was to make a garment from a pattern, in just a few hours. It was 'patterned fabric week' and the garment was a skirt. The resulting projects were a good mix, and the various dilemmas caused by matching the fabrics to the box-pleats fun to watch.

The second challenge was my favourite - when the contestants had to turn shop-bought garments into something else. This is the kind of sewing I can relate to, as my limited experience has mostly involved cutting things up to make something else, and I hate following instructions. The sewers had to select two men's shirts to up-cycle into something completely different and despite having pretty hideous items to choose from, there were some great results. Lynda (Mum) and Cerina both made theirs into little dresses which were incredibly cute and looked well executed, and the winning transformation was an elaborate skirt by Tamara, but I felt that Chinelo's boob-tube was the most creative garment and I'd have liked to see her win that one.

For the third challenge, the brief was for custom-made PJs in a patterned fabric. Half of the show was dedicated to this challenge, for which the contestants had six hours of sewing time and a male model they hadn't seen before. By this point the contestants usually start to show signs of stress, looking more tired and often a little frayed around the edges.  Silly mistakes are made and it really does sort the 'men from the boys'. This week was no exception with various mis-aligned hems, floppy pockets and Jenni's (awesome fabric) being too big overall.

After a fairly slow start in the competition last week, this challenge was Mum's chance to shine, when her pink striped "jamas" were judged to be Garment of the Week. I asked her to tell us a little more about this episode, here's what she had to say....
Great British Sewing Bee - series 2 episode 2

Patrick said your pjs were "almost flawless", do you know why they were not quite perfect? 
I can't remember any negative comments from the judges. As far as I could see on the show, the only thing I would change was the length of sleeves... although you don't want them hanging in your porridge, they could have been a bit longer!

Watching the second show, you seemed much less nervous. Did it feel any different the second time around? 
As I mentioned before, the first week was a challenge due to positioning of cameras and my interpreter, but by the second week we decided that I would lip read as much as possible and would have signed support when necessary, which I was more comfortable with. Also the whole situation was new to me, so I didn't really know what to expect, the first time. By the second episode I think I had relaxed and started to enjoy myself.

When you watched the show, was there anything you wished you'd done differently?  
I'm never happy with anything make so this is quite a difficult question for me! I couldn't fail to be happy with jamas as they won garment of the week but wasn't totally happy with my skirt or the child's dress. If I had made the skirt at home I would've made the pleats before cutting the sides of the fabric so I could match the pattern perfectly and still make sure skirt was the correct size.

What has the last week (since the first show was aired) been like for you?
The day after the first show, I was at the farm park with my grandchildren when a nine year old girl and her mum came over, she was wearing a dress she had sewn herself and said that she had loved watching the programme and wanted to show me what she'd made. It was really nice to chat about her sewing and how I started making clothes at around the same age. Since then, it hasn't really stopped - people have been wishing me well and talking about the show wherever I've been, especially at Unravel which was a little overwhelming as I didn't expect to be recognised. I've met so many lovely people, it's already been quite an experience. 


  1. More power to you your Mum's elbow!! Loving reading your Mum's round up and comments on the show.

  2. Well done Lynda, fab PJs, so enjoying the series again....I don't know how they all do it, I would be a wreck of nerves!

  3. I was so happy when your mum won best garment, when I squealed, I scared the cat!
    I'm really enjoying the series. Can't wait for next week's challenges.

  4. I am really enjoying the show - it was good to see you there this week. I think your mum is amazing and so lovely. Looking forward to seeing what next week brings. fingers crossed. C

  5. well done to your mum. I love the sign for Patrick - after all he is a heart throb!! I loved the all felt very tongue in cheek!!

  6. These PJ's were so clearly the best and are totally beautiful, I may have to make some similar ones for myself. I'm not sure my piping would be that neat though.

  7. I've only had the chance to catch up on the show this morning. I enjoyed it so much.
    Your mum Lynda is a star and I'd love to see her go all the way. After seeing those perfect PJ's win garment of the week I'm sure she can!


  8. Great article! We are linking to this great article on our site. Keep up the good writing.


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