Lynda Lewis on the Great British Sewing Bee semi-final (ep. 7)

I can't tell you how hard it's been to hold my tongue when being told that people felt sure my mum (Lynda) would win the Sewing Bee title, knowing that she left at the end of the semi-final. She was the only contestant with three Garment of the Week accolades, as well as other "1sts" so it's not surprising that many people felt she was assured a place in the final. Despite winning the first challenge, a disaster occurred this week when she didn't have enough fabric for the third challenge (she really should have checked it after purchase - it was such bad luck!) and it all went downhill from there.
Winning the first challenge, with Heather in second place. Image: BBC/Love Productions
I was following the tag #GBSB on Twitter while watching the show and mum and I were both astounded by the response of SO MANY people who said that she was "robbed" of a place in the final, or felt it wasn't fair for her to leave after her performance in the weekly challenges. I too felt that she had earned a place in the final, but then I haven't agreed with the eliminations of the last two weeks either, so what do I know!?! In my version of events, I'd have lost Tamara in the week Jenni left (her yoga outfit this week was fabulous, so I'd have missed that) and Jenni instead of David last week. This week Heather or David would have gone, and either way, the final would really have been between Mum and Chinelo - technical ability and experience v flair and creativity.

Several times on the show, mum said that her daughters would be "disappointed" "gutted" or "kill her" - I feel the need to set the record straight! My sister and I, as well as the rest of the family, are incredibly proud of mum. Although it's true that we are gutted she left the show before the end -especially when the final challenge would have been PERFECT for her. You'll have to find out more about that next week. In the meantime, here is what mum said about last night's show:

Tell us how you felt watching the semi-final, knowing how it ended?
Watching the programme was horrendous. I was dreading seeing that awful dress [from the third challenge] again. If I'd made that at home it would've been in the bin and I wouldn't have bothered finishing it. Thinking of everyone seeing it on national TV... I was ashamed!!

When I watched it, all the feelings I experienced during filming came flooding back. As you know David left the week before me and Jenni the week before that, and when they went all the fun went out of it for me. I only entered for a laugh and didn't like the tension and stress that I felt during the semi-final. I actually felt relieved when Claudia said I was the one leaving and thoughts of spending time with my grandkids dominated my mind!!

I had been working full time during the weeks of filming and I'd had a chest infection the week before - I felt so tired, and also a little guilty when having time off work. I was honestly quite relieved to be going back to my normal everyday life.
It was all worth it for a cwtch with Patrick Grant! Image: BBC/Love Productions

What has being on the show meant to you? What did you learn about yourself?
I think that I was in a rut with my sewing, maybe as I sometimes go for months (or even years!) without getting my sewing machine out. Being on the Sewing Bee pushed me to try new techniques and sew materials that I'd probably not have considered trying otherwise. It was a massive learning curve for me and I enjoyed every minute of it. I fell in love with silk fabric and the wonders of the overlocking machine, and wish that I had discovered both before.

I'm still amazed that I entered the competition let alone reached the semi final. It was a little scary due to my hearing loss but I'm pleased that I had the courage to give it a go. I feel more confident now that I'll be able to do other things that might be out of my comfort zone.

You've had lots of messages of support from the Crafts from the Cwtch readers, what would you like to say to them? I've loved reading the messages from your readers, here and on Twitter and Facebook, and would like to thank every single one for so many lovely wishes and all the support. Please come and say hello if you ever see me in person, it's so lovely to meet you! (If Wendy Dutton sees this, please get in touch again, as I'd love to send a personal reply to your last message.)

I'll leave you with the updated Burda Style leaderboard, which highlights that the top prize could still be anyone's. I already know the outcome* so I won't be making any predictions except to say there'll be interview with one of the finalists after the show has aired!
* Keep an eye out for a glimpse of more knitwear next week - I'm not sure if it'll make the final cut, but you just might spot one or two items made from popular Ravelry patterns!

48 comments

  1. I was so surprised you left Lynda, you were excellent and wonderful to watch. I can imagine it was difficult for the judges but I really thought you were going to go through.

    I've loved seeing your sewing journey and humour and it has been great having your daughter's interviews and insider info. Well done to both of you.

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    1. Thank you so much, it really was an amazing experience and I'm really glad that you enjoyed it! Xxx

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  2. I agree with Red Setter's comments above.

    I haven't seen Eps 6 and 7, being in Australia. It's not televised here and I haven't found fair means or foul to watch the last two yet.

    Lynda was an absolute delight to watch, for her sewing, personality and kindness. I'm glad she has her lovely family to come back to. Thanks for this interview.

    All the very best with your sewing and crafting.

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comments, it means so much to me that you enjoyed the programme. Good luck with finding the last few episodes! xxx

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  3. This is the first year I have watched every episode of GBSB & Lynda was the reason. Thanks to Ravelry I have also "met" Sarah & now have a Miss Winkle finished & ready to block. Knitting while watching Sewing Bee, nothing better! Thank you for making the programme so enjoyable and inspiring us to dust off the sewing machine!

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    1. Thank you Liz for your kind comments.... I hope the sewing machine is getting used! xxx

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  4. I was so disappointed to see Lynda leave this week. Thought that the judges decision was absolute rubbish and was convinced that the final winner would either be Lynda or Chinello. I do hope that Lynda achieves her ambition of a haberdashery and teashop but would love to see it open back here in Caerphilly. Best wishes for whatever life brings you next.

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    1. Hiya Rose, thank you for your lovely comments. It's seems that a lot of people were confused by the outcome of last week's episode, who knows what the judges were thinking?! I must admit though... My dress was awful!! :-D. Xxx

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  5. Linda you should have been in the final! I have loved watching you, you are talented, warm and lovely. Your daughters have a wonderful and loving mother, I will miss seeing your smile every week xxxxx

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    1. Awww thank you so much Jeanne you're very kind xxx

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  6. There's not one of my friends that wasn't cheering Lynda on to win and we were all so, so sad at the end of the show on Tuesday.
    For me she was the star of the show with her natural manner and lovely smile.
    I am so going to miss seeing her in the final.
    Good luck Lynda in whatever you do next. You may not have won the show but you certainly did win everyone's hearts.
    Margaret

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    1. Thank you Margaret, you and your friends are very kind and such lovely comments makes me feel like I actually am the winner xxx

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  7. I have loved watching the show. I am copying your beautiful rainbow shawl at the moment. I have 6 rows left to do. I am micha on Rav.
    Well done Lynda.
    I also love your blog.

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    1. Thank you Sara glad you liked the shawl xxx

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  8. It was a shock to see Lynda leave the sewing bee. She has shown consistent brilliant work that the other contestants haven't. I feel that some of those left naming no names have done consistent shoddy work in previous episodes and in this weeks episode. I would never have sent Lynda home.

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    1. Thank you Gillian that really means a lot to me xxx

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  9. 3 garments of the week though! Well done :) I adore the show and this series has been much more unpredictable than the last. Best wishes for the future sewing adventures!

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  10. I was very sad to see Lynda go out this week - but I have LOVED seeing her garments (you are my winner) and also her sense of humour on the TV each week. I must admit that my heart isn't really in the final now but I will watch. Lynda, I know I don't know you but I am so proud of you and your accomplishments and hope that this will be a springboard into some new adventures for you. Take care. C x

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    1. Caroline, thank you for your lovely comments. I'm happy to have time to spend with my family and be back at work at the moment but I'm always on the look out for new adventures!!! xxx

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  11. I think your mum was an absolute star, she really did herself credit. It was such a breath of fresh air to see her kindness, humour, incredible skill, calmness and grace and she absolutely made the series for me, regardless of where she "finished". It must have been draining in so many ways, and I'm glad she has more time back for her and her beloved family now.
    And thank you for your blog posts on #gbsb - some fantastic interviews that I've really enjoyed.

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    1. Hi and thanks so much for your kind words, they really mean a lot to me. You're right about it being draining, which wasn't helped by the fact that I was ill during filming. It really was a fantastic experience and I'm glad that you enjoyed my journey xxx

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  12. Gutted, saw the end on catch up this evening...as everyone else has said your Mum was a star throughout, genuine, salt of the earth.....I don't think its just because she is your mum that you feel that she had a place in the final, I reckon there would have been plenty of people shouting at Patrick and May on the night.

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    1. Awww thank you so much for your lovely comments ... I'm giggling at the thought of people shouting at their tellies!! xxx

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  13. Oh, it was a bit of a joke that your lovely and very talented Mum was sent home! Just look at that Burda chart - it makes no sense that Heather (with no garment of the weeks, and quite a few 6th/7th/8ths, is in the final when Lynda isn't (with THREE garment of the weeks, and nothing lower than a 6th! What on earth were the judges thinking?

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, unfortunately I don't have the answer either! xxx

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  14. Oh I admit I was gutted when your Mum left last week, I shed a little tear. She has been amazing all the way through and you can just tell what a warm gorgeous soul she is. I have to watch to the end now but it won't be the same without lovely Lynda xx

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    1. Awww no need for tears ... thank you so much Kandi xxx

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  15. I couldn't believe that your Mum left this week. I was shocked. I really do understand that the final dress was a disaster but I hoped past performance and the fact that Heather's garment showed now ambition would pull her through.

    Honestly, without David and your Mum the finale is going to be seriously light on personality.

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    1. Brandy thank you for your lovely comments, I was gutted when David left too as I missed all our laughs and banter xxx

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  16. If you could let your mum know that the McNabs of Neath will miss her - she was so robbed! I am however glad that your fabulous shawl led me to your blog.

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    1. Thank you to the McNabs of Neath for your kind words ... glad you liked the shawl, every cloud has a silver lining ;-D. xxx

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  17. You have made this series so amazing Lynda. As someone who is learning sign language to eventually support young people I was so pleased to see glimpses of you signing. Your sewing skills are fantastic and I can only hope that one day I sew like you. You are a true inspiration. One day I'd love to meet you to gain knowledge and have a good chinwag. Sending lots of cwtches from Carmarthen in lovely wales. My mum also sends her best wishes to you & wants you to know that we were shouting at the tv when this weeks result was revealed. Take care cariad.

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    1. Awww such kind words, thank you Rachel and Rachel's mum! Keep up your fantastic work and I really hope you achieve your dream of working with young people- it's the best job in the world! Thank you for the cwtches too, cariad xxx
      PS I love Carmarthen!

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  18. I was gutted to see your Mum go she's been a delight to watch. She came across as a lovely person. I wasn't surprised to read her comment that the fun had gone when Jenni and David left. It looked much more tense this week. I hope she's had lots of time to kick back and enjoy her grandchildren. Thanks Lynda for pushing yourself and taking part it's been wonderful watching your journey.
    Ali xx

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    1. Thank you Ali, I'm on holiday for the next two weeks and plan to spend it with my lovely family. I'm really happy that you came along with me on my journey, it was fun xxx

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  19. I have so enjoyed seeing your journey through each week Lynda. I love your have a go attitude and soooooo felt for you when you realised you hadn't got enough material - and I also totally understood how that knocked all your confidence. Suddenly it has all got a bit serious hasn't it. Thank you for your inspiration and enjoy whatever sewing you get up to in future. cwtchy hugs Sue xx

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    1. Thank you Sue I'm really pleased that you enjoyed the programme and yes it was too serious for me, I was only there for a bit of fun after all!! Sending cwtches right back at you xxx

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  20. I finally managed to catch up last night and couldn't believe it when Lynda was sent home! It was so nice to hear a Welsh accent on the show and you were so much fun and so down to earth! (And not a mention of vats of gin etc ych a fi) you will be sorely missed from the final but enjoy giving those grandchildren a proper welsh cwtsh x

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    1. Hahaha Catrin and thank you ... I'm giggling here at vats of gin ych a fi - I didn't let the side down after all! Making the most of my gorgeous g/children don't you worry xxx

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  21. Oh Lynda.... My children and I watched the semi-final this morning in preparation for watching the final tonight. What a roller coaster. We were cheering for you after the first challenge and then... well, you know the rest. Almost didn't watch the final as we really wanted to see you in it. You were our favourite from week 1. You are so lovely and you really did yourself and your family proud. Huge hugs. Sandra xxx

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  22. Just watched the final, then googled - so glad to find a way Ly da to tell you how much I enjoyed watching you on the programme - you were such good fun and such a lovely person; you shouldn't have gone out that week (as often happens, one garment seems to determine who goes rather than their overall performance) and it wasn't much fun to watch after your departure. Hope you are enjoying having more time with your family - and enjoying your over locker!

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  23. I'll chime in with a comment for Lynda...my heart went to my shoes when you said you didn't have enough fabric...and then had to start late with a differently draping fabric. I've had garments that seemed to be cursed; a bigger mess the harder I tried...oh, I know that agony! I think you did extremely well over all and I'm so glad I got to 'meet' you through the program. Enjoy your overlocker!!! :-)

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  24. I simply adored Lynda on the Sewing Bee! I did notice all of the wonderful knitwear she had on - did you make them for her or did she do them herself?

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    1. She wore things I had made (I thought it would be fun for the knitters to spot them!)

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  25. Hi Lynda, I really enjoyed your sewing and your personality on The Great British Sewing Bee. I was wondering if you are also a knitter? The rainbow shawl that you wore is beautiful and reminds me of Kauni yarn and a feather and fan pattern.

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    1. Joanne, mum is a knitter but she wore things I'd made on the show - the rainbow shawl is indeed Kauni and the pattern is Whippoorwill by Carina Spencer - there is a whole other blog post about that on here somewhere :D

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  26. Hi. I'm trying to contact Lynda Lewis. I am a costume maker and costume tutor in Glasgow. I'm also doing a teaching course just now and, as part of that, I'm researching making our course more accessible to d/Deaf students. I thought Lynda would be an interesting person to ask her opinion of my plans so far. I'd also like to hear about how she got into sewing. Is there any way I can get in touch? Cate.

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