Great British Sewing Bee 2024: Episode 1 recap | William Gee UK
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Great British Sewing Bee 2024: Episode 1 recap

Welcome to Episode 1 of the 10th Great British Sewing Bee series! We’ve seen a lot of amazing makes over the last decade, but each year has its own challenges, showstoppers and creative team of contestants.

Have a look at our post introducing the new sewists this year – I can’t wait to see what they create.

Episode 1 recap

This post is a recap of the first episode – there are spoilers underneath, so don’t read on if you don’t want to know what happened on Tuesday night!

Episode 1 was a celebration of the Bee’s tenth anniversary, with the challenges inspired by highlights and makes from Series 1.

It’s Patrick Grant’s tenth year on the series too, and he remarked how he started out with a ‘full brown beard’ and is now sporting a distinguished silver moustache!

GBSB’s instagram: James Stack

Pattern making challenge

The first challenge of Series 10 is an A-line skirt with a button down front. It’s a classic – and also honours the original Series 1 challenge. They’ve updated this one though, with some new technical elements. They’ve been asked to used contrasting thread to topstitch over the skirt, and expertly finish the buttons and buttonhole placket. The judges will be looking to see how accurately the sewists can finish these details under the time pressure.

BBC/Love Productions/

It’s not long before the seam ripper comes out, which is perhaps more expected than a ventriloquist’s dummy (which it turns out is Neil’s sewing mascot..!)

The sewists handle the task well, but it’s always a push to get everything done, especially the finishing details. Pascha came first with her neat seams and precise topstitching. Suzy’s skirt needed the most improvement, but mostly it was because she ran out of time.

Transformation challenge

In this episode, the sewists had to transform a T-shirt into a completely different garment (in an hour and a half). A t-shirt seems like an everyday item, but sewing with jersey has its own challenges.

They’ll get credit for being imaginative – Suzy triumphed in this challenge moving from bottom to top place!

Made to measure challenge

This is an opportunity for the sewists to show off their fitting skills. They can choose a pattern of their own, but they need to fit a garment to a live model. This week’s challenge was a ‘casual day dress’.

Georgie was wearing a Zero Waste Gather Dress for the episode (I spotted it straightaway, it’s such a good pattern!) and was also making one for her made to measure using a vintage tablecloth.

@britishsewing bee | Instagram

I also recognised Alex’s version of a Merchant and Mills Hattie Dress – I’ve made this one too, and love how the neck darts really elevate the relaxed dress. Here’s my version:

M&M Hattie Dress – @thread.and.yarn instagram

Suzy came first – they loved the overall design of her dress, and that she used a duvet as her fabric. Neil went home after a bit of difficulty attaching the zip, which left his dress uneven at the back.

@britishsewing bee | Instagram

What’s happening next week?

Tune in on Tuesday 28th May to watch Sports Week! The episode will feature a winter sportswear classic, the half-zip fleece. In the Transformation Challenge, the sewists are tasked with turning cricket whites into a brand-new outfit, testing technical skills alongside their creativity. I can’t wait to see the different creations, and learn a bit more about the made to measure!

Ready to start your sewing journey?

The Sewing Bee has made sewing accessible, and inspired the nation to start creating their own wardrobe. Seeing the contestants experimenting with different fabrics and styles is a lovely way to think about how you might tackle your own projects.

Ready to begin your sewing journey? Find your Sewing Bee Supplies here!

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