The Sewing Bee is Back!

Its the time we’ve all been waiting for; The Great British Sewing Bee returns to our screen this week and it's bigger than ever. The show has moved to BBC1 this year, and with 10 episodes and 12 contestants, theres a whole lot more sewing goodness for us to enjoy.

Speaking of contestants, they are a diverse bunch. Aged from 24 to 64, this year’s contestants include a teacher, paramedic, doctor, jewellery designer, student, bank manager and youth hostel worker. We feel that they really represent the variety of our lovely sewing community, and show that this is a hobby for everyone! We can’t wait to find out what they’re like and start cheering for our favourites.

Whilst we can’t be sure that challenges that the contestants will face this year, we have heard talk of flamenco skirts, wiggle dresses and bomber jackets! What we do know for sure is the theme of the series; Sustainable Sewing. The Bee has a history of promoting sustainability, in previous seasons we have seen the contestants refashion an item into something new and totally different in every episode, usually known as the Transformation Challenge. In the past we’ve seen them take on shower curtains, tents and prom dresses and turn each item into fabulous (and interesting!) garments! It is therefore no surprise then that the Bee has adopted sustainability as its theme this year.

All of the patterns for the show, and the accompanying book, have been written by the girls behind Selkie Patterns. Since its inception, this London based brand has had environmental consciousness at its heart. As well as designing patterns, they also produce 100% British fabric and have just launched a vintage haberdashery line, giving new life to beautiful notions.

Here at Sew Creative, we love sustainable sewing. All of the fabric for our kids classes comes in as donations from our lovely local community and consists of everything from duvet covers and curtains to wedding dresses and factory offcuts! Anything that isn’t sewn up by one of our mini fashionistas goes into the scrap pile and is turned into stuffing for pin cushions and plushies.

For the grown up sewists among us, we also stock a range of Okeo-tex certified fabrics. These are produced using less harmful chemicals and is a certification that consumers can trust. They are the highest quality fabrics with an ethical production, something that can be difficult to determine when buying fabric from wholesalers.

L-R: Snow Leopard Cotton Jersey; Yarn Dyed Blush Cotton Chambray; Tiger Queen Print Viscose; Galaxy Cotton Jersey; Pewter Dotty Cotton Jersey; Emerald Floral Print Viscose

We’ll be back every week with a recap of the weeks episodes, starting tomorrow with episode one. We’ll see how the programme incorporates sustainability into the challenges and how the contestants take to the show.

WANT TO JOIN IN WITH OUR VIRTUAL SEWING BEE PARTY? Comment on this blog post with your thoughts on the episode for a chance to be featured on tomorrows blog.

Tune into BBC one at 9pm Wednesday 20th April for the first installment.

Happy Sewing, the Sew Creative team x

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