February has seen the return of the much loved Great British Sewing Bee with judges Patrick Grant and Esme Young alongside an exciting new presenter Joe Lycett. His enthusiastic manner and witty personality has already proved a hit with many die-hard fans during the first two weeks of this years show.
Patrick Grant has worked as a Savile Row tailor for Norton & Sons and in 2010 he won Menswear Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards. He has regularly contributed to television shows about the British fashion industry and has worked as a judge on the show from the first epiosde.
Esme Young joined the Sewing Bee as a judge in 2016. She set up and ran Swanky Modes with four other fashion loving women in the 1970s and it fast became the go to place for fashionistas and their clothing was featured in Vogue and was a brand of choice for the likes of Toyah Wilcox and Grace Jones.
For those of you who may be unaware of the show it features 10 amateur dressmakers battling it out with three challenges each week to see who will be crowned with the winning garment of the week and who will be sent home. Each week the following challenges are untaken:
- Pattern challenge – this sees the dressmakers constructing a garment from a pattern given to them by the judges. They must choose their Dressmaking Fabrics from the haberdashery and then complete the chosen design before they are critiqued by Patrick and Esme. They are judged on the final garment as well as their ability to be able to follow a pattern.
- Transformation Challenge – in this traditionally stressful challenge they are given an existing garment type and asked to transform it into something else. So far this year they have been given denim items to make into a wearable garment and fake fur to turn into a childs dressing up costume in the theme of monsters and mythical creatures.
- Made to Measure Challenge – this challenge sees the dressmakers create a garment that they have already practiced and they must ensure that this fits onto the model that they are given on the day. The Dressmaking Fabrics they use are pre-planned and can really show the individual contestants personality and creative skills.
The show has been credited with inspiring many others to start sewing their own clothing or perhaps rekindle a love of sewing that they once had. With many craft stores running special offers alongside the show as well as bloggers and craft lovers regularly writing pieces and sharing their thoughts on the 10 contestants pieces of work, as well as making their predictions for who they think will be crowned the winner of the Great British Sewing Bee 2019.What will the episodes in March have in store for the dressmakers?