The Great British Sewing Bee

SERIES 8, 2022

How incredibly exciting is it that The Great British Sewing Bee is back on the telly? Watch it every shown on Wednesday at 8pm on BBC One, and trust us when we say we’re going to have our cuppas and biscuits at the ready (hopefully watching without distractions!). We’ve been eagerly awaiting the return since the Christmas special.

So what’s new to the Sewing Bee this year? Sara Pascoe hosts this new series, you’ll recognise her face from the Christmas special. She joins the handsome Patrick Grant (another reason why we watch of course) and the lovely Esme Young as 12 new contestants battle it out to be this years GBSB winner.

Hello to the host and judges
Credit – BBC – Love Productions – James Stack
meet this years contestants
Credit – BBC – Love Productions – James Stack
Follow the bee weekly with us below, as we chat about the episodes with pattern inspo, sewing tips and gossip!
The Great British Sewing Bee S8, The Final, 10, Esme Young, Sara Pascoe, Patrick Grant, Love Productions, James Stack

It’s Semi-final Week – Week 9?

Sewers battle it out with sewing machines at the ready for a place in the semi-finalists this week. Sara Pascoe welcomes the four into the sewing room to celebrate the influences of Japanese sewing and design.

The Great British Sewing Bee S8
The Great British Sewing Bee S8, 9, Sara Pascoe, Love Productions

The Pattern Challenge

For the Pattern Challenge, Esme has collaborated with a Japanese designer to come up with a kimono-inspired dress that proves to be a brainteaser. This is for a place in the final, after all!

Kimono style dresses to make at home:

Trina Dress from Victory Patterns
Trina Dress from Victory Patterns
Gerda Kimono from The Tailoress
Gerda Kimono from The Tailoress
Elodie Wrap Dress by Closet Core Patterns
Elodie Wrap Dress by Closet Core Patterns
Helena Wrap Dress from Just Patterns
Helena Wrap Dress from Just Patterns

Transformation Challenge

The Transformation Challenge is on a smaller scale than usual, as the sewers take worn-out tatty old denim and apply the Japanese techniques of Sashiko and Boro to mend areas of wear and tear, enhancing it with appliqué and embroidery. A celebration of hand stitching!

What is Sashiko and Boro?

Sashiko is simple traditional Japanese embroidery or hand stitching used for the decorative and/or functional reinforcement of cloth and clothing. It literally means ‘little Stabs’. It is relatively easy to learn and can be quite therapeutic way of stitching. And the Boro is the result of continuous and ultimate repetition of Sashiko.

The Made to Measure Challenge

Finally, their Made to Measure challenge is to fit an outfit to their model, which has elements of origami folds and pleats that look like 3D paper. Fabric choice is really important like taffeta or cotton drill.

Origami-and simple japanese-inspired patterns:

Tuck Sleeve Top from Trend Patterns
Tuck Sleeve Top from Trend Patterns
Lara Summerdress from Schnittchen Patterns
Lara Summerdress from Schnittchen Patterns
Vogue V1410
Vogue V1410
Vogue V9112
Vogue V9112

The results…..

Annie wins the Pattern Challenge with her crisp and premise kimono style jacket/dress. Patrick couldn’t commend it highly enough, and said it was in a different league!

Man Yee was awarded first place in the Transformation challenge for her grasp of Sashiko on her denim skirt design! Garment of week went to Annie for her perfect embodiment of origami dress.

AND ……for the first time ever, no one leaves the sewing room and four go into the final!

If you missed any of the episodes so despair, you can watch it over on BBC iPlayer if you live in the UK here

To see previous week’s post – click on the page numbers below


What happened in Week 8?

It’s the quarter finals yay! This week the sewers step back into the golden era of the 1930s.

First the Pattern Challenge

Esme and Patrick set the sewing bee contestant’s a Pattern Challenge to make a stylish pair of women’s sailor-inspired trousers with a complex bib-front button opening and equally tricky pockets. 

Button front vintage style trousers to sew:

231 Big Sky Riding Skirt from Folkwear
231 Big Sky Riding Skirt from Folkwear
Vogue 1815
Vogue 1815
Burda 6573
Burda 6573

Transformation Challenge

Then the sewers show off their ability to think on their feet when they are given men’s shirts to turn into 1930s women’s blouses.

The Made to Measure Challenge

Finally, it’s time for a touch of Hollywood glamour when they are asked to perfectly fit a bias-cut evening gown reminiscent of outfits worn by Katharine Hepburn and Bette Davis. 

magnolia-dress from Deer and Doe
Christian’s Style
Magnolia Dress from
Deer and Doe
McCall's 7775
Man Yee and Annie’s Style
McCall’s 7775
Vogue 1697
Debra’s Style
Vogue 1697
Vogue 8814
Brogan’s Style
Vogue 8814

The results!

Man Yee is first with her Pattern Challenge for her superb pair of trousers. It was tough competition this week but Many Yee got her ‘second’ first place for her pink pointed collar blouse in the Transformation Challenge. Garment of week went to Annie for her beautiful 1930s dress which was so glam in red! Sadly, it was Christian’s turn to leave the sewing room!

The Great British Sewing Bee S8, 3, Cristian, Love Productions

If you missed any of the episodes so despair, you can watch it over on BBC iPlayer if you live in the UK here

To see previous week’s post – click on the page numbers below